Too many variables, same result

The result: pain in my low back and pelvis. Again.

Last week was a good week. I saw my sports medicine doctor on Monday, and we got some things figured out and loosened up. I was able to run two miles twice without pain during and after. Very encouraging.  Last evening, I noticed I was achy and uncomfortable. I awakened feeling okay this morning and after coffee and the newspaper, headed out.  I did my usual warmup walk, followed by some stretches. During the walk and stretching, I noticed my hips and low back were sore, different from before, and uncomfortable nonetheless.

I attempted a slow jog on a flat running path. Nope, too sore.  So I walked a bit, tried again and eventually headed back home, contemplating as I went. Why now? Too much, too fast? Possibly, although I took two days off between runs and wasn’t sore, so I doubt it. Not enough swimming? Perhaps. While I wasn’t running, I was swimming every other day. I didn’t swim yesterday, just because I wanted to get home. Skating? Maybe. My low back was hurting during figures class yesterday, and that particular class takes a lot of low back twisting, with the upper body going one direction and the lower another in order to effect very precise movements. Medication reduction? Another maybe. Feeling better last week, I had begun tapering down on the amount of anti-inflammatory I was taking. Weed pulling? Quite possibly a contributor, as I worked in the garden yesterday. Too much biking? Its been noted by some to be an aggravator of back/SI joint issues. However, I rode less last week than the week before, so again, unlikely. Did I sit too long at the computer yesterday afternoon? Possible. Something else entirely? Always possible.

Okay, so now I have a long list of possible causes for my current symptoms. In science, its recommended to change only one variable at a time when setting up an experiment. I’ve got a list of seven here, and so rather than going one at a time, which would take a long time, my plan is to go with what feels most likely to be helpful to me. I’m going to swim more, as I’ve noticed that it always feels good. Go back up on the anti-inflammatory meds, and investigate some alternative options in that realm. I’ll happily stop weeding, and pay attention to sitting. I’m also going to pause on the figures class for now, as it is consistently painful. I’ll keep other skating activities that don’t hurt, as I enjoy being on the ice.

I’d much rather be bringing my curiosity to a different problem, however this is the one that is here now. I am again challenged to let go of what I imagined would be and what I wanted and to deal with what is, also letting go of as much emotion and drama around the circumstances as I can manage. I know it’s easier to heal, recover and find a new path when I do this. Big breath, exhale, release. The adventure continues.

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