Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Back Issues 2

Then the accident happened. One day before my first day of work, I was driving from Portland to Seattle and I got hit going 60 on the freeway. Yeah, it sucked. And it's still not over. I felt ok after the accident, walked away and experienced typical muscle soreness. But then the back pains started coming back. Since the accident I have experienced more bad days than before with pain only being exceeded by when I was first injured. Like I said, it sucked.

I finally went to get a diagnostic and I got the same old. My muscles were contracting around the nerves in my back and their continual use (because when are you not using your back?) was aggravating me. The car accident likely caused my muscles to contract far further as a protective reaction to my back. And that wasn't really too crazy. It really meshed with the onset of this bout of symptoms but it didn't follow on the past history too well. But I was prescribed some really potent muscle relaxants (cyclobenzaprine which makes me way drowsy for like 12-16 hours) and physical therapy.

Well, I finally talked to my physical therapist and she performed a full diagnostic. There she was able to find the exact points where by back was—well, screwed up. No one has been able to replicate the pain I experience in my back reliably. My PT was great, she went vertebra by vertebra until she found the points that were weak.

So here's the diagnosis as she—and I—see it. My back, like all backs has parts that are more mobile than other parts. The spine, being composed of a series of joints and bones, has many points where it can bend. Each point has a different amount of mobility—the amount that joint can move. “When people talk about being double-jointed they are talking about being hypermobile; where a joint can move more than what is said to be normal.” The issue with my back was two-fold: hypomobility and hypermobility. The upper portion of my back was hypomobile, or lacking in much mobility. That region of my back doesn't naturally move much and that means that the range of motion I experience comes largely from the hypermobile region of my back. The hypermobile region of my back is my 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae. These regions experience extra movement on a regular basis.