Bad Back - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Insert BS here A place to discuss anything you want

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-10-2014, 07:47 PM   #1
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (21)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 5,687
Total Cats: 560
Default Bad Back

Who has one, and what was/is being done about it?

I hurt my back when I was much younger. Mid 20's, I think. Lifting something with my back instead of my legs, and something popped. Probably a disc. A couple of days of pain, and it healed, and life goes on.

Fast forward to my 40's. Tried to catch a minibike that was falling off a trailer. I lunged sideways and caught it, but my back popped again. Took slightly longer to heal, but eventually it did. A couple years ago I strained it getting ready for camping, and it really hurt for several days. As in, take drugs for it. I NEVER take stuff if I don't absolutely have to.

This year, end of school party for the kids. One kid decides that parents make good sitting targets for the Nerf guns. I decide to take them on instead of taking fire. Held off 4 10-year-olds sporting semi auto Nerf rifles with only a single shot pistol. Twisted wrong bending to get a dart. That night I was stiff. Following day I hurt, but could move, slowly. Day after that I went out on the front porch to sit, and stayed there for 3.5 hours because I couldn't get up out of the damn chair. Week or so later I can move fine, the back doesn't hurt, but the sciatica has started. Intermittent at first, but progressively getting worse. I tell my doctor about it, but it's a minor ache; I don't even take anything for it. We decide on a wait and see strategy.

Well, as the summer went on, the pain got worse. Not the back, that doesn't hurt at all. It's the sciatica: a dull, burning ache in the middle of the butt cheek, with radiating pain running down the back of the leg. One side only. Not really bad for the most part, but it's constant, never ending, with occasional stabbing pains when I bend. Like having a hangnail for 3 months that doesn't heal, and then gets caught on things. Started losing sleep & gaining weight. My blood pressure was rising with the weight gain, not good.

Doctor puts me on Meloxicam, an arthritis medication. First week was wonderful. Felt better than I had in at least a month. Second week, pain is starting to come through in spite of the drug. Tonight, week three, pain is back. Doctor and I have discussed surgery (which he had himself 8-10 years ago), and I think I may have to do it. I do not like the odds.


So, who here has had any back problems. How severe, what was done about it, and did it solve the problem? Anyone her have any kind of back surgery? Therapy/chiropractor or other treatment? What do you do to manage constant pain?
rleete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2014, 09:59 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Round Pond, ME
Posts: 711
Total Cats: 18
Default

I've been fortunate, in that I had some pretty bad sciatica that eventually got better by itself after about 3 months. It wasn't constant though - just after about 15 minutes of sitting, then gone after walking around for a while. If yours is anything like I had, but all the time, I can't imagine living with it for even a day or two.

A guy I work with has had the full-time variety for a couple months. He just finished 5 or 6 sessions with a chiropractor in the last 2 weeks, and he swears it's much better.

My personal preference is for anything before surgery. But my younger brother has had spinal surgery twice in the last 5 years, and it's unlikely that he'd be self-propelled without both.

I realize this has been kind of a non-answer, but I've used a chiro in the past for more minor stuff, and it seemed to help some. I would try that before going the surgery route- especially if your insurance will cover it(Paging Joe Perez!).
xturner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2014, 10:44 PM   #3
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Volo, IL
Posts: 1,247
Total Cats: 140
Default

I'm currently in physical therapy for 2 herniated discs. Doing my best to avoid surgery, but I spend a lot of my day sitting and that's not good for me at all. Coupled with a hour long commute and all of my cars have a clutch pedal, I'm having a bear of a time healing.

I've been using the McKenzie institute techniques in the last few weeks to try to heal myself, and it's helping quite a bit. I would highly recommend checking it out.
dieselmiata is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2014, 11:24 PM   #4
Elite Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Granbury, TX
Posts: 6,010
Total Cats: 583
Default

Lower back (L5-S1) and two neck discs, courtesy of Martin-Baker.

The lower back was a bear, went through serious bouts for 5 years. In the end, I was on crutches for 6 months with a numb leg and a legit handicapped sticker. Utter misery. Had surgery at the VA and it was really successful. That was 18 years ago.

The neck discs I just deal with. They don't really bother me that much -- get shoulder and arm pain sometimes. Track driving used to aggravate them, but since I've been wearing a HANS I haven't had problems.

My recommendations:
1. Aleve is a great OTC anti-inflammatory. I take it often. Much better than anything else OTC.
2. EXERCISE. REGULARLY. Walking or jogging. Best thing for your back is to strengthen the posture muscles. The challenge is to do enough to help yourself but not so much that you re-injure. During the 5 years that I really had issues, I fought this battle constantly. Sitting really is the worst.
3. I've never tried a chiropractor. Spinal decompression works. There are clinics that do it. I own an inversion table. If I get a flare up, I'll use it and it helps the recovery.

Surgical procedures have advanced a lot since I had mine. Still, it doesn't sound like you are quite at the point of needing it. It doesn't work for a lot of people. I think it worked well for me because I was young, otherwise in good shape, but had suffered a really specific injury. A lot of people's backs are just degenerating because old age sucks. Surgery doesn't work well for them.
hornetball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 12:09 AM   #5
Junior Member
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 402
Total Cats: 21
Default

My immediate recommendations

Take Aleve
Get an MRI, not an x ray.
Physical therapy.
Core exercises are always good.

If it's strictly sciatica dealing with the butt/hip area, then please read this. There are exercises that use large hard foam rollers that you roll over on your butt/him that ******* hurt like hell while you're doing them, but really really help.

I had fairly bad sciatica for a few months (the kind you explained where you bend over to put your shoes on in the morning while it's tight and it feels like someone's sticking a Kabar in your spinal cord.) My girlfriend is a pilates instructor, has these rollers and she forced me to do this. It looks gay as hell, but it cured me of reoccurring sciatica. And did I mention my god it hurts when the roller rolls over the spots? If it doesn't hurt, you're doing it wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...in+relief+foam

Amazon.com: Extreme High Density Foam Roller Excellent tool to promote flexibility and MyoFascial Release: Health & Personal Care Amazon.com: Extreme High Density Foam Roller Excellent tool to promote flexibility and MyoFascial Release: Health & Personal Care

If it truly is a back issue, then I'm sorry, I have no value to add to this discussion. I have a friend who's had a herniated disk for 10 years or more by now and he's just had to deal with it. Weight gain, constant paint, etc. Not sure if surgery is an option or not, but I know he probably doesn't have the money for it.

I've also heard this is a really good book for back pain suffers.

8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot: Esther Gokhale, Susan Adams: 9780979303609: Amazon.com: Books 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot: Esther Gokhale, Susan Adams: 9780979303609: Amazon.com: Books
slmhofy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 09:07 AM   #6
Junior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 276
Total Cats: 6
Default

For me, hip and upper leg stretches works pretty well to keep everything under control. Core strength is also a big help. As has been mentioned before, sitting all day at a desk can be really hard on your back.

I have been to several chiropractors, some had no effect and others were awesome. the key is to find a good one. Of the two that I had the most success with, one went to Palmer Chiropractic school, and the other practiced what is called ART therapy. Might be worth looking into.
Davezorz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 10:46 AM   #7
Moderator
iTrader: (11)
 
sixshooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 15,679
Total Cats: 1,561
Default

There is a big difference in the results you will see between a good chiropractor and a bad chiropractor. I had a ruptured disc and after a few weeks of spinal decompression it improved significantly. The jelly like fluid from within the disc leaks out and impinges upon the nerves running out to your extremities. It can eventually heal and the jelly eventually desiccates and shrinks away to nothing. The gentle bouncing decompression that the chiropractor will do on your back will help to draw the pressure off of the disc in a way that a static hang will not. It also helps to rejuvenate the disc. A static hang can cause the muscles to go into tension sometimes so be careful with that.

Ibuprofen or Aleve will assist in reducing the inflammation in the nerves in a way that simple opiate pain medicine will not. The two, pain medicine and ibuprofen, can be used together without harm if needed.

Take over the counter magnesium supplements as a natural muscle relaxant with no ill effects. Roughly 250% of the RDA every day will keep the excess muscle tension to a minimum and help things to heal. If you start to experience a loose stool condition than ease back on the dosage a little bit.

Mostly it takes proper therapy, care, and time. In some cases it may require surgery, but like you, I see that as a very last resort because of all of the things that can go wrong. If you ask a man who is holding a knife how to fix something he is going to say with a knife because that is what he knows. If you ask a man who is trained in stretching and pushing components back into place then he will suggest the method that he knows. Second opinions are always in order when discussing the possibility of surgery.
sixshooter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 10:47 AM   #8
Moderator
iTrader: (11)
 
sixshooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 15,679
Total Cats: 1,561
Default

And core strengthening is very helpful.
sixshooter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 10:59 AM   #9
Slowest Progress Ever
iTrader: (26)
 
thirdgen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: The coal ridden hills of Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,812
Total Cats: 184
Default

I had a back injury years ago that would pop back up years later. Pretty much, I lifted a steel door over my head at my old job, and something popped. I'd be fine for months, and it would randomly come back. Sharp, staggering pain in lower back/ hip area. I haven't had it come back in any way ever since I got an inversion table.
thirdgen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 01:43 PM   #10
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (21)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 5,687
Total Cats: 560
Default

Okay, so the "strengthen the core" thing keeps coming up. No one says how.

Imagine this: you're sitting at your desk, and have been for about an hour. You need to get up to go check something, and using your left leg to push away from the desk causes pain. You ignore it and stand up, which causes further pain (all of this is in the back of the thigh).

You then get handed a piece of paper which you must sign. In bending over the 5-10 degrees needed to sign that piece of paper sends shooting pain into your butt cheek. You are prepared for it, but even so it is severe enough (think charley horse type pain) that you involuntarily stiffen. It is just enough to be noticeable by people around you, who wonder why you are jerking around like a puppet on strings. Several have commented on it.

So, how the hell am I supposed to strengthen anything without sending myself to the hospital? I couldn't do a sit-up right now unless it was do or die, because it hurts like hell to move like that.

I'm on daily aspirin, moderated by the fact that 2 types of NSAID are not good for your GI tract. Tylenol helps, but raises blood pressure, so it's a last resort. Aleve does nothing for this pain. Motrin barely touches it. I'm on the meloxicam, because I tried to be a hero last night and go off it. Pain was so bad wife offered to take me to emergency room if I wanted. Since they can't really do much for me, I declined. I took the damn pill first thing this morning.

Throughout all this, my back does not hurt in the least little bit. No aches, no catching, no strain at all. Every bit of it is in my butt/leg, which means something is pressing on that damned nerve. I'm beginning to feel a little bit unhinged.

So, next step seems to be therapist and/or chiropractor. How do I find a good one, and how can I tell if they are or not, never having a baseline to compare? No one here has been to one, so no personal recommendations from coworkers.
rleete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 02:17 PM   #11
Elite Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,515
Total Cats: 142
Default

As a back pain sufferer for over 30 years, and if it hasn't been said already, carrying extra weight can contribute to a lot of back issues. It doesn't have to be extreme either, just enough to make for a bad conformation (i.e. poor night sleep) on most mattresses. Spending a third of your day with poor spinal positioning causes aggravation. Often it's that vicious cycle; start the day already in pain (or just not 100%), and it's all down hill from there.

ymmv

EDIT: regarding the cycle; I found if I stopped the continuum of constant minor insults to my back (as well as the majors, of course) by being hyper vigilant with posture and proper support, I was able to quit pinching the nerves, minimize any inflammation, and therefore allow the muscles to quit involuntarily constricting in sympathy. This allowed for things to relax and 'stabilize' again. A little anti inflammatory thrown in doesn't hurt. Once you're restored to a more pain free state, then it's a matter of being smart, learning what your triggers are, and avoiding them like the plague. Sounds trite, but for me the best way to avoid back pain recurrence is just basically to not let it get started.
good2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 03:04 PM   #12
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Volo, IL
Posts: 1,247
Total Cats: 140
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
Okay, so the "strengthen the core" thing keeps coming up. No one says how.

With this:Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie | 9780987650405 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble

Seriously. The **** works, but it's a time consuming process. Expect to keep doing the exercises for at least a year. The whole point is to slowly strengthen the muscles, centralizing the pain and isolating it. It's a lot of stretching, and a lot of repetition but I've made huge progress in the 6 months I've been doing it.
dieselmiata is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 03:17 PM   #13
Elite Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 3,325
Total Cats: 235
Default

I had a herniated disc in my lower back when I was 22-23 (bad sciatica, I could barely walk), went to a non-crazy chiropractor (the place was also a sports rehab type place). Forget what it was called, but they put me on a thing that stretched my back for 15-20 minutes twice a week, and had me do some yoga every day (lay flat on the ground on your stomach, then raise your upper body on your arms like you're doing a push-up but keep your pelvis on the ground). It's cleared up and I haven't had any problems since. However my grandma kept trying to tell me that any chiropractor that didn't recommend surgery was a quack.
thenuge26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 03:26 PM   #14
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Volo, IL
Posts: 1,247
Total Cats: 140
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenuge26 View Post
(lay flat on the ground on your stomach, then raise your upper body on your arms like you're doing a push-up but keep your pelvis on the ground).
This is the main one I do on a daily basis. Sets of 3 while doing controlled breathing. According to my therapist, it helps to stretch the surrounding muscles and center the spine for other exercises. Some days it can be a real bitch, but it does seem to be helping. I can actually tie my own shoes now without wincing.
dieselmiata is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 03:33 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 549
Total Cats: 56
Default

I suffer from chronic low back pain due to a mountain bike accident about 4 years ago. I ended up with moderate to severe spinal stenosis due to herniated discs at my L4-L5 (8mm herniation), L5-S1 (6mm herniation) locations. (See picture below)





The pain was very bad at first. I'd say I lived with a 8/10 on the pain scale for the first 6 months. I was lucky because it was localized and I didn't have sciatic pain. I tried 3 months of traditional basic physical therapy, chiropractor visits (3 per week), exercise etc. Nothing seemed to help back then.

The next step was an oral steroid (cortisterol) which seemed to nudge things in a direction that allowed me start re-habbing it. My ortho surgeon suggested we try a series epidural steroid injections (3 of them). Those made me feel excellent at the time but as the third one wore off I developed some rather crushing sciatic pain.

This left me in a defeated state. Pain levels had gotten down to about a 3-4 daily with spikes and random back spasms that could only be fixed by staying on my back for 3-4 hours with my feet elevated. I ended up liquidating all of my mountain bikes (created the funds to buy my miata so not all bad) and just going into poor me mode.

I ended up finding a rehab clinic that took a full service approach. They did traditional PT, traction PT, massage therapy and chiropractic. They would do all of this in a circuit 3 times a week in about 90 minutes. This seemed to have some help and got me down to a 1-2 daily with minimal setbacks. The traction therapy was the biggest part of this. They used this crazy table with this harness setup that pulled you apart like a midevil torture machine. Worked like a boss.

This brings me to about 2 years into my injury. Still no surgery and I don't go to PT any more. I've developed a routine of streching, icing and exercise that keeps me healthy. It's still a constant issue that I live with every day. Below are a few things that have helped over time, hopefully they can help you.

Foam Roller - This is my savior. Much of your back pain is coming from you compensating with other muscles. Strecthing those muscles out and getting mobility everywhere you can will be huge in overcoming this. I've tried many foam rollers over the years and this one in particular is an *******. It is bar none one of the most painful things I do to myself but it's the most effective by far. Man up and get the one I linked. It's way too firm at first but once you get used to it you'll take it with you wherever you go (even traveling).
Amazon.com: Trigger Point Performance The Grid Revolutionary Foam Roller, Black: Sports & Outdoors Amazon.com: Trigger Point Performance The Grid Revolutionary Foam Roller, Black: Sports & Outdoors


Ice packs on ice packs on ice packs - Any time I feel iffy I ice my back down. I like to get it so cold that my skin almost hurts to touch. This is huge.

Good bed - I bought a temperpedic mattress a few years ago. Worth it's weight in gold. The worst part of this thing is that it has spoiled me and I hate sleeping anywhere but home.

Exercise - It all matters. You're not going to be able to do anything with your low back muscles most of the time. So you need to find ways to work other parts out while that heals. Squats are huge, IT band stretching is huge, quads, glutes. Basically anything that gets used to support your low back is a big deal.

OTC anti inflammatory - Aleeve as mentioned but be careful with alcohol use, very bad for your liver/kidneys/stomach. I use advil on days where I need smaller windows of relief or something like that. Make sure not to get in a trend of taking it every day on end... taking some time off will re-invigorate it's effectiveness.

Everyone is different. 4 years later I'm not the man I was at 27. I'm still able to downhill ski at 80%, mountain bike at 80% etc etc. But i'm fragile. Some times spending 2 days working on my car is some times enough to send me into an episode.

The reality is about twice a year I'll throw it out. At first it was huge blowouts that left me bed ridden for days. Now with the strengthening I put in I'm never down for more than 1 day or just a few hours max.

Patience, persistence and protection are your ways through this. Feel free to PM me any time for my phone number if you need more descriptive help.
Attached Thumbnails
Bad Back-photo2.jpg   Bad Back-photo.jpg   Bad Back-photo2.jpg   Bad Back-photo.jpg  
EErockMiata is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 09:13 PM   #16
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (21)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 5,687
Total Cats: 560
Default

Went for a brisk walk today downtown. No choice, I had an appointment with a lawyer (wills, PoA forms for me & the wife) and we had to walk a few blocks from where we found parking. And, I seem to feel just a tiny bit better tonight because of it.

Exercise is going to be my first line of attack. Because I am not going to get my *** outside as the weather turns colder, I've decided an elliptical machine is the way to go. I'd try treadmill, but I get terrible shin splints from running. Problem is, I don't know the first thing about them. Any advice on buying one?

I also ordered a couple of books to read based on recommendations posted here.
rleete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 11:00 PM   #17
Elite Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Granbury, TX
Posts: 6,010
Total Cats: 583
Default

Brisk walking on a treadmill will be better than the elliptical. The problem with the elliptical is that the hand motions keep you from working the posture/balance muscles, and that's what you really need. As you really start building up the mileage with walking, you can gradually transition to jogging/running. Your body needs time to adapt to jogging/running. That's what the shin splints are, you're jumping in before you're ready.

One thing I forgot to mention . . . back brace. When you're really inflamed, they help tremendously. Use it to help you get over episodes, but not all the time. Again, the point is to strengthen and transition to your own posture/balance/core muscles.
hornetball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2014, 04:23 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Martin, Slovakia
Posts: 513
Total Cats: 71
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
So, who here has had any back problems. How severe, what was done about it, and did it solve the problem? Anyone her have any kind of back surgery? Therapy/chiropractor or other treatment? What do you do to manage constant pain?
Roger my story is similar to yours as regards the progression of my back problems. I first injured it in my early 20's while playing football. It got better with time and was able to lead a normal active life all be it with occasional flare ups.

In my early 40's the L5/S1 disk bulged by 14mm causing severe sciatica and foot numbness which persisted for about a year. During this time I continued working a physical job and playing sports but life became difficult to bear due to the pain so microdiscectomy surgery was performed. The results were immediate and profound. The sciatica pain dissapeared and nerve sensations returned to my foot, life was good.

Unfortunately, as the surgeon had predicted, after a few more years the disc herniated again. I now have a peek disc and a titanium cage (and a button ). Recovery from the second surgery has been tougher as there are some lingering sympathetic nerve side effects. That said I now can lead a relatively pain free active life again. I was reluctant to undergo surgery as it is a drastic step with an uncertain outcome but in my case I didn't see there was an alternative.

Attached Thumbnails
Bad Back-coilovers_zps765ea428.jpg  
sturovo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2014, 10:18 AM   #19
Junior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 276
Total Cats: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
One thing I forgot to mention . . . back brace. When you're really inflamed, they help tremendously. Use it to help you get over episodes, but not all the time.
I would agree, use sparingly. Also I have had luck with a TENS unit. That is something you can use while you are sitting at your desk at work.
Davezorz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2014, 10:54 AM   #20
Elite Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 3,325
Total Cats: 235
Default

I also wouldn't recommend an elliptical. I've tried to use the ones we have in our gym at work, and any time I am on it for more than 15 minutes my sciatica starts bothering me again. It's the only time it ever does anymore. Lately I've been sticking to the bike for cardio, there's probably better things for core exercise though.
thenuge26 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Project Gemini - Turbo Civic on the Cheap Full_Tilt_Boogie Build Threads 59 Today 09:00 PM
OTS Bilstein to motorsports ASN conversion stoves Suspension, Brakes, Drivetrain 5 04-21-2016 04:00 PM
Going back to stock. Need some 1.6 parts. Trent WTB 2 10-01-2015 01:15 PM
Walbro 255lph Fuel Pump $50 lsc224 Miata parts for sale/trade 2 10-01-2015 10:17 AM
Bad head gasket or ? shooterschmidty Engine Performance 8 09-30-2015 11:28 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:34 PM.