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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: long term back discomfort


 rayo5 - Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:22 am

Hi,
For about a year, I experienced back discomforts. I do wrestling (team) and basketball, but I haven't had any severe injuries to the back. However, when I stand for a period of time/sit for a period of time, my lower back just dies. I feel a mixture of weak/tired lower back muscles, and uncomfortable bones (spinal cord).Even though I had an x-ray, and they said nothing was wrong, i still feel it.

To mitigate this pain, I have to stretch my back out. I do this by hanging on a bar. This relaxes my muscles a bit, and here, my spinal cord bones all crack and pop around (like cracking a knuckle) Especially when I try moving my back around while hanging on a bar. This does help mitigate the pain a bit after a long period of stress and discomfort, but hanging on the bar doesn't take everything away. The hanging on bar part is uncomfortable itself, because it seems like my back bones never are stretched enough and there's always potential for more popping, even if there are no pops.

Sorry for this mess, I just wanted to know what I can do, cause it's really bothering me.
thanks
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:27 am

User avatar Hello,
Thanks for writing in.

You have reported one year of back pain which worsens after prolonged standing or sitting and improves somewhat with stretching. Hanging from a bar makes back pop and crack, a bit uncomfortable, but provides some relief (this activity provides traction on the spine relieving compressive forces on the discs and small joints in the back plus elongating muscles and fibrous tendons). Activity includes wrestling and basketball. Xrays are normal.

From your history, I assume no radiating leg pain, no leg or foot pins/needles or numbness.

I would classify this as mechanical low back pain. I would also consider seeing an experienced orthopedic physical therapist who will evaluate the back and prescribe specific exercises.

Your sporting activity may also contribute to the back problem. Wrestling is an aggressive sport which places high demands for flexibility and strength on all the limbs, shoulders, hips, and spine. A weak or injured area will suffer more if not rehabilitated properly.

Basketball places strain on the spine during jumping and landing. Lots of big men have suffered debilitating back pain as a result e.g. Larry Bird and Charles Barkley.

For sport participation, it will be important to first: rehab the back, second: condition the back to return to sport, third: maintain a healthy back during sports.

The first two phases should be taught by a professional trainer or therapist and the third part on your own.

If your rehab goes poorly or if the back pain worsens, you may consider an MRI which will show soft tissue structures (nerves and discs) and the spaces they do and do not normally occupy.

All the best to you. Keep us posted and take care.
 rayo5 - Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:07 pm

Thanks a lot.

I'll find some physical therapists to help me. but is the act of hanging on a bar harmful to the back? or am i free to do it to mitigate discomfort? will it actually help or harm the back? thanks
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:30 am

User avatar Hello,
Because I have not evaluated your back, I can not tell you with certainty that hanging on the bar would not be harmful however, in general it should not cause any damage to the spine or elements around the spine. The pain is likely from sore and irritated soft tissue around the spine.
Take care and keep us posted.
 Ocean5 - Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:28 am

Hello,
My mother is experiencing psychotic nerve damage. She is 49 has no medical condition and is in alot of excruciating pain. We have not attempted to treat it and she has not gone to the doctor as she has no time. What are some treatments that can be used that don't require a doctor?
Thankyou

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