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Back pain, what to do?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 Christ Reynolds

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Posted September 14 2007 - 07:04 AM

I picked up something incorrectly a week ago, re-injuring my back. It's been bad for a while, but I normally injure it about once a year, and I'd love to get it fixed somehow. It's in my lower back, feels like it is right in my pelvis. When it's really bad, I cannot bend my back at all. When I walk, I have to take very small steps, otherwise it feels like my legs are pulling some kind of nerve that does not want to be pulled. It gets better every day (until re-injury occurs), but I need to do something about it soon.

I need to know who to go to first. Some people say visit a doctor, because chiropractors are quacks and it's not a real science. Other people say doctors don't know how to properly diagnose back problems, and that I should visit a chiropractor. Does it depend on what type of injury I have?

I have good insurance, so I'm not terribly worried about the cost, but I'd like to be able to bend over and tie my shoes Posted Image Thanks much.

CJ
And then when I feel so stuffed I can't eat anymore, I just use the restroom! And then I CAN eat more!

#2 of 20 Vlad D

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Posted September 14 2007 - 07:15 AM

Go see a doctor. He/she will probably start with an x-ray, but you may also need an MRI. It may just be a muscle strain or sprain but may also be a pinched nerve or disc herniation.

#3 of 20 MarkMel

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Posted September 14 2007 - 07:33 AM

I have two herniated discs in my back. I did it playing football in HS. Go to a doctor to find out the cause. Then you can usually manage it with specific exercises. Don't let them talk you into an operation if at all possible.
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#4 of 20 Christ Reynolds

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Posted September 14 2007 - 08:01 AM

Quote:
Don't let them talk you into an operation if at all possible
Why not? I'd prefer not to have an operation, because it seems to "go away" until I do something to bring it back.

I had an X-ray done years ago, and it turned up nothing. Thanks for the responses so far.

CJ
And then when I feel so stuffed I can't eat anymore, I just use the restroom! And then I CAN eat more!

#5 of 20 KevinGress

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Posted September 14 2007 - 08:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ Reynolds
Why not? I'd prefer not to have an operation, because it seems to "go away" until I do something to bring it back.

I had an X-ray done years ago, and it turned up nothing. Thanks for the responses so far.

CJ

Because, I believe, it generally means fusing the discs together, reducing mobility and not necessarily end the pain.

Depending on what the doctors find, you'd be better off looking for programs that specialize in back injuries. They can try to help you develop better habits that help strengthen your body to reduce strain in that area, allowing the discs to heal and further reduce the chance of reinjury.

#6 of 20 Mort Corey

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Posted September 14 2007 - 09:12 AM

Sheeze, if you do this each year I'd sure see a specialist of some kind....or start saving for a hover-round.

Mort

#7 of 20 drobbins

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Posted September 14 2007 - 09:55 AM

I had a herniated disc in my back and delt with pain for years. I went to a chiropractor after my HMO started covering it. At first 3 times per week and after a year I was down to once every 2 months. Then we moved. In my case it definitely fixed my issue. Posted Image 14 years later, I still don't have issues, Posted ImagePosted Image except for maybe once every 2 years. Usually I did something strange, but now my back is loose enough that I can crack it or get my kids to walk on my back. I would recommend looking into one and see if it will work for your condition.

#8 of 20 Bob Graz

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Posted September 14 2007 - 01:44 PM

I vote for back exercises. I think back surgery has to be a top contender for most unpredictable results.

#9 of 20 Jeff Ulmer

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Posted September 14 2007 - 02:52 PM

Chiro. It isn't hard to injure your back once you've done it before. If the muscles get inflamed and stiff then you just need the muscles to relax so they aren't pulling on things they shouldn't be. A doctor isn't going to fix the problem in my experience, although he/she may just drug you up so you can't feel it. Robaxacet works if you're having trouble sleeping.

#10 of 20 Jeff_CusBlues

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Posted September 15 2007 - 01:51 AM

I have a ruptured disk in my back. I'm 46 and ruptured it when I was 19. My symptom was pains in my left leg which were worse when sitting. This was caused by the rupture pushing on the sciatic nerve. The doctor wanted to operate immediately, but we got a 2nd opinion. We saw an orthopedic sports medicine specialist and he said you don't operate on your back until you absolutely can't stand it because the results are unpredictable. He also said losing feeling in my toes or leg was also a reason to operate because that meant the sciatic nerve was being damaged. That was 27 years ago, but I don't see it being a lot different today. The sports medicine specialist gave me a few excercises and I got better.

I would periodically have a sore back while in my late 20s and early 30s. These episodes made me walk in the fasion Christ describes and I also had trouble sitting and standing. Another person with back problems told me to place a throw pillow behind my back while sitting and to also stop sleeping on my stomach. I took this advice and have not had any problems since I was in my early 30s. I have since read that sleeping on your stomach puts a lot of pressure on your back and sleeping on your side puts the least amount of pressure on it. As always, YMMV, but this is my experience. To date, I have never regretted forgoing surgery.

#11 of 20 andrew markworthy

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Posted September 15 2007 - 02:20 AM

I don't know how to diagnose your condition, but I do know one thing - the best friend of illness or injury is delay. See a qualified medic as soon as possible and let them tell you what it is and what the best course of treatment is. And to the best of my knowledge, no medic worth their salt will suggest surgery if a less invasive treatment is available.

#12 of 20 JonZ

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Posted September 20 2007 - 12:44 AM

If its not a disc problem that I agree with Bob that exercise will really help.

I was in a car accident in my teens and had lower back pain constantly for years.

The gym 4 nights a week and having a job where I had to bend down and pick up 40 pounds boxes 6 hours a day completely cured my back problems.

Strengthen the muscles and youll be less likely to reinjure them.


Chiropractors can help when youre out of alignment. Its amazing how often that happens. I do heavy dumbell presses, and often when I lean back into the flat bench, I hear my back crack.

#13 of 20 James T

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Posted September 20 2007 - 01:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonZ
Chiropractors can help when youre out of alignment. Its amazing how often that happens. I do heavy dumbell presses, and often when I lean back into the flat bench, I hear my back crack.

Cracking is different from adjustments. It's just like cracking your knukles. It's really just air being released between your joints.

When a Chiropractor gets to work, they adjust the spine into its proper position, causing the cracking.

I'd see a decent Chiropractor. They'll adjust your spine so you'll feel good for the next few days, but a good chiropractor will also give you back exercises so you can minimize the chances of your back going out on you again.

#14 of 20 JonZ

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Posted September 20 2007 - 01:26 AM

Well back exercises will help, but I feel overall strengthening is the real solution.

Strengthen your stomach, legs, glutes and you strengthen your back.

.

#15 of 20 Jeff_CusBlues

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Posted September 20 2007 - 03:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonZ
Well back exercises will help, but I feel overall strengthening is the real solution.

Strengthen your stomach, legs, glutes and you strengthen your back.

.

This is something my Dr. told me also. He said especially to keep the stomach muscles firm.

#16 of 20 Andrew Pratt

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Posted September 20 2007 - 04:22 AM

Better Chrio's use x-rays as well to help diagnose the problem and if necessary will recommend massage and or a consult with a physio therapist as well. The one I visit believes in the team approach and isn't dumb enough to think he as all the tools to fix every problem...something I can't say about any doctor I've gone to as IMO they tend to mask the problem with drugs rather then remove the problem. I've had lower back issues for a long time but manage it with the odd visit to the chrio and lots of strength exercises and stretching.

#17 of 20 Greg_R

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Posted September 20 2007 - 08:43 AM

I went to my doctor and he sent me to a physical therapist. Your doctor should be 1st in case it's a bone or slipped disc issue. BTW, there are quite a few Chiropractors who are "real" doctors (they'll take an X-ray, analyze the issue, etc.) and would be a good 1st visit if your insurance allows. My physical therapist showed me some exercises and stretches to fix my back (my issue was that the muscles on 1 side were more developed than the other and it was pulling the back out of alignment). This is very common with some sports (where 1 arm is used all the time and the other is not).

#18 of 20 Russell G

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Posted September 21 2007 - 09:54 AM

go to a doctor, if he thinks it's necessary, he well suggest a pysio therapist who should be able to solve your back problem. While there are exceptions, I've never met anyone who started to go to a chiro and actually was cured. they always seem to have to go back.

That said, I second the gym stuff. since gettig a personal trainer, my backs been much better (always a little wonky from unloading trucks at my first job). Best temporary relief? Lie flat on a cold hard floor. 30-50 minutes of it would fix mine right up.
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#19 of 20 Christ Reynolds

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Posted September 21 2007 - 11:53 AM

Thanks for all the replies. I'm able to function daily without extreme pain now, but I'm going to get this taken care of before it happens again, or gets more serious.

CJ
And then when I feel so stuffed I can't eat anymore, I just use the restroom! And then I CAN eat more!

#20 of 20 Michael_K_Sr

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Posted September 21 2007 - 01:06 PM

No way would I go to a chiropractor. When I herniated a disc in my back last December, my doctor referred me to a practice specializing in sports medicine. After getting an x-ray, an MRI and a couple of thorough physical exams, they sent me to a physical therapist in the same practice. A couple of months later and I was practically back to normal. Just have to remember to do my stretching exercises regularly.


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