24 y.o. Tried to catch cat, wrecked back. HELP!

Discussions relating to Lower Back Pain.
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:01 am

24 y.o. Tried to catch cat, wrecked back. HELP!

Post by hairyllama » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:18 am

Ok. So I just found this site after waking up in the middle of the night with my back pain. I also just purchased the "rebuild your back ebook".

I'm 24, fit, eat healthy, never had any back issues.

Last summer I tried to catch a cat, that's when it all started.

Basically, I jumped out of a door, onto a concrete porch, while leaning forward at a rapid pace, trying to grab the critter... which I missed.

I quickly realized my mistake, when my foot instantly shot with pain... and then proceeded to swell up (bruised/fractured?) and hurt for a month afterwards.

My back felt fine the first week. But over the next several months it started hurting progressively more.

About a month ago I tried a week of chiropractic, which may, or may not have helped... in any case, the back is still in pain.

On an X-ray two of the lumbar joints are slightly tilted... Those two were also swollen, to the touch, and hurt if pressed on.

Now about 5 joints hurt if I run my hand down my spine, all in the lumbar region.

Most of the "general" pain comes from the muscles which are extremely tight around that whole area... and at different days, sometimes my leg muscles also become extremely sore for no apparent reason, I'm assuming due to pressure on the nerve?

In any case, it makes it difficult to work and sleep.

Leaning to far with the spine puts pressure on the worst joint which feels like it is "pinching", which also causes pain.

I have an inversion table which I have tried... but I'm not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing.

Basically I don't have any idea what to do next, what type of doctor to see, what exercises to do etc etc etc.

Since it has been 4-5 months and it does not seem that it is going to heal on it's own, does anyone have any idea what I should try?

Should I do the exercises in dean's ebook?

Thanks for any help!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:01 am

Post by hairyllama » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:44 pm

Also, what's the general consensus on walking/running while having a back issue?
Is it helpful or is it harmful?

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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:24 am

Post by Puddy » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:53 am

Hey hairy llama,

Hang in there...your body wants to heal. I've tried almost everything imaginable, but my lower back pain never seemed to abate. Then one day, someone noticed how out of alignment my hips, knees, shoulder and spine were. They suggested that I get trigger point therapy. I tried that for 6 months, and it felt better, but it never felt "normal". My TP therapist suggested I look at this "straightening" book. It has all these "movement" exercises that help you realign your joints. It took some time, but now I feel so much better. I've been using the book for about 4 months. It's called "Pain Free". I still feel that I have some work to do, but to date, nothing has worked like this. I am back to working mostly pain free and I call run and play with my kids again. I don't know if I'll ever get back to my "old self" again...maybe if I keep going, I'll be even better than that!

Good luck and don't give up.

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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:01 am

Post by hairyllama » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:04 pm

oh jesus. that makes it sound really scary... you have been working on yours for over a year?

I have been doing stretches this past month from orthopedic doctor and Dean's ebook... I have seen zero success with them.

I will see doc again in about a week, I suppose I will get MRI's at that time.

I feel like I am 80 years old at 24.... can't exercise or anything because it all makes it worse.... All I want to do is sleep. :( :( :(

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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:01 am

Post by hairyllama » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:06 pm

Also, has anyone had any luck with an inversion table?

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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:24 am

Post by Puddy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:57 am

I have had the most success with the Egoscue method outlined in the "Pain Free" book. I was an avid athlete and sustained various injuries from sports that created issues in my post-athletic career. The theory is that if we create muscle imbalances (via poor posture & repetitive motions--like swinging a golf club), pain will eventually follow. To undo that, you need to correct the posture and muscle imbalances. For me, the pain has gone almost completely out of my lower back. I am back to playing sports with my kids. I can also work and sleep without thinking about it. It only took from about September 1...this is when I started Egoscue.

You are only 24, so you will likely have less issues than an older fellow like myself. If you start a program with them, I am sure you will have faster success than me...and you will not have to go through what I see happening all around me as all my friends turn 40+. If you keep good posture as you age, your body will not be in pain.

Currently, I use the internet version of this method along with the book...I send pics to a therapist and she gives me a set of exercises based on my current posture. All I can say is that nothing else worked for me and if Dean's book isn't helping you need to try something else.

Good luck mate

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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:14 am

Post by monkey12 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:17 am

Hi there,

I am pretty confident from what you wrote that your problem is not your back, but your foot. You described that you had immediate pain in your foot, and that your back pain only developed over time. So this is a typical example of the causes of back pain - we injure ourselves somewhere in the body, and over time, we have back pain, but no one really understands that it is actually the initial injury that is causing the back pain.

A normal reaction in our body is to 'compensate' whenever we have pain, so I am pretty sure that your body immediately reacted to the pain (and the swelling) in your foot, meaning that you didn't place your foot properly on the ground, and most likely also constantly putting more weight on the the other leg. Therefore, with every single step you have been taking since the impact, you are building up tension in some muscles in your foot and leg that are connected to the lower back. Using the wrong muscles and the resulting build-up of tension in those muscles will finally lead to back pain if left unattended (I once had a torn ligament in my right ankle joint, and as it hurt I kind of started limping for quite some time with the result of developing terrible back pain after a few weeks.)
Most likely you have developed a wrong walking habit, and as long as you do not take care of that, your back pain won't go away for good, no matter what you do concerning relieving your back pain.

Have someone look at you and tell you how you are walking and standing (or if you have a mirror where you can watch how you place your foot on the ground while walking toward it, you can do it yourself). Most likely they/you can immediately spot what you do differently with the foot/leg you injured in comparison with the other one (walking more on the outside, inside of the foot, having your foot turned outward or inward when placing it on the ground, or a combination of the above. Also check for the alignment of knee joint and ankle joint, and see if you can see a difference in your legs). Each of these 'misplacements' have an effect on your lower back - and, over time, will lead to back pain, there is just no way around it, that's the way our body works.

If you spot one of these patterns, you have to 'retrain' yourself in order to re-develop the right walking pattern, meaning that you place your foot on the ground in the right way. The only way to do it is to first become aware of each single step you are taking and placing your foot down consciously. It takes a bit of practice, but the good thing is that it will only take a few days to completely retrain your body.
A great way to change a movement pattern is to do the exact opposite of what you are doing now, to the extreme. I'll give you an example: If your pattern is that you place your foot down turned outwards (like a duck), then you need to purposely turn your foot - and with it your whole leg up to the hip joint - inward as much as you can and walk a few steps. This feels completely awkward, but just do it. Then stop and hold the tension for a moment, with your foot turned inward, and then let go, relax the muscles and then walk a few steps normally. Do this a couple of times, and you might actually already see a change in your walking pattern. However, this will most likely not be permanent yet, so you have to do this exercise a few times a day, over a period of a few days, but I am pretty sure you will feel that the tension in your back will ease off. (I retrained myself this way and got rid of my back pain within two days.)
Just to tell you so that you don't worry - it might be that you can feel some of your other muscles 'aching' a bit, just like after a hard workout, but that's just a sign that you are actually using 'new' muscles again.

Always try to feel into your body and see if you can actually 'feel' what's happening there - and after a short time you will become really aware of what's going on in your muscles. That's the best way to recover from any injury, and actually to even prevent injuries.

And now to something else that you mentioned in your post, which is the sore points along your spine. You are saying it is the joints that are hurting, but I am pretty positive that these are trigger points. I won't explain now how they develop as this would make the post too long (you can look it up on the internet if you are interested.

Even though you most likely are not aware of it, I am pretty sure that you also have a few very sore points/spots in your foot, not only around the area where the initial swelling occurred, but also around your outer ankle joint and along the arch on the sole of your foot, as well as along the inside of your shinbone, from right underneath your knee cap to right above your ankle joint. Again, this means that you have developed some trigger points there as well. The good thing is - you can treat them yourself, and often enough, you will get relief pretty quickly by treating them.
So, go ahead and check your foot for these sore spots, and using either your thumb, or have someone else do it on you, put some pressure on them. I know that it will hurt, but keep doing it, for 10-15 seconds each time, if possible several times a day. It is fast and easy to do. Put enough pressure on them so that you can really feel them, but not to the extent that the pain becomes unbearable. These points are all contributing to your back pain. - Also treat the sore spots on your back, and you should very soon see (or rather feel) results!!!

I hope that these exercises and self-help treatments will help you. If you have any questions, or something is unclear, just respond here, and I will get back to you.

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