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View Poll Results: Have you thrown out your back 3 times or more?
I am male and I have thrown out my back at least three times. 35 50.00%
I am male and I have NOT thrown out my back at least three times. 13 18.57%
I am female and I have thrown out my back at least three times. 8 11.43%
I am female and I have NOT thrown out my back at least three times. 14 20.00%
Voters: 70. You may not vote on this poll

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Ever thrown your back out?
Old 05-29-2008, 09:04 PM   #1
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Ever thrown your back out?

In reading some recent threads on this board, it occurred to me that men seem to throw their backs out a whole lot more than women. Just curious to know if that is really the case.

You may define "throwing out your back" in any way you like.

If men throw their backs out more, I won't even try to guess why! Maybe testosterone but I have no idea.
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:17 PM   #2
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I've 'tweaked' my back several times over the years, and most times it was just from making a wrong movement, and not from lifting something. The worst time was in about 1994 while moving wrong....while lifting something heavy. I was holding a very heavy (about 18#) pinch bar with one hand and holding onto a ladder with the other hand, and reaching about 3 feet to my left. I felt a little 'tweak' but nothing serious....so I thought.

About 4 hours later I was in severe pain.....to the point of tears.....it hurt when I moved, and it hurt when I didn't move. I took OTC pain relievers like they were Jelly Bellys.....they didn't help one single iota. I went to a chiropractor the next morning....that didn't help. I went to my folks' doctor, who is also an osteopath, on the way home from the bone-cracker. He took x-rays and found that I had 5 vertebrae out of place....each pretty much going different directions, and pinching a couple of nerves.

I got a prescription for muscle relaxants with painkillers, and a shot of cortisone, along with the Doc manipulating my back and working at getting things back in place. I went to the Doc's office 5 days a week for 4 weeks for treatment. I lived in my tiltable, high-back office chair for those 4 weeks....it was the only place I could even begin to get comfortable. I only slept about 5 hours the first week.....and watched a vast quantity of late, late shows. After about 4 weeks I was finally able to get in and out of bed with great difficulty, but could only sleep a few hours at a time. I wore a back brace almost constantly for about 3 months.

It took over 6 months to get back to near normal. I haven't had any major episodes since then, but I'm always pretty conscious & cautious about stretching, twisting, and lifting.....especially at the same time!

BTW, here's what an 18# pinch bar looks like....it's approx. 5 feet long:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pinch bar.jpg (4.0 KB, 1 views)
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:40 PM   #3
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I've thrown my back out more times than I can remember. It usually happens when I bend over too far at the waist and lift something rather than use my legs. A nerve gets pinched in my lumbar spine and it takes several visits to the chiropractor to get realigned. I'm getting better about using proper lift technique so it's been happening less and less.
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Old 05-30-2008, 12:20 AM   #4
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We throw out our backs more because our DW's like to have us do trivial but heavy things like rearranging the furniture and flipping the mattress. I could deal better with my sore back if I got it from taking a new big screen TV into the house
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:07 AM   #5
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I had a few work-related back injuries, but those were the results of criminal stupidity and violence. The only time I really screwed up my back it was all my wife's fault.
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We throw out our backs more because our DW's like to have us do trivial but heavy things like rearranging the furniture and flipping the mattress.
I had to put a couple of tons of feed out and I had to make the trip by myself. The Princess decided that she and the kids ought to tag along to keep me company and make sure nothing happened to me (it's pretty desolate out there). 50 pounds bags are a pain to carry up the ladder, and it does go better with someone to help you, but I do it by myself all the time. However, DW decided that I should let the kids help me. The problem with that is neither of them even weighed 50 lbs at the time, and I did all sorts of twists and gyrations reaching down to grab the bags from the boys as they struggled to try and hand them up to me.

The pain didn't hit me for almost a week. Then I was in agony and could only walk at a shuffle like I was 100-years-old.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:47 AM   #6
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In my early twenties I wrenched my back playing beach volleyball, resulting in a
laydown on the court until it un-wrenched. Since then, it will spasm out for a few
minutes to a few days (after giving out warning signs) a couple times per year.
When it goes out completely I can barely walk, although riding my bike actually
makes it fell better.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:12 AM   #7
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The only time I ever threw out my back was after reaching for a pencil in my linear algebra class at Texas A&M. I could not believe how much my back hurt for the next week or two!! Just sitting in classes caused tears to run down my face. The agony I experienced really gave me some insight into what you guys (and some women) go through with your backs.

However, that was many years ago and I have never thrown my back out since, so I don't consider myself to have a bad back.

Interesting to see that (so far) the poll reveals 90% (9 out of 10) males responding have thrown out their backs at least 3 times.

Edited to add: Oh, and I rearrange my own furniture and flip my own mattresses, not to mention heavy yardwork, painting, mopping, working on a shrimp boat (in my youth) and oceanographic vessels, and other strenuous tasks such as single-handedly picking up and moving my 42" plasma TV a couple of weeks ago. These strenuous activities never caused any problems for me. Lifting a pencil did it and that made me feel so dumb! Watch out for those dangerous pencils.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:31 AM   #8
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Edited to add: Oh, and I rearrange my own furniture and flip my own mattresses, not to mention heavy yardwork, painting, mopping, working on a shrimp boat (in my youth) and oceanographic vessels, and other strenuous tasks such as single-handedly picking up and moving my 42" plasma TV a couple of weeks ago.
Oh my...I would never be able to move my 42" TV. I HAVE to join a gym!!!
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:15 AM   #9
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Oh my...I would never be able to move my 42" TV. I HAVE to join a gym!!!
It was REALLY heavy (80.5 pounds according to Hitachi) and I wouldn't recommend it!! I didn't go very far with it - - just picked it up off the TV stand and set it on my sofa, switched out my TV stand with the buffet in the next room, and then (the hard part) picked the TV up from the sofa, LIFTED it up about a foot and a half and over about 3 feet and set it on the buffet (which is much higher than the old TV stand). I don't think I could have walked 50 feet with it tucked under one arm, or anything like that.

I am a tall woman with a large frame and I love weight lifting at the gym (I often lift more than the guys my age, but I am relatively incompetent in my cardio efforts). But this was surprisingly ungainly and awkward in comparison with weight lifting. Didn't cause me any problems, though - - felt great afterwards.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:59 AM   #10
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I had major back surgery at age 18 (removal of benign tumor on a nerve sheath) and have varying levels of pain and restricted mobility ever since. I have learned from painful experience not to lift anything weighing more than 20 pounds and not to move in certain ways (twisting is particularly bad). Nevertheless, I have had at least three episodes over the years that could be considered having "thrown my back out". Sure puts a crimp in the RE lifestyle.

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Old 05-30-2008, 12:54 PM   #11
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Once for sure, I think I remember a second time, but I'm short of the magic number 3, so far. Lots of things going on this spring and summer, but come fall I'm going to work hard on my flexibility and ab strength, and hopefully hold it under 3.
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:40 PM   #12
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BTW, here's what an 18# pinch bar looks like....it's approx. 5 feet long:
Hey, I've got one of those. I used it for logging my ten acres of oak trees. It helps to move the wood around when cutting it up with the chainsaw for firewood. It's "stored" somewhere out on my property somewhere, rusting away. I'm not buying another one as punishment to myself for losing it.

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Old 05-30-2008, 07:47 PM   #13
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I wish it was only three times! Last time was just a couple of months ago helping a relative move from MD to DE. Sore for a couple of weeks, then stupidly lifted a full five-gallon gas can while twisting.

Someday maybe I'll learn.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:04 PM   #14
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My back started hurting when I read the poll...
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:08 PM   #15
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I wonder if back problems are hereditary? Neither of my parents had back problems, both lived to their early 90's. None of my siblings have had back problems, nor have I.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:46 PM   #16
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I wonder if back problems are hereditary? Neither of my parents had back problems, both lived to their early 90's. None of my siblings have had back problems, nor have I.
My father had back problems, some sort of congenital muscle unevenness; mother had arthritis and bone spurs; I seem to have inherited both.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:13 PM   #17
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First time happened after I carried a computer up 41 steps. No problem, but then 30 minutes later I turned to get a book and wham.

Since then it's happened when:

Sailing a small boat and ducking under the boom
Lifting a friend's small amplifier
Moving a desk
Moving some boxes
Falling off the surfboard into the whitewater
Lifting dumbbells off the floor

Like Goonie, it's not the weight, it's the twisting.
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:35 PM   #18
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As I type this slowly recovering from my latest bout of heavy lifting... a small piece of bubble wrap fell off a box, bent down to pick it up and argh!!!!!!!!!!! ice pick in the back - maybe a tenth of an ounce will do ya in
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:32 PM   #19
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I just threw mine out today - bending over while transplanting tomatoes of all things.

DD
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:57 PM   #20
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I am so sorry to read that, ejman and DblDoc!! Doesn't sound like either of you was over-doing, either. Sort of like me picking up that pencil.

I hope both of you recover soon.
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