Lower Back pain

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FedCO
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Lower Back pain

Postby FedCO » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:42 pm

I got pretty bad pain in lower back. I can just sit and feel pain throb through my lower back mostly right side. I've done massage therapy, visited the chiropractor. Still got the pain. Anyone got exercises to strengthen the lower back, any tips. Should i visit a physiotherapy center? Lower back pain runs in my family but im tired of living with this pain.

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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby GoodWitness » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:54 pm

Once upon I time I worked in a Back Care Education program with National Defense. You should probably see your doctor first to rule out any underlying issue that can be dealt with by a professional, but the bulk of what they taught the CF members in that program was to strengthen their back and abdominal muscles - curl ups, leg raises, nowadays a lot of the exercises would be recognized as "core" strengthening, like planks, etc. A physio is probably a good idea. (The program was run by the physio department at the now defunct National Defense Medical Centre)

I personally am not a fan of chiropractors. A lot of their realignments, if done repeatedly, can weaken things. At least that's what the physio's I worked with thought. :D

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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby Shawshank » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:14 pm

I can tell you what has helped me, but of course I would suggest seeing a doctor.
Take two tennis balls and put them into a sock. Sit on a hard chair and put the sock/balls under your hamstring. Find a spot that is really tender. Sit like this for a while. After a while (days), you will find the spot becoming less and less tender. My problem was my hamstring was too tight and was pulling things out of alignment. It worked for me, but of course it may not work for you. I do HIGHLY recommend a book called The Trigger Point therapy handbook. I believe it was written by Clare Davies. It can help with your body and pain. It shows how pain in one area may have several causes that you would not have thought of. For example, a poor calf muscle can toss your body out of alignment and cause back pain.
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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby EhCP » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:44 pm

In 2008 I suffered a herniated L5 disc. At it's peak it was so bad I had difficulty even standing and walking. I saw a chiropractor and a number of different physiotherapists. The two treatments that ALL of those practitioners had in common was core strength exercises and stretches.

A good place to start would be visiting your family doctor to figure out why you are having the pain (is it muscular, is there a disc involved, or is something else going on?)

That being said, it's hard to go wrong with core strengthening exercises and stretching. GoodWitness mentioned planks. Give those a shot. Try to get to a point where you can do two planks in a row for two minutes each.

Shawshank noted that tight hamstrings was an issue for him. This is also pretty common. For stretches, Google lower back stretches. Many sites that have lower back stretches also point you to stretches for your hamstrings, hip flexors and other body parts that cause lower back issues.

Finally, should you see a physiotherapist? In my own experiences I obtained much more relief from doing physio as opposed to chrio. That being said, make sure you find a reputable physiotherapist. There are a few snake oil salesmen out there.

There is hope when you're suffering from lower back pain. As I noted above, when I was at my worst I could barely walk, but with hard work and perseverance I was eventually able to return to my (then) job as a paramedic, lifting overweight people in all kinds of awkward postures. Don't give up!

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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby Shawshank » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:03 pm

opp2 wrote:
Shawshank wrote:I can tell you what has helped me, but of course I would suggest seeing a doctor.
Take two tennis balls and put them into a sock. Sit on a hard chair and put the sock/balls under your hamstring. Find a spot that is really tender. Sit like this for a while. After a while (days), you will find the spot becoming less and less tender. My problem was my hamstring was too tight and was pulling things out of alignment. It worked for me, but of course it may not work for you. I do HIGHLY recommend a book called The Trigger Point therapy handbook. I believe it was written by Clare Davies. It can help with your body and pain. It shows how pain in one area may have several causes that you would not have thought of. For example, a poor calf muscle can toss your body out of alignment and cause back pain.


I believe the Trigger point therapy may be similar to active release as well...hits the knots as my therapist called them. I liked him because despite being a chiropractor, he did the therapy and didn't insist I keep coming back to get cracked. He tried...but didn't insist.


It is the same thing.
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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby FedCO » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:00 pm

Shawshank wrote:
opp2 wrote:
Shawshank wrote:I can tell you what has helped me, but of course I would suggest seeing a doctor.
Take two tennis balls and put them into a sock. Sit on a hard chair and put the sock/balls under your hamstring. Find a spot that is really tender. Sit like this for a while. After a while (days), you will find the spot becoming less and less tender. My problem was my hamstring was too tight and was pulling things out of alignment. It worked for me, but of course it may not work for you. I do HIGHLY recommend a book called The Trigger Point therapy handbook. I believe it was written by Clare Davies. It can help with your body and pain. It shows how pain in one area may have several causes that you would not have thought of. For example, a poor calf muscle can toss your body out of alignment and cause back pain.


I believe the Trigger point therapy may be similar to active release as well...hits the knots as my therapist called them. I liked him because despite being a chiropractor, he did the therapy and didn't insist I keep coming back to get cracked. He tried...but didn't insist.


It is the same thing.



Ya i only did 2 and half weeks chiro. I am done with it. Im going to focus on strength training and phiso and other things you guys have quoted.

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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby Q-Tip » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:07 pm

Had lower back pain for almost 2yrs. Started slowly, and progressively got worse and worse.
Went to doctor, he immediately recommended physical therapy without doing any tests or scans.
He was against chiro, so I never went to a chiro, decided to give the physio a try.
Did physio for 4 months (combination of inversion table, acupuncture, putting those electrode pads on the area and shocking the muscle for awhile, then eventually a ton of planks and core exercises on stability ball). Ultimately, the pain went down, but was still lingering as a dull ache in my lower back.
The physio guys gave me tons of exercises to do at home to develop better core strength. I started doing those instead of going back to Physio.
Also went back to my doctor saying I wanted an MRI to pinpoint exactly what the issue was, as it was still lingering...he finally gave in when I refused another RX for more physio.
MRI came back as a L5-S1 disc herniation.
I continued with the exercises I was shown (planks, stability ball, various stretches). They all helped somewhat, but what really helped me was changing my sleeping posture (pillow between legs), and not sitting as much when I was at home/work.
Humans werent meant to sit the way we do these days,too much compression on parts that werent meant to be that way...(hamstrings, hip flexors, etc)
(check out Mobility WODS from this youtube channel http://youtu.be/JslrFB06wPU)
The biggest help I found was actually doing squats in the proper form. Once the pain was minimal from all the other work i had done I started looking into light weight (sometimes just bodyweight) squats. They helped to re-set my sacrum and align my spine properly (sometimes my sacrum would pop during a really deep squat and any pain I had was immediately gone) and ever since I started doing those things and developing my flexibility I've had zero back pain (about 6 months now).
Last edited by Q-Tip on Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby GoodWitness » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:12 pm

@Q-tip, yes, posture is HUGE, as is carrying too much weight on your gut. For a lot of the desk-jockeys that we saw, the main recommendation was to get up and move around, get a better chair that encouraged better posture, stronger abdominals and less beer at the mess.

As a couple of people have mentioned, see your doctor first and make sure there isn't something you can make worse with certain types of exercises, like a bulging disc.

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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby FedCO » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:33 pm

GoodWitness wrote:@Q-tip, yes, posture is HUGE, as is carrying too much weight on your gut. For a lot of the desk-jockeys that we saw, the main recommendation was to get up and move around, get a better chair that encouraged better posture, stronger abdominals and less beer at the mess.

As a couple of people have mentioned, see your doctor first and make sure there isn't something you can make worse with certain types of exercises, like a bulging disc.


Well Doctors think im trying to score drugs but im not due to my age. So i have not found the Doctor to be very helpful. I will make another appointment and see.

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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby Q-Tip » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:44 pm

FedCO wrote:
GoodWitness wrote:@Q-tip, yes, posture is HUGE, as is carrying too much weight on your gut. For a lot of the desk-jockeys that we saw, the main recommendation was to get up and move around, get a better chair that encouraged better posture, stronger abdominals and less beer at the mess.

As a couple of people have mentioned, see your doctor first and make sure there isn't something you can make worse with certain types of exercises, like a bulging disc.


Well Doctors think im trying to score drugs but im not due to my age. So i have not found the Doctor to be very helpful. I will make another appointment and see.


similar with my doctor. Wouldnt RX any pain meds, chiro, and originally didnt even want to do an MRI (said maybe x-ray could show something). But generally he wasn't very helpful. He didn't want to do much more than give me an RX for physio and be done with me. I'm still in my 20's and I was quite intent on getting to the bottom of my back pain so it wouldnt be an ongoing issue for the rest of my life.
My pain got to the point where I had to be a bit more stern to him than I normally am to get him to finally look into it some more and get me in for an MRI.

The physio definitely helps and if you go to a place with good staff they can definitely find what will work for you to at least minimize the pain. Mine wasn't active release therapy, but if I were to have this pain again that would be the type of physio I would look into.
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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby 26point2 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:11 pm

I herniated my L5/S1 disc in 2008 and ignored it and tried to live through it. Life really sucked when it swelled to the point that it rotated and impacted the sciatic nerves along my spine.

An x-ray showed nothing, only an MRI. Physio did nothing, and I did not see a chiropractor. The neurosurgeon I saw was famous for turning patients away because the injury didn't warrant surgery. I was in his office 30 seconds when he saw my MRI and said he could "fix this". It was tremendous relief.

Hopefully it doesn't come to this for you -- I endured a 3 hour surgery and 2 days in hospital followed by 4 months of painful physio to get strength back in my legs, back, and core. I haven't looked back (pun intended) since -- and I swear by deadlifts and squats now. I'd only lift a lot heavier if I didn't do so much running.

Before I saw a doctor, I took the advice of people that had back problems but they obviously weren't the same as what I had. Thankfully, my doctor didn't suspect me of scoring narcotics -- I was prescribed what was appropriate and safely taken off them.
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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby Shawshank » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:17 pm

It is nice when you have a good doctor. A few years ago, I hurt my back while deadlifting, I went to the doctor and she told me to stop weight lifting for life and that I should take up running instead.
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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby 48highlander » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:21 am

Shawshank wrote:It is nice when you have a good doctor. A few years ago, I hurt my back while deadlifting, I went to the doctor and she told me to stop weight lifting for life and that I should take up running instead.


I would have found a new doctor and a better deadlifting coach. :P

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Re: Lower Back pain

Postby zimmer » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:17 am

Yoga, along with a pair of orthotics - can do wonders for posture, including back ailments.
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