Who knew stress could lead to muscle strains? I guess I do now. Monday, I spent several hours in the ER in an attempt to figure out what I had done to my back. After some tests and X-rays, it was categorized as a lower lumbar strain.
Essentially, I have pulled the muscles that connect by back to my legs. The ER doctor, seeing I had an anxiety disorder, informed me that muscles can be weakened during times of extreme stress. He looked over my current medications list and decided that I needed some help in the stress department as well as the pain department.
His prescription list: Percocet, Valium, and a note saying “less stress, no bending at the waist, and no household chores for at least one week.” I’m supposed to continue to take my Flexeril (a muscle relaxer) and my Klonapin (another benzodiazepine) as I would normally. The Percocet and Valium get taken as needed for pain.
I was kind of shocked by the amount of Valium he prescribed: 8 full days worth at 5 mg a pop. So, for at least the first few days I will be taking 15 mg of Valium and 1 mg of Klonapin along with Percocet and Flexeril. Needless to say, I’m feeling less stressed and incredibly stoned.
I’m also learning more about my lumbar. There are things it does that I did not realize it did. For example, while the muscles surrounding the bladder are useful for urination, the lumber region of your back also gets involved. The lumber is involved in walking, sitting, laying down, standing, and everything else a person does during the day. However, it also impacts the muscles above it. My shoulders and mid-back are attempting to compensate for the lumbar strain and I feel these muscles working more when I am doing activities such as standing or sitting.
There are “dangers” to straining the lumbar muscles. Without treatment, it can lead to spinal compression, tingling in my legs and feet, a change in spinal curvature, problems with urination, problems with constipation, headaches (just what I need), and spinal hernias. These can become permanent.
It’s a good thing I called my doctor (who sent me to the ER because they would do tests that he couldn’t do in the office). Now, I have over a week to wait to see the dentist… there are going to be a lot of dirty knives in my house.