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View Full Version : Life Back problems, knowledge requested


bowener
12-27-2008, 04:21 PM
So I am a 24 year-old, mostly white Male. I was once an all state athlete in multiple sports. During football I was 6'2" and just under 200lbs at my heaviest, with less than 10% body fat at that time, the start of my senior year.

Problem area:
Lower back, right above the right hip. I was told it is my sciatic nerve (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sciatic_nerve).

Family History:
Father has lower back troubles, but his are due to him having an extra disc in his lower back.

My brother, 28, has had 2 surgeries in less than 2 years to repair damage done to his sciatic nerve. I believe he said that his nerve had a tear in its outer sheath and leaked fluid out that hardened to about the size of a peanut and is rubbing against or was caught in his vertebrae... something like that. First surgery helped alleviate pain for about 6 months, then it returned, 2nd surgery has done nothing, and possibly caused more troubles due to a negligent nurse.

How my trouble started:
Played WR/DE in HS. We were running pass routes in practice and I caught a shoestring pass while sprinting, so I was bent over in half while running, seems kind of like an awkward act for the body perhaps. I was never known as the most flexible person, and a Dr once commented on how inflexible I was during a speed training session I had. To my credit he was surprised I was fast for being as stiff as I was.
When I caught the pass and attempted to raise my body to continue running out the route I felt a huge pop in my lower back. It was the most intense pain I had felt, and I believe still have felt, and I did a face plant on the practice field while letting out a loud,"****!"

Current troubles:
I have grown used to the daily stiffness and pain that runs across my right hip and down my right leg, but the last month as been far worse on a daily basis. The pain now spreads across both hips in the back and while it still runs down my right leg, it has started running up my right back and ending just below my shoulder blades. No matter what stretches I do, or how much ice I apply, or ibuprofen I eat, it doesn't seem to really make a damn bit of a difference. I also noticed about a month and a half ago that the outside of my left foot is numb. I talked to a dr about this in passing and he said that if it feels like when your foot is "asleep" but about to wake up, that is due to nerve trauma or damage, and it shouldn't last more than a week if it isn't too bad. I am guessing it lasting almost 2 months is not a good thing, though it is less numb than before, it still continues being numb from the little toe to about the middle of my heel in the back. That all runs about 1 inch up from the bottom of my foot.

I was wondering if any of you out there that suffer from lower back pain have any advice on stretches or what methods or exercise work for you. I currently only weight about 170, I have little muscle mass on my upper body and I have a low body fat % as well. I have tried over the last year or so to really keep from getting any bulk on my upper body to try and take stress off my back. It seemed to work at first, but now it doesn't seem to matter. I also was wondering if there are any specific type of dr's to go see. I have been to chiropractors dozens of time, but that is like throwing money in a wishing well. They just mash on my back and tell me that should help (it doesn't), then they say to take ibuprofen and ice my back in 15 minute intrevals for about 2-3hours. The only thing that really disturbs me is how long my foot has been numb.

I am going to go see a Dr at the student health center on campus on monday.

Alright, advise away!

doomy3
12-27-2008, 04:22 PM
Antifreeze.

milkman
12-27-2008, 04:23 PM
You should just have your back removed.

luv
12-27-2008, 04:24 PM
You should just have your back removed.

This.

luv
12-27-2008, 04:25 PM
You don't have to weigh a lot to have back problems. Sounds like a bulging disk.

Chiefs Pantalones
12-27-2008, 04:26 PM
Number one, shoot yourself in the face.

Number two, I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

bowener
12-27-2008, 04:29 PM
Wow, these all give me great hope. I am just hoping to have something to help this so that it doesn't progressively get worse throughout my life, but that seems to be the case.

blueballs
12-27-2008, 04:31 PM
ask MarboroChief

Goldmember
12-27-2008, 04:35 PM
I'm not a doctor, but I stayed in a sleezebag motel last night....

Seriously, I have a similar problem on my left side, but quite as bad as you, or I've had it for so long I don't feel the pain as much. I jammed my back once during a fall and felt pain where I now have a herniated disc. I also played a lot of beach volleyball that I think contributed to it the problem. The disc hits the sciatica nerve and causes the pain and numbness.

I go to a chiropractor once a month but the best result for me is to keep my core strong, doing sit ups on an exercise ball, and other pilates type exercises.
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00302

I am trying to keep from having my vertebrae fused but if the pain gets worse, I may have to do it. I road and mt bike ride a lot so I'm sure it that doesn't help.

Good luck!

Bwana
12-27-2008, 04:39 PM
but the best result for me is to keep my core strong,

This

bowener
12-27-2008, 04:40 PM
I'm not a doctor, but I stayed in a sleezebag motel last night....

Seriously, I have a similar problem on my left side, but quite as bad as you, or I've had it for so long I don't feel the pain as much. I jammed my back once during a fall and felt pain where I now have a herniated disc. I also played a lot of beach volleyball that I think contributed to it the problem. The disc hits the sciatica nerve and causes the pain and numbness.

I go to a chiropractor once a month but the best result for me is to keep my core strong, doing sit ups on an exercise ball, and other pilates type exercises.
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00302

I am trying to keep from having my vertebrae fused but if the pain gets worse, I may have to do it. I road and mt bike ride a lot so I'm sure it that doesn't help.

Good luck!

Thanks! I try and do sit-ups or crunches but it kills my back to do that, but I will just try and suffer through the pain if I have to. I will see the Dr before I do anything too stupid to myself.

Goldmember
12-27-2008, 04:44 PM
You should not be doing sit ups and crunches then but you can still work your core other ways, like using the ball. A good one is lying face down on the ball and lifting your arm and opposite leg, then do the other side. If you don't have a ball, just get on your knees and lift one leg and one arm, but not all four at the same time ;-)

bowener
12-27-2008, 04:46 PM
You should not be doing sit ups and crunches then but you can still work your core other ways, like using the ball. A good one is lying face down on the ball and lifting your arm and opposite leg, then do the other side. If you don't have a ball, just get on your knees and lift one leg and one arm, but not all four at the same time ;-)

Thanks smart ass. I will do that one. Another one I was taught was to lay on your back in bed or floor and hump the air using only your muscles to arch the pelvis forward. I used to be able to do that one, but now I feel a sharp pinch when I do it.

Katipan
12-27-2008, 04:50 PM
My ex freak of a husband always went with the massively large quantities of Vicodin and Nubain.

Totally worked. For a few hours.

Goldmember
12-27-2008, 04:54 PM
Well, I'd say you are pretty messed up then. Don't do anything until you see a doc and get some x-rays

patteeu
12-27-2008, 05:32 PM
I had a herniated disk when I was about your age. It only hurt when I shifted positions from standing to sitting (or vice versa), when I walked, or when I bent over, but when it hurt it was the worst pain I'd ever felt at that point in my life. For a couple of months I actually tried to minimize the number of times I sat down or stood up during the day and did as little walking as possible.

I went to a chiropractor for a while with limited success. After several visits, the chiropractor told me to see a doctor who recommended the same type of core strengthening exercises that Goldmember is talking about. By this time, the pain had become more bearable so I was able to do situps and things like that. Eventually the pain cleared up completely.

When I was 30, my disk herniated again and I was back in the same condition. This time I had to get the problem resolved more quickly to be able to do the things I needed to do at that point in my life so I went to a surgeon and he did a laminectomy (back surgery to remove the herniated portion of the disk). I'd always been told to try exercise first before messing with surgery because I guess it doesn't always work out great, but in my case the surgery was an instant success and I haven't had significant back problems in the 15 years since that episode.

You should probably see a doctor and explore your options. If he wants to try exercise first and you can live with the discomfort for a while, that's probably the best approach. If he thinks surgery is warranted, get a good surgeon with experience and you should be golden. Good luck. I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone.

KCUnited
12-27-2008, 05:41 PM
I developed sciatica in the Summer of 2000 during physical therapy for a reconstructed right knee. Most pain full shit I've ever felt, and I've compounded my femur and shattered my knee cap in the same blow.

No joke, it took me 3 years to stretch out of sciatica. The more painful the stretch, the more effective.

redsurfer11
12-27-2008, 06:40 PM
Find a warm swimming pool and start swimming. Worked wonders for the 3 disks I herniated. A pair of swim fins adds resistance. Works all muscles in lower back,hips and legs. Try it. You'll notice the difference.

crossbow
12-27-2008, 08:15 PM
I suffered with back problems for years. I tried everything: Needle shots of morphine directly into the spine, drugs, excersize, rest, cursing, you name it. Even had surgery to remove ruptured discs. Then one fateful day after my fourth ruptured disc put me into so much pain I couldn't even lay down...I was taken to an emergancy room. "Here we go again" I thought, but this young doctor put me on Steroid pills. It was the only treatment that worked after all those years of agony. In less then 4 days the pain was gone and I could stand straight, walk like normal, and sleep normal. You might want to check it out for yourself.

Advice to you:

1) Get the spine straightened out befor you go on physical therapy. (steroids will do that for you)
2) Once you have the pain under control then take daily walks. (walks pump oxygen into your body - much needed by humans)
3) After you have healed, never sleep on a couch, don't drive cars for long hours, allways lift with your legs and NEVER use your back.

Hope this helps.

crazycoffey
12-27-2008, 08:40 PM
so, you are mostly white, or mostly male?

boogblaster
12-27-2008, 10:10 PM
Blew my disks out in the 4-5 lum.. after years of chiorpratic treatment .. finally put me down for good .. had surgery in 98 had to remove disks and sew up spinal cord .. can't get around for shit now .. so my advice is don't wait go see a good spinal surgen get it fixed as soon as possible ... try laying flat on your back with your shoulders touching the floor cross one leg over the other and roll that way slowly keeping your shoulders touching the floor reverse leg and do the same the other way .. it will take the sharp pain away for a little while ... good luck buddy ....

KC Jones
12-27-2008, 10:15 PM
man - I just blew out my back a week ago. Been having chronic back problems in recent years (mostly instability in the lower back leading to acute injuries). After reading what some of you poor bastards have been through I feel lucky to have the shitty back that I do.

Goldmember
12-28-2008, 04:11 AM
so, you are mostly white, or mostly male?

LMAO

beach tribe
12-28-2008, 04:38 AM
Roxicett.

beach tribe
12-28-2008, 04:38 AM
Find a warm swimming pool and start swimming. Worked wonders for the 3 disks I herniated. A pair of swim fins adds resistance. Works all muscles in lower back,hips and legs. Try it. You'll notice the difference.

This sounds like good advice. Unlike my first post.