6'7" and hating it for the first time ever!

Discussions relating to Lower Back Pain.

6'7" and hating it for the first time ever!

Postby longtallsally » Sat Oct 22, 2005 5:09 pm

Well after reading through the articles on the site, I thought I might delve a little deeper. As mentioned in the subject, I am 6'7" (and the shortest in my family before I get the "you're tall" bit) and at this very moment lying in bed since I can't even walk due to the pain in my back.

I'm 33 and spent my entire life an athlete. However, over the past 2 years I've gone to grad school and my workout regimen has suffered dramatically. Up to just a few years ago I had a total of 6% body fat and carried clsoe to 250 lbs of mostly muscle. I have spent the past 20 years working out in a gym and become VERY in tune with my body and what I should and should not be doing.

To make a long story short, I injured my back some years ago and ever since then I do something to trigger it from time to time. Cue the broken record I know. At the urging of my girlfriend, I went to a doctor after I couldn't walk for a weekend- that was the first time ever it was so bad- and he gave me some annoying news. My lower spine has deteriorated according to the xrays, and that is basically the cause. When I asked what I did to cause it, he say, "Merry Christmas". In other words, I just have this condition. He also said that he would suggest that I go to a physical therapist, but that I would most likely teach them something.

So then, when I do work out (I've made a pact with myself that once it heals this time that I'll not take off any more time from the gym) I do quite a bit of "core" work for my spine mainly with a pilotis (sp?) ball. I also stopped using a weight belt a few years ago and dropped back the amount of weight I was lifting. I am very conscientious of my form in the movements I choose and also avoid exercises that put strain on joints- my back is not the only one with issues.

My question is this: what have I done and what do I need to do to be able to start to fix it. I DO NOT want surgery and am having issues with taking any pain medication- but was told by the doctor that Ibuprofin is good upon the initial injury. The start of this occurrence was a cough in the shower (no kidding). It started to get better and I did some brief exercises- very simple and no impact- at home and last night suffered a total relapse. And so I am in bed with ice and heat.

I stood up, but cannot come even close to straight or I go straight to my knees in excrutiating pain. I am not leaned forward, but to the side where there is no pain at all. I am fine in bed when totally straight, but the moment I straighten up with weight on it, I'm done. I look completely goofy as I'm leaned totally to one side or the other- the pain is only when I stand straight up. I have always had exceptional posture, so this is very strange to me.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am 15 kinds of infuriated as I cannot do a darn thing for myself and can barely get to the friggin' bathroom on my own.

Thanks,

Brice
longtallsally
 
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Postby Bill » Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:00 pm

Hi Brice,

Welcome to the group. I can imagine how frustrating it can be for a serious athlete like yourself to suddenly find that he has "a bad back." It's hard for even the average person to accept, let alone someone whose done everything right all his life.

The good news is, that this so-called "bad back" is usually nothing more serious than a torn ligament like Dean points out over and over in his writing.

Which means that by stretching and reconditioning that troublesome ligament, you can recover from this injury (or pattern of injuries) just like you would from any sports injury. In other words, no matter how frustrating and painful the situation may seem right now, keep in mind that it is just another injury like many you've obviously had in the past. It just happens to be in your lower back this time rather than an ankle or knee.

I realize that I'm jumping to conclusions by focusing on a ligament, when it could be something else. I just used that as an example because 90 percent of back injuries are torn ligaments.

Point I'm trying to make is that you can beat this thing. I did and I'm not all that athletic.

Hang in there and let us know how it goes,
Bill
Bill
 
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Postby randolph » Tue Nov 01, 2005 9:17 am

hello Brice
Your pleas for HELP!!! have not gone unnoticed. Bill had some good stuff to relay and my major point here will be to encourage you to download RYB and the Pain Manual and let that info sink in along with the soothing (hopefully) heat and ice you've probably got on your back as you lie in bed. But lots of minor points here too, because my situation seems very similar to yours. I hesitated a few days replying to you, as today will be just the 5th day doing Dean's gentle (but very effective) exercises, but I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. So I thought, maybe it won't be much for you, but what little I've seen will certainly be more helpful than silence.
I'm a very athletic 52 yr male. Running, biking, weightlifting regularly (2-3 hr sessions 3-5 X/wk) most of the years since teenage. Had a couple minor OTJ accidents working construction in my 30's/40's that seemed to respond to a few chiro visits (which I wouldn't do again knowing what I know now). Last six years driving a big rig 15-20 hrs/day most days (that's industry avg in spite of DOT regs, but that's another story). Still managed to stay fit (or so I thought) and ingest cutting edge supplements like glyconutrients to maximize conditioning/strengthening value of workouts. 5 weeks ago zapped my L4-L5/sciatic nerve while pressing up on a leg squat with just warmup weight. Then, 2 weeks later, reinjured by chiro manipulation ("doc", good-hearted but misguided). Like you, could only crawl to bathroom; standing was out of the question; couldn't lean forward (let alone touch palms to floor as usual); each night a hell of too much pain down right hamstring/behind knee/past calf/circling ankle/partial numbness bottom of feet. Yeah, it was VERY strange for me too. All this said so you can know, a fellow sufferer writing this. And like you, blundered onto this site with the resolve that I'm not doing surgery and I know I can somehow lick this like I've beat everything else before, and there seemed to be some real hope offered at this site. All the other sites, inspite of some intriguing info, seemed come-ons for my dwindling $$$. After 3 weeks bedrest interrupted only by crawling to bathroom and standing a few seconds to reach freezer for ice, took Bill's advice and started beginning exercises in RYB. First day, worked (and work is the word) hard to make an absurdly small increase in flexibility. But it was progress. I alternated from knee-ups, to hip shrugs on hands/knees, back to knee-ups, then just trying to stand on knees, then crash back to floor, lying on back for 15 minutes exhausted. Then alternate knee-ups, and try to lie on my stomach (prep for Cobra exercise). Then a couple hours of ice/heat till felt pain reduced to try it all again. All very frustrating and painful, inspite of maintenance doses of NCAID (naproxen sodium or serrapeptase my favorites). And the hardest "workout" I've ever experienced. So I'm into my fifth day now (after a mild relapse the third day after getting so frustrated the second day that I pushed way too far and earned myself another night of hell without sleep and lots of pain). Now I can lie on my stomach for several minutes, and almost lean on my elbows to bend back ever so little; stand on my knees for several minutes doing minutes of side-bends and back bend as much as I ever could; bend forward a few inches while standing; and stand at kitchen counter (favoring my good leg/propping up painful one) long enough to rinse the blender from the smoothie I made on the floor; and take much less of the NCAID. It's a different kind of exercising than we're used to in the gym, but your INTUNE-ness with your body will kick-in after a few initial failures. The frustration subsides a bit with Mozart/Elgar/Beethoven/seasounds in the background and the exhiliration felt after the smallest of gains in flexibility, and perceptible reduction in the pain.
I hope this helps a bit Brice.
randolph
 
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This too shall pass...

Postby krd » Tue Nov 01, 2005 2:36 pm

Hey, been there done that. All that you guys are saying was my nightmare. Time does heal and the exercises are awesome. My body would not let me do the exercises for approximately 10 weeks. I waited for all of the pain to subside beford beginning, because initially while trying to do the exercises early on, it seemed to irritate the nerve. However; after the 10 weeks and beginning exercises, I have noticed significant changes in my back. I am active again, and the pain is virtually non-existent. Every now and then some tingling in my foot and some tightness in my left buttocks area. Stetching exercises seem to relieve this rather shortly. Hang in there and don't give up.
krd
 
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