10 Myths About Lower Back Pain (LBP)

VonMeister

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Apr 26, 2013
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1. LBP is usually a serious condition.

2. LBP will become persistent and deteriorate later in life.

3.Persistant LBP is always related to tissue damage

4. Xray and MRI's are always needed to detect the cause of LBP

5. Pain related to exercise and movement is always a warning the harm is being done to the spine and a signal to stop or modify activity.

6. LBP is cause by poor posture when standing, sitting or during activity.

7. LBP is caused by weak "core" muscles and having a strong core protects against LBP

8. Repeated spinal loading results in wear and tear and tissue damage

9. Pain flareups are a sign of tissue damage and require rest.

10 Treatments such as strong medications, injections, and surgery are effective and necessary to treat LBC.
 
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VonMeister

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Does the same apply to the cervical spine? Specifically towards someone diagnosed with moderate to severe stenosis of C5-7?
Short answer, yes.

Are you in pain daily? Is it enough to limit day to day activities? Are there good and bad days....good and bad weeks?

Telling someone they have a negative pathology can be the culprit of pain or a multiplier. No one wants to hear they are broken and it's 100% natural to become sensitive to neural inputs from those areas once you receive this information. The presence on MRI of spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, and spondylolisthesis have poor correlation with pain, as the majority of these conditions are actually asymptomatic.

Despite the ominous sounding names given to these spinal conditions, all have a very good long-term prognosis, and people tend to experience substantial improvement over time regardless of whether they get surgery or not. When you are pain free there are things you can do over time to limit the recurrence.
 

sushipop

Gerry Lopez status
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The wife was diagnosed last January after an episode where she experienced shooting pain and numbness down her left arm and into her hand. I've never her seen her (or anyone else for that matter) so debilitated by something like that. She had an MRI and saw two MDs who recommended surgery/fusion but she has been able to manage and avoid it thus far through chiropractic care. The issue with numbness and pain has been present for a few years. She has improved over the last year but has seemingly more bad days than good and is getting pretty frustrated with it. She is working really hard to avoid surgery and exploring all kinds of other options, but gets very symptomatic after exercise and and even stretching. She is in pain daily and it limits her activity.

Do you (or anyone) have any recommendations for exercises or resources we could use? Would love if she could get some QOL back as she's really been struggling with finding a better normal.
 

hgsouth

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Apr 15, 2006
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I've read John Sarno's books on pain and back pain. I think there's something to it for sure.

Curious why weak core is a myth....I thought strengthening surrounding muscles and improving posture would help alleviate many back and neck pain cases?
 

VonMeister

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Where do you live?

Because chiropractic care gives her temporary relief that lends me to believe that there are longer lasting remedies. Chiropractic care provides relief two ways, by the activity itself, (getting the joints and soft tissue moving) and placebo benefits. Even absent of any pain the moment after a neck or back crack is followed by relaxation. It's the mind using the sudden stress/unstress as a relief mechanism.

If all else fails, cervical spine surgery has very high success rates and is fairly routine today. While still a last option, it's a good option.
 
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VonMeister

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I've read John Sarno's books on pain and back pain. I think there's something to it for sure.

Curious why weak core is a myth....I thought strengthening surrounding muscles and improving posture would help alleviate many back and neck pain cases?

Sarno goes off the reservation with his book. His concepts are sound but it's really two books in one. The first about pain and the second a self help psycho-analysis...which you could argue is garbage and just as likely to keep someone in pain.

There are a lot of people with weak cores and herniated discs or narrowing of the spinal canal that are pain free. Additionally there is zero medical evidence that supports the spine needing to be rigid both loaded and unloaded, but plenty of observational proof that it isn't the case.

My opinion is that a strong body will increase the bodies defense against injury and cure many day to day maladies This would include the muscles that make up the bodies core. The problem is that focusing on the "core" alone does not work.
 

sushipop

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We are in North County SD, but her chiro is in San Clemente. She’s been to a few and he’s the only one that’s been fairly successful for her. He has a gradual and less “traumatic” approach—not a kablam and crack approach like many others. But, as you said, the relief usually temporary for up to a week, but sometimes can be a little worse and inflamed right after an adjustment.
 
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I encourage anybody with lower back pain to consider their SI joint as a culprit. I had a hard fall on the ocean floor 4 months ago (fell on my butt) in which I sprained my SI joint. All the muscles from my hamstrings to my upper back tightened up like a rock. Doc, chiro, and physical therapist treated it like normal back pain until the pain area shrunk enough to identify it as the main issue. Best thing for it was to do nothing, maybe some contrast therapy.
 

everysurfer

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Sep 9, 2013
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The wife was diagnosed last January after an episode where she experienced shooting pain and numbness down her left arm and into her hand. I've never her seen her (or anyone else for that matter) so debilitated by something like that. She had an MRI and saw two MDs who recommended surgery/fusion but she has been able to manage and avoid it thus far through chiropractic care. The issue with numbness and pain has been present for a few years. She has improved over the last year but has seemingly more bad days than good and is getting pretty frustrated with it. She is working really hard to avoid surgery and exploring all kinds of other options, but gets very symptomatic after exercise and and even stretching. She is in pain daily and it limits her activity.

Do you (or anyone) have any recommendations for exercises or resources we could use? Would love if she could get some QOL back as she's really been struggling with finding a better normal.
Numbness is a sign of the nerve dying. At that point, I'd move past Dr. Coathanger and see a professional.

Tough guys like to talk folks out of medical treatment. "Medicine is for pussies". Most pain doesn't need a doctor. But in reality, you need a doctor and a MRI to see whether it is serious or not. Don't gamble with your health. "Most" is not you.
 

llilibel03

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Jul 28, 2005
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I'm now one week from my "back spasm." I'm off all meds (was given injections of dexamethasone and ketorolac at the ER, and valium, tramadol and naproxen to take at home). I can do normal, everyday activities, like getting out of bed, sitting up and sitting down, relatively pain free. Howeve,r if I go past a certain angle, the pain flares up. I'm nowhere near ready to surf :( I went for a long walk the other day and that seemed to set me back a bit. Debating the wisdom of trying to stretch just yet.

Before going to the ER the pain was so bad I could not stand or walk unassisted.

I hope your statements are true because the thought of having this condition recurring is depressing. It came totally without warning. I've never had back issues before an was having a normal surf session when it happened. However the unequivocal nature of your statements makes me ask for your research/data/sources/remedies before I mentally sign up for your point of view.

Right now I'm signed up for a back pain class next week given by my medical provider's PT group. I'll report back what they say....


ps unfortunately for me, Havocv's "cure' was a pricey ($400 for two hours) personal training session or $200 a month gym membership. More than I want to spend right now...thanks anyways...

eps my primary MD suggested I try acupuncture...
 

VonMeister

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Numbness is a sign of the nerve dying. At that point, I'd move past Dr. Coathanger and see a professional.

Tough guys like to talk folks out of medical treatment. "Medicine is for pussies". Most pain doesn't need a doctor. But in reality, you need a doctor and a MRI to see whether it is serious or not. Don't gamble with your health. "Most" is not you.
You're still an idiot.
 

VonMeister

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Whats long term health worth to you?

Acupuncture doesn't do anything useful to heal your back. Even if poking pins into nerves did work, you wouldn't be able to access the nerves that are giving you issues right now. As far as relief goes, if acupuncture gives you a stimuli that you respond well to, go for it but if you get of the mindset that there is anything meaningful happening with acupuncture you likely will become like many other chronic pain sufferers, dependent on a tertiary placebo treatment that is causing you more long term harm than good. I don't know what your primaries specialty is but it's a bit shocking to hear him recommend acupuncture when it is almost completely panned by pain specialists as a tool for managing pain.

You've likely suffered an antagonistic soft tissue event. This event caused a neural input that your brain read as pain and danger and responded to in a number of ways, swelling and muscular spasms among them. With this comes an extremely heightened sensitivity to additional neural inputs. As the pain gets better your physical and psychological responses will subside and in a short period of time likely forgotten. Most importantly understand that there isn't anything unique or unusual in what your going through. Injuries are sudden events and are guaranteed to happen to everyone, especially as we age. I wouldn't trip on it too much.

If you're still in the acute phase of an injury there isn't much that activity is going to do to improve it, but the worst thing for healing is inactivity. You need to take what your body gives you and limit the things that aggravate it. If a long walk made it worse, take a bunch of short walks this week. If it's just moving around the house a bit, do that. In a couple of weeks you're going to be fine.
 

gbg

Michael Peterson status
Jan 22, 2006
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I'm now one week from my "back spasm." I'm off all meds (was given injections of dexamethasone and ketorolac at the ER, and valium, tramadol and naproxen to take at home). I can do normal, everyday activities, like getting out of bed, sitting up and sitting down, relatively pain free. Howeve,r if I go past a certain angle, the pain flares up. I'm nowhere near ready to surf :( I went for a long walk the other day and that seemed to set me back a bit. Debating the wisdom of trying to stretch just yet.

Before going to the ER the pain was so bad I could not stand or walk unassisted.

I hope your statements are true because the thought of having this condition recurring is depressing. It came totally without warning. I've never had back issues before an was having a normal surf session when it happened. However the unequivocal nature of your statements makes me ask for your research/data/sources/remedies before I mentally sign up for your point of view.

Right now I'm signed up for a back pain class next week given by my medical provider's PT group. I'll report back what they say....


ps unfortunately for me, Havocv's "cure' was a pricey ($400 for two hours) personal training session or $200 a month gym membership. More than I want to spend right now...thanks anyways...

eps my primary MD suggested I try acupuncture...
My buddy texted me 3 days ago and said he has these low back spasms and couldnt even walk. I showed him the sit cross lean stretch. Sit Indian style and lean forward and put your arms out on floor in front of you. If your hips are tight chances are good you can't get your forearms on the floor. Hold this stretch 2 minutes. Don't exceed 7/10 on pain scale. Do 4 of these stretches 3 times a day. Once your hips open up those muscles that are in spasm will release. What do you have to lose by trying this?

My buddy went surfing this morning. 2 days of stretching.
 

Havoc

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May 23, 2016
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I'm now one week from my "back spasm." I'm off all meds (was given injections of dexamethasone and ketorolac at the ER, and valium, tramadol and naproxen to take at home). I can do normal, everyday activities, like getting out of bed, sitting up and sitting down, relatively pain free. Howeve,r if I go past a certain angle, the pain flares up. I'm nowhere near ready to surf :( I went for a long walk the other day and that seemed to set me back a bit. Debating the wisdom of trying to stretch just yet.

Before going to the ER the pain was so bad I could not stand or walk unassisted.

I hope your statements are true because the thought of having this condition recurring is depressing. It came totally without warning. I've never had back issues before an was having a normal surf session when it happened. However the unequivocal nature of your statements makes me ask for your research/data/sources/remedies before I mentally sign up for your point of view.

Right now I'm signed up for a back pain class next week given by my medical provider's PT group. I'll report back what they say....


ps unfortunately for me, Havocv's "cure' was a pricey ($400 for two hours) personal training session or $200 a month gym membership. More than I want to spend right now...thanks anyways...

eps my primary MD suggested I try acupuncture...

When ur ready u will be throwing ur money at them to train u.
 
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llilibel03

Phil Edwards status
Jul 28, 2005
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When ur ready u will be throwing ur money at them to train u.
Maybe. Right now just got through Christmas, have some dental work coming up, need new CV joints and springs for my car, just not the time.

Von Meister, is that your business?
 

VonMeister

Tom Curren status
Apr 26, 2013
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Maybe. Right now just got through Christmas, have some dental work coming up, need new CV joints and springs for my car, just not the time.

Von Meister, is that your business?
No, but I'm very familiar with them and they are by far the best facility in Orange County. They work with everything from stay at home moms through some of the highest level BJJ athletes today. I know the cost is high but its the difference between a professional and a gym bro that took a weekend online course for some dumb certification.

Also, it's not just training, Through their affiliation they are able to consult with doctors, PT's Pain specialists, nutritionists etc whenever someone comes through their door with an issue that needs attention or a special program to get healed up. It's very focused. If you think of it like medicine, there's a very specific prescription, formula, and dosage that will be designed for you and adjusted as you get well.

Given what you shared here you'll get well in a couple weeks. It sucks and is frustrating/depressing but you're going to heal. Just do what you can to remain active without aggravating it and you'll be good as new.