The other day a good friend of mine hurt their back at the gym. They’d called to talk to me about something else, a life question, a weighty one…but the back thing had just happened and we started with that.
I can’t help myself. Having spent so much time working through injuries (so I could keep working/dancing) and with a life long obsession about how movement works I dove right in.
“I reckon it’s good to go into Old Person mode. Treating yourself kindly, but not too delicately, robust old person mode. Move as much as you can, but no more, for the next 24-48 hours. Heat and cold? Everyone has different theories. This kind of injury in a back I reckon a bit of ice on the actual site, but really small amounts of time (3-5mins max), but keep everything else warm. The body is seizing up to protect itself. Moving in a limited range as much as you can (essentially don’t “test” the injury, to see if it is still their) keeps it safe so you can warm everything else up to stop the seizing…Don’t worry the thing, trust that it will heal, don’t pull on the knot by telling a story to yourself that makes things tighten…”
Yep. Pure advice. Possibly a little unsolicited…though gratefully received.
As our conversation progressed onto my buddies ‘life questions’ it became clear how the things, the incident in the gym, my proposal for how to respond, the life questions and the possible response to those all kind of lined up.
The very good news is my friend woke up the next day feeling pretty good. Maybe our chat, or something else helped? Or just the ongoing mystery of the human body in action? Who knows?
Today, at the gym, I lifted a heavy thing and hurt my back.
So, it’s time for me to take some of my own advice.
I do wonder, though, is this injury a metaphor somehow for what’s going on in my life? Is there something for me to discovery here about how I might approach the challenges and opportunities I face?
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