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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal: Novak Lamed By Lame Dissertation Accident 
30th-Dec-2009 09:56 pm
One of Those Days
My return from my quick Christmas visits to family, and immersion into the Great Dissertation Push has resulted in something entirely unforeseen: my first dissertation injury.

Who knew that such a thing was possible? I'm not sure what caused it, but I think it was a combination of a few factors. For the few nights that I stayed over at my Mom's place, I used a new, inflatable mattress, which, even when fully inflated tended to sag a bit in the middle when I was on it, on account of even my skinny self being a bit heavier around the booty than anywhere else. But no problems there: several nights of comfortable sleep, in fact. I then came back to the dissertation work – I was even working on the dissertation on the whole trip back – and enjoying the work and the freedom from teaching. But I spent the last few days working where I tended to work when not in the library: at my living room coffee table. Now, I know that my lower back could get a bit stiff, seated in such a way on the edge of the couch that I tended to be bent forward while writing on the computer on the table. No big deal. Stretch, work out the stiffness, and continue. It always made me feel like I was doing something, even if it far less physically strenuous than power-lifting and pole-vaulting. But yesterday, this stiffness increased and increased until it was something more like crippling back pain in the lower back, leaving me moving like C-3PO. Go figure.

So I'm guessing that the combination of odd mattress with poor posture done did me in. I've responded with obsessively ramrod-straight Prussian posture and Tylenol, and I think maybe the ache is fading, but I'm definitely moving to the kitchen table for the rest of the Push. I've never suffered from back pain before – although it feels very déjà vu as I write that, so maybe I had a brief, almost-forgettable something a year or three ago – but I'm feeling nothing but sympathy for those I've heard complain out it on a more chronic basis.

So anyone know any good stretches for such things?
31st-Dec-2009 04:51 am (UTC)
If you lay on your back and pull one leg up to your chest and hold it for ten seconds, that can help to release your lower back. I've found it helpful also to pull both knees to my chest and rock left and right slightly.
That's my utterly non-professional two cents.
31st-Dec-2009 05:05 am (UTC)
as to stretches ,hanging from a bar
or something overhead tends to sort
out the back I think...
31st-Dec-2009 07:35 am (UTC)
Leslie Sutton commented on your note "Personal: Novak Lamed By Lame Dissertation Accident":

"Actually yes! I suffer from chronic lower back pain. Click the link, http://www.facebook.com/l/745b9;familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/pain/treatment/117.html and check out the method using the chair. The chair method works best for me but you may try the others as well. Hope you feel better soon! "

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:
31st-Dec-2009 07:35 am (UTC)
Nathaniel Hannan commented on your note "Personal: Novak Lamed By Lame Dissertation Accident":

"Get on all fours. Then stretch like a cat--both ways. Do this repeatedly."

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:
31st-Dec-2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Can't say I have any medical or chiropractic advice, though I feel for you. I had some lower back and sciatica problems a couple of years ago, PT and some stretches like those described by others worked it out. In the meantime it hurt too much to do anything - couldn't think, couldn't rest. Hope you can resolve this soon.

When I first saw the title of your post, I was thinking something happened to the project itself. One of our priests was in a car accident during his dissertation process. Car was totalled, he was injured, but the only thing he could think of was his briefcase and the dissertation materials n it - this was long before computers. Thank God the dissertation was intact.
Get better!
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