workplace injuries.

by Liz on 03.29

He’s making it look easy. DON’T BELIEVE HIM.


I’m 26 years old. I’m young, normal-sized- not super svelte, but healthyish. And young. Did we cover that? I’m YOUNG, dammit.

Which makes this incredibly embarrassing to admit.

I threw out my back two weeks ago. I think that’s what it’s called? I’m not up to speed on the lingo of the decrepit. I pulled a muscle or tweaked something or, I don’t really know what the hell it is, but that thing where suddenly I can’t move my entire body for no good reason. I was bending over to pick up a wooden block and… got stuck. I just couldn’t straighten to standing. A flash of heat and pain, and I can’t move.

Just put me in a nursing home already.

The next morning, I was able to do strenuous activities like get out of bed and stand up, so I assumed that I had done that thing that 26-year-olds do and healed right up. I was sorely mistaken (sorely! guffaw!). For the two weeks since then, I’ve been getting twinges throughout the day and by the end of the night, my back is hot and sore and angry, shooting pain down to my toes and up through my neck.

It does not make for a pleasant Liz.

Imagine, if you will, having a 23lb beefy little son to pick up and put down and carry through the house. To bend over at the tub and give a bath. To clean up after as he scatters crayons and legos and wooden puzzle pieces from room to room. To wipe up after he sends a cascade of apple juice across the linoleum.

Now, imagine doing all of that with the added pleasure of a sharp pain across your lower back each time you bend.


All I’m saying is, go give your mom a hug.



Meanwhile, I’ll be getting fitted for a walker and colostomy bag.

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Your Comments | Add a Comment

Trisha says:
Mar 29, 2012 7:41 am

back injuries are the worst! I sprained a back muscle sneezing when I was 25 or 26. I couldn’t believe all the little things I took for granted that were affected by it. Like breathing, or sitting upright. I hope you’re feeling 100% soon Liz!


Erin says:
Mar 29, 2012 7:52 am

I’m grumbling with you. We’re too young to be falling apart already >:O
Hope your back feels better soon — ice packs work wonders (from experience).


Sarah says:
Mar 29, 2012 9:07 am

Ugh, what a pain. (Stupid puns, sneaking up on me!) I think I was 23ish the first time I did this … I was at Disneyland, and threw my head back to scream (Haunted Mansion tradition), and couldn’t move. It was NOT fun.

That being said … I second the ice for sharp or “hot” pain. Also, if you have one, a heating pan for when you’re feeling particularly tight. And ibuprofen if you can/want to … it’ll help relax everything.

On a non-pain-management issue … tiny stretches repeated often are much better for healing this type of injury than long ones, held. If you can do 2 inches in either direction … do it (hold it for just a couple seconds), every 5 or so minutes for a while.

Man, I wish I didn’t know so much about this! I hope you heal quickly!


Koru Kate {Koru Wedding} says:
Mar 29, 2012 10:15 am

OW. My husband recently hurt his back by sneezing. I felt so bad for him but I had to laugh too. Is there any hope for us in old age?! I hope your recovery is swift!


Helen says:
Mar 29, 2012 11:17 am

Yikes! This is no fun at all. :( I understand, though– I’ve thrown my back out about once a year since the first time it happened when I was 18. (It runs in the family– it happens to my mother, too.) Things that help me: 800mg of ibuprofen every six hours for a few days (which sometimes stops it from getting worse!), ice at first and then a heating pad, a good chiropractor (I recommend finding a NUCCA chiropractor, who will work on your upper spine and doesn’t do a lot of popping and cracking), and muscle relaxers at night if all else fails.

I hope you feel better soon!!


Stephanie says:
Mar 29, 2012 12:30 pm

If it makes you feel better I did this to myself at 19. Granted, I was moving a cedar chest, but it took years to get back to normal.

If you can swing it, I’d definitely try acupuncture. Western medicine can’t do crap for pain. Look for a community clinic that has a sliding scale or a school. They are super cheap.


Alycia says:
Mar 29, 2012 2:21 pm

Wow, I really understand. I had back surgery for a herniated disc two weeks ago and am just getting back to normal life (not allowed in a car or bus for two weeks!?what!?). If you have insurance and this continues to be a problem, check out 3B Orthopedics at Pennsylvania Hospital or at Lankenau. I’m not a fan of huge medical procedures but I couldn’t walk from Chestnut Street to Locust without crying, so something had to be done. And man, I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone. And they look for alternatives to surgery first. They are good people there. Good luck and feel better!


Basketcase says:
Mar 29, 2012 2:48 pm

I put my back out when I was 24, turning myself in my seat so I could reverse the car. And then I went and did my normal gym workout.

I wound up off work for 2 weeks. I had to have every single cushion in the house propping me up so I could sit on the sofa.

Talk about embarassing!

Hope you get better soon. It really sucks!


liz says:
Mar 29, 2012 2:53 pm

If nothing else, you all make me feel less like a feeble grandma!


Sheryl says:
Mar 29, 2012 7:58 pm

It seems cruel to get stuck with back pain early.

I know I started my spine injuries when I was sixteen … and it’s tricky, because there’s some sensitivity that doesn’t always go away easily. Be nice to your body while you are healing!


d-day says:
Mar 29, 2012 8:15 pm

Yikes! Sounds like you maybe pinched your sciatic nerve. I did this to myself a few times when I was a waitress, not as often lately, but it sometimes gets me randomly. My fix: no drugs, just alternate heat and cold on your lower back – frozen bag of peas, or just baggie of crushed ice, when that melts, switch out with hot cloth, heating pad, something. Then just keep alternating for a few hours, as long as you can be immobile. Prob not that long with a small child around!


liz says:
Mar 29, 2012 8:24 pm

I was wondering if it’s sciatic related because it feels a LOT like what I went through during pregnancy.


Morgen says:
Apr 3, 2012 6:47 am

Back pain is the worst. Check out a book called The Trigger Point Therapy book. It’s a self-massage technique book that I’ve used and it’s really helped me a lot!


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