Where should I start.

Discussions relating to Lower Back Pain.

Where should I start.

Postby imprezive » Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:22 pm

For the lazy readers here's the cliff notes.

I've sustained multiple minor back strains over the last few years and a severe strain about 3 months ago, which partially healed and then another minor about a month ago, but I've never gone thru a proper "healing" phase. At first I just lightened my workouts and tried some stretching, about two weeks ago I started "taking it easy", and have not worked out or played any sports since. The pain is mostly subsided, but the "chair stretch" position or rounding out my back causes dull pain and "pulls tight" in the middle lower back, with occasional "twinges" of sharp pain on the right side from random movements. Over the past months that I've been trying to treat it myself, I've found rest to be mostly counter productive. I just read the book, and I think I'm a perfect canidate for the RYB program.

Do I need to go thru the whole 1-2 week "rest/healing" phase still?

I'm ready to get this thing rolling.

Here's the long version:
I'm tall skinny, very active 23 y/o who has always had poor posture. I also have a mild case of Pectus Excavatum (Sunken Chest). I Hurt (I assume it was strain) my lower back playing basketball a few years ago. The strain became common after playing basketball or certain other activities (including too much sleep). I would rest a week or so and it would go away. Finally about a year and a half I hurt it to a degree where I felt it was serious. It didn't not go away and if forced me to just lie in bed for hours at a time. I rested, got massages, went to chiros, changed my sleeping position and eventually it went away. I did some of my own reasearch and started stretching and doing some low-back exercises. I was feeling great for about 3 months. Then I strained it again doing dead-lifts. Again I considered it to be serious. Since then, I've gotten the pain down from a 5 of 10 to a 2 of 10 thru rest, stretches(granted, not the right ones, but stretching none-the-less), ART massage (which I do think was pretty helpful). The ART MT told me I have some inbalances in my glutes, SI, and "something - so-azz". Every time I would get a ART treatment I would feel much much better, but within a few days of just normal activities, I'd be right back to where I started. I read the RYB book two days ago and I feel I'm just about the perfect canidate for the program.

Here's the problem: It SEEMS that I get worse with rest, or at least worse when I'm resting for a long periods at a time and it defintely doesn't SEEM to better getting better with rest. BUT I haven't been able to rest completely. I've still been going to work and stuck sitting for a few hours out of the day, occasionally lifting some stuff and what-not. Nothing extreme, but not complete rest. I've been using alternating ice/heat some days and at work when I can.

Is this type of "rest" sufficient to get me to the stretching phase? and if so is it possible that I am "healed" enough to start on the stretches right now?
I can perform the cobra, back bend, hip shrug, and maybe the side bend without pain. (side bend just feels "tighter" than the others) The seated bend, knee-ups, and forward bend all cause a sensation of excessive tightness or pain in my low back.

Should I just perform the stretches that don't hurt?

Problem two: Jan 1st I fly to Costa Rica for a big surf trip. Being at least mostly healed by then is my goal. I haven't been surfing or working out at all for the past two weeks. I need to start getting in shape for the trip. I'm planning on swimming laps at a pool starting Dec 1st. Any possible detriment to swimming?

Side questions:
Cracking my own back - good or bad? I crack it by twisting from side to side and by pushing on my spine from back towards the front. It feels good, and never seems to make anything worse.

Walking is good, right?
Running - bad? If so, why?

Thanks in advance.
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:25 pm

Postby imprezive » Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:47 am

Well, I've moved past the rest stage. I don't know if I actually healed, but felt it was time to move on. Anybody have any input on the other questions.
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:25 pm

Reply from RYB novice

Postby rkochis » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:26 am

I have been doing RYB Part I for 2 1/2 weeks. The only similar back issues we have is low back and side tightness. (my specific issues are more complex than yours)
My advice to you is to focus on Part I until the tightness either "moves" (as mine did) or diminishes. Sprinkling Part II exercises should not be a problem unless you feel pain. Secondarily, make sure you breathe deeply as RYB explains. Get "in touch" with your spine as you do the exercises. Finally, psychologically convince yourself that the tightness (not sharp pain) is essential to healing/rebuilding (stretching a short muscle or ligament) and learn to embrace it (but do not overdue it).

You want to be better by Jan. I want to be better for Spring (golf season). Don't push it. Listen to your body and react accordingly. If you apply common sense to the principles of RYB, I believe you will be successful. Good luck.
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:27 pm

Postby imprezive » Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:00 pm

How much/often/how should I be doing the pelvic pinch? I understand the movement, just not sure how often I should be performing it.
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:25 pm

Postby rkochis » Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:53 am

Personally, I perform the Pelvic Pinch whenever I think about it. That is, sitting at my desk, driving my car, watching television (usually from the floor) and also as part of RYB exercises. In the Spring, I may even do it as part of my pre-shot routine (golf).
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:27 pm

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