On Sunday night/Monday morning I ended up in A&E with severe pains on the left side of my ribs and shoulder blade but had no idea what had caused it!
A little explanation as to some events that preceded it. On Thursday night I played an hour of 5-a-side football after not having played football for about 4 years or so. I'm 55 years old and every other day I run 5k and the days in between I do a 30-minute walk. I also do various stretches from the ST programmes a few times a week, including the Daily 6 quite often (although not daily).
I expected to have some serious aches the following day but was surprised to find I felt ok, with only very slight aches. After I got home from the football on Thursday I had gone for a 30-minute walk to warm down, taken a shower and then had a 20-minute meditation session so wondered whether those things had lessened the aches.
2 years ago I read a book called The Oxygen Advantage and over the past week I've been listening to the audiobook of that book. It gives suggestions on a number of ways you can improve your health, fitness and running times amongst other things, mostly by using various breath-holding techniques, including techniques that allow you to replicate high altitude training by using breath-holds. (I Know Kit and Olivia both did an Oxygen Advantage workshop a while back).
On Saturday I went for a 30-minute walk and decided to do some of the advanced breath-holding techniques as I walked (up to now I've only really done them while sitting at home), and did them to the point where there was as is described in the book as a strong hunger for breath; as long as you're able to breathe easily again within a couple of breaths you haven't over-exerted yourself, and repeated these around 6 times during the walk, but never at any point did i feel that I'd done too much and again felt fine at the end of the walk.
An hour or so after I got home I started feeling pain around my lower ribs on my left side. By the evening the pain had increased and on Sunday was quite uncomfortable and had spread to my left shoulder blade. By Sunday night it was very uncomfortable and I decided to go to the doctor when I woke up the next morning, but I awoke at 3am in agony and called 111 (which is the UK stepdown from an emergency call) and after describing the symptoms they sent out an ambulance and soon I was in A&E having blood tests, chest x-ray and ECG and other tests. When the results came back and a doctor explained them to me she said that the results of the x-ray and blood were all fine and showed no signs of any problems and the only thing they could it put it down to was a muscular injury from the football from not having played for a few years... although I hadn't mentioned to them about the breath-holds as I hadn't connected them at that point, plus I really didn't fancy explaining to the doctors why I was doing breath-holds!
By Monday night I was feeling a lot better and much better still yesterday and was surprised at how fast I'd recovered and the only sign of anything was that I still had a pain in my left ribs if I took a very deep breath.
This morning I went to see a friend who is an osteopath and he examined me and couldn't find any signs of any muscular injuries or any abnormalities anywhere, and after a while he mentioned that the area around my spleen didn't seem quite right and it was at that point I remembered that in The Oxygen Advantage one of the results of the breath-holds is that it contracts the spleen and when I told him about the breath-holds I'd done during the walk on Saturday it then made sense to him. It helped that he had also read the Oxygen Advantage book and so was familiar with the concepts. He then advised to simply take things easy for the next 2 weeks before returning to the breath-holds and/or football and to slowly build up to the advanced breath-holds while walking or running.
So the reason for writing this very long post is 1. to see whether anyone has ever come across anyone causing themselves an injury to their spleen? and 2. just as information for those interested in areas such as breathing techniques