How I'm Healing my Transverse Process Fracture, Naturally
Last weekend, I had the time of my life learning how to ski for the first time at Heavenly Mountain in South Lake Tahoe, California. At the end of the day – with my boots on, skis in one hand and poles in the other – I took a nasty fall trying to get down a stairway made of ice.
One second I was stepping towards the first step, and in what seemed like no more than one more second, I slipped - my skis & poles went flying and I landed right on my back and on the block of ice.
I knew right away something was wrong, although I of course didn’t want it to be. I asked my friends to give me a minute to “breathe and shake it off”. Even when I couldn’t stand up, I kept thinking… “I can shake this off. It’s probably just a bruise.”
After about 5 minutes of being held up so I could stand, the EMS was called and I was taken to the ER. Turns out that it was NOT just a bruise, but an acute fracture in my L3 Transverse Process.
Now – I know that many people have been in MUCH worse accidents than this – and I’m incredibly grateful that it wasn’t. But it also hurt, A LOT. I’d never broken a bone before.
My stubbornness continued as the hospital told me I needed to stay the night. I felt like I should go home (all of these “shoulds” popped into my head – “You should be strong enough.” “You should just be able to shake it off… it could be worse.” and I felt like I was being “dramatic” if I stayed the night. Honestly, I was annoyed because I felt like they “should” let me go home if I want to – but I was also a little embarrassed that I fell on the ice and that I was in so much pain, not able to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom.
The next day, my stubbornness ensued – but this time to my advantage. I kept pushing to be able to get up and stand with a walker. Then I pushed myself to walk with a walker to a bedside commode (not one of the high points in my life.) Then, when they told me I needed to stay another night – I pushed myself to get from the bed to the bathroom with a walker and they released me that night so I could leave at 7am the following day for a 2 hour ride and a flight.
The main reason I was able to do so is because I talked to myself. I kept repeating, “I am strong and I am calm, I can do this” and I breathed through each step.
(The reason that fractures on the L3 can be so painful – aside from the fracture in your bone – is that you have SO MANY lower back muscles (including your psoas) connected to this vertebra; the muscles are pulling on the fracture while spasming and it’s caused a hell of a lot of pain for me.)
So, while saying this to myself, I imagined the lower back muscles staying calm, and I visualized myself activating the rest of my muscles with strength.
Was I able to walk in one fell swoop? No – because there was still a fracture in my back and my muscles were highly inflamed. BUT – I was able to use a walker and slowly move eons better than I had in 24hours.
The mind is a powerful thing – and I’m continuing to talk to myself with these power statements in every step of every day.
I’m also making a conscious effort to ensure my body has all of the nutrients it needs to recover quickly but fully.
Naturally healing my transverse process fracture:
Here are a few things I’m taking every day.
Turmeric Ginger Shots– I run a handful of turmeric and a good size piece of ginger to set me up with a few shots for day. This is a great natural inflammation fighter and also keeps my immune system strong so I don’t get burnt out with all of my energy going to healing my fracture. (I also juiced one cucumber for a turmeric ginger juice one day – it’s super hydrating, but you could also add coconut water or mix it in with the turmeric-ginger-cucumber juice.)
Raw Calcium – this may be one of my new favorite supplements. It’s filled with raw Calcium derived from plants, Vitamin D3 to help my body efficiently use the calcium, and Magnesium + Vitamin K2 to help ensure proper absorption of the calcium into my bones.
The base is made from 24 fruits & veggies along with live enzymes and probiotics to aid my digestion.
Elemental Strontium– This trace mineral has been clinically shown to stimulate bone growth. I take it in conjunction with the Raw Calcium as part of Garden of Life’s Grow Bone System (which has one bottle of Raw Calcium and one bottle of Strontium). I take the Raw Calcium in the morning and afternoon, and the strontium at night.
Magnesium Blend– Magnesium helps to strengthen bones, but it’s also essential for muscles and plays a big role in muscles contracting & relaxing. Because I’m experiencing pain from muscle spasms, I take this blend of Magnesium Taurate, Glycinate, and Malate.
Coconut Water – in addition to Magnesium, I want to ensure I’m getting plenty of potassium and electrolytes to avoid any further muscle cramps or spasms. My absolute favorite brand is Harmless Harvest, and thankfully, they’re starting to sell it at most grocery stores!
Glucosamine + Condroitin – this is a supplement I’ve been taking for quite a while and recommend it to almost everyone. It’s a blend of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, which together, help lubricate & strengthen my joints - and I really like the Osteo Bi-Flex brand. It’s great for your spine, knees, elbows, or any other joints to keep them strong while you strengthen the muscles around them.
Bromelain & Quercetin– Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple that can help bone & joint healing. This is another one I’ve been taking for awhile to support my back, and the quercetin adds an additional anti-inflammatory boost. (Many people take this combo for allergy relief, too!)
Celery Juice– As natural as I am, I was in a LOT of pain those first few days and was being pumped with a lot of painkillers. As some people are aware, prescription painkillers can have a rather… ahem.. “blocking” effect. Celery juice [amidst it’s other numerous benefits] has been incredibly helpful in keeping things moving within my digestive tract the way that they’re supposed to.
CBD Oil, 1000mg– I started taking this as a natural pain reliever so as to avoid the aforementioned symptoms that can happen with prescription pain killers. JI’ve tried CBD before with little to no effect, so I wanted to ensure I tried a high-quality and higher mg count this time. I’ve only taken it for a few days (sometimes you need to take it for at least 5 days to notice a difference) and so far, it’s definitely helping to create a little more zen for me in the evenings.
Silver Fern Probiotics – my body is on overdrive trying to heal the fracture, so I want to ensure I’m supporting my immune system as well as my stomach (which can sometimes turn upside down in times of stress). I have tried so many probiotics in the past, and these probiotics from Silver Fern are my absolute favorite (so much that I have an Amazon monthly subscription for them!).
Lastly, I’m trying to keep my blood flowing to ensure that all of these nutrients are safely moving through my system and are being delivered to all of the appropriate systems, as well as ensuring that the fracture has enough oxygen and fresh blood flow to promote healing. As painful as it is, I’m making a conscious effort to bring my mind to a brief meditative state so I can keep pushing myself to walk a little more each day.
Typical transverse process fractures can take up to 6 weeks to heal, and by giving my body all of the extra love & support it needs, I’m hoping to speed up the healing process of my fracture!