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Low Back Pain

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Boone

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Anyone periodically suffer with it as I do?

I did a lot of damage to my spine during my 10 years as a Marine Corps Grunt. Being 5' 9", I was strong and tough, but my frame just was never built to carry the kinds of loads I was routinely asked to carry during my service. I have had 2 cervical disc surgeries (the latest in January) and those have largely resolved issues with pain and mobility. But I still 'throw out' my lower back a couple times a year. When I do, man - it is just miserable. Excruciating pain, can barely get up or down, walking is a challenge. It is just a total bummer as I literally cannot do anything until it 'calms down' and heals.

I don't know if I have lumbar disc issues as thankfully my tweaked lower back always seems to heal. I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't have some issues there though. I have found that, when I am in outstanding physical shape, especially when I am active with full-body exercise (such as cycling), I almost never have any issues. It is when I am not in shape that I have recurring issues.

I have not been able to get fully active since my cervical surgery - but was getting close to being restriction free when I tweaked my lower back 2 weeks ago while, of all things, weeding my garden. That healed up relatively quickly until I tweaked it again about a week ago. It is taking me awhile to bounce back from this one.

My general approach when I do 'tweak' my lower back is to ice the hell out of it, take anti-inflammatories (Motrin or Alleve), alternate some heat on it, and use a TENS unit to deal with muscle spasms. All those things help a little, but basically I just have to rest and give it time.

I absolutely hate it when my lower back acts up - it is miserable.

Anyone else have similar issues? I am trying a new strategy. Beyond getting in shape and strengthening my core muscles (once I'm able to start exercising again), I purchased an Inversion Table today and am going to try that on a scheduled basis to see if I can't get some relief and preventitive benefit from it. Anyone have any experience with an Inversion Table?
 

Chris

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Anyone periodically suffer with it as I do?

I did a lot of damage to my spine during my 10 years as a Marine Corps Grunt. Being 5' 9", I was strong and tough, but my frame just was never built to carry the kinds of loads I was routinely asked to carry during my service. I have had 2 cervical disc surgeries (the latest in January) and those have largely resolved issues with pain and mobility. But I still 'throw out' my lower back a couple times a year. When I do, man - it is just miserable. Excruciating pain, can barely get up or down, walking is a challenge. It is just a total bummer as I literally cannot do anything until it 'calms down' and heals.

I don't know if I have lumbar disc issues as thankfully my tweaked lower back always seems to heal. I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't have some issues there though. I have found that, when I am in outstanding physical shape, especially when I am active with full-body exercise (such as cycling), I almost never have any issues. It is when I am not in shape that I have recurring issues.

I have not been able to get fully active since my cervical surgery - but was getting close to being restriction free when I tweaked my lower back 2 weeks ago while, of all things, weeding my garden. That healed up relatively quickly until I tweaked it again about a week ago. It is taking me awhile to bounce back from this one.

My general approach when I do 'tweak' my lower back is to ice the hell out of it, take anti-inflammatories (Motrin or Alleve), alternate some heat on it, and use a TENS unit to deal with muscle spasms. All those things help a little, but basically I just have to rest and give it time.

I absolutely hate it when my lower back acts up - it is miserable.

Anyone else have similar issues? I am trying a new strategy. Beyond getting in shape and strengthening my core muscles (once I'm able to start exercising again), I purchased an Inversion Table today and am going to try that on a scheduled basis to see if I can't get some relief and preventitive benefit from it. Anyone have any experience with an Inversion Table?
I have had one for a year and a half or so. I doesn’t stop lower-back tweaks but it makes me taller. 😉
 

Win4us

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I own one but my back knots up so tight that it doesn’t clear all the vertebrae. I’ll end up bored and a head full of blood before then.

Currently seeing a physical therapist and one of my problems is a weak core and hip flexor muscles/ligaments. Basically one side compensates for the weaker side and boom out of alignment. It’s frustrating as hell dealing with a bad back
 

Boone

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I have had one for a year and a half or so. I doesn’t stop lower-back tweaks but it makes me taller. 😉
What brand did you get? I purchased a Teeter FitSpine X3.

If nothing else it will give me a treatment option when I do tweak it.
 

Chris

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What brand did you get? I purchased a Teeter FitSpine X3.

If nothing else it will give me a treatment option when I do tweak it.
I have the same one. I do like it. Spine decompression from gravitational forces makes sense to me. The extra blood to the brain seems like a positive, too.
 

MikefromOH

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Have you considered yoga? Sounds hippie dippy, I know.

But, it works. Helps my shoulder ankles, and lower back immensely. I use DDPYoga and I swear by it.
 

Boone

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I did P90X probably 8 or 9 years ago which included a 90 minute Yoga workout. It was one of the tougher ones, but it got me familiar with the basics. Right now I am just focused on healing from the latest injury. Once I accomplish that, will focus on something full body to get my core strength where it needs to be. That's a good suggestion - thanks!
 

Chris

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My go-to yoga poses for lower back mobility and relief are the cat/cow and then rotating between the child’s pose and the cobra pose.
 

MikefromOH

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Oh yeah..

Cobra, and clock too. Where you stand with your hands up in 12 and lean to a side going 6 and 12 with your arms. I can feel the pops and stretching
 

Kel Varnsen

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I've had lower back pain for about 20 years. I play a lot of softball and when I was in my 20s, I was diving all over the place. It got so bad some times, I would come in between innings and lay on the bench. When you are 23/24, you just fight through. Now 44, I have to make sure it's not too serious or I can't even move. During the quarantine, it got bad. I was doing a lot less moving since I was working from home and not walking around the office. I started walking at the park and that helps most of the time. Some times I'll walk too much and it just puts stress on my back.

So yes, my first piece of advice is to stay active and in shape. For me, it doesn't have to be too serious. And doing things too strenuous will make it worse. But basic things to stay active is better than just sitting around doing nothing.

The second piece of advice is to stretch. My brother-in-law showed me some hamstring stretches that helped a lot. I remember I could barely walk one time we were visiting him. He did these exercises and it was like I had visited a faith healer on TV. It didn't last long, but it showed me what I could do to help alleviate the pain. You can also look on youtube for lower back stretches, pain relief, etc. Find one that works for you. I use this one:



Lastly, I have an inversion table. It does take some time to get used to. My advice on that is to take it slow. It's tempting to just go all out at the start and go fully inverted. But when I got mine years ago, the instructions recommending starting at 45 degrees and then working to inversion. To this day, I start with 45 degrees then if I feel good, I'll go fully inverted. The other thing for me is that it stretches the muscles too. Meaning, I'm more sore when I first get off of it. I believe that is because of how much I am stretching everything. Overall I feel better, but it's harder to even get off the machine after I've been on it for a while.
 

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Never really had lower back pain until about 9 years ago when I slipped on a wet surface. The problem was that I didn't fall, I twisted my back in such a way that I did damage to C5. About 9 months later I was forced to have surgery.
It was a longer recovery than was suggested butafter about 18 months, I was ok.

Fast forward to the weight gain, and it got bad again. Now that I am losing the weight and getting more active it is horrible! I can barely bend at the waist, I do a lot of driving so when I get out of the car after a 30 minute or more drive, it can be difficult to get upright. Bending at the waist is a torturous affair.

The weight loss is probably the most important part of it, only 52 more pounds to reach my goal, but stretching is yuge! Yoga stretches are enormously beneficial, but my physical therapist is really focusing on core strength as well as stretching.

Now, the mid-level disc issues are another story.

Years in the roofing business, not listening to the old heads, I had to prove how strong I was...carrying two bundles of shingles up the ladder at a time, 10-20 times a day, 3 or 4 days a week. That took its toll on the upper thoracic level of my spine.

The foam roller and stretch bar have been very helpful with that, as well as some really odd stretches my therapist has given me.
 

Boone

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Thankfully my lower back has calmed down. I am down about 10 lbs so far and I did order the inversion table although I probably won’t use it until I discuss with my spine surgeon at a follow-up in a few weeks. I’ll be at 6 months cervical fusion post op in early July so he’ll probably give me a go ahead. But want to be smart about it.
 

Win4us

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Have you been biking recently? Curious if that helps or hurts more when doing so.
 

Boone

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Not yet… I think in general biking is great because it strengthens your core. I don’t think I’ve ever ‘thrown out’ my back when I was riding consistently. I’m just being cautious right now to make sure it is fully healed before I attempt it.
 

Win4us

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I hear ya. Starting to think one of my issues anyway is the core/hip tendons are losing their oomph holding everything in place. Still stretching and strengthening regardless tho
 

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I tweaked my back for the first time in my life a few months ago, blinding pain, spasms, had to go to the hospital and get a shot of toradol, they took an xray, and then got an MRI, apparently at some point I broke a vertabrae and it healed narrow, and now sometimes my spinal cord gets caught in the break and its a bad time. back stuff is brutal, I played 20 years of full contact football and never had a back problem, but this getting old shit sucks.
 

Boone

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Yeah, I feel you on that brother!
 

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