The Yoga Moron
Friends, some stuff going on with my back has kept me off the bike all week. Even the trainer. I’ve been suffering silently with a pinched nerve since November in my upper back/shoulder area. These pinched nerves are common enough for me that I just deal with the discomfort and try not to aggravate it. Eventually it goes away. This was a particularly long stretch but I was not concerned, I just put up with it.
About 3 weeks ago, I started to notice some numbness in my right hand. I’ve had this happen before, and it’s 100% due to bad posture and excessive sitting at work. Since moving late last August, and I work mostly from home, I’m at a different desk and I guess I did not dial in my home office ergonomics.
Then, about a week ago, I woke up, got out of bed, and my knee buckled as pain shot down my right leg. Sciatica strikes again. I’ve had this a few times and I generally find relief within a day or two of rest and stretching. But accompanying this, was also tingling in both feet, and my other hand. All 4 extremities were tingling. “Guess I’ve really let myself fall out of balance,” I thought to myself. I decided to do some yoga, since yoga fixes everything.
I do not do yoga regularly and I have little patience for it’s slow, methodical, quiet ways. My partner gently cautioned me that I should be careful. It sounded like this, “You’re going to hurt yourself because you don’t know what the hell you are doing.” Of course, I respectfully listened, felt the gravity of her words, and then did it anyway. I googled some stretches and poses and did 18 minutes of yoga after a short spin on the trainer.
Friends, if I could go back in time and get those 18 minutes back, I would, because I f’d my back up so spectacularly, I scared myself. It did not happen right away and I was confident I had fixed all my problems in those 18 minutes (I was being an arrogant, overconfident yoga moron).
The next morning, I woke in terrible pain, all over. I felt like I had been in a car accident. A new back pain presented itself: a dull, constant, unrelenting discomfort in the mid back. It was impossible to get comfortable at all. The numbness and tingling in my hands and legs were worse than ever. I couldn’t sleep comfortably for 3 nights. I was scared: had I permanently screwed myself up? Should I see a doctor*?
Humbled, I stopped all workouts and just focused on good posture, Advil, rest, and heating pads. Now a week later, I’m a little better. I can sleep now. My mid back pain is gone, but my pinched nerve that I’ve had since November is still painful. The sciatica is no longer presenting itself. The tingling has left my legs, but still present in both arms & hands, intermittently.
Gentle stretching and yoga is probably still in order, but this time, S L O W L Y. Not my greatest personality strength. Better work set up is also needed, with more getting up and walking around. I’m 100% interested in making this a part of my everyday to get healthy enough to resume workouts and coming back into good fitness for more bike adventures when the snow melts. I love this life I have on the bike, and don’t want to be a yoga moron anymore. I need find some balance and incorporate good stretching habits to prevent something like this from happening again.
*I tried to book a Physical Therapist I have worked with before who I really like directly. Nope, I need a referral from a primary doctor. I called my primary doctor’s office for a referral on a Thursday for pain I described as needing immediate relief from, and 4 days later and no call back, I have lost respect for that office and feel like I’m on my own anyway in terms of my healthcare. For the record, I’d love to see a professional for this. But by the time I get to, I might not need to (hopefully).