I should have taken my own advice; the worst reason for a rest day

Do you ever have a feeling that your body is trying to tell you something? That your subconscious self knows more than your conscious brain is willing to admit?

Yesterday I wrote a post about the benefits of including rest days in your workout schedule. I’m not sure where the idea for the post came from, but during my short-lived life as a blogger, I’ve learned not to think too hard about where the motivation is coming from, but just to be thankful that my brain has offered up something to write about!

September has been a busy month. Kids returning to school. Lots of afternoon activities and play dates. New classes to teach and subbing for colleagues vacationing in warm, sunny climates. Add to that a new strength training program of my own, yoga on my rest days and a still-unresolved issue with my husband’s health that’s been affecting my sleep for over a month now.

If anybody needed a rest day, it was me!

Well, today I’m getting one, but not because I planned it. Not even because I didn’t feel like exercising today. All because I injured myself while teaching this morning.

I wasn’t doing anything I haven’t done a thousand times before. The step pattern was simple. The tempo of the music moderate. Only light weights were lifted. And, I was ‘coaching’ more than ‘doing’. All of a sudden, I felt a spasm in my upper back. Like something was stuck. I couldn’t raise my arms over my head without pain and taking a deep breath was excruciating.

I told my class that I’d just pulled a muscle and that I’d keep demonstrating the step patterns, but with arms held low. ‘Follow Dina (a participant that’s been coming to my class for ages). She’ll show you the arm movements’.

A couple of minutes later I realized that I wasn’t even capable of that much exertion. It hurt to twist my torso and lift my knees. I told my class to ‘hold the basic’ and left the room to find my supervisor. She finished the class for me (thanks Lori!) and I went immediately to physio (good thing my physiotherapist is in the same building I teach in!).

The verdict? The transverse process on one of my thoracic vertebrae seems to be ‘stuck’ (for lack of a better word) on the rib with which it articulates. The surrounding muscles are in spasm. Hard to say which came first; mis-alignment of the vertebra may have led to the muscular spasm or muscle spasm may have pulled the vertebra out of alignment. Doesn’t really matter to the therapy and prognosis.

Kristin did deep tissue massage, electrical stimulation, traction and passive extension, all of which gave me more range of motion without pain. I came home and had a hot bath, stretched with my foam roller and had my hubby apply the Voltaren. However, it still hurts to breathe deeply and I’ll be needing help getting out of bed for the next day or two. If it doesn’t resolve itself in a few days, I’ve been told to see a chiropractor (this would be a first for me and the idea is a bit scary).

So here I am, doing exactly what I told you not to do on your rest days; watching day time television (I PVR’d the season premiere of Battle of The Blades last night; it’s a Canadian thing) and knitting (okay, I’d never tell anyone not to knit on their rest day).

All because I didn’t listen to my body or take my own advice.

Do you listen to your body?

Ever seen a chiropractor? Please share your experiences with chiropractic medicine with me.

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Comments

  1. I do listen, but often feel guilty about it…which really makes no sense! I try to do something different to make up for not going to the gym, like taking the dog for a longer walk. As for chiro, my experience hasn’t been great – I found one close by and he just tried to sell me a wellness plan that would cost ONLY $200+ per month. I had one adjustment and was really uncomfortable for a few days. He said it was like working out muscles you hadn’t used in awhile – you’d feel tender and sore, but with more chiro adjustments it would improve. I didn’t go back. I would suggest you try to find one that does active release and won’t try to sell you a plan that will drain your bank account. Perhaps your physio or other fitness trainers have some good suggestions.

    • Thanks Anna. It was great to meet you the other day. So glad you introduced yourself!
      I’m hoping not to have to get any manipulation done; it scares me a bit to think of someone manually moving my spine. That’s just me though.
      See you next time you’re in!
      Tamara

  2. I am pretty in tuned with le bod so I am pretty clear when I am in my own set of denial (which oddly enough I do a lot)
    I am SO SORRY to hear your hurt your back/vertebrea/ribs….owie for sure!
    Don;t be afraid of Chiropractors. Just be sure you feel good about them. make sure they LISTEN to you.

    I’ve had a great one and an awful one!
    you don’t want an awful one.

    and knitting on your rest days is mandate!
    xo

  3. Hey Tamara, Sorry about your pain. Happy for your rest. Your questions: Do you listen to your body?… yeah, when I finally give up trying to fight it. Right now listening to my body means not working out at all. Nothing. Not even abs or stretching. Yet my body is responding well. I’m not injured; I just have absolutely no motivation to work out. I find that personally sometimes I just need to take a break for my body and mind and let my inner workings guide… Ever seen a chiropractor? I have been literally saved by chiropractors. The key is to find one who is really really effective. When I was in my late teens I did my first dead lift (200 pounds) with no warmup and no weight belt. That, coupled with my mild scoliosis, had my back “going out” frequently through college — and turning to my chiropractor to put me back in alignment each time. About 12-15 years ago (years later), my training clients urged me to learn yoga so I could teach them. That accidental discovery of yoga made my spine strong and supple. Personally, my keys for spinal (and bodily) health have been chiropractic care, yoga, and weight resistance. My brother, who is extremely fit and dedicated, also swears by them. Convincing my mother is a whole nuther matter 🙂 Best of luck in discovering what works for you!