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Advice on back pain please from those who suffer!(21 Posts)
Ok in a nutshell 2 years ago this Dec simply bent down picked a towel uo and tore a ligament lower back/top of bottom muscle to the left. Spasms and huge pain couldnt walk. Dr perscribed diclafenac which relaxed the muscle so I could at least walk to the toilet etc... took at least 2-3 months to start to feel ok. Stopped all excercise eg. Zumba and kettles for a good year. Also Ive never had any physio and many friends say I should but gp said would really do much.
So over the last 2 years ever now and again same thing happens no where near as bad as before but painful for a couple of days. Usually happens if Ive lifted perhaps something a little heavy. So Saturday I lifted a medium heavy shopping bag out of the trolly into the car and then out of the car to the house. Sunday I couldnt move back was so stiff went into spasm really painful. Took myself to the Drs who realky didnt say much just that it's muscular told me to do exercises to strengthen and has now given nexflen. Didnt feel I need any physio. Tablets are relaxing muscle and I can move around but 4th day in and still in pain.
Im suppose to be travelling on Sat to an event for DS I wont be driving DH will. Wondering if sitting in the car will do me any good.
Just looking for advice and some kind of understanding on why this atea seems so weak and will it always be like this?
How long will you be in the car for? I would take and ice pack and a hot water bottle and alternate between the two.
In the long term, I saw an osteopath, and the built up my strength at the gym. Had back pain for around 20 years.
Ok, yesterday I was doing kettlebells and my lower back went into spasm. Nothing torn, no disc problem, (so nowhere near as serious as your original problem) just muscle spasm, but it was utter agony.
The instructor (who has done some physio training) told me to do some gentle lateral stretches which he supervised for about 30 minutes. Made a MASSIVE difference. It still hurts, particularly if I sit still for a while, but those small and gentle stretches are helping.
By comparison I had an almost identical spasm 10 years ago (from awkward and repeated lifting) and went to see my GP who advised me to do nothing but take ibuprofen as it would go away in time. It took two flipping weeks to do so.
Personally I would pay to go and see a physio (don't wait for GP referral, it'll take forever). Apart from anything else, I think if you have pain in one part of your back, you tend to hold the rest of it awkwardly, and risk further damage.
There are lots of videos on youtube about strengthing one's "core" which seems to be a ridiculous word for all the muscles in your abdomen & back.
Anyway, maybe you could research youtube videos for strengthening your back. I have had to learn what triggers my back problem... and not to do it!
I've got ankylosing spondylitis (like rheumatoid arthritis but in the spine and pelvis, and elsewhere).
Yoga and Pilates make a big difference. It's both about building up the core muscles to support my joints and also increasing my flexibility (or at least maintaining it/helping with stiffness). The yoga also helps with pain controls bit.
Swimming is also a good idea - but not breaststroke, which puts too much pressure on my lower back. I tend to swim backstroke as I hate front crawl.
My DD had physio and was put on a pilates course in the physio unit which helped loads. While waiting for her referral she would take a small cushion to school to give her back support while sitting and use a heat pad or tens machine. The tens machine was the best buy ever. She wore it daily for months. Thankfully we seem to be coming out the other side now.
I had a similar injury and have been on a physio led programme of Pilates ever since (initially was on diazepam and ibuprofen). It's maxing and making a real difference only 2 weeks in.
Worth getting a referral to a physio if you can? Yes is all about building core strength.
Btw I had a deep tissue massage too which did NOTHING and even made the pain worse.
The things that helped me were swimming, yoga, stretching and pain killers. If I sit for too long it kills my back. Now I am better kettlebells keeps it at bay. Back pain is a fucker, good luck.
Just re read your op! Since doing all that I haven't (touch wood) had any real pain in 6 yrs Inc 2 c secs with massive 10lb babies. Took a yr to recover but had a wedding and back packing trip to prep for.
Getting my weight down also helped (still a chubba mind).
I've had a problem with my back ever since having kids, and it really went to a bad peak a few years ago where the slightest thing ended up with me on my back on the lounge floor and painkillers for 5 days. My GP referred me for physio and it was literally a lifesaver. They taught me how to improve your core muscles, and that gentle exercise such as swimming/walking is the best way to get past the spasms rather than rest and painkillers. I'm lucky now that if I do manage to set mine off, I can manage it without drugs (even Naproxen wasn't touching it or codeine) and I walk several miles a day. A decent bed mattress is also essential, I hadn't realised how unsupportive ours was.
Pilates here too. Had several issues with my back over the years and Pilates has helped strengthen my core and glutes which support the weak joints. Physio / Chiro help if I have an acute attack like you describe but really to avoid repeat incidents you need to get proper advice in which areas to strengthen
Ok so I need to get exercising once inital pain is controlled. Last 3 days Ive been just sitting on the sofa with hot water bottle only really moving for the toilet or cups of tea. Ive got 2 more days before the 2hour trip so am going to do stretching.
Trip is around 2 and a half hours so plan to do 40 mins then stop walk arou d stretch etc then set off again another 30/40 mins
I've had a similar situation to you, albeit in different muscles. It started 20 years ago and I've had 2 very acute periods (trip to a&e, months of recovery etc)
I've always found osteopaths to work for me and recently acupuncture which has been amazing.
I also just realised how healing heat is for me so now I rest and use a hot water bottle at the first twinge and that usually heads off major problems. Such a simple thing but so effective!
I know I need to strengthen my core so I'm about to start Pilates.
My mum is a nurse and refused to let me sit down. You need to take painkillers and try and keep moving as much as poss - even though it kills. I did hamstring stretches that seemed to help the most. Good luck
Cross post. I see you're already doing HWB.
Those sticky heat pads are good for when you cans use a bottle.
My osteopath told me not to use deep heat for long periods though, something to do with deposits forming unde the skin.
Oh, topical ibuprofen gel really works too. I was sceptical but it's great, easily as good as tablets.
I have major spinal issues and have had surgery/waiting for more surgery, so sore backs are one of my specialist subjects!
Learning core abdominal exercises can be helpful - it can take up to 6 weeks to learn how to do them. My spinal physic put me on an ultrasound machine to learn how to even find the muscles in the first place, but I have friends who have taught themselves using YouTube videos. It's a bit like doing kegels.
If spasm gets really bad, then acupuncture is very effective. Diclofenac also good if GP will do you an Rx these day. I use valium for post-op but I'm not a benzo fan, but lots of my back-pain friends and my mother swear by diazepam for it.
Heat is one of my mainstays - I have plug-in heat-up cushions, heat pads, microwave bags, electric blankets, hot water bottles and for car journeys I get the stick-on heat pads (the ones in Poundland are pretty good). Cold doesn't work for me so I avoid ice, but some people really like it.
Definitely keep moving - take meds if you have to, but not moving makes things infinitely worse. If you have spinal surgery, the physio terrorists are round very fast to get you up and mobile. Too much rest just buggers up your muscles.
I find gin helpful too
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