Feruzi Mwero

Feruzi Mwero’s Blog


Tag: coccyx

How I Helped Heal My Fractured L1 Vertebrae

As some of you know, on December 27, 2009, I fractured my L1 vertebrae while sledding at Mt. Charleston (40 miles or so outside Las Vegas). I, later, also discovered I fractured my L5, fractured my coccyx, and rotated my sacrum. Oh happy days!

As of today I can say I am probably 97% fully recovered. I continue to have mild pain around my tailbone if I stay in one position for too long — sitting, standing, or laying down. Occasionally if I push myself a little too hard in a workout, or do it wrong I may have some pain around L1 and tailbone for a little while, but it never lasts too long. Nevertheless, I am fully active, playing sports whenever I can — basketball, soccer, etc. — and working out with P90X. Since I’ve lost weight, nearly 50 pounds, I have decided to start a running┬áregimen. My goal is to run my first half-marathon next year around this time.

None of what I am doing, or plan to do, was possible in the days, weeks, and months following my accident. So, here are the methods* I used to get where I am today.
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L1 Fracture and My Recovery

This was originally an email that I sent on June 11, 2010, to a guy who sent me a message through the web site asking me about the recovery to my L1 fracture.

It has been just about 5 1/2 months since my accident. What I found out later, I think after I posted the blog, was that I had more then one fracture. The L1 was the worst of it, but I also had a small deviation around my L5 and a worse one on my tail bone (coccyx) right at the point of contact with the sacrum (which also had some damage). In short, it all amounted to pain when I sat down, sat down for too long, stood up, or stood up for too long. So, as you can see, what I thought was a simple compression fracture to the L1 was quite more then I could ever imagine.

My recovery started out slow. Ice and mainly heat were my best friends for a while. I work as a web designer/marketer both at home, with my own small business, and for a modular building company. Because the injury was rather intense I was not allowed to go to work, for the building company, nor work from home for them, like I would normally when I’m sick. The company’s worker’s comp insurance informed my employer that if he allowed me to work for them–and I turned around and sued them, even though it was not work related, but instead because the work made my injury worse–they would not cover him in the lawsuit. So, I was out of work for two months and relying solely on disability (55% of your normal pay here in Cali), and the few clients I had at the time. Even then, I couldn’t sit up for too long and I wasn’t able to recruit or turn out as much work as I wanted for my own business. It turned out to be a financial nightmare that I’m still trying to recover from.

Once I started work again, in March, I started doing more to really help my recovery speed up and possibly see myself at 100% (although the docs are a little skeptical of it). I slowly started walking more often–which was still painful after a while of maintaining a good pace–and walking further. The walking built up my strength and endurance enough to where I was finally able to start a good workout plan.

Recently, I started P90X. And, at the sake of sounding like a commercial, I could truly say that before I ordered the plan I was highly skeptical and suspicious. After two weeks, all I could say was that the program, coupled with good eating habits and quality supplements, was the best workout program I had ever done. My mobility, flexibility, strength, and endurance have all improved. Some areas have improved beyond what I was capable of doing way back in the day when I was in the best shape of my life.

Currently, I slacked off a bit from P90X because of overwhelming work and trying to handle planning a wedding. I plan to get back onto the work out [...] and see what more I can accomplish. I know if I keep up with it I’ll be back into shape, and lovin’ every minute of it, not too long from now.

I also plan to start some massage therapy and possibly acupuncture as well. My tailbone, although massively improved, is still bothering me and causing concern over a 100% recovery. The muscles around my L1 have a tendency to stay a little tight at times. The massage therapy might help to loosen it up a bit more.

Otherwise, I just went dirt bike riding a few weeks ago and I felt great during and after-wards even though I had a mini crash.