The One With the “Twang”

This week I’ve been going to the gym on a semi-regular basis. I’ve done Body Combat. I’ve done Body Pump. I’ve done Blast Abs. I would’ve done Body Attack, but …. well, we all know what happened when I tried to go to Body Attack….

Anyway, I’ve been a busy girl, is what I’m saying. And even though I’ve done more exercise this week than I’ve done in the past couple of months, I’m pleased to report that I have managed not to harm myself in any way, which is no small achievement when you’re as clumsy as I am.

Then, last night? Last night I was lying in bed, drifting off to sleep, as you do, when I decided to roll from my back onto my side. You know, the kind of small, insignificant movement we all do hundreds of times in our lives, without even giving it a second though. I had almost completed this delicate manoeuvre when….


Something “went” in my back. There was a sensation not unlike someone trying to stab me, and then suddenly my entire torso was flooded with pain, which somehow managed to spread from my back to my chest in mere seconds. It was really quite alarming, and my piteous moaning was enough to wake Terry, who is luckily quite used to this sort of thing by now.

“Terry!” I said. “Terry, I think I’m having a heart attack! There’s a pain in my chest, and also in my back, and OMG, I am totally having a heart attack!”

Now, you might expect that this news would cause Terry to leap from the bed and call for an ambulance, but instead he simply opened one eye and regarded me in exasperation.

“You’re not having a heart attack,” he said. “Go back to sleep.”

Ha, like THAT was going to happen! I regaled him with the full story, about how I’d tried to turn over, and had felt something “go” in my back, and at this point, Terry interrupted me.

“Oh, right,” he said. “A twang. You’ve had a twang. Go back to sleep.”

“A TWANG?” I said, forgetting my ongoing heart attack for a moment. “Is that a medical term?”

Terry opened one eye. “It’s just a twang,” he said. “They’re painful, twangs, but it’s not a heart attack. It’ll be sore for a while. Go back to sleep.”

And with that, he rolled over and went back to sleep himself, leaving me and my TWANG to get on with it.

I was still alive this morning, so I’m assuming it was, indeed, a “twang” and not the heart-attack I’d suspected. The muscle that “twanged” though, is still really freaking sore, meaning that every time I try to do simple things, like reach for a cup of coffee or try to wrestle my tights out of Rubin’s mouth, it will “twang” again, and I will be forced to whine like a small child.

Needless to say, I did not go to the gym this morning. I did learn a new word, though…

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  • Ugh, those are the worst! Nothing makes you feel old like an injured back for no apparent reason at all.

    Amanda Nicole´s last blog post..small graces: day 24

    January 30, 2009
  • Sometimes I get those in my neck if I sleep funny or turn it the wrong way too fast. Or when my niece decides to cannonball on my head while I'm laying (lying?) on the floor in the living room.

    They are the worst, those twangs.

    <abbr>Kristabella´s last blog post..House Hunting = EPIC STRESS</abbr>

    January 30, 2009
  • This is pretty normal but painful. What can help (and you'll need Terry here) is to lie on your front on the ground (carpeted surface, if available) with your head to one side, obviously (i.e. NOT nose to the carpet).

    Take a deep breath in, and as you breathe out, get Terry to gently-to-moderately press on your spine from the base of your back all the way up (always on a breathe-out). The twangs are often because a joint in your back isn't moving how it needs to. You'll feel a little "pop" as it goes back into place.

    Dave has to do this for me a few times a week, because I have hypermobile joints (that is, they won't stay in one place for long!) and you feel heaps better afterwards. The reason the pain goes from back to front is because it places pressure on your rib a little bit. It's not dangerous or anything 🙂

    The other thing to do once he's done that, is to put a heat pack / hot water bottle on the place in your back that hurts to keep it loose.

    Hope that helps!

    January 31, 2009
  • Erik (Sorrento)


    Twang should be a medical term. What you have seems very common. Something was misaligned and you turned in just the "right" way to pull something, even if the movement seemed perfectly normal. It will be an annoying hurt for a couple of days and then go away.

    January 31, 2009
    • Terry


      If it wasn't 3am when Amber woke me up with her "heart attack," I would have phrased my words of comfort just like you Erik 🙂 Unfortunately in my sleepy haze, twang was the best I could manage 😀

      January 31, 2009
  • Sounds like a muscle spasm. I had a couple of those a few weeks back, but in my calf muscle. I, too, was just turning over in the night, and pointed my toes a bit to stretch, and then it hit. I felt like someone was stabbing me in the leg and I couldn't flex my foot at all. I had to physically grab hold of my foot and move it against its will to loosen that muscle, and it still hurt for a couple of days.

    <abbr>Hayley´s last blog post..Attack of the Spam</abbr>

    January 31, 2009
  • I think I am missing the point of this post a little – I have been so obsessed with trying to go to the gym this week that my main response to the post was "ooh, well done for doing so much gym-going!", and nothing even related to your pain. I have consequently decided that I am a cruel and heartless individual – and that I wish I went to the gym as much!

    I hope it stops hurting soon, as I do care really! I just moentarily lost my sanity/humanity.

    <abbr>Lauren´s last blog post..My Aura</abbr>

    February 2, 2009