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#1 comfortingsong

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:44 PM

Has anyone here had severe back pain which led them to see a physical therapist? If so, what kind of therapies did you engage in and did you find it helpful? What other pain remedies did you turn to and did they help you as well?

#2 Razie

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:01 AM

I have not had severe back pain (actually, I did as a teenager, but all I needed was a hard board under my too-soft mattress and my back pain went away in a week) - but just today someone in my building was throwing away a great condition like-new inversion table, so I took it. I hear that's really good for back pain because it stretches your spine or something. I've been playing with it and it does feel good on my back (though the headrush of blood is not pleasant)

#3 comfortingsong

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:13 AM

...but just today someone in my building was throwing away a great condition like-new inversion table, so I took it. I hear that's really good for back pain because it stretches your spine or something. I've been playing with it and it does feel good on my back (though the headrush of blood is not pleasant)

Never heard of it before your post now. Just looked it up -- Not sure why would someone throw one of those away? They seem pretty expensive. Interesting concept.

#4 Razie

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:18 AM

Never heard of it before your post now. Just looked it up -- Not sure why would someone throw one of those away? They seem pretty expensive. Interesting concept.

I assume the person throwing it away either is moving, upgrading, or doesn't have space. It's in great condition. I actually got a new exercise bike today, so with this, it takes up my whole living room and I've got a home gym going!

In addition to being good for backpain (I mean, supposedly. Having just tried it I do believe it), this is also good for passive cardio because just being upside down really works your heart. It's also a great position for sit-ups. They were pretty trendy some years ago. I think they're still pretty common.

All this said, if you don't know why you have back pain, start with your mattress. I think that's a huge cause of cases of back pain in younger people. Doesn't mean it's a cheap mattress - just some people do better with firm or soft or whatever. If you think your mattress is on the soft side, try sleeping on the floor for a few days. If it's on the firm side, try your couch or some other way to sleep somewhere softer. Or your guest bed if you have one. Anything - just see if changing where you sleep has any effect. I could not believe how in my teens I became practically disabled - I couldn't bend over or anything. And it went away so fast when my mother put a board under my mattress. Since then I have stuck with mattresses that were fundamentally firm, even if topped with a plush pillowtop.

#5 lyric

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 02:57 AM

I am unfortunately suffering from a lot of back pain at the moment. After having an MRI to ascertain the cause, it was diagnosed as osteo arthritis of the spine (spreading from other regions where I have had it for decades) compressing the sciatic nerve. To help with this I had 3 (spaced out) epidural injections of cortisone. The first didn't help much, the second helped a lot with mobility but I still had the sciatica (a horrible shooting pain up and down my left leg particularly when I lay down to sleep)so I had the third one about six weeks ago.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to assess the success of this third injection (although I do think the sciatica is largely gone) because my personal trainer (bless her) decided about 3 days after the procedure, that I must do some "gentle" spinal rotations holding a 12kg Russian Kettlebell. This has torn a muscle or ligament in my right butt area and I have been in excruciating pain ever since.

Therapies for this have included osteopathy which is still ongoing, and very helpful, TENS, swimming and jacuzzi. And tons of painkillers.

Yesterday on TB I couldn't take the painkillers (can't have them without food) and was able to assess that I am still in a lot of pain :(

But I definitely agree that changing a bed mattress can help immensely. I now have a tempura memory foam mattress and it's wonderful.
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#6 brianna

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 07:49 AM

I had back pain after a car accident in 2007. I went to a physical therapist and chiropractor. The most helpful thing for me was TENS (electro-stimulation therapy). In my situation I probably would have healed on my own but I don't know that for sure. After a few months I was fine.
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#7 lyric

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:36 AM

A few MONTHS brianna! Well that gives me hope at least that I am not taking an inordinately long time to heal up, especially as I am older than you.
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#8 Red Hare

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:43 AM

CS, your new avatar gives me back pain. It's way too .. bright.
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#9 FYI

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 10:50 AM

No, thank G-d. But from my understanding back pain is REALLY bad since mentally you're so with it, but you can't DO anything.
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#10 Sweet

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 11:26 AM

I had terrible lower back pain a few months ago. For a week or so, I could barely walk, and despite trying to relax and give my back a rest, the slightest wrong twitch made me feel like I was starting over. Then I bought one of those lower back braces. It made me feel better immediately while I wore it, and after wearing it for a couple weeks, I was back to normal even without it. One caveat - don't be a hero; wear it until the pain has been gone for a few days, otherwise it will just come right back.
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#11 Bluelaptop

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:08 PM

.
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About a hundred years."

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#12 Short

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:33 PM

I used to have back pain and I went to a chiropractor. It didn't help. Then I got a new office chair (I spend a lot of hours sitting at the computer) that forced me to sit upright instead of slouching, and the back pain went away.
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#13 peeptoad

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 02:08 PM

Not back pain, bt severe neck and shoulder pain:

I went to physical therapy and was given exercises to do that would strengthen the surrounding muscles (in my case the lower trapezius). In addition to the strengthening I did stretching excercises and applied heat and/or cold to the area. All of that helped, but it took a couple of weeks to help since the spasm was so bad.
I had to wait a month for the physical therapy appointment however, and no amount of NSAIDS or other OTC pain relief helped. I finally had to ask my doctor for opioids to relive the pain in the interim. Vicodin was the only thing that helped relieve the pain and basically what it did was just helped me tolerate the pain better (I couold still feel it).

Hope that helps...

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I also altered my workstation at work and that deifinitely helped (what Short said).

#14 brianna

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 07:42 PM

A few MONTHS brianna! Well that gives me hope at least that I am not taking an inordinately long time to heal up, especially as I am older than you.

Absolutely. I was nineteen/twenty at the time. Backs take an incredibly long time to heal up. At the time I felt like my life was over - that I would never be able to move around without pain again. It took time, therapy and a lot of patience but I did heal. When I was having the TENS sessions I listened to soft music with my eyes closed and it taught me how to be comfortable just being alone with my own thoughts and really relaxing. I don't think people do that enough in the West.

What do the doctors say about your prognosis, Lyric?
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#15 Razie

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 07:45 PM

Absolutely. I was nineteen/twenty at the time. Backs take an incredibly long time to heal up.

:p or a week, if it's caused by a bad bed. Sorry, I just still have the amazement of my 14 year old self who was in pain for months and had it go away within ONE WEEK when I finally complained enough for my mother to experiment with my bed. It was magical to me that bending could not hurt. "Look I can pick something up that fell on the floor and I'm not in pain!!!!" Kind of like when I first got glasses and couldn't believe that leaves on trees were things you could see individually.

That said, 2 years after torn-meniscus knee surgery (where I skipped the months of TENS I was supposed to get), my knee still hurts, and I can't run without pain. Ever again I think, unless I get a transplant or they make synthetic cartilage, or something. :(

#16 starwolf

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 08:49 PM

The variability of people's experience with back pain is quite large. This is because there are many possible causes of the pain.
The source of the pain could be neuronal dysfunction, or it could be a problem with the spinal column / vertebrae. Or the problem could be with the cartilage.

Each of these possible problems has a range of possible solutions--and in some cases, none of them work completely. In cases where they do work, they will take different amounts of time to heal. Nog only that, but it is sometimes difficult or impossible to distinguish the actual source of the pain.

For the back to be pain-free, all of these systems need to work together perfectly, and it is actually a miracle that more people don't suffer from back pain.

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#17 justajew

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 01:29 PM

I had a herniated disc about 2 years ago. That was probably the worst pain I have ever had. I was on a ridiculous amount of painkillers for a few months (I have an insanely high tolerance for pain meds and alcohol, results of a misspent youth I guess) and went through 4 months of physical therapy, but was back up and running before football season and haven't had any problems since then.
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#18 Tel Aviv

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 07:10 PM

Has anyone here had severe back pain which led them to see a physical therapist? If so, what kind of therapies did you engage in and did you find it helpful? What other pain remedies did you turn to and did they help you as well?


To help back pain: http://www.lef.org/p...rthritis_01.htm
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#19 Moshebendavid

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 07:15 AM

I have chronic back pain (usually not terribly severe) from mild compression. I actually pressed my doctor into sending me to PT (I didn't want the condition to continue to get worse as I'm not that old). Mostly it was a series of stretches and exercises. It helped marginally.

What actually helped a lot for me was walking. My doctor had advised 1-2 miles a day. When I had to miss a couple weeks of PT I initiated the walking program and found that it had immediate results for me. I was pretty surprised, I would have expected more walking to make me more sore but it didn't work out that way.

#20 comfortingsong

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 07:47 AM

What actually helped a lot for me was walking... Iwas pretty surprised, I would have expected more walking to make me more sore but it didn't work out that way.

Interesting. That would seem counter-intuitive.




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