Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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.

5 Comments:

Blogger e said...

My left SI joint has never been the same since being involved in a rear-end collision in 2004. I have chronic back issues as a result, and massage generally helps when flare-ups occur. I also need to stretch not twice daily as originally recommended but 4-6 times per day. I also apply heat or ice, depending upon how long I've had any pain.

It's good that your PT and massage therapist speak\and reach agreement about your care.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

Wow, that's pretty scary! I'm glad you had a conversation with him about it afterwards because that's something he definitely needs to know about.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

oh wow!! Hope this.. calms down!

I have been taking ibuprofen lately because I coughed so hard during this cold, I threw out my neck and shoulder. They are slowly healing, but I can sure tell when I haven't taken my pills on time!

I hope yours settles down!

5:33 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Sending healing thoughts your way. xo

8:37 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

Yikes! That's scary! But I can see how a massage might overextend some of your tissues and joints. I've been left in pain by a massage before, but not that severe.

2:20 AM  

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