Dealing With Back Pain

My mother has had severe back pain for the past 10 years or so. It tends to last for about 2 weeks and is caused by the smallest things, like washing dishes, walking outside, cooking, etc. She has been to many doctors, taken injections, and gone through physical therapy, and nothing has had any long term affect on her back.

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She has gone through plenty of MRIs and they are always normal. So far, no doctor has been able to tell us what's wrong, but one thing we know is that the disks in her spine move a bit easier than healthy people. I cannot stand to watch her go through so much pain anymore.

My question: has anyone experienced this or knows any possible cures or diagnosis?

By roxy

December 31, 20100 found this helpful
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I'm hesitant to post a suggestion, because I'm not sure what you mean by "the disks in her spine move a bit easier than healthy people". But I'll tell you my (short) story. My back would hurt if I stood for awhile, or went shopping (slow-paced walking). I realized it was my muscles knotting up. I learned a stretch that I do every single morning in bed before I get up; and my back rarely aches anymore. Here's the stretch: while lying flat on my back, I gently pull up one knee to my chest (I kind of 'hug' my knee to hold it in place). I hold that for about 20 seconds, then gently lay my leg down again; then pull up the other knee. I make sure to be very relaxed while doing this, and don't pull harder than necessary.

If your mother went to physical therapy, she probably learned stretching moves too. She should continue those. It takes time, but I believe a lot of our aches and pains are caused by muscle knots and poor flexibility, and also poor posture. I wish her the best.

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January 4, 20110 found this helpful
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Her disks move because her cartelage is probably arthritic. I had the same problem and had surgery which fused two bones in my back. In your mother's case that would have shown up on the XRAY. I really think some physical therapy would help her. They will show her exersizes that will strengthen her muscles which support her spine. She will have to keep up the exercizes but they will help.

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January 4, 20110 found this helpful
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Besides the exercise, I recommend heat from a rice sock. I have made these for myself and several other people. Just take a tube sock, fill it with rice, and tie the end in a knot. Then put it in the microwave for a couple minutes. You'll have to figure out the time on your own microwave... mine takes 2 minutes. It is nice and hot, and stays that way for awhile. But best of all is that it conforms to your shape!

Wrap it around your back, knee, shoulder, whatever aches. For an added pleasure, I have put lavender in with the rice. Then you not only get the heat, but some aromatherapy as well! :) I just bought a lavender sachet at Walmart and took the lavender out of it.

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January 5, 20110 found this helpful
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You can buy and "Inversion" table either online or at various stores. They come in different weight frames and sizes so you can find one that fits you even if you are 6'6" and 330 lbs. One type allows you to lay flat and another that you sit on. Traction will allow the spine to realign and is very gentle; it will also help the muscles relax. With regular use, a person will feel much better.

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December 31, 20100 found this helpful

This may sound silly to most but some will understand perfectly, call her pastor and get her name to the prayer warriors of her church. If she has no church, there's half the problem.

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January 1, 20110 found this helpful

I agree with Joanne. There are so many things that can cause back pain. A lot of my friends and myself have chronic back pain. Being overweight, previous trauma,lack of exercise can all be contributing factors. A very warm bath, ibuprophen and a moist heating pad are my helpers. Stretching does help a lot.

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January 4, 20110 found this helpful

I've had lower back pain on and off for more than 50 years (10th grade). At one point, about 30 years ago, I had a huge problem including severe sciatica. My orthopedist sent me to a big city hospital for a Myelogram (they inject dye into your spine and take x-rays of your spine with you in various vertical and semi-vertical positions while you're strapped on a special table). They decided I definitely needed surgery and it was scheduled for the next morning. I had a dream that I would die if they proceeded, so I checked out AMA.

My orthopedist at home was furious with me, but prescribed daily swimming. I was walking with a cane and couldn't even get into the Y pool without assistance. Doc had me install a chinning bar at home (in a doorway works well). You just take hold of it and hang for a few seconds, bending your knees to get your feet off the floor. Let gravity do the job. When you experience pain, sit down and lean far forward across your lap in a way that stretches your lower back. Hold for a few seconds. Repeat 3-4 times; repeat in a couple hours if necessary. For jobs that require standing (like dishes), have a soft rubber-backed rug or mat to stand on. After 6 months, I went back to the city. By that time, I had learned a number of swimming strokes and could dive without paint. When the surgeon finished his tests, he not only said I no longer needed surgery, but called it two colleagues to check things out!

Be careful. If it aches just a little, use the chinning bar or the sitting exercise. If it's medium, take a hot bath. Don't ignore the little pain and you can avoide the big pain. This is way too long, but I hope it helps. --shoe

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January 7, 20110 found this helpful

I know this may sound strange, but your mom may actually have a bladder infection. I use to have severe back pain until one day I went to a new doctor. He insisted that I do a urine sample. I argued that it was my back that hurt, not my abdomen. Boy was I surprised when the test turned out positive. The back pain went away when the bladder infection was cured. I now take one 1500 mg cranberry pill every day to avoid any more infections. I've never had another problem with lower back pain. Hope this helps.

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