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Thread: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

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    Default Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Looking for some casual guidance here, not a real diagnosis. But I am sure there are folks here who know a lot about this stuff.

    Since the Ballers Ride I have been experiencing some lower back issues, right at the base of my spine, level with the pelvis. Initially I put it down to over exertion at Ballers and it would get better. It's not. This feels like the kind of thing you'd get if you lifted something heavy in the wrong way.

    The funny thing is that it doesn't seem to affect my riding. On the contrary, riding feels good as it stretches the area out. But practically all other areas of life are kind of a drag. My running is basically zero because the compression of each step makes is agonizing.

    If it doesn't get better I'll have to make a doctor's appointment I guess. Seems like a muscle/soft tissue thing and that's why I think it could be just a matter of time for recovery. But the time hasn't really been helping at all.

    Thoughts. Anyone else have anything like this?

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    It can be really tough to say what's going on w/o seeing a doc. The fact that riding helps a bit is important info to pass on. A friend of mine has been suffering from recurring back pain for a while. He eventually told his doctor that cycling seems to help (my friend also swims, surfs, etc., all of which make things worse), which apparently led to an immediate "aha" moment and a diagnosis. Apparently, some types of hernias, and other lower back problems involving compression in the spinal column of the lower back, were originally differentially diagnosed by putting the patient on a trainer. Who knew?
    Last edited by krthornton; 06-21-2012 at 08:41 AM. Reason: clarity

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    check your cleats?

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    How does it feel when you are working? I take it you are either sitting (in a plane) or walking through airports all day. DarrenCT was having lower back pain from being on his feet all day - he recently was able to remedy it (but I forget how).

    Either way - see a doc.
    Auk's words to live by:
    Blow up and pin a picture of M. Bartoli on your wall. When you achieve that position, stop. Until then, stretch, ride, stretch, ride, eat less, and ride more.

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Yeah, my job is very sedentary with long hours of sitting. It for sure doesn't help. It appeared to be slowly getting better but in the past couple of days has kind of flared up again.

    I will indeed check the cleats. That's a cheap place the start. I've been using the fixed-position red Shimano cleats but there's no real benefit I've found over the yellow floaters. I'll do that right now before I head out to the garage to make a bike selection for today's spin.

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Quote Originally Posted by velobran View Post
    How does it feel when you are working? I take it you are either sitting (in a plane) or walking through airports all day. DarrenCT was having lower back pain from being on his feet all day - he recently was able to remedy it (but I forget how).

    Either way - see a doc.
    lower ab exercises and lower back exercises. strengthen both and drink more beer.

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Arghhhhhh, if I had one cent for all the advice I've had regarding my lower back I could retire a wealthy man. And I mean that most sincerely.
    There are several possible causes, and it sounds similar to my issues 20 years ago. Of course being young and strong I ignored it.
    I ended up with a raft of compensatory muscles that are a real struggle to sort out now - but - and its a big but, I believe i am on to something after all this time.
    My advise is,
    Get a good medical opinion - and a CT scan of your spine.
    I have found acupuncture (performed by an expert exponent of the science) to be the best treatment for the acute pain. By far and away the best relief I've experienced.
    Physiotherapists with an expert understanding of YOUR problem and and an evidence based approach to long term treatment and prevention of relapse are the way to go. Mckenzie self help works for me.
    I have had no success with chiropractors, osteopaths, shamans or witchdoctors.
    This has been my personal journey, I hope yours is shorter.

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    yeah more beer is good

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Saab, my Vienna, Va based chirporactor has a first time fee of $20 that includes xrays, exam and if needed an adjustment......

    My lower back problems have been minimal since I started Yoga. Yoga has helped strengthen my lower back and core.
    life is too short to drink bad wine....

    Stuart Levy

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Constant back pain sufferer here and yes the bike is relief. It has to do with how the nerves exit the spinal collum. When you are bent over on the bike there is more open space between vertabrae on the outside of the curve and consequently less pressure on them.

    One way to self determine if it's nerve pain vs muscle pain is to prod and poke the area, if you can increase or 'find' the pain by physical manipulation then it is a muscle pain. If you can't make it intensify or lessen in the area of hurt then it is nerve pain. If it is nerve pain then it probabaly starts somewhere else, like higher up on your back than where it's bothering you.

    Short of going to the doctor (which I totally reccomend if this persists) what you can do is mind your posture, When standing, stand on both feet. most people stand on one or the other when waiting in line or at counters. Stay balanced, and centered. Sit as straight as possible. Slumping in a chair can put a lot of pressure where you don't want it.

    Ibuprofen is your friend my friend.

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz View Post
    yeah more beer is good
    More beer is always good. But it is also postulated that "Beer Takes The "S" Out Of Fast" and that has clearly been my personal experience. Ballers was a success for me this year only in that I finished on my bike. The skinny guys all did better.

    I'll try some of the exercises. Cleats changed and off for a ride. That almost always makes everything in life a bit better.

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    If it is not going away on its own, the only way to get to the bottom of it is to get to the RIGHT doctor. This probably means going through your primary care doctor to get a referral, so some more time will be involved. I would say that it is not too early to start the process....

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Listen to Darren, start with a sensible and complete core routine and commit to it daily. Start small. This will help localize the issue(s) and maybe solve it at the same time.
    I've got a good memory for body types and in your case you have weak'ish TVA muscles that cause the lowerback curve to be more pronounced. Take a shot at this and report back. If the pain is sharp or intense ignore this advice and get thee to a specialist ASAP.
    Email me if you can't come up with a sensible place to start wrt corework.
    PS - I dislike "equipment" and gyms, you don't need either.

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    ditto
    i do a couple of bck exercises that darren posted awhile ago.
    my back always is a little tender to start the season when the rides get longer but then the exercise tends to repair it.
    thats just me though.

    i also wont say that you are of a certain age...
    i remember when i hit the 40s i dropped 1cm in extension
    50s another cm
    60s another cm.

    12-11-10
    thats life..but i can use all bar positions and my drop is the same pretty much.
    might be worth a try...
    like you...doesnt bother me on the bike... but afterward..

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Quote Originally Posted by bellman View Post
    Constant back pain sufferer here and yes the bike is relief. It has to do with how the nerves exit the spinal collum. When you are bent over on the bike there is more open space between vertabrae on the outside of the curve and consequently less pressure on them.

    Jake is 100% here & I know the pain you are talking about as I spend 8-14 hrs a day in a chair - you don't have nerve pain - you KNOW when you have that - burning, crawling - awful.

    This may seem over simplistic but spend a solid 10min at least once a day laying on your stomach raised up on your elbows, eyes even with the horizon. It works - it's the opposite on sitting.
    In the wheelchair crowd we always talk back pain & the 1st question is "been laying on your stomach?"

    Try it out 1st - easy fix before they start injecting you with steroids.
    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Thanks for all the comments. I'll try a few minor exercises to start with. Znfdl's suggestion of Yoga is also intriguing. The benefit of course is two fold. He has also told me that the scenery is not bad. Might have to check it out.

    In all seriousness, I do appreciate the comments and suggestions. I just did a solid 2+ hour ride and zero pain. It is a relief, as was mentioned. The bike is therapy. And yeah, I am of a certain age. I'm 45 now and there's little doubt that cycling slows the clock, but it doesn't stop it.

    Oh, and nobody will be injecting me with anything for a long time. I'm really just not into that sort of thing at all if there is an alternative. That type of therapy or any other chemical is a last resort option.

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    My lower back pain presented in/near the SI joint and sounds similar to what you were experiencing. I found that the root cause was tight quads (from sitting all day long at the job) and tight hammies. Lots of core strengthening (leg lifts etc.) and some stretching and I'm good as gold. When it was acute, I stood up at work for 3 weeks, which really helped. Alas, I know that's not an option for you, but walking around 5 mins every hour might be a good idea.

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    I had a slightly similar situation earlier this year. I had to first wait until the inflammation went down, but my doc advised me to be active during this period & he was spot-on - "walk your way back to normal, don't just veg out in the recliner". Then stretching & exercises & treatment & conscious effort to improve posture to "straighten" things out. One of the exercises is very similar to what Steve just described. He also pointed out how important it is for me to stretch out my notoriously tight hamstrings regularly. And some core exercises including a exercise ball. I do these things & I don't need to be back in his office - feel sooo much better. Sitting at a desk job for a couple decades can allow some pretty bad habits, that eventually have consequences. I'm glad I found some medical help/advice that doesn't just gravitate to meds.

    Best of luck!

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    Thanks for all the comments. I'll try a few minor exercises to start with. Znfdl's suggestion of Yoga is also intriguing. The benefit of course is two fold. He has also told me that the scenery is not bad. Might have to check it out.

    In all seriousness, I do appreciate the comments and suggestions. I just did a solid 2+ hour ride and zero pain. It is a relief, as was mentioned. The bike is therapy. And yeah, I am of a certain age. I'm 45 now and there's little doubt that cycling slows the clock, but it doesn't stop it.

    Oh, and nobody will be injecting me with anything for a long time. I'm really just not into that sort of thing at all if there is an alternative. That type of therapy or any other chemical is a last resort option.
    I'd pay money to see 45 again. Have had a few instances in the past of the pain you describe...a few times exacerbated by sciatica. Not fun. Watch for other muscle groups, (hip flexors, lower stomach) overcompensating and stiffening up while they attempt to hold everything together properly. As others have noted, it sounds muscular, I am also not a fan of gyms or gym equipment..or shots of any sort. The Garro stomach stretch is good...strengthen the midsection and lower back by whatever methods you prefer, and lose any gut you've gained by sitting around. I can only imagine that you job doesn't lend itself to keeping fit on a routine basis; sitting around, bad food options, stress, iffy hotel beds, etc.. I get it..I used to travel a ton for business at one point in my career and I blossomed up to something like 245lbs for about 3 years. Ugh.

    Immediate Pain Relief Tip; What works for me is to lie on the floor, on your side, with legs curled up into a moderately tight fetal position. This helps for times when the pain is really bad and enables you to take some deep breaths and relax.

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    Default Re: Any back experts here? Lower back pain issues

    Steve's suggestion sounds a lot like "cobra" pose if you want to "yoga-fy" it.

    I'm only an expert on my body and the pains i drive it to*, BUT some of the worst lumbar pain i've ever had, was kidney-driven. Yes, let me explain as i've never really researched it, nor have i ever heard another make the same conclusion. Summary is such: over indulgence in caffeine will cause lower back pain in _this_ specimen. AND it's very slow to correct itself once i realize i've done it. Correction is affected by drinking water-and is awfully, terribly slow.

    *and through sometimes.

    The first few times was debilitating (as a teen). Then I got to where I can feel it coming on and adjust the hydration contents before it gets that bad--keeping it down to a dull ache. Note, this pain is different from most other lumbar pains in that there's no finding a comfortable position when acute. Like a bad headache, you'll get a few seconds of "fresh" pain (sometimes a relief in itself) but not find an absence of it no matter how you position yourself.

    Now later in life, it seems that i can consume a bit more caffeine than i could as a young feller-but this may have some to do with the source not being a syrupy-flavored-carbonated bev.

    So, you heard it here first. Serious back pain can be driven by _other-than_ spinal issues. I _can_ lock myself down with caffeine.

    Back to yoga- downward dog is awesome for relieving lumbar pressure-that and a few more ...
    and hey while you're down there on the floor--get that foam roller going-- hooo yeah!






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