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Display Name Post: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain        (Topic#7064)
Wicked Willie
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02-11-06 08:18 AM - Post#183944    



If anybody has had similar experiences or wishes to offer serious advice...I'm all ears.

Had one of "those" back spasms this morning. Bent down (with bended knees, of course) to pick up a clothespin that one of the cats was batting around. I took a painful shot in the left lower back, just below where my lat attaches.

Drove me to my knees and forced me to become immobile...pain was very sharp, stinging and it came in waves...the type of pain that you try everything in your power to get away from...but you can't. After what seemed like an eternity (actually about 45 seconds, I'd say) the pain eased up enough to let me stand.

Starr seems to think these are generated by muscle strength imbalance between the abs and lumbars...plus a lack of stretching. I probably have both conditions in abundance. The various limb length and muscle issues from cerebral palsy don't help the matter, either.

Anyone else experience these...and what do YOU do to handle them?

I haven't had one for over nine months...thought I was doing well.

Wicked
"I'm in good shape for the shape I'm in."

"Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man comes to the Father, but by me." John 14:6


 
cajinjohn
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-11-06 10:20 AM - Post#183945    



I keep that at bay by doing hyper ext. and rope tucks. equal amount for both. Goes back to that old push-pull same amount of reps.
It don't matter


 
Hack
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-11-06 10:21 AM - Post#183946    



Let the cat have the clothespin. A buddy at my gym was saying his back spasms often enough that if he sees anything less than folding money on the ground he passes by without attempting to pick it up. Me, I walk behind him.

As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.
Ernest Hemingway




 
J G
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-11-06 10:44 AM - Post#183947    



Willie,

An orthopedic surgeon told me that these things don't happen from just one thing (ie; picking up the clothespin). It is the result of a lot of insults you have perpetrated on your back. (thus the expression "the straw that broke the camel's back).

Now that you have it, the only thing I can suggest that is of any help is ice it during the first 24 hrs then use heat after that. Last year I used those ThermaCare heat wraps. They seemed to help better than a heating pad. Take anti inflammitories and make sure you get up and walk around at regular inervals (maybe every hour).

Once you get better, try to implement a more complete stretching routine and do lots of warm ups (you should be sweating)before you work out.

I used to get those on a regular basis and havent had one for almost 5 years (I hope I just didn't jinx myself because we are getting a foot of snow tonite).

Good luck,

John G.
 
SGT Snorkel
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-11-06 12:21 PM - Post#183948    



A monthly trip to the chiropractor keeps the biggest problems at bay. I still get pulls/strains periodically, but that is due to my dyslexia. My age is 52, but I try to act 25 in the gym.

I always find light weights lightly exercising the muscles that are hurting seems to help.
Always glad to share my ignorance - I've got plenty. Time is a great healer but it is a lousy beautician.


 
brucedl
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-11-06 12:58 PM - Post#183949    



WW,
I'm with CajinJohn a 100%. Before I did hypers and lots of ab work, I would periodicly get spasms in my back like you. After sticking to the hypers, etc. no more spasms. For now motrin, ice and rest.

Hope your better soon.

Bruce
 
TomS
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Total Posts: 295
Re: Help! Back spasms
02-11-06 01:10 PM - Post#183950    



Wicked,
I have been there soooooooo many times. I have had minimal problems
since I have been stretching religiously. I agree with icing it down...
Motrin...walking...
Take time to review "Stretching" by Bob Anderson. I dust off my copy every
few months and review.
Hang in there...
TomS "Friends come and they go...but 200 lbs. will always be 200 lbs." - Dave Draper "Work as if you don't need the money, Love as if you have never been hurt and Dance as if nobody is watching!" - KK


 
archer45
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-11-06 04:24 PM - Post#183951    



hey WW -- don't forget to keep your potassium and magnesium up, a lack of each/either can contribute to muscle spasms -- just a thought, the others have you covered on rest -- good luck
 
Jim Bryan
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Total Posts: 380
Re: Help! Back spasms
02-12-06 08:41 AM - Post#183952    



****Wicked,
I have been there soooooooo many times. I have had minimal problems
since I have been stretching religiously. I agree with icing it down...
Motrin...walking...
Take time to review "Stretching" by Bob Anderson. I dust off my copy every
few months and review.
Hang in there...

--------------------
TomS***

***Willie,

An orthopedic surgeon told me that these things don't happen from just one thing (ie; picking up the clothespin). It is the result of a lot of insults you have perpetrated on your back. (thus the expression "the straw that broke the camel's back).

Now that you have it, the only thing I can suggest that is of any help is ice it during the first 24 hrs then use heat after that. Last year I used those ThermaCare heat wraps. They seemed to help better than a heating pad. Take anti inflammitories and make sure you get up and walk around at regular inervals (maybe every hour).

Once you get better, try to implement a more complete stretching routine and do lots of warm ups (you should be sweating)before you work out.

I used to get those on a regular basis and havent had one for almost 5 years (I hope I just didn't jinx myself because we are getting a foot of snow tonite).

Good luck,

John G.***

GOOD advice!
Jim Bryan


 
Wicked Willie
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-12-06 08:56 AM - Post#183953    



I agree with the "multiple small insults" line of thought.

I usually start experiencing these when I reach a certain strength level...unfortunately, I think the leverage squats are the "final straw" culprit. Am going to try a stiff sheet of plywood under my side of the mattress, also.

This morning, I had another attack just after getting out of bed. Makes for an annoying start to your day and the cats look at you funny.

I thought I had these things on the run...but apparently not. Back to square one.

Wicked
"I'm in good shape for the shape I'm in."

"Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man comes to the Father, but by me." John 14:6


 
ccrow
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-12-06 10:57 AM - Post#183954    



Willie, sorry to hear you're tweaked. I get similar trouble when I lay off the heavy stuff for a while. I think the hips and legs gain strength faster than the mid and upper back re-learn to stabilize the spine under heavy loads.

The spot you describe sounds like it may not be low-low back. This might make sense as the top of the hip belt is pushing the vertebrae around in an unusual way. It would be very tempting not to lock the core and mid back doing hip belt squats and I could see that happening. Does it seem like the pain could be coming from the lowest ribs getting out of line? If so it could actually be the thoracic vertebrae that's getting you.

For you back:

ICE spasms. Period.

If appropriate, use a muscle relaxant. A small amount of alcohol isn't the worst muscle relaxant in the world and the side effects are usually a known quantity.

Love or hate Paul Chek, but use a SWIS ball to stretch. Just lay on the ball and relax; let your elbows and knees slump towards the floor. An average height man needs a 65 cm ball, taller may need larger.

Use reverse hypers liberally when you can do them pain free. Regular hypers are a close second, but you'll be able to do reverse hypers easier. You can do them on the ball or improvise something.

For the mid back, I use a foam roller, these are a miracle for the mid back. If you can't buy a foam roller locally, tough guys (or desparate for relief guys) can use a 3'-4' section of 4" PVC. Your mid back will pop like a zipper.
The most important test a lifter has to pass
is the test of time.
-Jon Cole


 
Laree
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-12-06 11:50 AM - Post#183955    



I really like the foam roller, too, Byron. And I've been stretching daily for about 15 minutes over the last couple of months and have really become a fan of it (surprised myself!) as a result of the progress in flexibility.

But about the swiss ball, can you design a FRUGAL version? Otherwise, you'll gain no traction over at Wicked's house.


 
ccrow
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-12-06 12:05 PM - Post#183956    



I am always up for saving a buck myself. But then, Sam's Club has very good quality, heavy duty ball for $20; you can find cheapos that are perfectly adequate for stretching for $10-$15 at WalMart and K-Mart. So there's not that much to save here. Still it's always good to know how to improvise.

If you have a heavy bag, you can put it up on the edge of a table or something high enough to get your toes off the ground as you lay across it, this works very well for reverse hypers. In a pinch, a duffel bag stuffed with laundry would work.

You can also roll carpet around one of the pins in the power rack, set just over waist high, and fold yourself in half over the pin to do reverse hypers. (Willie's tall so he will be able to reach the other pin with his hands for balance.)
The most important test a lifter has to pass
is the test of time.
-Jon Cole


 
Laree
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-12-06 12:34 PM - Post#183957    



Quote:

ccrow said:
You can also roll carpet around one of the pins in the power rack, set just over waist high, and fold yourself in half over the pin to do reverse hypers. (Willie's tall so he will be able to reach the other pin with his hands for balance.)




I'd love to be around for the first trial run on this one! :~)


 
Wicked Willie
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-12-06 02:29 PM - Post#183958    



I'd like to watch that mine own self.

Have a reverse hyper set up...just trying to secure a sufficiently comfortable way to pad the bench...as it really digs into my hips.

Wicked
"I'm in good shape for the shape I'm in."

"Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man comes to the Father, but by me." John 14:6


 
ccrow
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-12-06 05:38 PM - Post#183959    



Laree, the carpet roll was maybe the third wackiest experiment tried at my gym that week :)~ I ought to sell tickets. But, I have gotten up to around 100# reverse hypers with that setup, is good! Nothing like you can do with the real deal, Louie's machine, but still good.

Willie, maybe try one of those yoga mat thingies, one of the nice thick ones, and leave it rolled up, and set it at the end of the reverse hyper. Or the carpet roll, carpet is a good pad. Or, set the board lower in the rack and put the physio ball on the board. For rehab you don't need to add weight, just the weight of your legs is fine.
The most important test a lifter has to pass
is the test of time.
-Jon Cole


 
irondawg
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-13-06 10:49 AM - Post#183960    



I do a lot of sit ups and Hoffman frog kicks and back raises for my back.I have problems with it from time to time thanks to "America's Sport"football.A perfect mattress is essential,I sleep on an air mattress now.Hoffman frog kicks are hanging from a bar and raising you knees up and bending your legs to the point your knees are up to about your chest.And Soma a muscle relaxer I get from the Doctor is helpful,I rarely use it,but it knocks it out pretty quick.
How often has bad management been mistaken for destiny?


 
Erkmax
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-14-06 02:10 AM - Post#183961    



I used to get a lot of back spasms when I was squatting. I paid strict attention to my form, being extra careful to not bend my back while doing squats but the spasms used to return anyway every leg day. I found out that my lower back was lagging badly behind in development and that's when I quit squatting and started deadlifting. I have recently returned to the squat rack to find that the lifts are now going up easier.

My deadlifting and the hyperextensions made my back much stronger. The back muscles take the longest to recover so I knew that any strengthening of that area must be done slowly. I now incorporate the lower back in my workouts to keep it strong. The overlap between my leg days and my chest and back days means that I have to be extra careful in my execution of any lower back excercises so as to not push things over the edge and wind up unable to move or train for a week.
Eric -- Erkmax

http://www.fitday.com/WebFit/PublicJournals .html?Owner=erkmax

http://www.myspace.com/erkmax



 
SOLDIEROFGOD
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-15-06 07:20 PM - Post#183962    



Wicked,
Are you currently seeing a chiropractor? An array of orthopedic tests would pinpoint the exact strength as well as structural/biomechanical imbalances. And he/she may find (hopefully not) any underlying problems of a differant nature. You obviously are very body aware which is good, but seeing a DC can't hurt. Just a thought. Stay well man.


Byron,
I've implemented one of your other methods, the swiss bar on the bench. But you mention 100 lbs, how are you applying resistance in all these scenarios? I'm assuming Wicked's set-up is the one featured in Hardgainer by McRobert, placing a plank along the power rack pins. He also had a welded lead pipe contraption to add weights, what do you do?

Alex

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All this chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter,'bout schmatte, schmatte, schmatte


 
Elfling
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-15-06 07:32 PM - Post#183963    



Are you applying heat?
 
ccrow
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-15-06 07:50 PM - Post#183964    



Alex, to add weight, I cinch a strap (a large dog collar actually) around my ankles, then put a dumbbell between my shins. THe plates on one end of the dumbbell are on my instep, the plates on the other end are behind my heels, and the handle is resting on the belt. That is not a great description but I think you get the idea. I have to set up sitting on a strategically placed bucket so I can stand up and hop on without moving my feet. It sounds harder than it is :)
The most important test a lifter has to pass
is the test of time.
-Jon Cole


 
Wicked Willie
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-15-06 09:35 PM - Post#183965    



Alex:

No, I'm not currently seeing a DC. I've had notoriously poor success with DC's with the notable exception of Corey.

Most ignore what I tell them and just run me through the standard battery of "tests," which really aren't relevant to my condition. One used the "painless activator," which I feel isn't effective.

None but Corey have given me any massage prior to the adjustment...which to my way of thinking is counterproductive and an invitation to injury. Spasming muscles are what pull the spine and other processes out of alignment...just making the adjustment ignores half the problem.

Don't take this personally...it's just a statement of historical fact. If I could live next to Corey and find a good orthopod to write a proper prescription for corrective shoes...I could answer about eighty percent of my current "issues." The other twenty percent is up to me and would require intensive stretching and "active release" techniques.

Thank you for your concern, though.

Here is a picture of my reverse hyper set up. I don't have the pipe pivot for the swing arm...bodyweight has been sufficient thus far.

Wicked
"I'm in good shape for the shape I'm in."

"Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man comes to the Father, but by me." John 14:6


 
Daveyboy
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-16-06 05:32 AM - Post#183966    



Good mornings using an e-z curl bar wrapped in a towel. gradually increase the weights slowly but progressively 8-15 reps a set.Worked great for my lower back, and has greatly improved my squatting and deadlifting.
DG "Dream As If You'll Live Forever, Live As If You'll Die Today." -- James Dean


 
brucedl
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Re: Help! Back spasms
02-16-06 08:56 AM - Post#183967    



WW,
That's one mean looking piece of equipment!! Have you thought of rounding the edge of the wood where you pivot your body. That might help even with thin padding. Look for shiping carts with high density foam glued in them. Not the foam like you spray in as insulation. Might help to take a drive around some local factories and look though their wood and crates. Asking permission would be good too.

Hope you feel better soon.

Bruce
 
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Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-09-06 03:00 PM - Post#199289    



25 years of aggressive and consistent weight training is not enough to compensate for a lifetime of bad posture. You see, my back muscles are as strong as I need, stronger even, yet my back's aching all the time. We're not talking about lack of strength in carrying or pulling, and we're not talking about injury; we're talking about imbalance, lack of flexibility and a weakness in the supportive muscles that hold the body -- the spine and head -- upright.

Don't assume this is a case of exercising wrong, bad form or whatnot. It's more of a case of workload imbalance, heavy deadlifts, say, but offset by only bodyweight hyperextensions, for instance� and these would be hypers with less-than-stellar range of motion, having bought into the "don't extend your back farther than parallel" school of thought. Wrong school, I now believe.

Those who've been around for a few years may remember earlier posts as I discovered Active Release Therapy (ART) to release adhesions in my shoulder, gave in to massage to loosen spasming mid-back muscles, sought out chiropractic to ease a pinched nerve in my neck that caused migraines, and learned upper back isolation exercises to cure an impossibly aching neck.

I had an aching neck and traps for close to 20 years, which worsened the past few as I began spending most of each day in front of the computer. Turns out the rhomboid muscles below the traps were weak, so all the effort of holding up my head went to the neck area. When weakened, my neck locked up completely, causing headaches. A most-excellent chiropractor did aggressive massage on the rhomboids, hooked me up to a Stim machine for a couple sessions and gave me specific, targeted, light-weight, goofy-looking exercises that I did for a month to completely clear up this 20-year problem. Embarrassing, really, to have not known this before.

Here's the post that documented the goofy exercise that began to cure my neck in less than a week.

I wrote in a post a year ago that I grew up kinda stubborn: work hard, ignore pain; see a doc only when bleeding or broken; vitamins are a stupid waste of money. I confused strength with health, and it got me in trouble over the past 10 years. Bigtime. Some of the items on my list were purely physical, like muscles in spasm, adhesions and imbalance that were causing me grief; the others were hormonal deficiencies and imbalances. All are intertwined, and all pain and hormonal problems contribute to a catabolic state (when muscles and body tissue is broken down), as opposed to an anabolic state (when the tissue repair process is healthy). Catabolism and cortisol make you feel awful, worse in the big picture than losing a few pounds, but the combination will surely keep us fatter than we want to be, so perhaps a thought here will help with those last few stubborn pounds, too.

Now, a few months ago I went off on another track. A guy from San Diego, Pete Egoscue, has built a practice around a method of stretching that begins by flattening the lower back to the floor. My thinking at the moment is this was the opposite of what I personally needed, and contributed to making things worse. Or perhaps I was just doing the work wrong.

Here's an excerpt of Pete's book, available at this link on Amazon.com:

This stretching started me on a quest for increased flexibility, so I added more stretching exercises to mix, including stuff like toe-touches, which thrilled me because I went from a lifetime of hitting about mid-shin on my way to my toes, to a solid three fingers on the floor. Bad juju, unfortunately.

To correct this, I read the book, The Stark Reality, by Dr. Steven Stark,> as recommended by both Jim Bryan and Fred Fornicola in Static Stretching here in the forum recently, and discovered pretty much all of my stretching exercises are wrong. Stuff I picked up back in the late '70s from the early Jim Fixx and Runner's World crowd didn't hold up through the year 2006. These stretches didn't bother me those decades ago, but the aging tendons and ligaments didn't stand the excess strain so well this time around.

The basics of Stark's work is to stretch the muscle, not the connective tissue, by isolating the muscle, finding the point of no tension and then moving gently into the first point of tension. Hold there until the tension diminishes, release and repeat. My mistakes were in not isolating the muscle, and in overstretching -- yanking on the tendons instead of gently easing the muscle into its full length. The book explains how the muscles, tendons and ligaments work in a way I'd never seen or known (and will have to review again).

Couple the incorrect stretching with my re-energized cardio work that you may remember (Dave's wrong, right?), which I started doing aggressively on my spin bike. This is done bent over in a bike racer's position, in case you've never seen a spin bike. Upon finishing the biking, I'd get on the floor and to the incorrect stretching, in particular, lots of back flexion stretching� basically, bend over the bike handles, then get on the floor and bend over some more.

This felt good to me, because, as it turns out, that's my strong position. It's the back extension that needs work, so what happened over the past couple of months is my back got worse and worse until eventually -- recently -- I could barely face coming up to sit at my desk. Anything but that! Only� if I don't sit here, nothing gets done.

I did some research, checking out things like herniated discs, arthritis and osteoporsis, and in the midst of it, bumped into the "The McKenzie Method,"basically a combination of back extension exercises that offset weak posture muscles and help to elongate the spine. The example of slouching posture fit me to a T, and it's a posture I've held since I was around twelve -- hopefully all this time invested in perfecting it will be forgotten quickly as I practice Robin's exercises....Robin McKenzie's 7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life, got it for $10.40 at Amazon.

Part of McKenzie's philosophy is that problems arise when we bend forward while lifting or working, etc., and I take issue with that (not that I'm in any position to). Instead, *I* think it's more a matter of building up opposing muscle strength. If this new regime works to any extent, and I'm still able to do my normal lifting of cases of books, lugging them up and down the hill and all, I'll stand by this position, but of course, following up the forward bending with an equal amount of back extension work.

I also got a new backless computer chair ($49 at OfficeMax) that's sort of forcing the issue.

The dense foam roller I picked up a few months ago is getting double use (Dave rolls around on it, too), and the myofascial release ball hurts like the dickens� several times a day.

Clair Davies' Trigger Point Therapy Workbook (picked that one up when Dan Cenidoza posted how valuable it's been to him) is as yet unopened. Haven't tried hanging upside down yet, but I have it on good authority that Dick Tyler, D.C. (Dave's golden era pal who wrote both West Coast Bodybuilding Scene and the text Alternative Chiropractic) inverts himself twice a day to hold together his weak back.

Some of you guys will think I'm nuts right about now. But I got to the point where it was either fix it for real, or back off and accept a future of back pain and I wasn't ready to go that route.

As things progress over the next couple of weeks, I'll add any discoveries. One of the points to note is what a long process this can be, one fix leads to another, or perhaps even causes something adverse. But you have to keep at it. It's either that, or plan on spending the rest of your life on the couch.

Meanwhile, here are links in the wiki that all this back pain research dredged up.

**And later... here's the rehab followup post.
 
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-09-06 03:14 PM - Post#199290    



Swiss ball girlie girl, Swiss ball.
Mark it Zero.


 
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-09-06 03:50 PM - Post#199291    



Oh, right! Forgot to mention I'd been doing that some at the gym.

You're a living example of the above, step by step addressing the problem with an eye on the long term. I noticed the other day your plan all comes together in August as you get back to barbell work. How long did this process take in your case?


 
DanMartin
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-09-06 03:53 PM - Post#199292    



Quote:

Laree said:
Oh, right! Forgot to mention I'd been doing that some at the gym.

You're a living example of the above, step by step addressing the problem with an eye on the long term. I noticed the other day your plan all comes together in August as you get back to barbell work. How long did this process take in your case?




Depending on perspective, either 3 years or two decades.
Mark it Zero.


 
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-09-06 03:58 PM - Post#199293    



yikes.

Okay, I'll perseverse and quit griping.


 
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-09-06 04:31 PM - Post#199294    



Laree, that post is very dense with information! I think I have been covering much of the same ground in parallel these past few years.

More and more I see the process as an incremental progression. For everything you want to do, there are prerequisites. For example you start out with back pain. Maybe it's severe and until you can get ahead of the pain you aren't going to get anywhere. For someone in this position of acute injury prescription drugs, muscle relaxers and pain killers, may be the only option.

Next you have to heal your spine's basic integrity. You can't do much with the muscles until the joints are at least somewhat sound. SO you wind up doing inversion, or on a traction table, doing Mackenzie exercises, etc. In the vast majority of cases, even according to orthopedic surgeons themselves, problems will resolve to a reasonable degree without surgery.

Once that's done, you can work on strengthening what's weak and stretching what's tight. This process can be sped up dramatically with some soft tissue therapy, whether it be the heavy artillery - active release therapy (ART) or the Graston technique, myofascial release or other deep tissue massage, or rolling around on a foam roller or a ball.

Knowing what's tight and what's weak can be pretty complicated. This is where the Escogue method left me high and dry. The book describes certain general postural conditions that cause problems for people. I am thinking I have a fair number of the problems of each, but don't fit any of Escogue's categories very well.

For an awful lot of people, a blind stab in the dark might not be a bad way to go. Stretch you hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, pectorals, lats, upper traps, and subscapularis. Strengthen your rhomboids, lower traps, external rotators, posterior chain (glutes especially), and your entire core.

There is a progression to stretching and strengthening too. The phenomenon of reciprocal inhibition is a huge factor; if you're tight on one side of the joint, you may get very little results trying to strengthen the opposite side. It seems to me that the first logical step is static stretching, then isolation exercises for remedial strengthening.

I think this is what was preventing me from getting the results I expected out of the prone "I" or "Y" exercise Laree describes. I was doing it and it was working a little at first but not much. When I stretched the antagonists - improved my pectoral flexibility - things really took off. For those of you who are bored to tears by this, my pathetic overhead strength is finally moving up as a result. :)

One thing I learned from this, close isn't good enough. I was stretching and strengthening ineffectively and getting little results. Start doing it effectively and bam, things really turned around.

The next step may be more complicated: taking basic strength and flexibility and turning it into useable strength and flexibility on the field and in daily life. There are special exercises that develop the neurological coordination that makes the stabilizers and the prime movers function together effectively - this is the basis of functional training. There are dynamic stretches, or should I call them mobility exercises, that develop strength and flexibility over a full range of motion.

(Some of these "special" exercises might not seem so special. The traditional straight legged situp, long reviled as unsafe and undesirable, can actually be a good exercise for training the deep abdominal muscles to stabilize the spine during hip flexion.)

At that point I think we've covered athletic performance but maybe not daily life. I am beginning to think it is easier to learn to overhead squat than to correct bad posture! I think it is Paul Chek that noted that dynamic mobility comes easier than static stability. I have been trying to learn more about the Alexander Technique, which I gather is basically a method of learning good posture and method for making it a habit. Here is an odd but interesting link on the Alexander Technique with some very good illustrations:

http://www.horseshoes.com/advice/prentice/cntwywr.htm

A lot of these things will overlap and intertwine but I think understanding the progressive nature is the key.

I have certainly blathered on here but this stuff is really important. Thanks for posting this Laree and I hope more will chime in. (Deston? Laird?) We have a lot of discussions about the best way to do preacher curls or what's a good superset for arms, which we all enjoy. But I think this type of information returns so much more because ultimately it isn't how you do your preacher curls, it's staying in the game that matters.
The most important test a lifter has to pass
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-Jon Cole


 
blondbomberhatman
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-09-06 06:47 PM - Post#199295    



Maybe the pain in your body, if you do really have pain, is caused by the way you think. Maybe it is there because of the position you think you are in. Is there a way to think the pain away? Are you nervous? Ask yourself, when did you first notice the pain? Maybe it is caused by a bad experience in your life, and you have overlooked it, maybe have tried to ignore it. Are you in distress caused by the physical pain caused by your thoughtful position. Maybe to relieve the pain you need to change your thought position.

Just an idea. I want to relieve tha back pain.
Larry


 
Laird Scott
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-09-06 06:51 PM - Post#199296    



Recently, I mentioned that I had very restricted external rotation and that I thought it was a "natural" joint limitation. garyed and ccrow both disagreed with me, saying that I simply lacked flexibility. ccrow recommended stretching my pecs and my subscapularis.

Since I was already stretching my pecs, I decided to add ccrow's recommended subscapularis stretch:
http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/Subscapularis/Broomstick.html

I was skeptical, but started it. I could notice a minor increase in flexibility after the first day! I planned on waiting at least a month before reporting any results to the forum, because it had taken me several months to get my hamstrings stretched almost the way I wanted. But in less than one week I had gotten amazing results and PM'd Byron a brief thank-you.

In less than two weeks I'm able to hold an unloaded bar across my shoulders with no pain! I can reach up much higher when washing my back in the shower! My shoulders feel better in general! May I say YIPPEE!!!

For a broomstick, I used an aluminum shower curtain rod, which I eventually padded with foam where it crossed my arm. This subscapularis stretch has worked quickly and well. (Even though I've got quite a ways to go with it yet.)

Now, here's a coincidence. Before Laree started this thread, I couldn't help thinking that if a tight muscle had led me to believe that I had a restricted joint, why not other tight muscles doing bad things in other places? 26 years of leaning over an inspection bench had given me a forward-protruding head and an upper thoracic-slump. (Kyphosis, maybe?) If gravity induced it, maybe gravitiy could reverse it. So, I started laying back on a mat with my padded Top Squat beneath me. The handles make it easy to shift up and down my back for a series of one-minute gravity stretches. For variety, I use a foam cylinder which I cut from a child's pool toy. Already, it's slightly working. It's a little premature to say, but at 66 I may end up taller than I've been for a decade!

Laird
 
Bug
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-09-06 07:12 PM - Post#199297    



Laird for the last week or so I've been doing that broom stick stretch and the infraspinatus broom stick stretch for the internal rotation. I gave them a shot because they mimic the stretches the therapists were doing on me. Too soon to tell but I've had some relief the last two weeks and a jump in reps on my dips.
 
irondawg
*
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 10:39 AM - Post#199298    



Swimming an hour a day going through all the strokes back and forth accross the pool is suppossed to be good for your back.
How often has bad management been mistaken for destiny?


 
Teresa
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 10:43 AM - Post#199299    



Quote:

ccrow said:
I am beginning to think it is easier to learn to overhead squat than to correct bad posture!





Ain't that the truth!

Laree, how have you found your backless computer chair? Do you feel your posture has improved since using it, if that was the intent?
"You will not be carrying around a scale to jump on and show people." - Vicki Masterson "The following time you better do more or you are dirt!" - Vicki again


 
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 11:41 AM - Post#199300    



I like it, Teresa, and yes, it forces better posture. I've only had it a few days, though, and it takes some getting used to, both in habit and in using the support muscles. I still have my other chair handy, although I haven't had to pull it back around yet. Mostly, when I get tired and start slumping, I get up and do something else, including hit the floor for some stretches and roll the myofascial ball up and down the wall with my back. Then I go do something else that needs to be done standing up.


 
Deston Fallon
*
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 11:53 AM - Post#199301    



Laree . . . you are on to something here! I have been preaching for years and years that computers create a big weak hole between the shoulder blades (rhomboids) and act as a catalyst for lots of neck, back, shoulder problems and imbalances. If you sit slouched it is impossible to keep the ears lined up over the shoulders, much less back & down! Very interesting stuff you are posting here. I have my own thoughts as to why shoulder issues are so common.
 
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 12:45 PM - Post#199302    



Deston, please add our thoughts! We can use this as a referral or jumpoff point for others later.

Teresa, I wanted to add that I bought a cheap chair, sort of on a lark. In hindsight, I might have figured out how to borrow one long enough to test it here at my desk, and then sprung for a nice Tempurpedic. :~)



 
cajinjohn
*
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 12:59 PM - Post#199303    



That is why I always suggest working equaly for all parts including neck. I also have done hyperext. with weights for years. I also do real setups which a lot of people say doesn't work you abs. BS.
It don't matter


 
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 02:08 PM - Post#199304    



Great addition, thanks. To recap, Byron said:

1
For example you start out with back pain. Maybe it's severe and until you can get ahead of the pain you aren't going to get anywhere. For someone in this position of acute injury prescription drugs, muscle relaxers and pain killers, may be the only option.

2
Next you have to heal your spine's basic integrity. You can't do much with the muscles until the joints are at least somewhat sound. SO you wind up doing inversion, or on a traction table, doing Mackenzie exercises, etc.

3
Once that's done, you can work on strengthening what's weak and stretching what's tight.

4
This process can be sped up dramatically with some soft tissue therapy, whether it be the heavy artillery - active release therapy (ART) or the Graston technique, myofascial release or other deep tissue massage, or rolling around on a foam roller or a ball.

Quote:


For those of you who are bored to tears by this, my pathetic overhead strength is finally moving up as a result. :)




HA! Good one, B.


 
Teresa
*
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 02:16 PM - Post#199305    



Laree, as backless office chairs go, that looks pretty sweet! I wondered about the "wheelability" of the first one. I see it has wheels, but I tend to scoot around a bit on my chair. Also, I like having the option of various adjustments for overall height but also for leg length.

One general question this whole thread has brought to mind. I'm fortunately not plagued with back or neck pain as a rule. But I do have a fair amount of shoulder tightness, especially just beyond the base of the neck. Would some/all of the posted suggestions help my shoulder issues?

In addition, my posture has been horrible for decades. I'm trying to be more mindful of good posture, and the tip that Ingrid posted a few weeks ago about standing with your arms down and turning the hands out was great. I try to do that a few times every day. I'm aware that good posture certainly can't hurt whether or not you have other issues, so that's something I'm striving for, but it's a struggle.
"You will not be carrying around a scale to jump on and show people." - Vicki Masterson "The following time you better do more or you are dirt!" - Vicki again


 
/sk
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 02:22 PM - Post#199306    



Quote:

Laree said:
I like it, Teresa, and yes, it forces better posture. I've only had it a few days, though, and it takes some getting used to, both in habit and in using the support muscles. I still have my other chair handy, although I haven't had to pull it back around yet. Mostly, when I get tired and start slumping, I get up and do something else, including hit the floor for some stretches and roll the myofascial ball up and down the wall with my back. Then I go do something else that needs to be done standing up.




Dancing?

/sk
Pot stirrer
 
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 02:27 PM - Post#199307    



Quote:

Teresa said:
One general question this whole thread has brought to mind. I'm fortunately not plagued with back or neck pain as a rule. But I do have a fair amount of shoulder tightness, especially just beyond the base of the neck. Would some/all of the posted suggestions help my shoulder issues?




TERESA! Go after this one:

http://www.davedraper.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=Home&Number=60636

Cured my neck/shoulder aches (ignored for at least ten years) in under two weeks! I couldn't be happier about that part.


 
/sk
*
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 02:31 PM - Post#199308    



Quote:

Laree said:
Deston, please add our thoughts! We can use this as a referral or jumpoff point for others later.

Teresa, I wanted to add that I bought a cheap chair, sort of on a lark. In hindsight, I might have figured out how to borrow one long enough to test it here at my desk, and then sprung for a nice Tempurpedic. :~)






Consider a base for a fit ball. They are very comfortable.

/sk
 
Teresa
*
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 02:35 PM - Post#199309    



Quote:

Laree said:
TERESA! Go after this one:

http://www.davedraper.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=Home&Number=60636

Cured my neck/shoulder aches (ignored for at least ten years) in under two weeks! I couldn't be happier about that part.




Laree, in fact I tried that this weekend. I had a hard time isolating the spot in my back where I should be feeling it so I stopped. Also, where do you have your head? I tried it once with it completely off the bench, but I was generating too much tension just keeping my head up. Seems like something with a donut-hole opening like a chiro or massage table would be good, but what do you do with a regular bench?
"You will not be carrying around a scale to jump on and show people." - Vicki Masterson "The following time you better do more or you are dirt!" - Vicki again


 
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 03:47 PM - Post#199310    



Both my head and feet are raised *slightly* off the bench. Not too much, just a couple of inches, and I only do sets of 8 reps at a time. It's torture, seriously -- very funny that something so light hurts so much. I guess it's an indication of how weak the muscle is and how much I needed the work.

I did have a hard time hitting the right spot, but I'll say again, it's worth the effort. Now I only do a couple sets once a week and it's enough to get the job done.


 
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Re: Diagnosing and Rehab of Back Pain
04-10-06 05:44 PM - Post#199311    



Do you feel anything different doing it with your thumbs up?

I have been doing this on an incline board. I relax and let my forehead touch the board in the bottom position, then make an effort to arch my upper back and raise my chest off the board as my arms come up.

In just about any remedial exercise like this, if you can get someone to touch the muscles - just put their forefingers light on the muscles between the shoulderblades - it is easier to "find" them and make them work.
The most important test a lifter has to pass
is the test of time.
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Topper
*
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Need help w/low back pain
04-17-06 07:47 AM - Post#199312    



I've been doing this new routine for about 8 weeks now, and like it.
OHP, SQUATS, FARMERS WALK, PULLOVERS AND CURLS...one major problem is my back started with this little twinge, which now is a major twinge. I took a week off again, went back yesterday and did my routine again. Geeezzzz, not sure if this pain is from OHP's or SQUATS. I don't have pain when doing these exercises, but boy the next day...yikes Does anyone have a ideas on replacements exercises or what am I doing wrong. I was really getting into those squats, but now I'm afraid to do them. And, now I have to take somemore time off cause the pain is baddddddd....Thanks. :)
 
theVeep
*
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Re: Need help w/low back pain
04-17-06 08:04 AM - Post#199313    



How heavy are you going? What are your rep/set schemes? How many days are yo working out? On which movements are you feeling pain? Are you wearing a belt?

There's a lot to look at ranging from form to using too much weight or just working out too much.

Lou



 
Andy Mitchell
*
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Re: Need help w/low back pain
04-17-06 08:30 AM - Post#199314    



Get it checked by a physio.
Describe the "twinge" is it a local pain or is there numbness, tingling, does the pain shoot down leg.
It could be just DOM's if not you should seek professional advice now!
Nice legs-shame about the face


 
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