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Anybody have a problem with their back "going out" on them
Old 08-23-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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Anybody have a problem with their back "going out" on them

Just recovered from my back going out on me for the third time in 13 months. Never had it happen before. The first time maybe caused by the medicine ball. I was bed bound for almost 3 weeks and thought I was a milligram of pain from going to nursing home. The last 2 haven't been nearly as bad as Im back to normal within a week. The last one was caused by me tossing some T-shirts into the dryer from the washer. Give me a break, what a manly excuse for an injury! All three started with a painless twinge, then within 15 minutes, the " lock up" occurs. "Dr. Mulligan" who is an unlicensed physician always takes care of my health issues outside of a yearly checkup and my dentistry. NyQuil or ignore the problem and it will go away have always been his prescription and it has worked my entire life. But this one has stumped him. I do return to normal, but having this as an ongoing problem is not really desired needless to say.
Does anybody else have this issue? Ever have it happen multiple times or as an ongoing issue?
If it happens one more time, I will go to chiropractor after it heals, as no way am I letting anyone touch me while it hurts!
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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Haven't experienced it for a while, but I recall one time I just bent over a file cabinet and felt a familiar 'click'.......said "I have to go home...now".......spent a week where I had to push through the pain to stand up, and then again to sit back down.

Oddly enough I've never had it go out while I was 'doing' anything.....years ago I built some rock walls in our then garden.....carried the rocks uphill and plonked them down atop others....no problems.................it's always happened when I turn the 'wrong' way; first time, in my 30s, I'd just shoveled all the snow off the drive without incident and turned to flip a tiny bit of snow off the shovel.....ouch.

And it's always L5
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear this. As a chronic "back going out" sufferer, I feel your pain.

Mine can go out for something as simple as turning my head 90 degrees and leaning forward a teeny bit (to look into a mirror mounted on a side wall. or something equally mundane. I've had this condition for years.

I've tried to build up my core muscles in the hopes that that helps. I have also selectively chosen to abandon activities that I have figured out are causes (roller-blading, gardening, etc.)

I will now call my chiropractor when it does occur, as getting in to see him will often realign my spine and take me out of pain within minutes.

Hope your back is feeling better soon.

omni
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #4
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I have had chronic back problems in the past - including an excruciating back spasm episode - but nothing in a while (knock on wood). I do some back strengthening exercises and stretches that a chiropractor introduced me to. It seems to help. I tend to lock my back when I lift heavy objects incorrectly, so I try to be particularly vigilant in those situations (lift with your knees, not your back).
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:34 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your back problems. You may want to consider doing some daily yoga stretches after you are back to normal. May help to prevent future occurrences.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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I used to have that happen frequently about 15 years ago and always went on a "Vicodin Vacation" (Vicodin & JD, though I believe they do not mix) for a week or so. I also have read that some forms of medical weed are supposed to help. I have not experienced it (the back pain) since I left the USA (and, just as well) as only the JD is available here.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:26 PM   #7
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This has happened to me 3 times, always delayed, after some heavy lifting that involved twisting. Now i regularly do back stretches and strengthening and use a Herman Miller Aeron chair. This website BackFitPro.com helped, as did this thread Strengthing the core
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:39 PM   #8
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Funny (NOT!) you should mention this... Mine went out Sunday while getting up off the floor from clipping the dog's nails.

What can or should be done to treat it depends somewhat on what's going on in there. Muscle pulls are pretty minor unless something is torn. Popping an otherwise healthy disc is worse, but it may go back in on its own. If there's an annular tear, DDD or something else more serious, physical therapy is usually the firstline treatment, followed by other kinds of therapies, depending on the situation.

Lots of folks are having surgery, but the numbers on that aren't always good or permanent (The only surgery that fails so often there's a name for it). My doctors advise against it for me. IMO, surgery should only be considered as a last resort, after all other therapies have been tried and failed, and after multiple opinions -- usually only when not doing surgery would result in worse damage or outcome. YMMV.

Tyro
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:13 PM   #9
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Most definitely, no scalpel is getting near me!!!! I will try some of those stretches Michael highlighted in a previous thread. I do stretching but mostly with elastic band working my hamstrings and calves as they are very tight if I don't. I wouldn't be surprised if I have some type of slipped disc issue that inflames a nerve every now and then.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
Just recovered from my back going out on me for the third time in 13 months. Never had it happen before.
Does anybody else have this issue? Ever have it happen multiple times or as an ongoing issue?
If it happens one more time, I will go to chiropractor after it heals, as no way am I letting anyone touch me while it hurts!
You really need to visit a physical therapist for a checkout and a page of core/back exercises. If you've been doing a lot of situps or crunches, it might be time to stop.

When you're bending over equipment like the washer & dryer, bending your knees can help relieve the back stress.

Core issues like this are what keep me coming back to taekwondo. I still pull muscles down there & back there once in a while, but it happens less every year.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:01 PM   #11
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Had back pains years ago. Went to the doc, and he gave me a sheet of stretches. They worked, along with basic exercise. Pushups, situps, etc (maybe 40-60 of each at least a few times a week). I have slacked off the last couple years and lately have noticed more achy backs.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:30 PM   #12
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I have had periodic episodes, and as coincidence would have it my back has been a bit sore recently. Taking Aleve seems to help me.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:38 PM   #13
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2002. I remember it well......ended up in the ER. Several consultations later, here's what worked:

Cyclobenzaprine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

......and physiotherapy.

Defiinitely don't want to go there again.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:53 PM   #14
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Lots of folks are having surgery, but the numbers on that aren't always good or permanent (The only surgery that fails so often there's a name for it). My doctors advise against it for me. IMO, surgery should only be considered as a last resort, after all other therapies have been tried and failed, and after multiple opinions -- usually only when not doing surgery would result in worse damage or outcome. YMMV.

Tyro
My wife had a ruptured disc and considered getting surgery for it. But after talking to a number of physicians and looking at medical studies, it seem that there was no differences in outcomes between surgery / no-surgery at 1 year.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:54 PM   #15
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... The last one was caused by me tossing some T-shirts into the dryer from the washer. Give me a break, what a manly excuse for an injury! All three started with a painless twinge, then within 15 minutes, the " lock up" occurs. ...
I've had problems caused by lifting heavy stuff the wrong way, and the little movement like your T-shirt incident. Funny you use the word 'twinge' - that is how I describe the ones where it is just moving a little and I get this reaction. Then it may or may not proceed to full blown stiffness and pain. I had two 'twinges' last week, thankfully, they passed without incident. Scary though.

I can't decide if some exercises are helping or hurting. I don't know if I should go back to the Doctor and ask to see a physical therapist, or what.

-ERD50
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:11 AM   #16
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As you can tell by the responses.... lots of problems with backs...


If it were me, the first thing that I would do is figure out if it is muscle or spine...

I have a bad disk and it sometimes causes major pain.... I figured out that muscle relaxants just do not work... except to make you SO sleepy that you lay around for a week or two until your back gets better...

The best thing that I ever did was get a steroid injection (actually twice)... it was the only time in the last 25 years when I can say I did not have ANY pain in my back.... I always have some minor aches and pain... I just live with it.... even though I was pain free for awhile, I just do not want to get injections all the time (and I think you can only get 3 in a year... at least that is what the doc told me)....
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:55 AM   #17
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2002. I remember it well......ended up in the ER. Several consultations later, here's what worked:
Cyclobenzaprine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
......and physiotherapy.
Defiinitely don't want to go there again.
Judging from the renewals on my father's prescriptions in the care facility, he's taking 50-60 of those each month. Plus a Vicodin nearly every day. His Alzheimer's keeps him from remembering what was done about the pains.

We're going to ask some thoughtful questions about that next month. I'm not sure whether it's multiple myeloma or "patient control" or theft. But by any measure it seems like a lot.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:30 AM   #18
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I second Nords' physical therapist recommendation. They will provide you with numerous exercise/stretch recommendations to help your back.

My back has been going out on occasion for the last fifteen years for as simple of an action as reaching around a corner to turn on a light switch and kneeling down to tie my shoes.

I got tired of doing all of the recommended physical therapist recommendations so now I just do planks and side planks to maintain my core muscles.

If I do throw it out I now immediately ice it and continue to ice it throughout the day. I take a pain reliever as well if the pain is particularly unpleasant. Take an anti-inflammatory if possible such as ibuprofen. I have a chronic condition that prevents me from taking NSAIDs so I use Tylenol.

It use to take me about a week before I was functional again but now I am functional the next day.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
Just recovered from my back going out on me for the third time in 13 months. Never had it happen before.
...(snip)...
Does anybody else have this issue? Ever have it happen multiple times or as an ongoing issue?
If it happens one more time, I will go to chiropractor after it heals, as no way am I letting anyone touch me while it hurts!
Have had this before and there are many reasons for back problems. In my case it was from some disc problems -- probably an injury in early years.

It is aggravated by overuse of my lower back -- doing heavy lifting, gardening, chopping wood, etc. Solution is to pace yourself especially in cold weather.

For me the fix is:
1) Learn to bend down properly to pick up things. There are probably sources on the web for this.
2) Use stools, ladders to get at high items.
3) Consider some mild stretching exercises when there are no symptoms.
4) Aleve (or equivalent) will reduce the inflammation if I have symptoms. My doc recommended starting with 2 the first time and then use the label instructions. Treat usually for at least 24 hours and if more severe for 48 hours. I use this stuff very sparingly.

Many doctors offices carry a pamphlet that discusses good some of the above, i.e. proper bending and reaching, stretches, etc.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:08 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud
As you can tell by the responses.... lots of problems with backs...

If it were me, the first thing that I would do is figure out if it is muscle or spine...

I have a bad disk and it sometimes causes major pain.... I figured out that muscle relaxants just do not work... except to make you SO sleepy that you lay around for a week or two until your back gets better...

The best thing that I ever did was get a steroid injection (actually twice)... it was the only time in the last 25 years when I can say I did not have ANY pain in my back.... I always have some minor aches and pain... I just live with it.... even though I was pain free for awhile, I just do not want to get injections all the time (and I think you can only get 3 in a year... at least that is what the doc told me)....
The meds don't seem to do much for me either. I "borrowed" some muscle relaxants from a friend the first time which was the most serious and they did nothing so I quit them. I tried a Vicodin from another person on the second and it had no effect. So I didn't bother on the third time. I just let nature take its course. Need to get on the stretching tomm. while I am back to normal.
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