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Lower back issues


Isotope
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They are infrequent, but when they hit, man. Gotten them since I was young and they get progressively worse.

I'm currently in one.

I can't stand up straight, my whole left side is shorter than my right. I look like effing Quasimodo. Kind of scary for a 30 yr old. Transitioning from sitting to standing and vice versa is hell, shot of 7-8 pain scale. I have to sit down and rest walking the 30 yards from my department building to my car. Laying flat on my back is still painful. I finally broke down and went to the sports med doctor yesterday.

Verdict is total loss of curvature in lower spine plus extreme muscle spasm. Steroid shot and RX for muscle relaxer, NSAID, and referral for physical therapy.

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I've had so many friends and family with life-long lower back problems. I had been blessed until a few months ago when I had a week of problems after doing no more than my normal pittance of physical activity. Advil, heat, and rest had me good as new until a little over a week ago. I lifted a well-loaded garbage can OVER the tailgate of the truck instead of lowering the tailgate. I small twinge, but fifteen minutes later it started to really ache. Heat and hydrocodone that night then naproxin sodium the next two days. I'm fine again. And, at 62 a bit wiser as to what the old rusty hardware is no longer capable of!

I do pity you young folks, and hope you can find a fix. Life is too much fun to go through with a bad stem.

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I hope physical therapy works for you. I've also been dealing with back pain/sciatica on and off for years and haven't hit my 30th birthday yet, so I sympathize with you. It's amazing how poorly designed much of our environment is, particularly if you're on the shorter side - two hours in a chair with too pitched a backrest (hello, trains and movie theaters) or too long a seat can result in major pain. Being more attuned to how I position my body was the most valuable thing I got out of PT - it was very helpful to be able to isolate and work on various weakened muscle groups, rather than cheat around them. Best wishes.

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Also dealing with a lot of back issues from work and trying to combat them before they get really bad. As of right now, I am seeing a massage therapist weekly (probably the best thing you can do), bought a foam roller for home, and will start seeing a network chiropractor once my muscles are sufficiently loose. Acupuncture and yoga will also help you tremendously. I know that all of this holistic stuff sounds like new age hippy crap, and if you think that then it's your loss, but it really does help and is essentially meant to work with the way that your body is naturally built and moves to help heal with internal facilities as opposed to external ones. I hope you feel better asap!!

And also just know that this is something that you will have to deal with continuously, but if you do then it should be really mild and end up as just routine maintenance instead of "oh fuck this is a problem that I need to fix."

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The best that my back ever feels is after jiu-jitsu. My job is hours of sitting with intermittent intense activity, which for many is a recipe for injury. Rolling around at the gym helps loosen everything up, while building up the strength to support my back.

I've also seriously considered yoga as a supplement.

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Stuart McGill is good on on low back issues (backfitpro.com).

His school of thought is that for your lumbar spine to be well supported and healthy you actually want the low back strong and stable, not too stretchy.... He talks about developing 'super stiffness' in the core muscles and muscles around the lumbar spine. He recommends a lot of planking and asymmetric weighted carries ... not so keen on things that bend the spine, like crunches and twists.

He cautions against too much stretching of the lower back (including some yoga).

If you MRId the general population a huge portion of them would show up things like bulging discs, stenosis, degenerated discs etc The question is why some people are asymptiomatic and others have pain and discomfort... It's quite subjective, it seems. McGills view is that people with stronger backs seem to do better or report less symptoms if they train after having issues.

If I was on the west coast of the U.S I would also try to get to a Kelly Starrett ( mobilitywod,com ) seminar. He does some really good stuff on posture and it would be relevant to those of us forced into sitting / hunching a lot when we work.

I feel like training can relieve things (although I've also jacked my neck up pretty well through BJJ) but at the end of the day it's your daily posture and work life that make or break you.

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I feel for you Isotope. Hope you're able to get everything straightened out, no pun intended.

I had a similar issue with my neck about a year ago. Tweaked my neck one day at work and didn't think much of it. A few days later I wake up and can't even move my head to the side, let alone get out of bed. Severe muscle spasms had straightened out my cervical spine like a board.

Best of luck to you, and it looks like you've already gotten some pretty good advice from ppl here with similar experiences. I may have to look into some of this, because I still regularly feel stiffness in my neck, and my biggest fear is that I'm going to have issues for the rest of my life.

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I mind a disc in my neck pretty carefully. Generally no issues with it now but I had several months of unpleasantness in the beginning.

Constantly keeping my head back, chin tucked a little (no forward head posture) and keeping my shoulders back and down.

When I train I'm careful not to put my neck in a weak position and if someone is really trying to hang off it in a martial arts class I'll just tap out (which was probably part of my problem ... ignoring stuff like that in my 20s).

There is a big debate about whether direct neck training and strengthening is s good idea. The neck is trickier than the lower back and personally I stick to isometrics with some manual resistance with it (other people do some pretty heavy duty work with wrestlers bridges, weighted harnesses etc). I just do things like pressing against my hand in various planes from time to time. You're indirectly strengthening your neck with a lot of other training anyway.

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All great advice here. good luck with treatments, it's a journey for sure.

I am recommended for surgery on my lower back at the moment that I have been trying to put off. I am only 24, and have had degenerative discs since I was 18 and rampant sciatica. I have definitely tried it all, and out of the spinal injections, shots, pain killers (that I do not take often, just have a nice collection going from throughout the years)... the only thing that has worked was strength training, and core exercises. But you just have to be extra cautious about it.

It is quite annoying when back pain holds me back from being as active as I want to be. I of course take it too far most of the time.

not that we have the same issues at all, just my whining adding to the mix.

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I get lower back spasms every few years. Absolutely crippling at times. In my case, a cold draft (not the drinking type..) can kick it off. Stepping off a curb the wrong way too. I do have to watch the way I sit on couches and soft chairs. My car seat has great lumbar support.

I really effed it up doing a tile floor in my bathroom in 1999. To do the grouting, I had to keep giving the sponges to my wife to rinse out & bring back to me. Once down on the floor, there was no getting back up.

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I feel your pain @Isotope. I've been experiencing lower back pain over the course of two years but only just recently got it checked out when the pain became to much. Since then I found out just how screwed my back really is. Herniated disk between T12-L1 which luckily isn't pressing on any nerves. Old anterior wedge compression fractures for T7 T8 and T9 with degenerative disc disease and a slight S scoliosis. Lying down on a table to get tattooed for extended periods of time pretty much sucks. I almost couldn't get up off the table the last session I had. I've been going to physical therapy for about 2 months now and it has been helpful. I concur with @RoryQ sentiments on proper posture. I didn't know how bad my posture was until I went to therapy and learning a lot of issues I have may be caused from years of bad posture.

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