June 2016 Now

There is no Dana, only Zul.

There is nothing else right now except getting my back in order.

Pain, like nothing else in the world, will make you focus. About six years ago I started to have spasms in my mid-thoracic region of my back. At one point the pain was so bad I was seated on the floor of my bedroom, my wife holding me in her arms, as I wept.

At the time I thought I had a disk that had ruptured or even at one point was fearful that I had a tumor on my spine because it felt like I was sleeping on a golf ball. After visits to an orthopedist and an MRI it was determined my spine itself was actually in really terrific shape. What I was dealing with were severe muscle spasms.

I’d been cycling a lot that year, riding at least a hundred miles a week most weeks, so the conclusion of the physical therapist I was referred to was that due to my posture on the bike and a lack of flexibility and mobility in my hips and hamstrings the spasms were caused by muscle imbalances and my back muscles were just getting tired out trying to compensate. The prescription was a set of mobility exercises and stay off the bike for a while. That did the trick, for about 5 years.

The spasms came back in April, so it was back to the doc who gave me a referral to physical therapy again. Since this is a reoccurrence the PT is approaching things a bit differently. She’s trying to get to the root of the problem and recognize that this is my body’s pattern of dealing with a problem that will probably never go away unless we figure out another way to pull the stress from the center of my back to a set of muscles that are actually strong enough to handle it.

On the positive side, my workouts actually help rather than hurt, so I’m able to keep that going, but I’ve decided to focus on resistance training for the next few months because that seems to help the most.

So, my Now for June is my back, nothing but my back.

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