Back injury

This year didn’t start off well for me. After a few training sessions on water I had to stop training because of really bad lower back pain. It turned out to be two ejected and damaged spine discs. It didn’t look good and the doctor even suggested surgery but that wasn’t an option for me. I couldn’t move much because the pain went through my whole left leg. Painkillers were on my daily diet but they didn’t help much. I was very nervous and angry because of the constant pain and also because I couldn't do any sport. I visited some physiotherapists and even had a few acupuncture sessions. Nothing seemed to work well for me or at least no as fast as I was wishing for. During an appointment with a neurologist I agreed to get a corticoid injection in the spine but first I wanted to go on a short kayaking trip to Plattling with Peter - of course I wasn’t kayaking or sporting.

So I decided to have this corticoid therapy the following week when we got home. I really needed to get outside and relax my mind and soul a bit. Peter was worried about me and really wanted to cheer me up. I was doing few easy exercises from my physiotherapist to relieve the pain and increase flexibility - which was on the zero level at that moment. Peter helped me with some movements and made me do a few new exercises. This helped me so much. After 5 days of exercising twice a day I was feeling much better and I even stopped limping while walking. I still had pain in my feet but I could finally get around without painkillers. Next week I canceled my therapy at the neurologist. He agreed that I didn’t need this injection if I felt better. Since then I haven't stopped exercising. Every day I need to stretch my legs, especially my hamstrings and I do lot of workouts for my back as well. First, it was only stretching but I realized that many of the poses I do are yoga poses as well. I started to look for some more yoga poses and found it very interesting. One of the most helpful poses are various backbends and headstands. Since I've involved yoga into my daily workout I feel so much better. After almost three months I don’t have a  permanent pain in my back or leg. I have already started to train a bit and finally I am kayaking. I am so happy to sit in my kayak after such a long time. I started to paddle my creek boat on flatwater, than I added whitewater and slowly I am trying freestyle. I am still a bit afraid to do it and I don’t train full on yet, but anyway it’s a big success for me.

When this happened to me I didn’t know if I'd be able to paddle at all this year  and now I already have two races behind me. This year we host a big event in Slovakia. We will have the European Championships in Cunovo, our local playspot. Last time, in 2014, when it was here I was just two months postpartum and wasn’t fit for it. Despite this I took silver medal. This year I really wanted to push as much as I can and prepare myself for it but destiny made it go the other way. I still have about two and half months to prepare but I already know it will not be as I want. My health is first priority and I still have a long way ahead of me to full recovery. I don’t even know if it is possible to take part, but I know I will do everything what I can and treat my body well. Flexibility has come back, and still getting better. My leg doesn’t hurt but sometimes I can feel some burning and it reminds me that I have to be cautious and take care of myself more than I did ever before. Health is the most important thing and people sometimes forget about it.

I hope to see you all at the rivers somewhere around.

Nina