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- Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:55 pm
Male, Age: 25
Body Composition: 5 ft 11.5 in – 165 lbs. (Roughly 10% Bodyfat)
I am having a problem with some Chronic Back Pain in the lower right portion of my back.
I am an athletic young man who works out (heavy weight training) 5 days a week, eats rather healthy (and supplements with protein and other weightlifting products), and I play on a competitive tournament paintball team. I think paintball sometimes aggravates my back pain since I play a very physical position and sometimes dive and slide face first with the weight of my equipment in my right or left arm. I need to get this back pain / injury resolved so that I can perform at my peak level and not end up with even worse chronic back pain in the future.
For 4 years I worked in an Auto Parts distribution Center and did a lot of heavy lifting daily, which could have led to my original injury. The first time that the pain in my back became bad to the point I had to see a doctor and chiropractor was in October of 2006 after a rigorous paintball tournament where I felt pain early, but took pain pills and played through it. I was in so much pain in the days to come that I could barely move around. A MRI revealed that I had a Bulged Disk between my L4 and L5 Vertebras. There may have also been some bulging between L3 and L4 and possibly between L5 and the Sacrum (I’m a little unsure on those). My hip bone was also very slightly higher on one side than the other (I cant recall the scientific name for this). This did not seem to be a major concern though I was told I could put an insert in that shoe or something along those lines to help even it out and maybe put less stress on my back.
To treat these injuries I visited a chiropractor 3 times a week to receive adjustments and also underwent Spinal Decompression for about 8 weeks or so. At the completion of this I had a little lingering back pain, but I felt like I was near 100% recovered. I returned to work after 9 weeks off and wore a back support brace and was always very careful when lifting heavy objects etc.
The Problem and Questions:
Two years later I am now a computer programmer and sit at a desk most of the day. I am still very active outside of work. I have noticed the pain in the lower right hand side of my back start to come back. If I have been sitting down for a while and I get up I get a sharp pain for the first moment when that area is moved. If I lean forward as if to touch my toes standing up I feel a slight dull pain. It seems like the pain will go away if I can get the bones to pop by keeping my legs still and twisting my torso one way or the other, but this is difficult for me to do and I worry that it could be doing damage itself. I feel like if I do not do something to stop this pain from getting worse then in 10 years or sooner I will be having major problems. I’m too young and active to have this injury lingering!
What can I do to help heal this injury for good?
Are there stretching activities or other things I can do to help my body heal itself?
Do I need to begin seeing a chiropractor again to sustain full motion in that lower area?
I carry my wallet in my back right pocket normally (the side with the pain). During the day at work I take it out and place it on my desk, but there are times such as driving where I sit on it. Could this couple of inches of lift from my wallet be aggravating my back injury?
I understand how the spinal decompression process pulls the ligaments and vertebras apart to let in nutrients for the body to heal without surgery. Is there a way I can mimic that or should I think about undergoing the treatment again at some point? (It was quite costly and insurance unfriendly in 2006). My father has an apparatus that allows him to hang upside down from his feet; could using that help me?
Thank you for any advice or suggestions you may have to aid me in resolving my situation!
| Tom Plamondon PA-C
- Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:45 am
Thanks for your patience.
I appreciate the precision and clarity in describing your condition. Well done.
This back problem may be easier to fix than you think...but it will take some time and work.
First: Many people have reported relief from using the inversion table. It should help.
Second: Start a core trunk strengthening program. By doing so, you will build inner abdominal muscle and lumbar intervertebral strength thus supporting the spine. These exercises are very specific and take patience to build transverse abdominus (abdomen) and multifidi (lumbar). See a local trainer or physical therapist if needed. Remember, this program will be much different than heavy weight lifting regimen but will compliment it nicely.
Lastly, you may need an occasional adjustment of the spine via chiropractor but with time doing core strengthening the spine should become more stable.
Keep us posted.
ps The wallet in hip pocket may worsen pain...switch to other pocket.