The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back

You may have noticed that I have not been running an awful lot of late. You may also have noticed that this downturn in activity has been matched by an awful lot of moaning of the “my back hurts, my leg hurts” variety.


I feel somewhat vindicated as, after a spate of trips to see the quack, I discovered last week that I have some fairly unpleasant goings on in my spine.

I have somehow managed to acquire a completely unpronounceable disorder called spondylolisthesis (spon-dee-low-lis-thee-sis) which involves one vertebrae slipping forward on another, see photo of lumbar region. So far mine has only slipped 2 mm which is still sufficient to create enough pain to impair everyday activities but in serious cases the vertebrae can slip off completely so I shouldn’t complain. Of course I spent the last week practically immobile, worrying that my spine would spontaneously concertina and I would find my waist somewhere near my ankles.

Apparently the cause is often related to a small fracture in the vertebra (pars fracture) and I had to undergo further imaging to check whether this was the case. The problem is quite common in athletes but not heavily associated with running in particular, here’s an interesting article if you suffer from low back pain.

The results came back yesterday and it seems that all is well, my back had been fractured but has now healed. Which seems to suggest that my spine should be fairly stable and that I ought to be able to continue without risk of coming face to face with my kneecaps.

Therefore running is back on, exams finish tomorrow so I will be back on the streets this weekend taking part in a month long challenge within a challenge. I will post further details of this in a non-sickness and injury related post.

Still wonder how you manage to break you back without even realising it?

11 thoughts on “The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back

  1. Darrell

    OUCH! you poor thing!

    Good news thought that you’re on the mend and that, whilst your bones have suffered due to your athleticism, your determination hasn’t.

    Welcome back and keep up the good blogs!

  2. Highway Kind

    You have my sympathy. It sounds terrible. and I hope it continues to heal and stops giving you pain.

    Was it caused by digging rather than running?

  3. londonjogger

    i’m blaming the allotment too !

    so glad it’s mending …. sounds very scary.

  4. Claire

    Thought i would have a read of your blog. I can’t believe you factured your spine and can’t even remember it! You really are a warrior woman!

  5. Speed Racer

    What. The. Fuck?!?! That sucks! That looks scary and painful. Was this caused by the Wii incident? I’m scared of back stuff recently too. It seems like kind of bad planning on the Divine Creator’s part to have just this one tiny little stack of bones the size of Leggos between your rib cage and your waist and then sticking lots of nerves and the terribly important spinal cord right in there. I hope you feel better soon, and that in the meantime you get some quality time with Stella and other cultural pursuits.

    And regarding your comment on my blog: Thank you for voting me the best blog on the block, but screw you, I’m SO MUCH cooler than Chrissie! You wouldn’t be routing for her if you met her. She’s a CONSERVATIVE. That means she likes BUSH. Need I say more? Are you trying to pick a fight with me, because you have it!

  6. Speed Racer

    Who’s that chick that’s using my name and being flattering to you? Just so you know, that other Claire is not the real deal. You have yourself a fight, you… you… INVERTEBRATE (I would like the chance to use a better insult later when I can think of one).

    (Throwing down gloves), You have yourself a challenge, missy. Shit will be slung. You can count on it. Better put the safety helmet on your feelings, cuz they’re going to be in a world of hurt…

  7. Kathy

    Oh my goodness! What a relief it is that you didn’t do worse damage. I have no idea how you can break your back without knowing it.

    I hope the exams have gone well. All the best with your renewed running.

  8. Pingback: Struggled, Tickled and Inspired | warriorwomen running blog

  9. Greg

    Hi Warrior Woman….
    I bloged ‘Spondylolisthesis’ and ‘running’ to find someone who has the same diagnosis as I – PLUS the same passion with running.
    I am 56 and an avid runner for the last 6 years. I have had always a nagging deep discomfort in my right buttock since I started running but tolerable …waxed and waned in degree. However, in spite of intense effort with exercise, stretching, chiropractic tx, I sustained a year end injury last October. Follow up MRI revealed the cause… Grade II Spondylolisthesis. I received a series of physical therapy sessions and have now rebooted my running…but the nagging discomfort is uncomfortable and is always present. Mornings are difficult until I walk about and take a hot shower. I am stubborn and do not want to quit racing..I have signed up for a Half-M this Sunday.
    Just had the desire to chat with someone who is experiencing the same as I…if so inclined be nice…

    Greg from NH

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