All it took was a simple tennis lesson to seriously affect my quality of life, leaving me with severe lower left back pain. I enjoy sports and being active so much but all that changed when I injured my back.
I knew it immediately when it happened. It felt like my back just let go of something. Sort of like the feeling when you’re caught by surprise by someone in your home when you didn’t think anyone was there and your whole body seizes up for a moment, startled.
I was hitting two hand back hands over and over again. My instructor was drilling me. I was stepping in with the right foot, getting low and attacking the ball swinging the racket across my body from left to right, trying my best to follow through as my coach instructed. It was around my 43rd swing when I swung the racket across my body with great velocity and torque and immediately felt my body seize up.
Since I had experienced lower left back pain before and an acute injury that had caused it previously, I knew immediately I had done it again.
Within 5 minutes my entire back was frozen.
I could barely do any physical activity for 3 weeks. I had lower left back pain at work, driving, even watching TV. It was so hard just to find a comfortable position in which I wasn’t experiencing pain.
All in all it took about 4 months and a lot of back stretching, back exercises for men, acupuncture, as well as rest to recover and be able to be active again without pain. Acupuncture actually had a significant impact – more than I thought it might have. It’s almost like asking your muscles to relax as opposed to trying to force them to relax through massage, and more specifically deep tissue massage, not to mention the pain involved in deep tissue massage.
My acupuncturist is the one who actually taught me some pretty fantastic stretches that helped a lot. He suggested I stretch each morning and night, using my breathing to try to relax and go deeper into each stretch.
Even though this particular time I had lower left back pain, the previous time it had started with a back spasm that led to more back spasms and then sort of chronic lower back pain right side. It has been a process over a few years now figuring out what helps and what doesn’t in order to learn to treat myself.
I say treat myself, but more like managing your treatment. I can’t do acupuncture to myself and I can’t really do massage to myself effectively on my back except for using my massage chair (which is actually quite relieving), but I can manage those people who provide me those treatments. I can also organize when I stretch, when I do back exercises for men, and the way in which I approach exercise when I do finally choose to return. It’s almost like I am my own general practitioner. I gathered information like you are doing now and formulated a treatment plan for myself.
Each morning I would wake up early and stretch before work. I would stretch every night before bed on the floor using the techniques the acupuncturist taught me. I did acupuncture about 10 times over the 4 month recovery period. And I began doing back exercises for men gradually as I slowly returned to regular exercise.
One of the biggest successes in my own treatment of my back pain was when my dad introduced me to this stretching device he was using for his neck. Apparently decompression is really important in relieving back pain. I ended up buying this back stretching device and using it at home at least 4 days a week. It was really convenient too because first of all it’s small and you can literally put it in a bag and leave it under the bed when you’re done using it. More importantly, I could lay down comfortably when using it. I literally just watched a movie or listened to a podcast while it did the work – and boy did it do some work! I really feel it was instrumental in my recovery.
Today I am more or less free from lower left back pain. I also am much more prepared with a plan should I re-injure myself, which is always a risk with chronic back pain issues. However I definitely feel more confident now knowing that I can successfully treat myself. I bet you can to. Best of luck.