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    Thread: Back Pain Relief?

    1. Member Harpoon's Avatar
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      07-20-2015 07:31 AM #1
      Hey guys, so I apparently tweaked my lower back at the gym two days ago. I'm pretty sure it happened when I moved two 50 lbs dumbells back onto the rack, one was on the floor and I picked it up at an awkward angle (something I'm usually very careful about) and everything felt fine for the rest of that day/night but then I woke up yesterday with lower back pain. Hard to get comfortable while lying down or sitting, even driving my car caused discomfort. I figured after another nights sleep it'd be gone.

      Woke up this morning and it's worse. It's that lower back pain where if you move the wrong way you lock up and it's like a knife in your back. The problem is that moving almost *any* way is the wrong way. It hurts to be in basically any position besides standing straight up. I tried some yoga moves I Googled my way to for back pain relief and if anything it was making worse.

      I called out of work today because of it (I do a mix of sitting for extended periods and doing some lifting, two things I don't wanna do) but I need to try to get some relief. I don't have a heating pad, should I buy one? Should I lay on the floor with a pillow below the arch of my back? Any action I can take (or actions to avoid) to alleviate this?

      I figure back pain is common enough where some of you know exactly what to do for home remedies so by all means lets hear them.
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      07-20-2015 07:42 AM #2
      alternate ice and heat, very gentle stretches, and lots of ibuprofen.
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      07-20-2015 08:36 AM #3
      I have had chronic back pain for the past three decades. When I need relief from an injury, I either take a prescription pain reliever or if that is not available, extra strength Tylenol. I find that lying on my back in bed without a pillow will move most injuries back in place.

      If I'm in extreme pain, I just go straight to my chiropractor.

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      07-20-2015 08:41 AM #4
      For my lower back pain the best way to alleviate some pain is some basic stretches on the floor:

      1 - Laying flat on the floor with my legs bent (like if I were doing a sit-up) I slowly press my lower back into the floor, hold it, then slowly release.
      2 - Same starting point as before with arms stretched out downward and palms flat, let your legs fall to one side or the other and hold for a bit.
      3 - Laying flat on back on floor, bring your legs into your chest by hugging with your arms. Hold for a while.

      Doing the above multiple times seems to do the trick for me. I will also work in some basic toe touches depending on how horrible my back feels.
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      07-20-2015 08:51 AM #5
      Aleve, and a back roller. You can pick them up at most sporting goods stores or big box department stores. Like this:


      You can also improvise one with a couple towels and rubber bands.
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      07-20-2015 09:08 AM #6
      I have spondylolisthesis, so I get the back pains that shoot all the way down my leg every so often. Aleve (or the generic naproxen) works better for me than ibuprofen.
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      07-20-2015 09:22 AM #7
      I had years of back pain that culminated in a herniated disc that took 3 injections to get relief along with countless physical therapy sessions. I am still reminded of the pain daily. I had to get a standing desk at work, I needed a lumbar pillow to drive, and I couldn't sit down. I lay on my back or stood for 6 months.

      My problem is lack of flexibility. My hamstrings are so tight that they pull on my back. If I don't stretch daily I feel it.

      The things that worked for me in the past:

      Mild pain - Ibuprofen
      Severe pain - Flexeril and Diclofenac (muscle relaxer and stronger anti-inflam)
      Excrutiating - Flex/Diclo/Vicodin
      Yoga/stretching once I've recovered.

      Today I rarely even need ibuprofen, and that's only when I've been crazy at work and couldn't get to the gym. It soulds like you need time and rest more than anything. Pop 3 advils, get some rest, and get better in a few days. If advil doesn't offer relief, a doctor is your next step (they'll likely prescribe a combination of the 3 I listed above. When you are back in the gym, spend some serious time stretching. I usually spend 20 minutes doing various yoga poses and stretches at the end of a workout...If I don't, I feel my back locking up on my walk back to the office.

      You never realize how you use your back for every single movement until every single movement results in debilitating pain.

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      07-20-2015 09:31 AM #8
      I've been going to the chiropractor a lot lately for back pain myself. It's absolutely horrible.
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      07-20-2015 09:48 AM #9
      Everyone has been recommending some great ideas so I will offer some advice.
      Make an appointment to see a doctor. I hurt my back 8 years ago and did not think much of it at first. I figured the pain would go away after a day or two. It started to feel better as long as I avoided certain positions and quick movements. I figured it was just healing and stiff/sore so I did not really pay much attention to it for a few days. But about a week later I was turning to close and lock my apartment door only to have my back lock up. The pain was so intense that I ended up dropping to the floor by my locked door knowing no one could get in until I was able to move. I spent an hour or so in pain on the floor before I could crawl to bed. I went to the doctor the next day to eventually learn I had herniated my L4/L5. If you did herniate or partially herniate a disk you will want to know sooner rather than later. You do not want to do anything that might make the problem worse trying to find comfort. I still have issues everyday but I have adapted to my condition.
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      07-20-2015 09:54 AM #10
      If you've had back pain issues from an occasional pinched nerve, try the True Back...



      It puts your spine in tension (traction) when you lay on it. Can be used either way for shoulder or lower back (lumbar) pain.

      I've only used mine twice in three yrs, but it did help avoid a chiropractor visit...not bad for ~$60.


      edit: This is obviously not for anyone who's had herniated discs, surgery on their spine, or more serious back pain issues etc.
      Last edited by Electron Man; 07-20-2015 at 09:56 AM.

    11. Member sweatyworker's Avatar
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      07-20-2015 10:37 AM #11
      rest and ibuprofen and maybe a little something like codeine for the pain. You don't normally apply heat to an injury until a few days have passed so hold off just yet. Go and see the doc as suggested even if you start to feel better. I'd also go and see a physiotherapist who could suggest a recovery regiem for you. Try and avoid doing any exaggerated bends or stretches even if they relieve the pain temporarily you could be making things worse in the long run. Hyper extending can relive a pinched nerve for example but isn't good for your back in the long run.
      Last edited by sweatyworker; 07-20-2015 at 10:42 AM.
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      07-20-2015 10:45 AM #12
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      seriously, a good muscle relaxer is the only way out ....once you have that, the rest of the back won't be in spasm and you'll heal
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      07-20-2015 11:04 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by .LSinLV. View Post
      SOMA

      seriously, a good muscle relaxer is the only way out ....once you have that, the rest of the back won't be in spasm and you'll heal
      if it's that bad, this. if it's medium bad, i usually do aleve.

      take it very easy 2-3 days, after that you need to start moving slowly. wait until its better (4-6 weeks) before going hard on workouts. and biggest thing that helps is strength training once it's healed.
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      07-20-2015 12:02 PM #14
      First of all, sorry to hear this. I tweaked my back using weight machines incorrectly when I was 23. Took two years to bring it back. Suffered through a week of pain with 1 ibuprofen (200mg) per dosage, finally went to a doctor who just suggested I up it to 600mg. Not sure how worth it that trip was, besides learning I did not have a disk problem and what a safe upper limit for ibuprofen was. I think it's pretty amazing how little info or relief a doctor can give you with regards to back pain, which essentially amounts to just pain killers.

      The two things that worked for me (eventually) were

      1) Foam rolling - suggestion from firstorbit84 is a good one. Some people will tell you to not roll the lower back, I say screw it, I roll for about a minute each for upper, mid, and lower back. Does amazing work releasing tension and reducing back ailments. It will hurt, but it's a good hurt. If it's too painful to keep foam rolling, try to do static stretches that bring your arm back. You might have seen some people putting their forearm/elbow against a wall and rotating chest away from it. This helped me before I could foam roll.
      2) Targeted back exercises. Ask or look around at the gym for exercises that pull weight toward you from the front. I was concentrating on pushing too much (bench press, pushups) and ignoring back muscles before injury. This is obviously after some of the pain has died down.

      Quote Originally Posted by firstorbit84 View Post
      Aleve, and a back roller. You can pick them up at most sporting goods stores or big box department stores. Like this:


      You can also improvise one with a couple towels and rubber bands.
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      07-20-2015 12:14 PM #15
      I will also add that I have something very similar to this that I try to use at least once a week.


      It is kinda like an inversion table on the ground. You can control how much tension is applied which helps when things are tight, just slowly increase the tension. It works with a ratcheting system and quick release so you can move it one click at a time and let the back adjust.
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      07-20-2015 12:28 PM #16
      I would say don't work out anymore and that way you can't hurt your back. Also a daily regimen of opiates and alcohol.
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      07-20-2015 12:47 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      alternate ice and heat, very gentle stretches, and lots of ibuprofen.
      I wouldnt stretch an aggravated muscle even a little bit. I agree with the rest though. And try to sleep on your back.
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      07-20-2015 01:05 PM #18
      Regarding the foam roll, you can position it vertically and roll side to side also. I love that. Oh, yes, I love that!
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      07-20-2015 01:28 PM #19
      Thanks for the responses guys. I did stretches that A1an reccomneded on my living room floor and it made a pretty big difference. Been taking it easy all day and it feels a lot better already. Since I did the stretches I'm not locking up anymore and can move around.
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      07-20-2015 01:45 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Harpoon View Post
      Thanks for the responses guys. I did stretches that A1an reccomneded on my living room floor and it made a pretty big difference. Been taking it easy all day and it feels a lot better already. Since I did the stretches I'm not locking up anymore and can move around.
      if heat helps, grab the adhesive heating pads for the back. my wife used them and they helped. I've heard Salonpas creme/gel also helps.

      Naproxen (aleve) is better than Advil (for me, anyways) because it lasts longer and fewer pills need to be taken. just need to drink more water when on them.

      i've tweaked my back and the only feel-good position was sitting, upright, with a bunch of pillows bracing me. like i was in victorian England wearing a corset (which probably would help).
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      07-20-2015 01:56 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Harpoon View Post

      I called out of work today because of it (I do a mix of sitting for extended periods and doing some lifting, two things I don't wanna do) but I need to try to get some relief. I don't have a heating pad, should I buy one? Should I lay on the floor with a pillow below the arch of my back? Any action I can take (or actions to avoid) to alleviate this?
      I don't take any pain relievers unless I'm completely locked and I have to wait to see the chiropractor. I do a heating pad just about every night before bed, and I stretch even on non-lifting days, psoas stretching especially. If I can, I'll even stretch when I have mild back pain and it usually helps.
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      07-20-2015 01:59 PM #22
      Another thing I use on bad days is Rock Sauce, or similar topical pain relief products. It helps if you have someone that can massage it in a little.
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    23. 07-20-2015 03:35 PM #23
      it should also be known that a lot of back pain can come from other parts of the posterior chain. considering you don't know exactly where the pain stems from, i would investigate the issue a little...

      here is a dynamic warm-up that i follow before any full body movement that can be used to alleviate some lower back pain:


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      07-22-2015 10:52 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Harpoon View Post
      Thanks for the responses guys. I did stretches that A1an reccomneded on my living room floor and it made a pretty big difference. Been taking it easy all day and it feels a lot better already. Since I did the stretches I'm not locking up anymore and can move around.
      Awesome...glad it helped out.
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