It will come as no surprise to some to hear that I hurt my back again, first going to (niggling) and then returning from (alarming) Copenhagen. A combination of a week of stress over having to give a presentation, bookended by two attempts to lug cases up and down train station steps in four cities, finally did for me: some three days after my return journey began, the base of my spine had almost complete locked up.
Three days after that peak, it has begun to clear up, with stiffness and occasional sharp twinges the reminders that all is still not well round there. That’s the odd thing about my own personal lumbar/sacral malady: the three-day lag. I think the overall arc of a week suggests that, whatever damage I’m doing to the nerves in the first place, it heals at roughly the same rate as a cut on a finger: after a handful of days the soreness is still vaguely there but the injury largely knitted back together. I can’t tell whether that’s good or bad for nerve damage. Even the phrase”nerve damage” strikes the fear of God into me.
In the mean time, the muscles at the base of my spine start being protective as soon as the nerves are hurt, but it takes two or three days of localized exhaustion before they begin to spasm and lock up. This is at the same time gradually loosened by the physiotherapy exercises that I ought to do all the time, that probably as a preventative would at least leave my back able to ride out that week of mild pain without everything shutting down.
But that’s prevention and cure for you: after a few assiduous weeks the whole regime becomes a bit tedious and I merely watch my posture; for a few months, after which I slump, and yaw in my seat, and tempt fate again. At least it guarantees material for a regular blogpost.