Dancing With the Stars fans, I have a confession to make. When I heard Maksim Chmerkovskiy dropped Kirstie Alley last night, I was bummed. Then I heard why, and forgive me for saying this, but I was relieved. He made me feel a little better about myself.
It turns out Maks suffered from a charley horse in his thigh. The muscle went into spasm just after they started their dance, and he had to limp off to take care of his injury after Alley recovered to finish the dance to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." And a naughty little part of myself cheered the knowledge that a guy in the kind of shape that Chmerkovskiy keeps himself in could fall victim to such a normal, heck, HUMAN problem.
The guy has got a body like a god, and I wouldn't want to be kicked by a dancer's legs ... no siree bob. But he's just like the rest of us!
If it sounds cruel, I'm not dancing around in exaltation at his pain. I'm the polar opposite, in fact. I'm sitting here today with my new best friend, a ThermaCare heat wrap on my back, and until a few hours ago was feeling a mix of confusion and sorry for myself. I bent down on Sunday the way you're supposed to, bending at the knees, and I felt a twinge of pain. I popped a pain reliever just in case, but planned a day of walking around and movement to counteract it ... knowing full well that sitting was just going to make it worse.
It didn't help. It got worse and worse and worse, and two days later, after doing stretches and heat and all the "right" treatments, it's still in deep spasm. I feel like I'm 80 years old, and it's no fun. Especially after doing everything right.
But just as I was starting to feel really pathetic, I heard the Dancing With the Stars story. And God help me, I felt better. Because it's a little reminder that this is just a part of life. If it can happen to Maks, it really can happen to anyone. Maks' injury got the name charley horse because it was in the leg, but according to the National Institutes of Health:
A charley horse is the common name for a muscle spasm, especially in the leg. Muscle spasms can occur in any muscle in the body. When a muscle is in spasm, it contracts without your control and does not relax.
See that? Anywhere ... to anyone. Most are caused by overused or injured muscles, although nerve damage can be the cause too ... and if you're suffering from spasms in the neck, look at your stress level (surprise, surprise). But here's the kicker: whatever happened to you, whoever you are, the NIH warns only time is going to fix it.
And according to Maks, his god-like body is sore today too. Just like mine. So I'm not just some pathetic work-at-home mom with a few extra pounds around the middle. I'm a fellow sufferer on the road.
Do you suffer from muscle spasms? What do you do to counteract them?
Image via ABC