The back is recovering, at last: I'm hoping that day before yesterday was the worst of it. Everything works pretty well now if, every time I get up from sitting for more than a few moments, I spend a little time convincing my lumbar spine that normal extension is not courting death. The two best ways to do this are a) to crawl about on the floor for a while, or b) to do a sort of push-up move on a chair set or counter, letting my whole spine sag into (unweighted) extension. ("Extension" is a technical term here, meaning, in re the spine, "bending backwards.") If I get up from sitting and try to walk straightaway, I can't even fully straighten my legs, and I walk in a weird hobbling gait, with my pelvis in an exaggerated posterior tilt -- like the R. Crumb Hey Hey Hey truckin' guy -- and the back pain sonar starts to ping.
I went so far as to take some ibuprofen, yesterday, which is for me an extreme measure: I don't like analgesics of any sort -- I prefer to receive whatever signals my body sees fit to send me about its status -- and I particularly dislike systemic analgesics that mess with the liver and the kidneys: I like my liver and kidneys, and I hope to have a long and lovely relationship with them. But sometimes pain and inflammation are counterproductive, especially if they're messing with my sleep. So ibuprofen it was.
At least six things converged to produce this back episode: manhandling an unfamiliar massage table in and out of a car (no, I'm not practicing yet, this was a family thing), doing a full massage for the first time in over a year, driving down to Eugene and back, pushing the running of a couple little sprints during my daily walks, stressing about my visit to my dad, and letting myself get short of sleep. Any two or three of those I could probably have gotten away with.
Still I was surprised by this episode. I thought I was done with this sort of back pain. So that's discouraging. But -- live and learn. Next time space the stressors out a bit. All will be well, eventually. This is not my first rodeo; it's not even one of my first twenty rodeos.