Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My back hurts!

Good news and bad news .... my lower back is killing me! Has been for two weeks. Here's what happened ....

I went to the chiropractor like usual. My lower back really moved, he even commented on how well it moved. I left and found I had more mobility in my hips than I had before. It felt so different .... good different.

When I was sick, my pain was left-sided. I am left-handed, but my left side had become significantly weaker than my right. Pilates really showed me that when I did the arm work with the pulleys we use. The work on my right side was easy, but it felt like my left side had two or three times the weight yet both arms were working from the same resistance.

Pilates on the reformer (pilates apparatus) does not allow you to compensate for one side being weaker because the focus is on form and wrong form is really accentuated by the reformer. The only answer was fewer reps or less weight to allow the left side to catch up.

When I would lie down on the reformer my right hip was higher than my left. Because we work the body out evenly with pilates, I had to think about holding my right hip down, which would make it feel like my left butt cheek wasn't even on the carriage bed.

This focus on evening out the body has, well, evened out my body! My left is as strong as my right.

My massage therapist and chiropractor had told me when I first came in my body was twisted. That right hip came forward, so lying on my back, my right hip came up, or lying on my stomach, the left side of my back was higher than the right.

So, back to the chiro appt. I came home amazed at my mobility and how much better it felt. Then, wham! A couple hours later, PAIN!

I noticed that my right hip no longer comes up on the reformer, it's even with the left. I went for a massage and he said it was the first time my left back was not raised. The massage therapist's theory is that the adjustment finally made my lumbar spine and hips move to the right place. My muscles are now not happy about this movement .... they are stretched in different ways and work in different ways, thus pain.

I told my chiropractor the massage therapist's theory and he agreed that it sounded like a possibility. He said that if that were true, then the movement caused strain on my back muscles and we are treating my back as if I had strained it in injury. I'm getting adjusted three times per week. He's using ultrasound on it and I'm using my Bionic 880 on it as well.

The really funny thing is ..... I can still do pilates!! It is an exercise so protective of the lower back that it's no problem and I actually feel BETTER after having done it. I can also during this time FEEL the exercises that are hard on the lower back. Knowing this information will help me be a better instructor because I will never include those movements in my classes.

The really, really funny thing is, when I do pilates, I do the exercises with great form and look strong, however, when I am finished and need to get off the reformer, I look like a cripple!!

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