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DH's bad back. Private hospital or does he need to work harder at getting better?

(27 Posts)
Tinklypoo Tue 28-Jun-16 18:06:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Backingvocals Tue 28-Jun-16 18:13:47

I ended up with a chronic back problem which in the end made walking or standing for more than 20 mins difficult. Had an mri which was inconclusive and then gagged around with physios for months. I was reasonably diligent about my exercises but in the end I think there's only so much you can do with ten mins on an exercise ball. I started with a personal trainer and reformer Pilates - at least 2 hours a week for two years plus other exercise. The trainer and Pilates focused on core strength. That's the only thing that's made a difference.

Backingvocals Tue 28-Jun-16 18:15:07

Gagged around = faffed around!

I wouldn't go near back surgery btw unless absolutely in extremist.

Backingvocals Tue 28-Jun-16 18:15:30

Extremist = extremis!!!

Tinklypoo Tue 28-Jun-16 18:16:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Turbinaria Tue 28-Jun-16 18:16:58

Agree with the right sort of Pilates it could make a massive difference. I'd spend the money on getting him yo see an Pilates trainer with experience of dealing with chronic back pain.

SoupDragon Tue 28-Jun-16 18:20:22

I had good results from an osteopath (one of the nice gentle massage-it-back-into-place ones) but without the core strength to hold it all in place it is still vulnerable to getting "put out" again.

Core strength is the key, along with activity - even long walks can be good if nothing else is doable.

HumphreyCobblers Tue 28-Jun-16 18:20:38

DH has moderate back pain, he manages it as best he can by ALWAYS doing his exercises, having acupuncture when the muscles are very tense, having an adjustable desk, making sure he gets appropriate exercise and only taking painkillers if he absolutely has to.

I think it would be sensible for your DH to make a bit more effort, although I know it is hard to get yourself out of a rut, especially when you are in a lot of pain.

I would go with the private scan etc, but with a promise from your DH that he will be proactive about any suggestions made.

Having babies and toddlers around can be awful for the back, I do all the putting in car seats etc as it is crippling for poor DH.

ihatethecold Tue 28-Jun-16 18:22:02

Body control Pilates was the only thing that helped my bad lower back.

SoupDragon Tue 28-Jun-16 18:22:26

At the end of the day, he has to be willing to make changes though. If he won't do the exercises or make changes at work, it doesn't and like he'd be into pilates etc.

Kiwi32 Tue 28-Jun-16 18:42:43

Do you mind me asking if the physio has done much hands-on treatment? If not I would definitely investigate a course of treatment with a private manual therapist like a chiropractor. He would still need to commit to exercise and self-management long term but it makes sense to relax the muscles and get the joints moving, hopefully taking pressure off the nerve, first. I would imagine the cost of a course of treatment would be similar to one private surgical consultation...

ChicRock Tue 28-Jun-16 18:48:53

It sounds like your DH wants some kind of magic pill that'll make it all better and doesn't involve any effort on his part.

If he's overweight, won't make any reasonable adjustments at work and can't commit to a few basic exercises then by all means fork out for a scan and consultation to rule out any underlying problem, but if the advice to manage or improve his condition remains the same, what then?

Doinmummy Tue 28-Jun-16 18:58:08

I would suggest an MRI , X-rays are not recommended for lower back pain as they can be falsely reassuring . I would have the scan done before he gets pulled about by anyone . I have seen patients who have been having physio and once we've scanned them discovered they've actually got broken necks and backs !!

PacificDogwod Tue 28-Jun-16 19:04:20

X-rays are useless for lower back pain - unless caused by a fall from a height or high speed impact, not chronic lower back pain.

MRI scan can look at discs etc - even if he did have a prolapsed disk, the mainstay of treatment is exercise and painrelief/muscle relaxants.

He should be doing the exercises recommended by his physiotherapist daily, a couple of times/day ideally. Doing stretches first thing in the mooring before he gets up can be very effective.

If he is tall AND heavy AND has an ineffective core the physics/the forces of leverage to keep him upright or to allow him to change his position will keep his muscle spasm and pain going.

From what you are posting I think it is highly unlikely that a surgical solution is on the cards for him.

A consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon will cost a couple of hundred quid, and MRI is more expensive. He may want to consider spending the money to here from a 'specialist' that he needs to buck up and do his exercises/lose weight/strengthen his core grin

PacificDogwod Tue 28-Jun-16 19:04:51


to hear from…

I really should proof read. Sorry blush

SquidgeyMidgey Tue 28-Jun-16 19:33:04

DH has a broken back and has to work hard at keeping going. If your DH won't even do regular exercises the physio has set I don't see what he thinks he stands to gain from going private, they can't wave a magic wand. Manipulation is very bad news for my DH but the stuff the physio sets him works wonders. Your DH just needs to get into a routine of doing them as part of his day.

Tinklypoo Tue 28-Jun-16 19:41:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Turbinaria Tue 28-Jun-16 22:50:07

I'd ask the physio department at your local hospital to recommend someone as often they work with Pilates trainers

Patterkiller Tue 28-Jun-16 22:57:47

Honestly he needs to work at it. I suffered for eight years or more with back pain and thought that it was just how it was. Then started Pilates class and at home daily ten minutes core exercises I gradually improved and now rarely suffer with any pain.

A small class or private session with a decent instructor with back care experience is worth every penny.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Tue 28-Jun-16 23:03:14

There are quite a lot of physios that do Pilates, you can google. I go to a Body Control Pilates class which is pretty good as the instructors are highly trained and modify all the exercises to suit everyones problems, small class sizes too (max 12 but ours is rarely more than half a dozen).

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Tue 28-Jun-16 23:10:24

But do get him scanned. My Dh had a bad back that turned out to be something really terribly serious. If we had known what was wrong we could have saved him a couple of years of pain.

Quodlibet Tue 28-Jun-16 23:21:47

Yep, Pilates is the way forward. If you have a bad back due to low core strength it isn't going to get better without consistent effort to redress the weakness.

I had 4 years of recurrent pain after 2 slipped discs in my late 20s. Did a 10-session block of dynamic Pilates and turned a corner - since then (5 yrs) my back has been fine. But I still do maintain my core strength.

MatildaTheCat Wed 29-Jun-16 09:02:55

You should be aware that in private hoepitals you are more likely to be offered surgery for back pain than within the NHS. Mild to moderate chronic back pain is really very unlikely to benefit from surgery unless there was some very specific cause. If you see an orthopaedic surgeon as suggested above you are asking for a surgical opinion so be careful.

Since he hasn't really put his back into ( grin ) the rehab please do encourage that. There is so much that helps. Walking, moving, avoiding long periods of sitting, weight loss, Pilates, heat.

I see a private rehab therapist who does both massage and Pilates one to one and she's excellent. Rehab therapists are like physios but concentrate on injuries. That does help me but I do have to exercise in between.

I went down the private route and it was the worst decision of my life.

Turbinaria Thu 30-Jun-16 23:26:16

I do Pilates, yoga and swimming weekly to maintain my core muscles and flexibility. It also helps I have some variety in the type of exercises. I have not have an acute back episode for 5 years since adopting this exercise regime. I also accept I will have to do it for the rest of my life if I want to prevent back pain.

disappoint15 Thu 30-Jun-16 23:55:39

I do Pilates once a week, 30 mins osteopath weekly, 30 mins stretching/exercises daily, hour massage monthly, about 7miles walking daily. This is time consuming and expensive but after 3 nasty exacerbations 2 years ago I take it very seriously now.

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