Resumed Exercise After 12 Days Off

I stair climbed on February 9, after laying off exercise for 13 days in a row.

I’ve been experiencing intermittent left-sided sciatic symptoms since mid-August, i.e., about six months ago. I’ve tried not to aggravate my symptoms by staying off my bike throughout this period.

However, I did some light runs in December 2021 and January 2022. On January 28, 2022, my left leg and foot numbness and my low back pain were so intense that I refrained from any exercise completely.

Besides the running, I believe an experiment with a standing desk setup on January 18 was a major provoking factor. Moving the furniture, the gear on and around my desk, shelves, books, files, etc., to create the new setup also took its toll on my back. I felt a lot of back pain after standing at my desk for only 15 minutes. Despite frequent breaks, I could never get comfortable. The pain in my back just got worse through the day. I pushed on for three more days despite the pain before deciding I had enough of the failed experiment.

Reverting to my old desktop setup as soon as possible was probably the most sensible thing to do. But in the interest of improvement, I changed the arrangement of the monitors (I have three) and the location of two PCs. The new setup required the addition of two stools, which I would use to elevate a small bookcase – I would mount my Ergotron LX monitor arms on this bookcase. I ordered the two stools; I took delivery of these stools a few days later. All this, together with my efforts to clean my office while the furniture and other stuff were temporarily outside the room, meant I could only complete the correction of my setup on January 28. My back pain and left and foot numbness were agonizingly severe by then.

Abstaining from exercise and returning to sitting on a Varier Variable Balans kneeling chair at my desk helped my back pain.

My symptoms finally subsided to a level that the numbness in my left foot and my low back pain were minimal by February 8, 2022, i.e., after 12 days off exercise. I didn’t want to worsen the numbness in my left foot, so I chose stair climbing for exercise.

On February 8, I stair climbed at a moderate pace, without added weight, for 30 minutes in a four-story building. The physical activity did not stir up my symptoms. So, the next day, I stair climbed again, at the same intensity, but for a little longer – 38 minutes. Again, my symptoms did not get any worse. In fact, I felt better after the workout.

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