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Old 01-28-2016, 09:40 PM   #21
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Banaman, I'm sorry to hear of your wife's health issues. For some the simple ways to alleviate problems are not the right prescription.

Hopefully those reading this will take the thread for what it is worth, just some thoughts on diagnosing one's situation and finding ways to cope with our body's limits.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:52 PM   #22
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I have degenerative disk disease on L4-L5-S1 and like most in this thread, I have back pain episodes sometimes for days. This is usually exacerbated by excruciating headaches.

I noticed that activities like running downhill, jumping exercises and walking on pavement brought discomfort and pain on my lower back so I have had to give up those things and adopt a less active life style. I try to slow my movements especially when I wake up in the morning. Less jerking motions and less time spending sitting have helped a lot. I continue to be active but I am careful not to do those movements that exacerbate the back problem.
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Old 01-29-2016, 06:52 AM   #23
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In terms of back pain due to muscular spasms and injuries, I've been weightlifting for over 35 years and would occasionally suffer from lower back pain due to an over-zealous squat or dead lift session. Tried all sorts of stretching and pain relieving strategies but nothing really worked better than pure healing time.

Until recently, when I discovered just how much planks help to alleviate lower muscular back pain.
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:45 AM   #24
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Ok.. long time lurker and first time poster needs to chime in here.

I have had back issues off and on. Some fairly major and the spasms are the absolute worst!

I find if I stray from exercises for too long, I am more prone to injury. The one thing my hubby and I swear by is the Shakti mat or bed of nails. Awesome for every day or for relief. Excellent sleep aid. I admit it looks weird and many are hesitant to try it. If you try it you will like it. Would love to hear back how you like it.

CG
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:00 PM   #25
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Ok.. long time lurker and first time poster needs to chime in here.

I have had back issues off and on. Some fairly major and the spasms are the absolute worst!

I find if I stray from exercises for too long, I am more prone to injury. The one thing my hubby and I swear by is the Shakti mat or bed of nails. Awesome for every day or for relief. Excellent sleep aid. I admit it looks weird and many are hesitant to try it. If you try it you will like it. Would love to hear back how you like it.

CG
Thanks for chiming in, Country Girl. I'll admit, the phrase "bed of nails" isn't the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about back relief. Can you share a bit with us about that?
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:12 PM   #26
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MichaelB - it works by means accupressure, which stimulates blood flow and therefore faster healing.

Hoping this link will work ok. I concur with its conclusion...

A Review of the Shakti Mat – A Modern Bed of Nails
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:20 PM   #27
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MichaelB - it works by means accupressure, which stimulates blood flow and therefore faster healing.

Hoping this link will work ok. I concur with its conclusion...

A Review of the Shakti Mat A Modern Bed of Nails
Thanks for the link, CG. I'll look into this, just as soon as I get past the part about the nails...
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:38 PM   #28
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LOL. You can wear a t-shirt the first few times or lay it on a soft surface like the bed. Honestly it hurts SO good! Getting up can be a little tricky. I usually try to slip a shirt or something under me so I can roll off slowly.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:48 PM   #29
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I prefer narcotics, but my doctor prefers Ibuprofen...

Stretches that target the hamstrings, psoas, and pirifomii help my lower back pain, but now that I'm fired, that pain in the a$$ is gone.
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:11 AM   #30
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I've had 50+ years of back problems, including a couple of hospitalizations. The main problems are moderate cervical and lumbar stenosis and typical episodes of intense spasms.


I'm convinced that, for those of us 60+ (I'm 66) the most overlooked, beneficial exercise is weightlifting. I do vast amounts of walking, some running, some rowing and biking, and hit 100 golf balls daily - all of which helps keep me fit but most of which does not directly help my back. What allows me to do these things is weightlifting.


I invested several years ago in an Ironmaster Super Bench with leg and curl attachments, dumbbells from 5 to 40 pounds, and some 10-50 pound disks that I use on the leg attachments. There is a direct correlation - when I do my 90-minute weight program 2-3 times per week, I have no back problems; when I slack off, which I don't anymore, the problems are immediate.


I've also been using a Lumbar Extender (just a curved piece of heavy plastic) and a Saunders cervical traction unit, both of which are also very worthwhile.


I do know to an absolute certainty that "babying" your back is not the answer unless you truly have a condition where your doctor says aggressive exercise could be dangerous. I have friends whose conditions are no worse than mine who have gone into permanent-babying mode, and their back problems are unending. My orthopedist, who is very well-respected, encouraged the weightlifting and told me not to come see him again (to consider surgery) unless I was in such constant, screaming pain that I absolutely could not live with it any longer; I haven't seen him in six years. He also said Aleve was by far the best choice among the OTC pain relievers.
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:42 AM   #31
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That's my kind of Doctor- cheap prevention before expensive surgery and meds! I'm finding that, having lived in this body 63 years, I can feel when an exercise is right and when I'm overdoing it. I'm still tickled at having cured a case of frozen shoulder from exercises I found on YouTube.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:49 AM   #32
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I've had 50+ years of back problems, including a couple of hospitalizations. The main problems are moderate cervical and lumbar stenosis and typical episodes of intense spasms.
...
This points up again how specific some of our underlying medical conditions are. I had to lookup lumbar stenosis and apparently a symptom is leg pain. My condition doesn't involve leg pain at all. So would I be helped by doing weights? Not sure.

My back symptoms tend to flare up about now and that's caused by cold weather, more sitting at my computer because it's raining out there, bending down to do pruning in the garden, etc. So I do those activities more sparingly and am much more aware of my symptoms. And yes Aleve works to reduce the symptoms but I use it very sparingly and record my usage. The Doc thought my usage was well within good practice.

If I did do weights I'd want to get the job done fast like maybe in 10 minutes for each daily session. I'd want to have only a small set of equipment. Am not at all sure what I would need and what lifts would get at my specific problems more efficiently. My hat is off to you Runner for doing that weight work so often and for 90 minutes.

Here is an example of efficiency in exercise. I need to be efficient otherwise I won't do the thing unless I really, really have to. I had tightness in the achilles after running. This happened for many years. The Doc recommended: sit down, lift one leg, do the alphabet with your foot moving the toes around. I found that just doing an "O" forward and backwards a few times a week did the job for me. Now some may be more patient then I am and some may need to do the alphabet.
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:03 AM   #33
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I had tightness in the achilles after running. This happened for many years. The Doc recommended: sit down, lift one leg, do the alphabet with your foot moving the toes around.
Thank you for mentioning this! I had never heard of it, but have the same problem and I think I'll try it. Can't do any harm.
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:07 AM   #34
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I have a friend that has debilitating back pain due to the deterioration of the pad between two vertebrae (I believe it is called spinal osteoarthritis). His current doc has not been much help for a permanent solution. Any recommendation for how he can locate a doctor that can help him more than his current doc is doing? He is on Medicare and has good supplemental insurance, so cost should not be a major issue.
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Old 01-31-2016, 12:53 PM   #35
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I have a friend that has debilitating back pain due to the deterioration of the pad between two vertebrae (I believe it is called spinal osteoarthritis). His current doc has not been much help for a permanent solution. Any recommendation for how he can locate a doctor that can help him more than his current doc is doing? He is on Medicare and has good supplemental insurance, so cost should not be a major issue.
Has he been seeing a pain doc? They may be his best bet - they will work with you regarding meds, and other options if meds don't work. I'm working with one now for arthritis in the spine and sacroiliac - first 2 meds gave good relief, but caused issues, so I'm going to go back in to see what they suggest next.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:02 PM   #36
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I have a friend that has debilitating back pain due to the deterioration of the pad between two vertebrae (I believe it is called spinal osteoarthritis). His current doc has not been much help for a permanent solution. Any recommendation for how he can locate a doctor that can help him more than his current doc is doing? He is on Medicare and has good supplemental insurance, so cost should not be a major issue.
Consider a "sports medicine" orthopedist. Granted, a lot of doctors use that sports medicine adjective. But if you can find a "legitimate" one, it might be of some help in providing some alternative but still mainstream treatments.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:41 PM   #37
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I have cervical disc degeneration disease affecting three discs along with nerve damage, plus a bulging disc and stenosis between L5 and S1. I use a pain management intervention specialist and have for the past eight years. Cervical Epidurals, Facet joint injections, physical therapy and occasional muscle relaxers and Vicodin have kept life worth living. The physical therapy targets specific muscle groups and the injections are two or three times a year. This combination is manageable and haven't become addicted to anything. The surgeons I've spoken to are too anxious for surgery except for one, who referred me to the pain mgt specialist. Sometimes the pain acts up a bit when DW wants to drive into the city or something I don't particularly feel like doing 😜.


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Old 01-31-2016, 06:44 PM   #38
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Thanks for the above suggestions. I've passed them on to my friend.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:11 PM   #39
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I would say 50% of my patients are neck and back pain, & I find that exercise is a great way to diminish and avoid recurrences of these issues. When it comes to exercise, one size does not fit all. There are different things that should be done depending on the diagnosis, and I am NOT a fan of "no pain no gain" when it comes to treating back and neck pain.
On an acute episode often I will just start on some easy nerve gliding or gentle stretches, in addition to a variety of modalities for pain management. Progressing to a little bit more advanced stretching, then cervical, scapular, or core stabilization exercises. Later on we'll start with more aggressive resistive exercises throughout the body.
A simple muscle strain almost always gets better and people do great. Herniated disc on the other hand can lead to future instability , which can then down the road lead to stenosis. This is why it is so important to work on stabilization exercises with these folks and really work on education. When the back and neck are feeling good most people ignore what they should be doing and go back to old habits. Weight loss and improve posture are huge in relieving and avoiding recurrence of back and neck pain, however often are ignored.

I herniated a lumbar disc last year trying to catch a roof box that was falling off my SUV. I could barely move the next morning, and went and saw my PA. I let her know that I had to work so I was not going to take narcotics, and that I did not want to see a surgeon as I was not going to have surgery. Treated with a shot of tramadol that did nothing, muscle relaxers that did nothing, however the next morning I started prednisone and by noon I was probably 50% better. That stuff is hard on your body so I quickly weaned off of it, and started therapy with one of my instructors from continuing medical education classes.

Did some manipulation above and below the disc herniation, dry needling into lumbar and gluteal / piriformis muscles, nerve gliding and gentle stretches. Begin with lying core stabilization exercises, and then progressed to therapeutic ball core stabilization exercises. I did continue doing cardio very gently on an elliptical throughout.

About a year out I am 99%, and continue working on cardio on an elliptical 6 days a week for 1 hour or longer, do Bowflex strengthening 1 - 2 times a week, and therapeutic ball 1 - 2 times a week in addition to other exercising.
I did have other therapists perform a lot of dry needling as that really seem to help me, and also had our pelvic health therapist work on my SI joints periodically.
I also get in the hot tub everyday after working out and just soak and let the Jets blast for 10 minutes or so and then get into a stretching routine for my entire body that I work on for 15 to 20 minutes every morning while soaking in the tub.

We do get great success where I work treating back and neck injuries or problems, however you can not get everyone better with therapy.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:19 PM   #40
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I had a lower back disc issue about 12 years ago, and knew I needed a new mattress at the time. Went to a tempurpedic memory foam and I've not had any back issue since.

When I travel, after 3-4 nights on a regular hotel mattress (even good ones) i start to feel a bit stiff in the same area of my original issue, so I'm pretty convinced it's a factor for me.

Other than that yes any overall core strengthening is great to help avoid injury, and running walking just being upright and moving more than not.
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