I have had a bad back for 30 years and the only thing that has helped is a GOOD chiropractor not the type that twists and pops you. Last year I bought a contraption called a Trueback for $50 on Ebay and it has really helped keep my spine in line. I have known my chiropractor for many years and you might want to give him a call(907)563-3839) and see if he knows of anyone in your area that uses his method. Ice and Advil helps. I crawled into his office on my hands and knees one day and shot a marathon the next day.
I am 53 years young and have had lower back problems for 36 of those years and here is what helped me. Beginning at age 17 I started going to Chiropractors and by age 25 felt that is was going to be a way of life. I then found a great Chiropractor that had a very interesting story. Without going into big details he was a chemist for Proctor and Gamble and was in a car accident. Was told he would never walk again and started going to a Chiropractor. Got interested and graduated as a Chiropractor at 53 years of age. With his Chemistry background he asked one visit if I ate a lot of peanuts. It seems that I did eat peanuts on a regular basis and based on his research, he asked me to stop eating peanuts. When I did, and after about one year, I did not return to the Chiropractor for approximately five years. Today, whenever I eat just a few peanuts....I can feel it in my lower back. I now see a Chiropractor about once every year or two. I have told many friends about it and they thought I was crazy....but they have all had geat improvement by not eating peanuts and swear by it. This is a simple fix considering the current peanut situation. Hey give it a try. By the way, also avoid peanut oil (just read ingredients) like in most potato chips.
I had back surgery in 1991 when I was 30. I had experienced back problems (bulging disks, herniated disks, sciatic nerve pain down my leg, as far back as 1983.)
Back pain sucks WAAAAY bad, and I wouldn't wish what I have been through on my worst enemy.
Have an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon look at you. Listen to what they tell you and do what they tell you to do. Actually do the exercises they tell you to do.
Nothing against Chiropractors. They offer relief to many people for many things, but for this, I'd recommend against one. They are not subject to the same level of peer review and scrutiny on types of procedures and treatments as MD's are. And lower back pain is something you don't want to take lightly. Go with what's been proven to work.
Here's some stuff that helps me:
Firm matress. Don't sleep on your stomach. No more than one pillow under your head. Put pillows under your knees when you sleep on your back. Put a firm pillow between your knees when you sleep on your side.
Don't get a hangover (that is: don't let your stomach hang out over your belt. This weight hanging out in front of you naturally puts a torque on your lower back, which makes matters worse.)
Keep your stomach muscles VERY strong. I do 300 sit-ups of various kinds every day before I have breakfast.
Maintain good posture (you know, the stuff your parents told you way back when you were a kid?) Sit up straight. Don't slouch. Both feet on the floor. Sit with your hip joint level with, or lower than your knee joint.
If you normally keep your wallet in one of your back pockets, you might change this. Silly as it may seem, sitting with your wallet in one of your back pockets can cause stress on your back.
Stand straight, chest out, shoulders back, stomach sucked in hips rotated forward.
BEND YOUR KNEES to pick stuff up, and keep your back vertical when you do.
Exercise. Stay in reasonable shape.
For short term temporary relief, squat down into a (baseball) catcher's stance (but only if your knees can handle that position.)
Back pain sucks. It really does. And it never goes completely away. Avoid it if you can. If you get it, do what the doctors tell you to do. If you have a bulging disk, you'll have to be aware of it, and take preventive measures to keep it away for the rest of your life.
Our family all has bad backs so it is heriditary in my case . I had surgury 28 years ago , double laminectomy and a few reaccurances that laid me up and very sore every time . I recently did do stretching in the shower as I`ve done for years and it felt as if a spring broke in the lower back last Monday . Heat and cold packs for the last week and Sunday I could only manage 1 round before I had to sit down again . I`m not one for exercise but I am active so this really sucks . Some people go thru life with no idea what a bad back does . My neighbor is 86 and never had a bad back ?? Some are lucky and others are not . If you can , do an exercise that can strengthen the stomach and back muscles . Never heard the peanut problems with the back but I can stay away from them except at Halloween time with the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups !!! My favorite .
I had a laminectomy in 1973 with a complete recovery, at location L4.
I still have some phantom pain occasionally in the right calf.
I feel fortunate to have had a good neurosurgeon back in those dark ages. As far as Chiropractors go, I would advise you to find one who is schooled in the Palmer Method. And If you are REALLY lucky, one who has had courses in Concept-Therapy. I had some seminars with folks of that persuasion and learned a lot.
They have a lot of new things now. My friends wife had 2 nylon shims put in that look like "C" clips, to spread the vertebra apart and relieve the pressure.
For exercise, get yourself a set that promotes flexibility. These usually involve turning and stretching, etc. Most therapists will have charts that show them.
As hard as it may be to swallow and i'ts not eassy advise to give, my back problems only get better when i suffer through and walk it off. It is painfull as all get out but when I walk it loosens and relaxes and the pain leaves.
Dear John D,
I always have time for fellow shooters. You have questions call me at (757) 787-3111. I am board certified in chiropractic, physiotherapy, and a personal trainer. I operate COASTAL CHIROPRACTIC AND PHYSIOTHERAPY, LLC in Accomac Virginia.
Michael Sharkey, DC
I too have lower back problems, been taking MRI's every 3 years, currently it looks like I've got "fish hooks" extended from the veterbrae in my lower back. Been thru epidural's ,meds, therapy, etc. Word to the wise start a tracking regimen, so that nothing sneaks up on you & does permanent nerve damage. I'm meeting with an orthopedic surgeon & a neurologist. Will get 2nd & third opinions & will go to the best hospital. and when I mean best, I mean best. ask the question if your mother or father needs this procedure where would you send them? I'm 800 miles from NYC & I'm thinking about the Hospital For Special Surgery. Would you send your K or P gun to the local gunsmith? Do your homework.
I have a chiropractor who is also an accupuncturist and also a massage therapist that uses all of these disciplines to take care of my neck and lower back. He has a clinic in Illinois and Wisconsin. JM
I've known a few people who wished they would have done nothing; after multiple back surgeries, still the pain was there, if not worse. Sometimes when a person has back pain they need to look to see if they can see their belt buckle (Yes, it's in the front). Alot of back problems, you've guessed it is caused by the beer gut. I've also heard of the disc repairing itself as it can move slightly. All I'm saying is sometimes surgery is not always the absolute cure. I'm not a doctor but before I get cut on I'll try everything else first. Darrell
So, I had a laminectomy last August. I'm 56 and had a left foraminal hernia of the L3/L4. Foraminal hernia means that I squirted the herniated piece of disk right into the foraminal tunnel from which the nerve root exits the spine (the left tunnel in my case). Ortho guy says he only sees one of these every three years.
Now please listen carefully....without an MRI you have no idea if you have a bulging disk, a herniation, or something else altogether...without the MRI, you are just guessing.
If it is a herniation, 80% of these resolve themselves in 3-6 weeks. By resolve they mean that the disk and herniation tend to shrink back again just a bit and in most cases this provides enought clearance that the nerve that are impacted are relieved.
As said above, if you are having continence issues, are numb under the scrotum, or anything like that then GO NOW TO A NEURO SURGEON AS YOU HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLME AND THE LONGER YOU WAIT THE MORE LIKELY IT IS TO BECOME PERMANENT.
In my case, I suffered pretty significant muscle weakness (entire thigh area) and it was not getting better and the nerve pain was breathtaking. Talk about bad luck, three weeks prior I had a stent put in my heart artery and was consigned to anticoagulants for a year...so cortasone epidurals were out and surgery was an option but only as a last resort.
I went to a neurosurgeon. Yes, I am about to insult all Chiropractors and Orthopedic surgeons....but, if I want an artificial hip, I'll go to a Ortho guy and they can wail away with their hammers. However, if I want spinal surgery, then I go to a neurosugeon and I went to the two best in the city area in which I live.
Neuro guy says that prior to surgery, let's try very high doses of Prednisone. This is an oral steriod. You may have once been prescribed a Medrol pack...a card of prednisone with six pills the first day and tailing down over the next five days. Very effective anti-inflammatory. First day, the big dose, is 20 mg. The neuro guys said screw the pack, I was on 60 mg for 3 days, 40 mg for 3 days, and 20 mg for next 7 days. At first I felt like Superman but after a week or so it wears you out.
The good news is that it knocked the pain down by at least 80%. The bad news is that the weakness in my leg (from pressure on the nerves) did not get better and if we waited any longer the neuropathy would become permanent (permanent nerve damage and permanent loss of some degree of leg function).
So, surgery. Its a MF'er....no doubt. But I have full strength back in my leg now...or at least 85-90 percent (its my left leg and I'm a right handed shooter). Downside is I still have nerve pain that is going away veeeeery slowly as the nerve heals and calms down.
I couldn't shoot all last season and I am now up to being able to shoot 7-8 rounds in a day without too much issue. The climb out of this crap has been slow. The neuro guy said that they don't consider anything permanent unless its been that way for two years...like I said, recovery progress is slow.
As someone mentioned above, exersize (e.g. walking, cardio, like that) helps me now...it loosens the muscles around this sensitive bundle of nerves and this eliminates/reduces the pain. Advil (800 mg...4 capsules...works well and keeps me away from narcotics). Stretching helps....in my case, hamstrings, quadrceps, and gluts. And absolutely, as a long term plan weight loss and core (stomach and obliques) muscles strengthing is key...these muscles provide the support for the back.
My hope is in a month your pain will subside by itself...but i would explore the oral steriod treatment...or cortosone epidural...but only with a neuro surgeon and with MRI films in hand.
This time last year I couldn't walk ,lay down ,or stand . I sat in a chair 24/7. Finally went to e.r. had developed foot drop. I had my surgery still have back pain and have to be carefull what I do .Most of the damage to the nerve got better still have numbness in right leg around the shin. Iam able to work and shoot so I live with it . Just don't wait too long to get it fixed.Chris