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This is a guide about coping with severe back pain. Back pain can be very debilitating. In addition to medication there are exercises and other coping mechanisms that you can try.
This guide contains remedies for lower back pain. When your back hurts, it can make you feel terrible and make it hard to move.
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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.
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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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I have back pain and would like some homemade remedies. Please share your ideas.
Onesummer, there is no "one size fits all" remedy, everyone's pain is different depending on their particular cause of pain. I have 2 degenerative disks in my lumbar region, I have had therapy, 3 cortisone shots, and surgery was my only other option, but one I didn't want. So the best relief I can get is through daily stretching, Pilates style (get yourself a video on it if you're not familiar), stretching on a ball, and gentle weightlifting and aerobics. You must be consistent with your exercise and build up your core muscles to take the place of those bad disks (in my case). I hope you can find relief without surgery because as my G.P. says, that creates a lot of rich orthopedic Drs. and a lot of vicodin dependent patients. Best of luck to you and I hope you can be pain-free soon. (04/25/2007)
I too have back pain (almost my entire life), so I try lots of remedies.
I thought I invented this one: I'd found that having my husband push on my sorest place with the heel of his hand would often give me a lot of relief. So I used 2 pairs of athletic socks, rolled very tight into a large egg shape. To make it more firm, I added a small oval glass paperweight inside the first pair of socks. To use it, I lie on my back on my bed and position the sock just under the sorest place. My body weight against the firm sock provides the pressure. Be aware, though, that it might hurt a little more at first; the pain will gradually start to wash away after a couple of minutes, so try to be patient.
My doctor laughed when I told him what I'd 'thought up' and said this is the basis for acupressure!
I also use ice packs with a t-shirt between them and my skin for 20 minutes at a time. I also swear by my Homedics personal percussion massager (available for around $30 at stores like WalMart and Target).
Good luck in finding something that helps, I sympathize!
By Nancy in NC
I also deal with back pain daily and unfortunately nightly. I deal with it at night by slipping a pillow under the edge of my back while I sleep on my side. It gives my back something to rest against. During the day again it's a pillow to the rescue. I fold my pillow in half and stick it behind the small of my back to put pressure on my sore spots. Other than that it's Motrin and hot baths. There is nothing like soaking in hot water to ease those muscles. If it's really bad, I use my heating pad. (04/26/2007)
I also have back pain, I found that a good pillow that supports my neck is a help. I found mine in a bed and bath store. It's the hardest pillow I ever had to deal with and it did take me a while to learn to sleep using it, but now I can't sleep without it. It keeps my neck supported and my body aligned. This works for me. Also I have learned how to think above the pain, part of a pain management class that I went to. This usually works also. (04/26/2007)
By Evy from NH
When I was in high school and worked at a fast food restaurant, I had some back pain after being on my feet for several hours at a time, although it probably wasn't as serious as yours. But what helped "a lot" was buying insoles for my work shoes. I bought the Dr. Scholls kind that says on the package it's for athletes, I think. They were a little pricey, but definitely worth it. (04/27/2007)
I think that the treatment for your back pain depends on what's causing it. If it's caused by muscles, then heat is your best choice. If it's caused by a pinched nerve, though, then ice is the best choice because the cold shrinks the inflamed myelin sheath surrounding the nerve. You can tell, can't you, that I have nerve pain in my back. Good luck in getting relief. God bless you! (04/27/2007)
By Pat Giles
I have low back pain. I am overweight and that is putting pressure on everything else. I use whatever I can get my hands on. Lidoderm patches which is like novocaine, Ben Gay, ice packs, heat packs, a good back rub, etc. I am by myself though so the back rubs are really only when I can't stand it and call for help. Blessings to you. (04/27/2007)
I have a lot of sympathy for anyone who lives with pain. I have occasional lower-back pain, and I am lucky that stretching and bending exercises take care of it. I stand with feet about 3 feet apart, and touch left hand to right toe and then right hand to left toe, slowly, for a minute or 2. Then I put my arms over my head and bend and stretch to the left and to the right. Bending forward also helps, but be careful bending backward. We aren't designed to do that. You can do these sitting down as well. It all helps blood circulation, which may help diminish the pain. I hope you find some relief. (04/29/2007)
By Janice C.