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Back pain - any tips for reducing pain?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by rabid_granny, Dec 2, 2003.


  1. I blew out my sacroiliac joint in August. After a period of (useless) rest and relaxation, I started to go to the chiropractor and lift weights.

    It took about 3 months but I managed to rehabilitate my back and eliminate all back pain...until last Saturday.

    When I woke up, my back pain returned to pre-rehab levels and I couldn't figure out why. As the day went on, my back went back to normal. When I lifted weights the next day, my back felt horrible before and fantastic after.

    One of my kung fu brothers studies natural medicine and said it was all blood circulation. If I keep my back warm and exercised, it stays good.

    Anyone suffer the same problem? Any tips for a crippled bassist?

    [​IMG] Mmmmm...lower back pain....
     
  2. membranophone

    membranophone

    Mar 19, 2000
    Madison, WI
    You might not like to hear this, but I would look into seeing a real doctor and considering surgery. I ruptured my L5/S1 disc in july and suffered through two months of horrible pain before I bit the bullet and got a discectomy. The disc was pushing on the sciatic nerve and giving horrible, indescribeable pain that ran down my entire leg. I couldn't sit down at all for 2 months. I could only sleep for about 2 hours at a time because I would wake up in excruciating pain. Sleeping on the floor helped some, but not much.

    I saw a few chiropractors and physical therapists duuring this time. They didn't provide much relief, so I went to a spine surgeon. 2 hours after my operation I was walking around and functioning normally. I was able to return home only hours after the operation and felt great. I still get leg pain occaisionally but at its worst it is about 5% of the constant pain I was suffering through earlier.
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Amen to seeing an MD......especially a GOOD orthopedic or pain management doc with a track record.

    I haven't had surgery. But from what I've read, a very small percentage of those who have back surgery are satisfied with the result....YMMV I guess.

    They might prescribe fentanyl duragesic adhesive pads for you. Fentanyl makes heroin look like Kool-Aid in terms of strength, but the pads allow only a little to get to your sore spot at a time and last about 3 days. They ain't cheap but hopefully you have some insurance to help, (about $160 for a few pads).
    Zanaflex/tizanidine is a skeletal-muscle relaxant that puts Vioxx and Celebrex in the kiddie category in terms of effectiveness. Plus, it's non-narcotic.

    How do I know? I was in a private plane crash coming back from a gig in Iowa two years ago. Unfortunately, I ended up with a slipped L-6 and a demolished pre-CBS Precis. :rolleyes:
     
  4. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    >>>>> I went thru the SAME thing in 1997. I'm
    doing MUCH better, but do get some
    occasional sciatica and discomfort.
     
  5. canopener

    canopener

    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    It could be stress related, too. I get back spasms when my work-load starts to pile up...
     
  6. You don't want to be stressing your hip flexors too much, so lay off the nookie.
     
  7. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Ya dude, your gonna have to start acting like your 14.
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I had back trouble - sciatica for many years and at one point it meant I was off work for months and in agony for whole days at a time - no sleep, unable to move.

    I was able to see specialists and physiotherapists through my comapny health scheme.

    So I went to see a Harley Street specialist and had MRI scans of my back.

    The consultant said that intrusive surgery rarely works permanently and he always recommends (light) physiotherapy. I went to physiotherapists for a long time and often it didn't seem to be working and I had relapses.

    But it all finished when I went to see this guy who was a sports physiotherapist - he specialised in Rugby injuries. But anyway - he recommended I see a foot specialist, who did discover that my feet were uneven due to problems with ingrowing toenails. I had this corrected and the problems stopped.:eek:

    The physiotherapist explained to me that what he usually found was that people were unevenly balanced on their feet - this put unusual strain on one side of the pelvis, causing you to strain ligaments on your back. His usual treatment was to look carefully with a foot specialist and then create special inserts to put into your shoes - to balance your gait - so no undue pressure was put on one side of your pelvis.

    Looking back I can see that my relapses of back came when I had done a lot of walking and carrying stuff - but once I had the treatment on the toenail, (evened my feet up) I was fine and no matter how much walking I do now, my back is fine! :)
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Actually you're quite wrong there - as a long-time back-pain sufferer I can attest that the movements you make - for example, during penetrative sex with a female partner, actually improve the condition and have a beneficial effect - especially if you're nice and warm - under a duvet for example!! :)


    Here's are some diagrams from a site devoted to back exercises :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    "Place your hands under your shoulders. Straighten your arms and push your body upwards. Let your pelvis sag and rest on the floor. Relax the muscles around your low back and hips completely. It is important that you hold this extended position for one to two seconds before you lower yourself to the starting position. If you feel that the pain is decreasing or localizing, you may hold the position for a little longer. Repeat this exercise ten times.."


    Now what does that remind you of? !! :D
     
  10. ptuckerbass

    ptuckerbass

    Sep 12, 2000
    Orlando, Fl.
    Get the book, "Your Aching Back". It has a ton of good info. Try to get a portable TENS unit if you can. It will bring blood flow to the area, and it offers some relief. I had to eventually get a discectomy on my L5/S1 disc. I had a neurosurgeon do the procedure and the results were fantastic. I had surgery at 4:00pm, and walked out of the hospital at 10:00am the next day.
    Good Luck!
     
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If you can get your doc to prescribe a phys therapist for you, often the PT can loan/rent you a TENS unit which is charged to your insurer. They really can be good. They send electricity to the affected area and sort of "shock" the pain away depending on how strong you decide to set the current.

    Plus, when you get bored, you can take the stimulating patches of TENS unit and place them on "other" body areas and get a real thrill!!! :D
     
  12. BustinJustin

    BustinJustin banned

    Sep 12, 2003
    NYC, LI too
    poke some smot!!!!

    just foolin:D

    try some smack;)
     
  13. I stand corrected. :D
     
  14. but in my experience, a host of back probs can be alleviated with abdominal exercises. very slow and methodical crunches, done with precision, strengthen the muscles that support the back. certain yoga and pilates stances are also very nice. at the very least, they take away some of the tension by taking the weight off the area.

    also investigate deep-muscle tissue therapy [massage], cranio-sacral therapy, rolfing and the alexander technique, which is a movement technique designed to let the body move effortlessly. this would be a real plus if indeed you had foot problems which were causing the pain.


    it's important to be aware of how you move in space. since i have a lot of dance training, i find i'm very conscious of how i sit and stand, and when i bend or lift, i'm careful to exhale when baring weight, so as to not put unnecessary strain on my back.


    lateral motion done sparingly and slowly may also help you.


    as for the diagram posted, i've got two issues:

    1) it looks like it puts more pressure on the lower back, and
    2) the person's shoulders are still up high by the ears. when you're executing that posture, you should focus on your shoulders dropping and your body [spine] elongating.


    practice squeezing your butt muscles very firmly and deeply throughout the day, too. anything to support the surrounding area.



    i hope you're on your feet soon enough and able to get relief without surgery.
     
  15. Has anyone noticed a correlation between temperature and pain? Running with the concept of circulation, I have been keeping my back well-covered while I sleep since Saturday and have noticed that the discomfort has reduced itself significantly. I haven't been applying ice or heating pads so this is the only change to my routine.

    I just went to a martial arts practice on Monday and my back didn't get worse. Could it have been temperature?
     
  16. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I've suffered from an inflammation of the sacro-illiac joint for years and never noticed a correlation to temperature. I live in SOuth Florida and can still have falres ups of the condition.

    I first had the condition after heavy sessions of gardening. What helped were long soaks in a hot bath and then I would sit on my solid, but comfy Barcalounger which had a massage unit and heat. Both heat and massage helped, plus Celebrex.

    So I'd say heat helps once the area is "acting up", but I don't think heat or cold cause the condition. Instead I think it is lengthy spells of having the lower back twisted at some odd angle.

    I've had spells when I couldn't move, sit down, stand up, or anything the pain was so sharp like electrical shocks. I know it is very painful Rabid Granny and if you find a solution, please let me know. I need help with it too.
     
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The other thing I found that helps any type of pain like this is Ibuprofen Gel - you can buy it in tubes and apply it to the affected area - rubbing it in.
     
  18. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Heat causes more blood to flow to the area, which should alleviate the pain somewhat. That's why those (crummy, IMO) thermal patches are selling so well these days.

    Cold stiffens the muscles as the blood flows away. Exercise can either tighten the muscles into knots, (poorly done, like running or lifting weights), or it can improve the muscles' elasticity (positive effect, like yoga or deep massage).
     
  19. Gia

    Gia

    Feb 28, 2001
    roseability
    chuh, just get it removed.