If you spotted my posts on Instagram last week you may have noticed that I somehow managed to do something to my back. I’m not entirely sure what, but it was painful!
I’m pretty bad at anything remotely medical related so I had been doing my best to ignore the aching pain I was getting in the middle of my back… I was slightly concerned it could be kidney related, and well, that all seemed a bit scary, so I decided to ignore it. I assumed I’d slept in an awkward position and it would clear up but over the weekend the aching was beginning to get pretty persistent and my sleep was getting a bit interrupted with it.
On the Wednesday morning I reached to get my dressing gown off the back of the door and my back went. I’ve never experienced anything like it and I felt like I might faint or be sick. It was not good and was a truly horrible pain. Luckily the children were playing in their bedroom and Mr H was in his cot so I was able to get to the shower and the heat of the water eased things a bit. I phoned the GP and they were able to see me. I was worried about how I’d cope with the day to day lifting given that even just walking around was quite painful so made the decision to ask Damian to come home. I’ve never had to call him out of work (except when I was in the final stages of pregnancy and was sent to the day unit at the hospital) but I was in so much pain.
The GP was excellent and was pretty sure it was muscular. I did feel a bit silly for wasting her time, but as she pointed out I was at the surgery before 9am with three children aged four and under. No one is going to do that unless they feel they need to see a GP. She asked me lots of questions about my back and did some movement tests with me. She was confident after having a prod and watching me move that I’d pulled a muscle and it has most likely gone into spasm.
Thankfully when I got home Damian was back and he could help with the lifting of the children. We had a snack and whilst Damian went upstairs to work, the children and I got on with the day. It did make me think though about what I could do to help my back recover. Inevitably having small children means lots of lifting throughout the day – be it the children themselves or nappy bags and pushchairs. I tend to carry Mr H a lot on my back and investing in a good quality ergonomic baby carrier has saved my back a lot over the years. I have an Ergo and Lenny Lamb carrier that I use with Mr H and a Tula I use with the older two (although Mr D hasn’t needed carrying for a long time now).
My back also seemed to ease up when I was more active. We took a gentle walk to a local park and my back did feel much better. When we got back Damian said he would cancel the order for an adjustamatic chair that we’d been joking I would need, given how much better I was moving!
I’ve also been paying more attention to my sleeping position – Mr H is in bed with us each night and it can be easy to get into a bad sleeping position with him. Taking a look at how many pillows I am sleeping with and trying to keep my body in as natural a position as possible helps. A good night’s sleep can be pretty hard to come by at the best of time with three children – there’s always one ear listening out for someone needing you in the middle of the night or if, like us, you co-sleep you can find yourself being bashed awake by small hands at some unearthly hour. I have been paying attention though to some of the tips in this video about how to get a good nights sleep.
My back has been more or less OK since but it did go again over the weekend. I’ve now learnt that keeping active with a gentle walk is good – it really does ease the pain. Using Ibuleve gel has helped too and just the action of rubbing the gel into my back helps ease the tension there. I’ve also been paying attention more to how I lift the children and being more careful to be gentle on my back and joints.
I am hopeful that with a few small changes my back will soon be back to normal and I can then work on getting a full night of uninterupted sleep!
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