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Seeking the collective wisdom of Mnset wrt lower back pain (not pregnancy related)

(19 Posts)
SpareCrust Wed 25-May-16 12:19:33

I just wondered if anyone out there has suffered with two or three bouts of lower back pain (severe enough to confine them to bed for two or three days) from which they have recovered completely?

If so, what has helped the most? (Regular physio, losing weight and getting fitter?) Or did it just recover by itself?

Or are you always plagued by it intermittently from there on in?

For context, I should add that I'm seeking advice for myself. (I'm in my early fifties, overweight and unfit.) I had my first back related "incident" in Feb. I didn't injure myself but woke up immobile having spent the previous day doing a lot of bending. I had to call out the doctor who gave me an injection and I could move again after about three days. I had a couple of physio sessions and eventually recovered and thought that was that.

Unfortunately though I had an unexpected recurrence of the same thing the day before yesterday (although not quite the same severity) which is bizarre because I hadn't been doing anything out of the ordinary or particularly strenuous.

I'm worried now that I should be actively doing something to stop this recurring and would appreciate any advice/info from anyone who has been through the same thing. Thanks in advance for any tips!

SpareCrust Wed 25-May-16 13:46:01

Anyone?

SpareCrust Wed 25-May-16 17:22:58

Bumping ...

TheTartOfAsgard Wed 25-May-16 17:32:08

I had an awful backache for months - tried physio, pain killers, diazepam, deep heat, yoga nothing helped.

I had my lower wisdom tooth removed and the back pain disappeared!

eurochick Wed 25-May-16 18:06:15

Core exercises helped me. Pilates would be a good place to start. The core muscles act like a corset to keep everything aligned when they are trained properly.

StickyProblem Wed 25-May-16 18:10:55

McTimoney Chiropractic sorted mine out. It started in my mid-20s (bent down to hoover without the extra tube, couldn't get up afterwards) and went on for years but the McTimoney did really help. It would come back when I got tired..

Also some Alexander Technique type principles about always sit straight with your feet flat on the floor etc. If your normal way to sit on a chair is with your legs crossed at the knee you could be doing your back in that way.

It doesn't come back now ever - since childbirth. I guess something went back into place. I do have other crosses to bear mind you!

Good luck OP, it's a vile thing, you feel like it can't be happening.

MatildaTheCat Wed 25-May-16 19:02:31

The immobility is very likely your back muscles going into spasm. They do this to protect an injury usually. After an episode like your last one,mits can be incredibly easy to provoke another episode and sometimes they can take longer and longer to resolve.

I suggest GP for pain killers and possibly diazepam to relax the muscles. Heat to relax the muscles. Rest, potter and rest. Avoid sitting so lie down propped up comfortably with knees bent and supported then walk around. When the pain begins to subside find an excellent Pilates instructor and learn the basics before joining a small class, a rehab one if possible.

If this continues you might need a scan to diagnose the problem but TBH back pain generally does resolve but it can easily become a chronic problem without a lot of work by you. Losing weight would almost certainly help but I guess you know that. smile

Feel free to join the back pain support thread.

OnTheMove28 Thu 26-May-16 09:55:23

I've just been to see my GP about the same problem (not so severe to leave me immobile but persistent niggle). She said pretty much what Matilda said above. Most likely muscles going into spasm in response to a long term injury probably caused by eg. carrying DCs on one hip for a period of time, sitting with legs crossed and other posture-related things. Long term she said it is something that can be resolved but needs you to be vigilant about posture, the right kind of exercise, and use of painkillers/heat gels/massage. I'd say it's worth a trip to the GP to find out what is best for you.

lljkk Thu 26-May-16 10:04:31

What OnTheMove28 said all applies to me, too. I have to watch my posture. I've only had 2 truly debilitating events. That was enough!!

SpareCrust Thu 26-May-16 21:36:42

Thank you so much for all of your really helpful replies. Sorry to only come back on here now. My back has gone again and I am finding it very difficult to sit for any length of time in front of the computer.

I will look at all the advice tomorrow (from a reclining position) but just wanted to thank you all and to say I have been diagnosed today with a slipped disc.

MatildaTheCat Fri 27-May-16 09:31:30

Sorry you are still suffering. Even with the diagnosis (which is useful because you know you haven't gone mad and imagined it), the advice is the same. The sitting is quite possibly the most crucial element of all.

You have to stop sitting. You will definitely delay healing if you keep adding compression to the injury. It's as inconvenient as hell but you have to think longer term.

SpareCrust Fri 27-May-16 13:58:52

Thank you so much everyone!!

Matilda you were spot on! Will be sticking to your advice. Sitting in front of computer is agony so will be very brief!

Back to physio session on Monday. Think this is a warning sign that I radically need to change Internet/sitting/exercise/eating habits - would be v foolish to ignore.

Will seek out back pain support thread when I am through the worst of this (but will prob seek out standing-up computer table first!)

Vile you are so right about the 'not believing it is happening thing' - makes one appreciate a healthy functioning back so much more - will be taking much more care of it in future!

Tart amazing about wisdom teeth!

Have taken everyone's advice on board - will investigate Pilates - and good luck to all those of you with continuing back issues!

Thanks again everyone!

SpareCrust Fri 27-May-16 14:00:29

Sorry that post is rather abrupt.

Typing very fast as can't sit for very long!

Thanks again!

Will put in the work and stop sitting Matilda I promise! Thanks again for v valuable advice!

YokoUhOh Fri 27-May-16 14:10:43

When I went to my GP with lower back spasms, she produced a needle and did acupuncture to 'unspasm' it. Not many GPs do acupuncture, but might be worth investigating an acupuncturist?

YokoUhOh Fri 27-May-16 14:12:17

GP also said that lower back spasm can often be the worst type of back pain: worse than sciatica or a slipped disc. So flowers

SpareCrust Sun 29-May-16 16:20:31

Thank you YokoUhOh I have discovered a truly brilliant physio but if that doesn't work, I am not averse to investigating acupuncture. Really need to put in place a total health/lifestyle overhaul first though!

Not enjoying this reclining lark! So frustrating! Going out for short walks too (also getting quite boring). Done far too much Mnsetting from my Ipod!!

knittingwithnettles Sun 29-May-16 23:11:59

oh, just looked up this thread to find it is you SC sad

my pearl of wisdom is that you can use a laptop from a reclining position ( I am currently lying down in bed hmm with a pillow under my head, it is just a bit less official seeming, but you can still type. I rest laptop on my bent knees at a slight angle.

I am finding driving and sitting makes things a lot worse. Walking really helps as does learning to squat down rather than bend, which is very hard on the ankles and thighs at first but you can build strength in that, just takes a while if you are used to bending over. I am holding in my stomach all the time when I remember, but not holding my breath, so remembering to breathe normally whilst holding the muscles firm round my stomach and lower back (this stops you tensing your neck at the same time)

It is very debilitating and depressing so I think you have to keep reminding yourself that you are going to improve, and that pushing yourself or criticising yourself isn't going to help but self compassion is important (which is not the same as self pity)

Patterkiller Sun 29-May-16 23:16:07

Pilates for me. Suffered for eight years or so then took up Pilates around three years ago and gradually I have very little pain at all.

Bloody love it.

SpareCrust Mon 30-May-16 14:25:01

Interested to see another vote for Pilates (once recovered) - thank you - it is appreciated!

Waves to Knitting!! Thank you so much for all that invaluable advice, including tech advice, duly noted, particularly about the squatting! I obviously need to tone up mahoosively once I am in a position to do so! My "core" is non existent atm! Also noted about the self compassion (still in pity phase at the moment but off to physio again now which will hopefully brighten the spirits!)

I hope the lower backs of everyone who has posted on here are currently in excellent form! Thank you again for all of the tips!

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