Sunday, July 24, 2011

Case of the crashing case

As freak accidents go they are unintentional and unusual and what happened to me this past Wednesday qualifies as a Class A example.

While moving a box of triathlon gear from a 7-foot high shelf in my bedroom closet I unknowingly bumped a large piece of luggage on the same high shelf. The 50 lbs. roller case, storing several smaller suitcases like nesting dolls, teetered above me while I rummaged through the storage box on the floor. In an instant the case toppled off the shelf, falling toward the floor. A corner struck me in the left-side lower back with all of the force of a prize fighter's kidney punch knocking me flat to the floor. Pain shot through me from the back of my head down through my heels. The case pinned me to the closet wall and I struggled to throw off its weight with one arm.

Bent over like an old man with a short cane, I shuffled out of the closet to a mirror. Struggling to twist my shoulders and neck to get a look at my back in the reflection, I didn't see any signs of injury. There was nary a scratch nor a red mark but the pain kept me from standing straight for another couple of minutes. After a while I could walk and sit normally but there was no ignoring the nagging pain of a deep muscle injury.

Since then I've gone about my daily activities including swimming, biking, and running like usual but the pain remained the same, never lessening or getting worse. Until today that is.

While driving after an easy eight mile run my lower right back muscles began to spasm causing a breath stealing pain so strong I had to pull the car to a side street until it subsided. After a minute I could drive again, but cautiously. It happened twice more before I arrived home.

Since then it's been giving me fits when I turn my body in almost every seemingly effortless way. Oddly, bending down or reaching up doesn't hurt but something as easy as scratching the back of my head or pulling open a refrigerator door sends a knifing pain down my back and legs.

So, now what do I do? Self-medicate with aspirin and a heating pad or limp to a doctor? Could the progression of the pain be a sign of things getting seriously worse or could I be on the mend and today will be the worst of it?

I'm not sure what I'll do tomorrow but I do know this much; I plan on running in the morning. Maybe exercise is just what the doctor would order.

Stay tuned...


CoachLiz said...


Pain tends to get worse on the third day, but that is crazy! I would see if you can find a sports chiropractic doctor who can take a look at you. You do have deep muscle tissue trauma but you also probably have muscle tightness due to some muscles over compensating for injured ones. This can cause swelling and compression on a nerve which would lead to the shooting and stabbing pain you are feeling when you raises your arm and do push/pull activities.

For now, some Advil and ice is your best bet until you can make an appointment to see someone. I have recommendations for people in the Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Las Vegas area, but sadly, not for Dallas. Let me see what I can find out about some docs in that area. Good Sports Chiro docs usually work outside of insurance companies so that they are not limited to only giving you the care that the insurance companies think you need. It may be a little pricy, but it will be worth it.

P.S. Whole Foods will have a topical cream/gel called Traumeel that has Arnica in it which helps to reduce inflammation. It can be found in the area where all the health care and vitamins are. It is about $14 a tube. Apply it at least 3X per day.

Milano Running Mom said...

I agree that ice and advil are your friends right now. Maybe some easy Yoga moves or Hot Yoga would help. Would love to know how your run goes. So sorry about all of this, it totally sucks.

Jennifer Luney said...
Please check them out, Brian...thoughts of healing, strength and pain-free body sent your way!
~Jen Luney