How I threw my back out playing Angry Birds


Angry Birds

I know this sounds extremely lame, but on Wednesday August 3rd, I threw my back out playing Angry Birds. And each time I’ve told people that, they’ve either burst out laughing, gave me the quizzical look (as if I’m joking), or simply state something along the lines of “if it were to happen, it would have happened to you.”

I definitely plan on telling people that I threw my back out playing Angry Birds at future events (it is a great ice breaker for sure!). And if they ask about details, I’ll refer them to this post……

So here is how it happened:

Did tons of gardening work the night before - whole body is sore as a result.

Woke up and worked on my computer from home for most of the day, which involved responding to work emails and creating PowerPoint presentations to match our C++ Game Programming II textbook.

My neck got sore pretty quickly from looking down at the textbook and back up at the computer screen all day long. This developed into a knot in my upper back, so I had my daughter walk on it, which cracked my spine back into place and completely relieved it.

My back is still somewhat sore at this point, so instead of going for my usual workout at the gym, I decide to take it easy for the rest of the night. So I flip on the BlackBerry Playbook and decide to see what all the hype is about with Angry Birds (I recently installed a copy of Angry Birds on it that some Russian developer ported from Android using the native SDK).

Angry Birds turns out to be sort of boring at first, and then you get to some levels that take precise planning to complete - this mental challenge got me hooked and I spent the next 4 hours playing this dangerous game. Yes, I spent 4 consecutive hours looking down at the tablet in my lap…….not realizing what time it is or that I’m taking my neck and spine out of whack. This created a condition called hyperflexion (forward whiplash).

Then, for the umpteenth time, I failed to kill 1 stupid pig that was sandwiched between two large walls…and I decided to call it quits. So I powered down the Playbook, and got up to get a drink from the kitchen. However, when I got up, the hyperflexion hit my upper vertebrae with a massive force and I felt the rest of my spine go “click” in a chain reaction. My back muscles twisted in response and I suddenly found myself in a world of pain.

I had my daughter walk on my back again, but it only made it worse. I ended up taking some heavy muscle relaxants and pain killers, followed by side-to-side exercises in the pool at the gym, and then I slept in a careful posture for the next 2 days before it finally got better.

Haven’t played Angry Birds since.
Dangerous game.