You might ask your doctor about using a TENS unit (TENS=transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator). You need a doctor's prescription to get one but my husband's doctor prescribed one for him and it has helped a lot. (12/06/2007)
By June in Hayward, CA
I have had a back back for years. Then it got so bad I could not sleep. My doctor referred me to a physical therapist. I thought this is not going to do any good but it did. I can get a good night sleep finally. I know the exercises and do them at home now. (12/07/2007)
I have severe low back pain, herniated discs. I bought a lumbar extender online and it helps a lot. It stretches out your muscles and although uncomfortable at first, it really works. Buy it from someone who has a money back guarantee if you don't like it. I can't remember where I got it, but Google "lumbar extender" and you'll find them. Look for a free s/h coupon too! Good luck, Ms Min in GA (12/07/2007)
I've had this problem for years, too. I go for a chiropractic adjustment every two weeks. The weeks that I don't go, I have a deep tissue, Swedish massage. When I first had back problems, my chiropractor used electric stimulation on the problem areas 3 times a week for a couple of weeks. I no longer have the chronic pain, but I'm sure it would come back if I didn't keep up the massages and adjustments. (12/07/2007)
Perhaps this pain is caused from your kidney's malfunctioning. Please go see your medical doctor about this first. Simply blood tests can show him if they are not working correctly. We need our backs yes, but we need healthy kidneys first, for our backs not to hurt a lot of times.
By Paula Jo Mebane, NC
There are simple exercises that are wonderful for chronic back pain. I had lower back pain for years until I found these. I learned about them through a yoga class that I was taking. All our yoga moves started with lying on our backs. They started with legs together, feet out straight, arms at about 45 degrees from our body, and feet and toes straight up, at a right angle to the ankles. Slowly raise legs to chest and hold with arms around them for a count to three. Release and repeat. Then raise knees to chest and left arm out to side, slowly twist knees to right side as far as possible without pain. If you feel pain, stop. As the exercises progress, you will be able to eventually reach the floor with the knees. Repeat three times and do other side.
Resume lying on floor in position, left arm out to side. Slowly raise left leg to about 90 degree angle to body and try to touch the floor on the right side. Repeat 3 times, repeat with right side.
One of the things the yoga instructor taught, was to send positive energy to the points of our body that was in pain. I was amazed that by using these yoga positions and exercises, my back pain has completely gone. Stretching those muscles is what is important.
BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL, THOUGH THAT YOU DO NOT DO ANYTHING THAT CAUSES PAIN! There were a couple of times in class that the only thing I could do was to scoot up to a wall, place my buttocks up against it where the floor met the wall and raise my legs up the wall, so I was, essentially, sitting on the wall. He had me sit there 5 or so minutes at a time. The results, though, were amazing!
Many exercises can be found here:
My husband and I both have found tremendous relief from pain with magnesium oil. You can get that at various websites. Magnesium is so good for you as well.
Best wishes. (12/09/2007)
I had chronic muscle spasms for years. Meds put me to sleep and left me with no quality of life. Physical therapy did not work for me. My muscles were in such tight spasms and would not loosen, that the stretching the physical therapist told me to do just put additional strain on attaching ligaments and tendons, causing tears, additional pain, and more problems. They knew it was muscular, but did not know what to do to help relax my muscles. I worked in the medical field. Here's what I suggest:
While calcium makes the muscles contract, magnesium makes them relax. Most people do not get enough magnesium. It must be taken in ratio to calcium. Get a good calcium and magnesium supplement, take more than the RDA amount suggested for the first bottle, then take the RDA amount. Muscles that do not relax sorely need this--you'll be amazed at how much this simple act will help. Also avoid foods that inhibit magnesium absorption, like chocolate. Eat a healthy diet, avoid junk and preprocessed food.
Keep getting your chiropractic adjustments. It took years to get in this shape and will take time to get out of it too. If you can, try another doctor. Different chiropractors give different adjustments, and different people respond differently to them. Your body is changing, what worked in the past for other problems may not work now for this one.
If you cannot afford or do not want to take a muscle relaxer, take Ibuprofen (if you can). But do not take more than needed (may cause liver problems) and do not take it on an empty stomach (will cause stomach problems). It should take the edge off and help you sleep.
If you use a heating pad, do not just leave it on. I know it feels good, but if left on for hours, it will re-inflame the area causing more pain. Most doctors say to use one for 20 minutes every hour, at most. Go ahead and soak in a tub of hot water (moist heat is best) and make sure to add epsom salts to the water. It will help relax the muscles and draw out the soreness. While you're soaking, take the time to meditate. It helps with the pain too.
Your body is already in a vicious cycle, thinking the spasms are normal and fighting to keep them. You'll have to retrain your brain, which takes quite a while. Do you have a massage school near you? If so, call and ask if you can volunteer to have students work on you. They'll get hands-on practice, and the continual work will help retrain your brain to allow the spasms to relax. Be patient, the body has several layers of muscles. As the top one is worked through, deeper muscles will act up. This is a process and takes time. Do not give up. (12/17/2007)
I forgot to say that at times, total rest is the only thing that will work. The back must heal before you can rebuild healthy muscle tissue. Don't push it too quickly, or you'll find yourself back at square one. Be patient. (12/17/2007)
I am a physical therapist and have first hand experience with back pain. I have found yoga and meditation to be extremely helpful for myself and my patients in terms of relieving back pain. There are many inexpensive yoga and meditation videos and CDs available that may help to induce relaxation and allow the body to open and stretch in its own time. (06/19/2008)
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