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Back aches...

This year, I had slowly taken again running. It’s an activity I enjoy, even though I’m far from the condition I had when I did it every day — My maximum was running about 8Km four days a week (ocassionally up to 15Km, say, on weekends)… But I slowly drifted out of it over the last three years. Yes, I have taken it up now and then, but dropped out again after a few weeks.

Well, this year it felt I was getting back in the routine. Not without some gaps, but I had ran most weeks since July at least once, but usually two times. I started slowly, doing about 3Km close to home, but didn’t take much to go back to my usual routes inside UNAM, doing a modest average of 4.5-5Km per run, and averaging somewhat over 8Km/h (6.5 min/Km).

But… Well, I cannot relate precisely what happened on this — Exactly a month ago, after a very average run (even a short one, 3.6Km), I had a lower back ache. Didn’t pay too much attention to it, but it was strange since the first day, as I often have upper back aches — Never lower.

The pain came and went slowly several times. I kept cycling to work, although not every day. On October 27th, I even took the time to do the Ciclotón, a nice 38Km (including the ~5Km distance from home) around central Mexico City. I enjoyed the ride, even though every stop and re-start of the bike was a bit painful — what hurts is to get off and on the bike: The posture change. But the pain has been almost constantly there. When I stand up, or when I sit down, it’s about five minutes until the body gets used to the new position and stops hurting.

Another strange data point: This last weekend (together with a national holiday) we went to a small conference in Guadalajara, and then to visit our friends in Guanajuato. So, we spent 12 hours on the bus there (12‽ Yes, there was an accident on the road, and we could not pass… So many hours were wasted there, and going back to a junction to take an alternative, longer road), then one night in a hotel bed, and two nights in our friends’ guest mattresses — which are not precisely luxury-grade. And Sunday night… I had no pain at all!

Came back home, and after only one night back in our bed… I just could not move. I had the strongest pain so far. Could not even walk without some help. We went to the orthopedist a friend recommended, and I was seriously bending my posture: While that part of my posture is usually stable, my right hip was about 2cm higher than the left one, and my shoulders were almost 7cm displaced from my hips!

So… Well, I’m having a cocktail of painkillers and antiinflamatories. The doctor says next week he wants me to have a tomography taken to better understand the causes for this.

And, of course, tomorrow I’m leaving for Festival de Software Libre in Puerto Vallarta. I’m going there by plane, so no big hassle. But the way back, it will be 12 more hours on a bus. I’m… not precisely looking forward to this bus ride :(

Anyway… I sorely miss my bike+running :(


Anonymous 2013-11-22 02:40:05

stay strong there

Hey Gunnar, keep it up there and stay strong! I know what you mean, last time I had this was when I flew on a plane to South Korea from France. Over 12hrs. My lower back started aching in Korea, but after I had returned to France (thereby adding another trip) it totally became a horror, I couldn’t walk. I had to use some sticks to support myself:) All went away after few days. I wish you the same, don’t loose hope.

By the way, it helped me to do a following exercise: grab some kind of bar of other horizontal edge, and hang on both hands, so that your legs don’t touch the ground. (In other words, hand on both hands without touching the ground). I remember it always helped me!

Dave A 2013-11-22 15:55:26

Helpful book…

I have found the book Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie to be very helpful if the pain is caused by poor posture when sitting or sleeping. It has some simple exercises that remove stress from the lower back ligaments. If you don’t have a more serious condition I highly recommend it.

Wishing you a speedy recovery!

toxickore 2013-11-28 11:12:27

Hoping you get better and

Hoping you get better and eventually share some run out there.

vicm3 2013-11-22 08:35:17


But at least you have done the first step and see a Dr. My best wishes, probably physic therapy (rehabilitation) would be needed, I hope that with your cocktail and rehab you get out of this…

Any help we can provide, just call.