Slipped Disc Help has currently reviewed the following:
Lump of Gristle 'Sword in Your Back' - Slipped Disc Symptom
In the early stages of recovering from slipped discs, you're going to be encountering an entire spectrum of 'pain and gristle' like symptoms: 'pain and tightness', 'pain and concrete', 'pain and locked', 'pain and glued', 'pain and fused'. With the gristle itself, being what I define as: the complete inflexibility of specific vertebra within your spine. Uninjured people may say that 'their spine is inflexible anyway' - but even here, is their still flexibility ... For its only when you have a herniated disc (or three!) that you shall 'fully realise' just how flexible your spine was 'before you injured it'. For with slipped discs, your spine will lose 'most/all of its flexibility' and be behaving like 'your vertebras - are fused together':
These 'gristle like sensations' are going to feel like somebody came along and 'shoved a sword in your back'. And whilst that sword 'is in there' you're going to find that the 'movement and motion' that you usually 'take for granted' are no longer yours. As that sword is going to limit 'what you can do' and 'how long you can do it for' - morning, day and night:
Bending. A stone pillar will be more flexible than you! As I found that 'bending from my waist' was completely impossible - and I had to 'learn to lift properly'. If only us humans 'could magically levitate' - to avoid bending ...
Standing. The Egyptian Pyramids have stood for (circa) four thousand years. By the time your slipped discs 'have finished with you' it shall feel like you've been standing 'for four thousand years' as well! Just like I have ...
Sitting. The 'hardest of the hard'. No matter 'how comfortable' your office chair (or lounge sofa) was before your slipped discs, it shall now feel like 'a torture device' from the medieval era. You will 'prefer to stand' ...
Twisting. A tree's trunk will be more flexible than you. My parents kitchen is a 'ship's galley style one' with oven and hobs one side, sink and 'food preparation' the other. Food from hob 'twist' to dish up side - NO, NO, NO!
Sleeping. A concrete slab 'will be lowered' more easily than you 'getting into bed'. That concrete will also 'get up easier' as well. Do you remember that scene from Thor? Where Loki has Thor's hammer 'placed upon his chest'.
Shopping. A baby will be capable of 'lifting and doing more' than you! Our society is 'engineered to assume' that all adults are in 'full health'. You should see 'the looks you get' - when even a 'light plastic bag' is too much ...
Running and Swimming. I haven't run or swum for twenty-one months now. I learned 'the hard way' (in my previous two bouts of slipped disc injuries) that you can't run, and you can't swim - 'with a sword in your back'.
Your 'quality of life' is going to be 'extremely low' whilst that 'sword is in your back'. Unfortunately, that sword 'won't be coming out' any time soon, and for many months - you're going to have to 'learn to live with it' (just like I had to). Some days it would also feel as though that sword 'was set in stone' (just like King Arthur's 'fantasy sword' Excalibur). You may also have delusions of 'pulling it out yourself' - but I am afraid that it was set there by a 'far higher power' that goes by the name of slipped disc/herniated disc. That sword is also NOT Excalibur, for your sword was 'forged in hell' - in the 'Halls of Bad Back' and the 'Halls of Back Pain'. For I found that this 'hell sword' had also 'pinned me to the wall' in concrete - as you will feel that you're in Valhalla (the Viking Warrior 'Hall of the Slain'). You will get frustrated ... BUT at some point, that sword WILL come out - and when it does you're going to appreciate life 'so much more'. ROAR!!!
If you'd have seen me twenty-one months ago, then you may have asked: is that guy a robot? He doesn't seem to be moving 'quite right' - his entire upper and lower body reminds me of 'SpongeBob Square Pants'! To which I would say: welcome to one of the symptoms of herniated discs - that of 'tight muscles'. Only in my case, was my entire spine (including my neck and shoulders) very inflexible! It really was hard 'to move at all'. And even then, it felt like I was moving millimetres 'in slow motion' for pain that was 'even further off the scale'. For my entire back, was behaving like 'a block of concrete' - almost as if I was cocooned within a Sarcophagus, with two 'eye openings' (to look out through):
Whilst I can laugh about this symptom now, at the time 'my mind' had to divert 'so much energy' to just trying to do 'basic tasks' (especially those that we all 'take for granted'). The main reason for this difficulty - was my inflexibility:
Knowing that every muscle in my back 'was encased in concrete'. The concrete extended upwards from my waist (covering my entire torso) and was the kind of concrete that 'sets slowly BUT lasts forever and ever'.
Knowing that every muscle in my neck 'was encased in concrete'. It was like I was wearing a 'neck brace' (just like 'what is worn' by sufferers of 'whiplash'). Only my neck brace was made entirely of 'my neck muscles'!
Knowing that every muscle in my shoulders 'was encased in concrete'. I'd spent my 'years of good health' doing shoulder hunches (with dumbbells). But with those slipped discs, my shoulder muscles were like 'pieces of iron'.
Knowing that every muscle in my legs 'was encased in concrete'. I'd spent my 'years of good health' running (two to three times a week) and 'doing squats'. BUT with my slipped discs, my legs were like 'metal girders'.
I felt dead. I couldn't tell 'one muscular pain from another' - only that it was 'somewhere in my body'. You may as well have 'glued me to the side of a wall' for all the flexibility I had (just like in that 'No More Nails' advert!). For that zip wire had really 'done its work' on me ... Whilst I may have been something of a 'special case' (with two slipped discs in my lower back, and one slipped disc in my upper neck) we all know 'what happens' when you've sprained your ankle - only I had that 'tightening up' over my entire body! One month went by, with no change. Then another month went by, with no change ... It was only around month fourteen that my muscles 'started relenting' (giving way to other 'more fun' symptoms). In any case, I found myself doing impressions of a 'waddling duck' around my parent's house - and it was 'even worse' when I could 'get out and about'. Strangers gave me 'funny looks' BUT you can't 'do anything about it' - as you're a block of concrete! So you have to 'mix in' some humour: Did you order concrete? No, I've got slipped discs!
For I am afraid that 'tight muscles' are going to be a symptom that you can suffer with, even in the 'later stages of healing' - because when you can't exercise as normal, then your muscles are going to 'become weaker'. And when you 'have done something', then you shall know that your muscles are weak (because they 'tighten up again' through the exertions that you've done). Perhaps the 'greatest realisation' of just 'how weak' your muscles have/shall become - is 'driving your car'. For me, whilst the 'pushing of pedals' was fine, I'd always feel it 'later that evening' - and even the next day, as my leg muscles would 'tighten up again, turning to concrete' as though I'd run fifteen miles (only I hadn't!).