Unfortunately since Christmas holidays I have been having an awful time with my back. Something seized up and has been pinching some nerves and causing horrible pain and weakness in my low back and left leg. It's been killer since I had the final stretch of my February half marathon training to complete, the actual race to complete and also two very heavy little boys to lift around.
Since the start of the year I have been going back to physio on a weekly basis trying to get things loosened up to relieve all the pain. In the meantime I've been stretching, resting and strengthening and I am definitely noticing changes, but I still have to soak, apply heat and medicate to get through the day and complete all my running. It's all been working, but not totally 'fixing' anything.
Most recently, I've added foam rolling to the routine. I don't know a lot about rolling, but had it suggested to me as a means of releasing knots and adhesions in my IT bands, calves, quads etc. As I got into it, it reminded me of how my massage therapist used to apply very strong and direct pressure to problem areas in my back to get the muscles to release. I figured hey, why the heck not? And so I started rolling my lower back to try and release that problem right side.
After a few days I started to notice that my back felt a lot better after a rolling session. Kind of tingly and not so 'present' - normally it just feels like a big ball of tension in that area. So I kept at it. And after a few days I could actually bend over without having to brace myself on a table or chair. Within a few days I could even bend over to put on my socks and underwear (it's a HUGE pain when you have to sit down or have someone else put your socks on for you!)
Anyhow, the point is - I was noticing improvements. Or was I imagining it - would my physio notice?
I didn't say anything and sure enough, when she went to work on me she noticed it right away. Not cured by any means, but she was able to get my spine to actually flex a little in that area, whereas before the muscles were so tight and rock hard that NOTHING would move at all. I told her what i'd been up to with my foam roller and she loved it. The strengthening and stretching exercises she has given me are starting to make a difference and the rolling is helping the muscle release.
So, with a little bit of progress (FINALLY!) I am feeling totally motivated. The stretches and exercises are definitely helping, but these darned muscles need some pretty direct work and that's hard to get when you only get to see your physio once a week. I'm glad to see that something as simple as a foam roller can help.
She has also suggested I go back to acupuncture for a few treatments to see if we can get things to release even further. It's been ages since I did acupuncture, but I'm looking forward to my upcoming treatment (just gotta get some babysitting sorted out first!)
Anyway, it was a nice way to end off a pretty tiring week. The boys have been sick and are just grumpy and tired and so the week has felt awfully long. With my good news on Thursday night though (and a drink or two on Friday night!) I'm already having a good weekend. On tap for today is a short 5km run and a trip to pick up my new experimental sneakers ! They're bigger but I hope they're not like water skis!