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Weird back pain
Old 10-30-2011, 09:44 AM   #1
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Weird back pain

Hi Kids,

I can walk miles, even jog a bit and I have no back pain. If I stand still for more than a few minutes I have extreme lower back pain. The pain is deep and just to the inside of my hip socket. I originally thought it was my hip but my Chiropractor says there is a muscle that goes from the back through to the femur that might be the culprit and I should stretch it? I never heard of it but it's driving me crazy. I can't cook or even do dishes without intense pain.

I am going to schedule a Dr's appointment this week but anyone every heard of or had anything like this?

Thanks as always,

Wally
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:56 AM   #2
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By all means, check with your doctor to rule out anything dire.

When I studied musculoskeletal anatomy for a massage certification (I get absorbed in odd hobbies from time to time) I was astonished at the complexity of muscles in the pelvic region:



Did your chiropractor walk you through the stretches to use? A session with a physical therapist could set you up with that.

I have had odd pains in hips and knees over the years due to a structural anomaly, and you'd be surprised how much pain can occur with inflexibility.
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Good luck
Old 10-30-2011, 10:03 AM   #3
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Good luck

I did the back pain routine for years...just like you I could bike for four hours or walk for miles feeling fine, but then I'd be a mess later for no apparent reason.

You will get all kinds of conflicting advice -- so please recognize that I'm probably just one in a long line of people giving you ideas that may or may not work for you. I had one physical therapist who told me to limit usage of my back so it could heal. Turned out to be the worst advice I ever got...it atrophied and became worse. Turned into back spasms...fast forward the movie and I'm lying in a cat scanner at 1A with people wondering if I had kidney stones. Bad juju.

My new doctor finally gave me the best and most honest advice: "This is chronic. You have to find the stretches/exercises that work for you and then do them every day for the rest of your life." Got a new physical therapist and she got me on a regimen that keeps it in check. If I take even two days off I regress quickly. But I've gotten it from being debilitating to being a nuisance that I address before my morning coffee.

I'd also recommend a tempurpedic ("space foam") mattress. They're incredibly expensive, but they work magic. Got mine from Dornia but there are lots of other brands.

Good luck! You can fix it!
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:49 AM   #4
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I have had chronic back pain as a result of major surgery which changed my back structurally 45 years ago. Learning to live with and manage my pain level has been and continues to be an ongoing process. What I have learned is to:

1. Start any new stretching, exercise or other activity gradually. Pay attention to your body. If pain increases, stop.

2. When you find a stretching or exercise regime that makes things better or at least doesn't make things worse, be disciplined about continuing it.

3. As you age you will probably have to give up activities you used to be able to tolerate. You can fight this process but you can't avoid it. You have to be willing to modify activities in order to continue them.

4. Give different treatment modalities a try (one at a time and gradually) until you find one or more that work for you. Over the years I have tried: chiropractic, trigger point injections, massage, acupuncture, anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotic pain meds, various types of back braces, topical gels, creams, etc.

The last doctor who looked at the MRI of my back said "most people whose MRI looks like this come into my office in a wheelchair. You must be doing something right so keep doing it."
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:07 PM   #5
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I also had lower back pain a couple of years ago after trying to fix a tire. I do exercises in the gym to strengthen my back and seems to have worked. I do a series of lat pull downs and other exercises. I also hang from a bar. Good luck.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:37 PM   #6
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This book is a good one:

Amazon.com: 7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life: How to Rapidly Relieve Back and Neck Pain (9780452282773): Robin McKenzie, Craig Kubey: Books

The best part of the book is the description of how the guy discovered the technique:

MacKenzieMethodDiscovery.jpg
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:01 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear about your problem Wally. I had pain deep in one or other of my hips many times this last 7 months when hiking up and down hills for several hours at a time in Yorkshire. However, it didn't come on just by standing still like it does for you. For me, ibuprofein and a soak in the tub fixed me up.

We have had a tempurpedic mattress for many years now and it is great. However, on holiday in England this year we wanted to get a good mattress, but since we only needed it for 7 months, we bought a double size "hybrid". A sprung mattress with memory foam topper built in. Cost was £250 ($400) and it was excellent.

Good luck ongoing, let us know what the Doc says and how you get on with any treatment and/or exercises that work.
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
This book is a good one:

Amazon.com: 7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life: How to Rapidly Relieve Back and Neck Pain (9780452282773): Robin McKenzie, Craig Kubey: Books

The best part of the book is the description of how the guy discovered the technique:

Attachment 13015

Thanks to all for the responses. I ordered the book already and will keep you posted on progress.

Thanks again,

Wally
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:03 AM   #9
 
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I had pain that originated in the hip and eventually it proved to be siatica. It got so bad that some mornings it would take an hour after waking up for the pain to go away. I tried everything and eventually had to have back surgery. The sciatica was gone but now I can't lift more than 10 lbs without getting back strain (the lessor of 2 evils). I had 2 bad disks (1 was replaced), my spine was straightened & my lower back was fused). I suggest you see an orthopedist. Better to rule out all possibilities then to guess.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger
I had pain that originated in the hip and eventually it proved to be siatica. It got so bad that some mornings it would take an hour after waking up for the pain to go away. I tried everything and eventually had to have back surgery. The sciatica was gone but now I can't lift more than 10 lbs without getting back strain (the lessor of 2 evils). I had 2 bad disks (1 was replaced), my spine was straightened & my lower back was fused). I suggest you see an orthopedist. Better to rule out all possibilities then to guess.
I've learned to have sympathy for people with lower back and hip pain. I didn't know what the term pain meant until my back went out for a few weeks this past summer for no reason. I have dealt with a few ongoing issues though none as painful as what some of you have. In laymans terms, I think I was just getting old, stiff, and dryed up in my lower back, knees, and hips. By stretching and changing my workout to address these issues, I feel 15 years younger. Though I am not dumb enough to start training like I'm 15 years younger, thankfully. I have heard from people how painful sciatica can be. I hope I never learn from first hand experience.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:07 PM   #11
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I had sciatic pain earlier this year, resulting from a herniated disc. The best remedy I found was the MacKenzie method. The book Trombone Al is talking about above is worth every penny. For me the results were noticeable after doing his stretches for just a couple of minutes. If you end up going to see a physical therapist, ask if they are MacKenzie certified, and if they are not then call a different one who is.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:03 PM   #12
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I'm continuing to do my stretches every day -- highly recommended.

When I play piano for many hours I do the main two Mackenzie stretches every half hour or so.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:19 PM   #13
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The glutes are very complex and trigger points in that area can refer pain all the way down to you toes. I would highly suggest going to a physical therapist or a massage therapist trained in Neuromuscular Therapy via ABMP site. It could also be your hamstrings that need to be stretched out. If you can, find a good yoga instructor in your area via the NAMASTA site.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:22 PM   #14
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Hi Kids,

I didn't go to the doctor (HSA and $5k deductible) but bought T Al's book THANK YOU! It's been 2 weeks doing the Mckenzie stretches and I can stand for 10 minutes or so before some pain starts but it is much reduced. I had to drive 18 hours over 2 days (home for Turkey Day) with McKenzie Lumbar pads and couldn't do as much stretching as I would have liked but no worse. Going to continue for a month more and decide whether to see Ortho.

Thanks Again Al....GET THE BOOK IF YOU HAVE LOWER BACK PAIN!!!

Take Care,
W
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by wallygator69 View Post
Hi Kids,

I didn't go to the doctor (HSA and $5k deductible) but bought T Al's book THANK YOU! It's been 2 weeks doing the Mckenzie stretches and I can stand for 10 minutes or so before some pain starts but it is much reduced. I had to drive 18 hours over 2 days (home for Turkey Day) with McKenzie Lumbar pads and couldn't do as much stretching as I would have liked but no worse. Going to continue for a month more and decide whether to see Ortho.

Thanks Again Al....GET THE BOOK IF YOU HAVE LOWER BACK PAIN!!!

Take Care,
W

I'd love to hear updates from people. How's it working for you? Which exercises, how often? Any tips?

My back problems seem to have gone from rare, acute attacks, to a more chronic situation. Since Turkey Day, it seems I keep getting a 'twinge' from some small activity, and it tightens my back up and limits what I can do. By the time I'm 90% normal, I get another 'twinge' and it starts all over again. Got one yesterday just bending a little, no weight, and I was in bad shape. Arggghhhh!

I've got the McKenzie book out of the Library a few weeks ago - started doing the exercises 'by the book' yesterday. Previously, I skimmed the book and started paying attention to keeping that 'lordosis' in my spine and a few of the exercises, and it seemed to help, but obviously that was not enough.

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I spent a lot of time lying flat on my back with the iPod touch, posting, reading and listening to music. But it's true that it's hard to avoid sitting.

The Gokhale stretch-sitting technique is also a good tool here.

I'm reading the mckenzie book now (7 steps to...). It recommends some exercises (eg touching toes) that other books warn against.
I got the impression that lying on your back is bad too (or at least w/o a 'lumbar roll')?

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I'm continuing to do my stretches every day -- highly recommended.

When I play piano for many hours I do the main two Mackenzie stretches every half hour or so.
Which stretches? The book could have used a good editor - the names of some exercises are similar and then he refers to them by number, but the pictures have 'figure' numbers that don't match, etc.

Anyhow, one BIG problem I'm having - I'll do EX #1, #2, #3, and feel much better, but then I can't get up off the floor w/o straining myself, and I feel as bad as when I started! Defeats the whole purpose! Any tips for how to get yourself up off the floor w/o straining your back again?

IS there a good forum for people using the McKenzie technique? Maybe that would be a good place to go. Time to do the EX and get away from the computer.


Later - ERD50
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:39 PM   #16
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Hello.

Mine is muscular and I have cut back on the Mckenzie a bit because it does sometimes aggravate it. I frankly just mix up every stretch I know for a back and try not to overdo any, including Mckenzie. I went for a deep tissue massage and it helped. . I have the luxury of a Hot tub as well.

I am having great luck laying on a billiard ball just to the left of my spine and moving it around. I digs deep and works the muscle that you can feel that runs from the middle of your butt cheek straight up about 6-8 inches parallel to your spine. My pain appears to be related to this muscle but kind of behind it. Now chiro leans up and down on this muscle as well and appears to help.

Moderation is the key especially in the beginning but I would maake sure it is muscular and not nerve before over doing it.

Good luck,

See ya,

Wally
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:45 PM   #17
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These are the stretches that I do every day. It only takes a few minutes (I wouldn't do it otherwise):

Stretches.jpg

The neck stretch involves sliding your head back but not tilting it, and the Ingela stretch involves trying to touch your shoulder blades together.

I think the Mckenzie press up and knee raise are the most important, but I have no way of knowing.

Currently, my back gets sore if I play the piano for several hours, but my stretching seems to get rid of all the pain. That is, it will be sore, I'll do my stretching, and all pain will disappear completely. I also try to stop and do the press up and touch my toes every 20 minutes or so.

I think that strengthening is important also; I do side planks a few times per week.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:07 PM   #18
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Thanks T-Al, I'll look into those. Right now, I'm doing the #1, 2, and 3 that McKenzie reccs for an acute case, because this got very bad for me overnight. And the #4 standing back-stretch whenever I feel I need it in between.

I've been doing them every two hours all day. Doing better, but it's tough to know cause/effect. I dread sleeping tonight, because morning is always the worst. I'm using a towel as a make-shift 'lumbar roll', again, who knows if it helps or hurts?

But I found a way to get up off the floor after doing the stretches - I stacked two cushions, and I crawl up onto them. That gets my hips high enough that I can roll over to my knees, and get up. Rolling to my knees from that height is soooo much easier on my back than trying to roll up from the floor.


As I started to read the book, I really paid attention to not bending my back forward, esp when getting out of a chair. But then he says, once you are better, you need to start adding in some of those 'flexion' stretches to maintain flexibility. But he does it very slowly, and gently, several weeks with one exercise before progressing to the next. The thought of touching toes makes me want to scream! But that only starts after many weeks of gentler stretches, and he says do the toe touches only once or twice a week, and always at the end of the day. And always follow these 'flexion' stretches with the extension stretches.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wallygator69
Mine is muscular and I have cut back on the Mckenzie a bit because it does sometimes aggravate it.
I can't really say if mine is muscular or not. It's not at all like sore arm or leg muscles after over-exerting them. And I fit the profile almost perfectly that McKenzie describes.

On Christmas Day, I got a 16# roast in and out of the oven with no problem. That's an awkward reach, but I paid close attention to how I lifted. Next day, I carry a 50# salt block to the basement, and lower it into the brine tank - again, just about the worst motion possible, but I was very careful to keep my back arched back, use my legs, and no problem. Then I place a 2 ounce item on a lower shelf - and WHAMMM! I get all tightened up and can barely get out of bed the next AM. The unexpected nature of this is frightening.

Oh well, this is nothing compared to what some people go through. Gotta tough it out and get better.

-ERD50
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:21 PM   #19
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On Christmas Day, I got a 16# roast in and out of the oven with no problem. That's an awkward reach, but I paid close attention to how I lifted. Next day, I carry a 50# salt block to the basement, and lower it into the brine tank - again, just about the worst motion possible, but I was very careful to keep my back arched back, use my legs, and no problem. Then I place a 2 ounce item on a lower shelf - and WHAMMM! I get all tightened up and can barely get out of bed the next AM. The unexpected nature of this is frightening.
This is what I don't get, either. People seem to be as likely to throw out their backs due to picking up a pencil as due to lifting heavy items, even at awkward angles. That is so ridiculous!

Back injuries are miserable and I am glad I seldom get them. At the gym, I am doing some pretty heavy workouts on the back extension machine and other back machines, that I worked up to gradually. Still, I have no confidence that these will prevent any further back trouble.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:46 PM   #20
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This is what I don't get, either. People seem to be as likely to throw out their backs due to picking up a pencil as due to lifting heavy items, even at awkward angles. That is so ridiculous!
How absolutely true this is W2R! I have picked up literally tons of firewood, done all types of garden work digging or digging out large heavy rocks, shoveled tons of snow and nothing seems to bother my back but drop a toothbrush and bang!

A doctor once told me this is rather typical, it's the quick movement for something inconsequential that will throw out your back. Presumably when we do heavy work and lifting we are more careful.

I have found the surest way to have lower back pain is to slouch when sitting. I'm careful to always sit very upright.
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