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  #1  
Old 06-07-2005, 03:38 PM
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Any advise for back related problems?

I've joined the ranks of those with back problems. I have a shiny new herniated disk between L4 and L5. My 3rd doc appointment is tomorrow. I desire to return to my active life style. Appreciate recommendations or direction on types of therapy/rehab to investigate....

Thanks!

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  #2  
Old 06-07-2005, 03:49 PM
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First thing they are likely to tell you is to lose weight if you are carrying a few extra like many of us are.
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Old 06-07-2005, 04:09 PM
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also might try lying on the floor with you legs up on a couch/chair. make sure your lower back is flat on the floor, your calfs shoud be on the seat of the chair (or whatever) and your thighs perpendicular to the floor. stretching is good if it does not result in too much pain and weight loss, as the good doc says, is crucial if overweight.
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  #4  
Old 06-07-2005, 04:29 PM
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Thank you both! Up until I hurt my back I exercised about 2 hours per day. Mostly hiking and bike riding. Despite that I am over weight. Once I'm cleared to resume some exercise Iíll devote the time to strengthening the so-called core muscles, but am not sure what exercises, or when Iíll be able to resume exercising. For the last week I've been riding the wave of some of the best drugs modern medicine can offer. I hate it!
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Old 06-07-2005, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebenz
Thank you both! Up until I hurt my back I exercised about 2 hours per day. Mostly hiking and bike riding. Despite that I am over weight. Once I'm cleared to resume some exercise Iíll devote the time to strengthening the so-called core muscles, but am not sure what exercises, or when Iíll be able to resume exercising. For the last week I've been riding the wave of some of the best drugs modern medicine can offer. I hate it!
I myself am in the begining of an endevour to drop 30....I don't show it becasue I have broad shoulders.....

But I know it will help my joints a great deal....I don't have back problems but I do have joint problems...but extra weight..even 10 or 20 will make a large difference on overstressed joints or vertibra in your case.....
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  #6  
Old 06-08-2005, 10:10 AM
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I have had a disk problem since I was in my mid 20's. First thing to do is shed pounds like another suggested. It'll also pay dividends on other joints later in life. Ever notice how many other problems fat people have? Being fat is a matter of lack of self restraint. I like to eat and will eat just about anything. If I can control it, anyone can.

During my years of philandering about, one of the women in my life was an MD. She advised me that whenever my back acted up (i.e.- made my legs and back hurt due to disk pressing on nerves), I should chill the area. For the past 15 years I have kept a plastic bag filled with some sort of heat sink material in the freezer. When I do something that bothers my back, I put the freeze pack on my back. A couple of applications is all it takes for me. I have learned to live with my problem in this manner and have avoided surgery.

When I work on cars, I always put a fat cushion on the fender when I lean into the engine compartment. That way I am not cantilevering my back because it is fully supported by the cushions between my chest and fender. I never pick up anything that weighs more than 30 pounds. If anything heavier needs lifting, get my wife to help or if it is in the basement, I wheel out the engine puller hydraulic contraption.
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2005, 12:48 PM
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I don't know the state of your mental well-being, but I SWEAR that when I get under too much stress, my back kills. No kidding, I thought that for years there was some physical injury in my lower back, but truly it was all in my head. I can imagine this advice not helping too much, but I wanted to throw the idea out there that your pain could be stress related. Best of luck with whatever recovery brings you back to good health..
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  #8  
Old 06-08-2005, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkamiya
I can't offer any advise but sympathy.... I have neck, shoulder, and back problems. Nothing worked, including medications and excercise. Doc's can't pin point the cause either.
When did you start having problems? One person I spoke with recently said that they had the same problem as me, and the solution that worked for them was electric acupuncture. He went on to say that his MD had a similar problem which was also cured by electric acupuncture.
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  #9  
Old 06-08-2005, 01:05 PM
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Good advice about the stress related symptoms. Ever since I retired, I have a lot fewer aches and pains. It could also be related to the fact that I get more exercise now. And I have also noticed that I don't have to constantly diet in order to maintain weight. I, too, think stress causes all kinds of seemingly unrelated problems.
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2005, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
First thing to do is shed pounds like another suggested. It'll also pay dividends on other joints later in life. Ever notice how many other problems fat people have? Being fat is a matter of lack of self restraint. I like to eat and will eat just about anything. If I can control it, anyone can.
I've lost 4 lbs as of today, have about 30 to go. Its been a breeze. Long ago I lost the desire for fatty foods. That was a difficult challenge. The body craves saturated fats and sugars. It takes about 3 days of restraint to get past the cravings, and then another several days to get the desire out of yer head. This kind of behavior shows how much the mind is a slave of food indulgence.

My typical diet was about 20% protein (lean meats) and 70% fruits and veggies and 10% grains. The recent change was to reverse the rations of protien to carbs. By eating protein 3x per day I donít feel hungry. Also by reducing the carb intake body quickly stops craving carbs. What Iíve been doing is close to the so called Zone diet. Dang it, it works! It also helps in no small way that my mortality bell had been rung recentlyÖ..

Quote:
She advised me that whenever my back acted up (i.e.- made my legs and back hurt due to disk pressing on nerves), I should chill the area.
Icing the area was advised by the ER doc. It is one of the best ways to relieve swelling and pain. One wants to be careful to not freeze the tissue adjacent to the ice, so they say 10-20 minutes per session. Mostly I've been laying down to avoid physical stress.

Quote:
When I work on cars, I always put a fat cushion on the fender when I lean into the engine compartment. That way I am not cantilevering my back because it is fully supported by the cushions between my chest and fender. I never pick up anything that weighs more than 30 pounds.
This area is one of my bigger concerns. I work with computers and routinely lift and move them about. I'm told not to lift more than 5 lbs, but hope in the next few weeks that the acceptable weight will increase. I've been wondering what kind of small portable device I can use to aid lifting. My tool kits weigh in at between 20 to 40 lbs each and they are needed everywhere I go.

Thanks for the feedback!
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  #11  
Old 06-08-2005, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony
I don't know the state of your mental well-being, but I SWEAR that when I get under too much stress, my back kills.
Thanks! You are right, stress can turn any even minor weakness into raging pain. It is another example of the power of the mind to attempt to change behaviors. Who would have thought stress could create pain

For me the worst thing about the last week is that I havenít been on my bike or hiking. I really miss both!!!
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  #12  
Old 06-08-2005, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
I had a suggestion, but the US Supreme Court put the kiebosch on it.
The irony. Thatís one of the things I stopped doing. It tends to make one hungry even if feeling betterÖ..

Quote:
I thought a bulging or ruptured disk had to be repaired? Mybe cortisone shots could heal it? Either way, if it is torn (hernieated) I would think that you couldn't do anything about it until it was healed/repaired?
I donít have an answer to that, but after the first week I'd say it depends on the amount of discomfort and mobility restriction one experiences. If every day were like the first morning after, I'd be in line for surgery in a hurry. It took me 20 minutes to get out of bed, my left leg was almost paralyzed and felt as if there was a wedge stuffed into my spine. Even worse is that peeing was very difficult. Scary. Veeeeeeerry scary.

BTW, has anyone heard from Kerry recently?
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  #13  
Old 06-08-2005, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w126
Check with your doc before exercising and he may refer you to PT.
Thanks Ted!

Moments ago I read a blurb about core strengthening. I'm off to the doc in a few minutes and then will get a referral to an osteopath and for PT. I hear swimming is a good early form of therapy. I hope I can resume hiking. The bit of walking I've done so far helps eliminate discomfort but I defiantly want guidance to move foreword. A morning of mild paralysis is a strong reminder of what the risks areÖÖ.
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  #14  
Old 06-08-2005, 03:59 PM
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About 25 years ago I received a cortisone shot in the back. That was before I learned how to better cope with it and before I lost about 20 pounds. My L0 or L1 disk is bulging; I have seen the X-rays. I had gotten to the point where I could not stand up for any length of time. I can recall standing in the long cafeteria lunch line at work and having to go into the men's bathroom and hang by my hands from the partitions between the stalls. That would relieve the pain in my back and legs. The shot helped after a couple of days.

Since that time I've managed to aggravate it every now and then. But the chilling really helps and I've never had to return to a doctor. Last time I screwed it up was about 4 years ago when I was installing a car lift in my basement. I bent over and dragged the pump/motor assembly across the floor to position it rather than picking it up with my engine puller. I regretted that. Fortunately, I have kept my head out of my ass since then (when it comes to my back).

Think about the weight thing. When you loose 5 pounds, or however much, in the region of your body above where the damaged disk is, the weight your back sees is some multiple of 5 pounds. As you walk, you bob up and down. The 5 pounds gets magnified as you reduce your downward velocity before you do the upward bob as you walk.

Another thing I never, ever do is jump.

Swimming is a very good way to burn calories, especially in cool water. Your body wants to maintain 98.6 F. If the water temperature is less, in addition to the mechanical work you do swimming, you get another caloric burn as your body attempts to maintain its temperature. 1 BTU (252 calories) is 778 ft-lb of energy.

Good luck with your back. I hope you feel better soon.

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