I've suddenly begin experiencing chronic lower back pain...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 17, 2012 5:22 AM GMT
    I'm fixing to see a doc or personal trainer soon, but just wanted some opinions beforehand. This happens almost everytime I work my back. I've been working lower back now for 3 years and never had this problem unless I worked lower back with normal soreness.

    However, last week I did Pull ups, machine row thing, and the bi-lateral row thing. My routine for the past few weeks which I'm about to alternate soon. During the workout and the day of my workout, I feel no pain. The next day, it starts. 2 days later, I'm paralyzed.

    My back has been KILLING me! This is like the 3rd or 4th 'fit' I've had and it lasts for days on end after everything else has stopped being sore. It's so bad I can hardly move around without being in pain. If I sneeze (which I do a few times a day) it's unbearable.

    I don't know what I'm doing wrong, except I don't wear a belt (but I never really had to). I've been out of the gym now for a whole week.

    I'm just wondering if others have experienced this and what can be done about it? There's some back stretches I can do to soothe it a bit, but I'm just like why is it hurting so bad to begin with?

    I'm thinking maybe I'm not stretching something enough and it may be pulling on my spinal nerves or something? Sort of like sore knees from tight quads?
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    Jan 17, 2012 6:41 AM GMT
    I know it well, it's why I had to totally give up the gym 10 or so years ago. It hurt so bad sometimes I was in tears trying to crawl from the livingroom couch to the bathroom. At one point I had my partner take me to the emerge and got a morphine shot it hurt so bad. but enough of that... What didn't work was massage therapy or sports therapy clinic sessions where they put you on that rack machine and stretch you.
    A friend suggested his chiropractor but I was dead set against them,, phony's I figured but you'll try anything. I asked my doc first before I went to the chiro and he gave the o.k. and to report back how it went.. The chiro was excellent, just one visit and I was pretty good.. didn't end up going for repeated visits. Still in all it did flare up every couple of months, like if I was tying a shoe, or vacuuming and down on the floor I'd go in agony. I'd go see him again and get fixed.. as well use ice packs.. never heat packs which worsen things. When we got transferred to another city and I had an episode I went to a chiropractor I found in the phone book.. useless.. then another, useless.. finally I asked a truck driver friend who had a bad back who he went to and he suggested this one guy in town all the guys at his place went to.. So I went to him... one visit,, fixed for a time

    Some of the exercises I found helped...
    Lay on your back on the floor, legs together and bring your knees up to your chin and hold and repeat..

    Secondly. This worked well for me..

    Stand with your feet about 20 inches apart and lock your knees and hips straight ahead... then slowly twist your torso left , then slowly right.. make sure your hips, legs etc are locked straight forward while you're slowly twisting your upper body left and right slowly,, keep repeating it

    If you're standing in the kitchen or wherever doing something, like cooking or washing dishes etc at the sink...put a thick book or box on the floor and keep one foot raised on it.. not two feet on floor whenever you're standing in one place for any length of time.

    The only cream that actually helps isn't that A5 or BenGay type stuff.. get yourself some Voltarin Emulgel at the drug store which actually does sink in and reduce inflamation and pain.. It's worth it.. that other shit does not work.

    I don't do much of anything know that puts a strain on my back because I never want to go through that sort of pain again. I haven't had an episode now in just over 2 years and I'm not taking any chances.
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    Jan 17, 2012 8:57 AM GMT
    beneful1 said
    I don't do much of anything know that puts a strain on my back because I never want to go through that sort of pain again. I haven't had an episode now in just over 2 years and I'm not taking any chances.

    So you're saying you don't do any back exercises?

    The back stretches where I bend my back inward hurt the most LOL. It's like it hurts so bad it feels good LOL. It doesn't hurt when I walk, just when I bend down.

    Atleast at this point I'm learning the right and wrong way to pick up things (which, I knew all along for heavy objects. Bend with knees). I can't even lift anything off the floor at this point unless I bend my knees.
  • kanzanrr

    Posts: 11

    Jan 17, 2012 11:38 PM GMT
    Your routine may be creating a muscle imbalance, a good trainer be the one to give you good advice on this.
    I've had a stiff back, infrequently, I just take it easy for a few days and it goes away. The stretches that beneful1 mentioned also help.
    I'm older , swore off the row machine , my back no longer likes it, if it hurts, don't use it my motto.
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    Jan 17, 2012 11:52 PM GMT
    Go see a physiotherapist. They'll sort out any imbalances you have and give you stretches that you can do. I have back problems including lower back issues and I haven't had an incident for the last few years since I started seeing one. You may need to go in for a few sessions but after that it's about making sure you don't have to go back.

    DO NOT see a chiropractor - they're quacks.
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    Jan 17, 2012 11:53 PM GMT

    I used to have serious lower back issues but had a lot of success easing them when I started adding many core workouts, stretching, and even some yoga. I'm not talking a few stretches before and after workouts, but an entire hour dedicated to stretching, yoga, or core strength and stability. It helped me tremendously to avoid back spasms and muscle pulls.

    Hope you can get it worked out, I know how immobilizing back issues can be.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 17, 2012 11:54 PM GMT
    Go here: www.FoundationTraining.com

    And see this related video.
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    Jan 18, 2012 12:16 AM GMT
    I'm a chiropractor, and I hate to admit it, but there are good docs in our profession and bad docs. Unfortunately, the bad ones seem to get the majority of the publicity.

    I would check your insurance (if you have it) and see what your coverage is like for chiropractic and/or physical therapy. If you see a physical therapist, look for a DPT (doctor of physical therapy) as opposed to a PT. You need to have a prescription to see a PT, but not a DPT. Also, they have a bit more training, so if you're having a serious condition like a herniated disc they should be able to pick up on that more quickly.

    As for chiropractors, there are TONS of different types out there. I would recommend checking yelp reviews, and when you call, make sure they address the muscles as well as the joints and will give you some stretching/exercise tips.

    Also, try not to arch your back. That doesn't do anything other than tighten your extensor muscles and slam your facet joints into each other.

    Good luck, man!
  • OutdoorAdvent...

    Posts: 367

    Jan 18, 2012 12:22 AM GMT
    > "I've suddenly begin experiencing chronic lower back pain... "

    This doesn't make sense. Just sayin' :/
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    Jan 19, 2012 2:01 AM GMT
    One product that a Chiropractor recommended to me was the Posture Pump


    It's really fantastic, I was getting chronic lower back pain and numbness down my right leg. Now I use this thing about 5x per week, and I'm completely normal.
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    Jan 19, 2012 2:09 AM GMT
    My sis and husband swear by their whatchamacallit inverter thing where you hang upside down. I tried it for a few minutes and didn't really care for the sensation but I suppose you get used to it.
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    Jan 19, 2012 2:18 AM GMT
    I don't think "chronic" back pain can come on "suddenly."

    Bed rest - two weeks.
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    Jan 19, 2012 2:36 AM GMT
    Can you tell us what the rest of your day entails too? Like, are you on your feet a lot, do you sit a lot, are you active, are you sedentary, do you sleep on your back, etc.

    Some of these factors can complicate a sudden (acute) injury in your back.
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    Jan 19, 2012 2:42 AM GMT
    I think I know what it is. If it's your lower back, your sciatica, you probably need to stretch your piriformis muscle. I had the same symptoms a few years ago, my low back would go out about once a week...it was awful, some days I couldn't even get out of bed. Pretty painful. Anyway, I stretch my piriformis muscle before I start my workout now. I haven't had back trouble in years. Once you start these stretches, your pain should abate within a few hours. Hold the stretch for a count of thirty, and then stretch the other side. Good luck.


    Figure 18 in the above url is the best stretch ever. If you can do it, your pain should release quickly.

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    Jan 19, 2012 9:10 AM GMT
    Thanks for the replies...

    well, most of my day consists of sitting at the computer in my Ikea chair (maybe I need to invest in one of their computer chairs).

    My question, why are chiropractors quacks? LOL. When I had my accident I went to one for 8 weeks and it made me feel better, but at the same time I felt like it was a bit repetitious and not as good as say a massage would be.

    As for the 'chronic' rather than 'acute' symptoms, I say chronic because it's been going on almost every other week or so. There were a couple of exercises that would make it hurt alot, but that was just 3-4 day soreness.

    It's been a week and it still hurts. But I worked my back at the gym today, and stretched my back with some exercises in my Fit and Well textbook and oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo it hurt so good! But I've gotten more flexible and it's not as painful as 2 days ago.

    I can't lay in bed for 2 weeks. However, every since my breakup with my BF, I been getting out of bed at 1 and 2 pm. Yesterday was the 1st day since New Year's Eve that I was able to wake up at 9 am. Then last night I slipped right back into the pattern. When you feel bitter after a breakup, the only consolation is during sleep icon_cry.gif
  • 1man

    Posts: 140

    Jan 19, 2012 10:11 AM GMT
    Had the same issues, esp. my lower back, my doc told me sit on a good cushion, gel or memory foam, the pain has decreased alot.
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    Jan 19, 2012 10:37 AM GMT
    For the love of God, don't go to a chiropractor!

    If the problems arise after working out, then your form sucks.

    Bite the bullet and hire a certified personal trainer.

    It's the little things that matter here:
    1) lower the weight and reps. If you aren't sure of the proper way to handle the equipment or weights, then don't do it until and unless you have someone like a trainer work with you
    2) focus on your posture throughout the day.
    3) DO NOT cross your legs ever again for any reason (trust me)
    4) stretch every morning. There are a few stretches that you can do in bed that don't take a lot of time but are quite beneficial to lower back strength and stability
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    Jan 19, 2012 11:51 AM GMT
    TallJock said

    My question, why are chiropractors quacks?

    Since I said this, I'll give the reason why I said it. I went to a chiro once a month for about 10 years. He cracked my back. That was it. He said it was all "preventative" but rather than actually fixing the problem and getting me to a point where I no longer needed to go, I felt like it was all about if I didn't go my body would fall apart.

    I finally got sick of going. When I next pulled my back, I went to a physio. First up he asked me "What do you want out of this?" I said "To never come back and see you." After the first session he had given me stretching exercises to do and after three sessions I felt as good as new. I didn't need to go back to him for two years. Occasionally I pull my back or neck (I'm 6'3", doesn't take much to twinge it), but generally it's one session and I feel as good as new.

    So that's why I think chiros are quacks. And there's been alot of discussion about this in the higher education sector here in Australia at the moment


    Apologies if you can't read the full story above, The Australian has gone pay-per-view.
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    Jan 19, 2012 12:19 PM GMT
    I had the same problem only to find out that I had two slip discs in my lower back (the L4 and L5 part of it). The cause of this was because I kept overlifting on squats and overhead press while standing. I even did squats while it was in the worst pain and I just took the pain. Not a good idea. I stopped lifting over my head and stopped squats and deadlifts. My lower back is getting alot better. I am currently seeing a chiropractor and they specialize in putting slip discs back in place so this saturday, he is going to work on my lower back. My last appointment with him was great and made my back feel alot better when he put this machine (forget what its called) on my back and it massaged it for 15 minutes. I no longer have pain that I used to 3 months ago. Swimming is also really good for your back.
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    Jan 19, 2012 12:34 PM GMT
    The first thing is to get a diagnosis so go and see the doc. It is vital to exclude a mechanical problem such as herniated disc. But much more likely it is 'functional backache' where no specific cause is found.

    Secondly, keep moving - maintaining your aerobic fitness is vital but avoid the rower and high impact stuff.

    Thirdly, get a good physio and be obsessional about doing the exercises you are given. And talk to the physio about your life style - for example how much time do you spend sitting at work and home without walking around?

    Fourthly, lay off the resistance work until you are better and then return to it only gradually.

    Finally, if you manage it properly it will get better. You will be fine!
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Jan 19, 2012 12:46 PM GMT
    I'm with Jackwinslow on this. First, go see a doctor. Chronic back pain can be an indicator of things more serious than a muscle strain or anything disc-related.

    Then, either see a PT, DPT or a good chiropractor. A good chiropractor will do more than simply adjust your back. Mine does massage and back-related PT as well that are specific to my occasional issues with my SI joint.

    Probably the solution will be a combination of regular stretching and exercises that you can incorporate into your workout in the gym. Until you're completely over your back pain, I would avoid anything that puts undue strain on your back, meaning no squats with a heavily loaded bar (light weights ok; be conscious of keeping good form), and NO DEADLIFTS. Those are the kiss of death for lower back issues.
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    Jan 19, 2012 10:58 PM GMT
    For many years I had suffered back trouble due to showing off, back in 1973, when a lifted a man out of the water with just one hand. I know, that's a long time ago. But I guess we poolside lifeguards like to compete to see how masculine we were, don't we? Ah, foolishness, but again, what do you expect from a group of 20+ year olds?

    Some years ago during a severe bout of back pain, I visited a physiotherapist. He gave me a program of floor exercises which I had found to be very beneficial. There were several exercises but each very similar to each other - basically lying on your back, facing the ceiling with your arms and legs fully extended up in the air, and with them making small circles with hands and feet respectively, without bending the elbows and knees. Then there was that other exercise recommended by the therapist - lying belly down on the floor, arms and legs astride. Lift up your right arm and left leg simultaneously. Gently lower than repeat with left arm and right leg. Lower then repeat, alternatively until twenty lifts are accomplished. A killer of an exercise but strengthens the back muscles and eliminating the pain.

    Be weary about chiropractics. I agree with Dash 8 and Credo on this matter. This profession, if I can call it that, began with an occult spiritualist who received a "revelation" from a deceased doctor that a misplaced vertebrate is the cause of all illness and diseases. It has moved on since then, claiming to endorse, if not embrace, modern medicine, but its original format remains.

    Good luck.
  • metta

    Posts: 44243

    Jan 19, 2012 11:12 PM GMT
    obviously, go see a doc.

    learn about pain management

    I messed up my back almost 20 years ago from doing squats wrong one time. ibuprofen is my friend. ;) (I actually don't take it very much.) I have not had back pain in many years now, but I'm very careful at what I do. I listen to my back and I don't do exercises that pound on my back or joints. I can sometimes feel a slight soreness even now when using the pick ax on my hill in the garden. If I feel soreness, I take an ibuprofen to prevent it from getting worse.

    My RN friend told me that if I start to feel something, to take a larger doss one time to get rid of it right away...something like 600mg.


    I can do lite squats now without any problem, which is fine for me because I don't want to have to get custom tailored pants. I found that using less weight and holding the bar in front instead of in back actually works better for me.

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    Jan 19, 2012 11:29 PM GMT
    TallJock saidThanks for the replies...

    well, most of my day consists of sitting at the computer in my Ikea chair (maybe I need to invest in one of their computer chairs).

    My question, why are chiropractors quacks?

    Not all chiropractors are quacks. Chiropractic is quackery, and that's an important distinction. One of the posters above is a chiropractor. His advice about seeking a physical therapist about the possible injuries to soft tissue was spot on. I would not classify him as a quack. It sounds as though he'll treat someone's symptoms with a responsible approach, and take referrals if a medical professional recommends him.

    A quack is someone who, for lack of a better metaphor, sees all problems as a nail because all he owns is a hammer. A quack has a limited base in knowledge and believes anecdotal evidence is sufficient evidence for efficacy.

    Thus a medical doctor (I'm not going to mention that famous one--oh what's his name, Mehmet Oz--oops, sorry I mentioned it) can be quack. He's a successful, responsible surgeon who inexplicably promotes his wife's reiki practice. He's absolutely unassailable in the field of surgery, which makes his extra-medical claims all that much more tragic.

    You may have encountered a quack chiropractor. The individual you describe who treated you for 8 weeks sounds like they could be a quack. Quacks commonly recommend frequent, unnecessary treatments for purposes of bilking you of money (with minimal to no evaluation of your condition on a visit-by-visit basis).
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    Jan 20, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
    My recommendation is this.

    First see a Medical Dr. Before you go to a PT you need to determine what the problem is and what the cause is. Since it's impossible to diagnose the problem via a forum there are a number of different possibilities. It could be anything from a spinal disc problem, an imbalance in stress from the exercises you are doing, It could be chronic cramping of one of the smaller muscles in your lower back (this usually manifests itself through a short initial moderately sharp pain that seems to dissipate quickly then grows worse over the next 2-4 days). I realize I'm repeating some of the better advice that has already been said, but I'm also leaving out some faulty advice too.

    When lying in bed to sleep, sleep on your sides only. Put a pillow between your knees and keep your legs bent forward at the hips and knees at right angles to your thighs (sort of a loose fetal position.) Avoid sleeping on your back and definitely don't sleep on you stomach.

    Regardless of which problem it is, a Medical Dr will be able to either start treatment or direct you with instruction to a sports Dr, or PT and possibly appropriate Rx such as a muscle relaxant (non narcotic - if the pain and cause indicates it) for for the pain.
    Follow the instructions rigorously and don't restart the exercises until the Dr. says your safe to otherwise you'll quickly be back in the same place.
    This is an important situation where intelligence must supersede bravery, ego and stoicism.