Massaged to a Spasm
Last week I had a very frightening experience. I found myself buck naked on a massage table after a 90-minute session virtually unable to get up because my back was in spasm.
I have been seeing my excellent massage therapist every 3 weeks for almost 2 years. He does a very rigorous combination of therapy that is somewhat of a blend of PT and Thai massage. I am stretched in virtually every direction with a lot of emphasis on my lower back and hips. However, last week’s massage must have been a little more than my back could take.
The massage studio is actually in the efficiency condo where my bodyworker lives. He finishes up the session and then disappears into the bathroom while I get dressed. By the time he called out to find out if I was dressed, I had managed to get myself off the table and with difficulty to get mostly dressed. I told him I had had difficulty getting up but didn’t go into the details.
I was still in somewhat of a state of panic as I walked to the car, wondering if I had done irreparable damage to my back in an activity that was supposed to be therapeutic. I wondered if I should continue to see him. I wondered if I should continue to receive massage from anyone. But mainly I wondered if and when my back would stop hurting.
I popped an Aleve and tried to avoid bending over for the rest of the day. I sat carefully and got up slowly. And eventually my symptoms began to subside. While previous back problems have taken days to resolve, I was pretty much back to normal in about 24 hours.
I have had a long email dialog with my massage therapist and my physical therapist. He identified my left SI joint as the site of the problem. We have agreed that he should back way off on the intensity and limit my next session to 60 minutes. Perhaps we can gradually add back in some of the things he usually does. But whatever we do, I have to make sure my back is not negatively affected.
I continue to learn the strengths and limitations of my body. And I must pay full attention to both.