I don’t know if you’ve ever had to carry something heavy. Maybe a mini fridge. Maybe one of those fat back televisions from 2006. Maybe your group members for a school project. Maybe the weight of the world. Maybe a dozen pizza boxes for a Super Bowl party.
Regardless, any of the above could give you back pain. Do we agree? Great.
A few weeks ago, I found myself battling some intense back pain. What caused it, you ask? Alright, I’m going to say it once…and then I’ll repeat it later. Follow along.
So, I was sitting on the couch. Can you picture it? And then I stood up. Still with me here? And then I stretched my arms to the sky like a toddler waking up from a nap.
Pain all over the upper east side of my back.
I should mention that I’ve never seriously injured myself before.
I’ve torn ligaments in my fingers, taken a line drive off my shin playing softball, been kicked in the face and punched in the nose by children, pulled muscles, and had wisdom teeth taken out, but nothing seriously painful.
This newfound pain in my back was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Right around the right shoulder blade was the root of the problem. I felt paralyzed.
I couldn’t turn my head to the right. I couldn’t tilt it down – my chin could not reach my chest. Do that right now. See how easy it is? Don’t take it for granted.
I was in a world of hurt, all because I stood up and stretched my arms in the air. I didn’t even do it aggressively! What the heck!? This doesn’t happen to me.
The closest I’ve ever felt to that kind of pain was the day after my Grade 7 cross-country ski trip because I had spent the whole time falling all over the trail. That trail was the longer one of the two we could choose from. I took it by accident.
I still remember finally returning to the lodge for lunch and people asking me, “Where have you been?” Then I bought french fries because I felt like I earned them.
But that was just soreness all over my body. I could power through.
This back pain, however, was stabbing me up and down from the inside. It would spread to my neck and poke its head through to my left shoulder. I needed to put up barricades to contain it.
I went up to my room to lie on my back. You know how slowly I had to ease myself down on the bed? It hurt so much. I finally ended up with an ice pack and put it under my back.
At that point, I was wondering if I need a hospital, chiropractor, or divine intervention. Do I need to be re-aligned? What does that even mean? I just want to be centred again, like the title on a Microsoft Word document.
In order to look to my right, I had to turn to my left and spin around 270 degrees. Try that right now.
But Paul, you could’ve just moved your feet to look to your right!
You know what, let me be dramatic!
The ice brought the pain down a bit, but I was still sore and lacking mobility. I’m sure some of you want to chime in by saying I should’ve used a heating pad, but we can’t go back in time now, can we?
In the days following my back pain, my mom, cousin, and grandmother all developed the same issue! It spread like wildfire!
Back pain is contagious, y’all. It spreads via genetics.
I don’t care if your relative lives three hours away and you never talk to them, their back pain will soon be your back pain. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
After a couple of days of applying ice to my back and neck, I was finally able to look to my right without having to spin around 270 degrees. I could also touch my chest with my chin again.
I could still feel mild pain for a couple of weeks after the initial incident and applied ice just to be safe.
Also, an ice pack on your back feels pretty good in the summer months. 10/10 – would ice it again.
I think I’m back to normal now, but it was scary at first.
You don’t always realize how lucky you are to have a healthy body and the moment something happens and your ability to do something as small as look to your right gets taken from you – it hits you.
So, that’s my story about getting back pain by standing up and stretching my arms in the air.
The lesson here is to stay seated on your couch. Nothing bad can happen if you don’t stand up. This is why they always made us sit in school, probably.
Have you ever had back pain? Have you ever injured yourself in a strange way? General thoughts on anything I wrote?