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Old 07-18-2013, 01:20 PM   #1
Meredith Dougherty
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Unhappy Lower Back Out of Whack

Hello,
This is my first time posting here! Though I have been using these forums as a helpful resource since I began my CrossFit journey about four months ago.

So, in the beginning I had experienced some lower back pain, but I quickly discovered this was an issue with correcting my form on some of the lifts and was quickly remedied. It still springs u from time to time but it's never been unmanageable like it has been the last few weeks.
The weekend of July 4th we stayed at a friend's vacation home and got stuck on the pull-out couch from Hell (I mean this thing was so bad the springs bruised my arms and ribcage!). I thought the pain was getting better but this week & especially today it's really flared up to another level. Monday I had to drop class to rest it, I went back Tue/Wed and made sure to go light on all my lifts to not push things. I've been taking & take daily fish oil, zinc & a multivitamin. I've soaked in Epsom salt several times & foam rolled it.

I dropped my class today & let my coach know U would be out for a few days dealing with this but I am kind of at a loss as to what the best plan of action is. I need to be able to return to my workouts as soon as possible, it's my biggest passion. The pain is most noticeable when I go to sit down or stand up from a seat or when I bend my foot back or lift my legs. The pain isn't throbbing or "radiating" beyond my back but it's making simple tasks like tying my shoes or bending over to sweep up hair at work a huge struggle.
I know about R.I.C.E. but am not sure how to best apply it to lower back pain. Any help/advice on the most affective way to remedy this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:42 PM   #2
Brian Strump
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Re: Lower Back Out of Whack

From what I read, it's coming up over 2 weeks, and not getting better. It's time to move on from RICE, and find a specialist(Chiro, PT) to help you. See if you can find one that is pro-CrossFit. We get alot of patients that do CrossFit at other affiliates, and have gone to their PCP, or other specialist and are told not to do "x,y,x"; versus what you need to do in order to get back to what you want to be doing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Meredith Dougherty View Post
Hello,
This is my first time posting here! Though I have been using these forums as a helpful resource since I began my CrossFit journey about four months ago.

So, in the beginning I had experienced some lower back pain, but I quickly discovered this was an issue with correcting my form on some of the lifts and was quickly remedied. It still springs u from time to time but it's never been unmanageable like it has been the last few weeks.
The weekend of July 4th we stayed at a friend's vacation home and got stuck on the pull-out couch from Hell (I mean this thing was so bad the springs bruised my arms and ribcage!). I thought the pain was getting better but this week & especially today it's really flared up to another level. Monday I had to drop class to rest it, I went back Tue/Wed and made sure to go light on all my lifts to not push things. I've been taking & take daily fish oil, zinc & a multivitamin. I've soaked in Epsom salt several times & foam rolled it.

I dropped my class today & let my coach know U would be out for a few days dealing with this but I am kind of at a loss as to what the best plan of action is. I need to be able to return to my workouts as soon as possible, it's my biggest passion. The pain is most noticeable when I go to sit down or stand up from a seat or when I bend my foot back or lift my legs. The pain isn't throbbing or "radiating" beyond my back but it's making simple tasks like tying my shoes or bending over to sweep up hair at work a huge struggle.
I know about R.I.C.E. but am not sure how to best apply it to lower back pain. Any help/advice on the most affective way to remedy this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:13 AM   #3
Glenn Pasewicz
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Re: Lower Back Out of Whack

Just curious: is it the worst in the morning and get better as you're up?

You could try some stretches. Google press up stretch. They might help.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:27 AM   #4
Meredith Dougherty
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Re: Lower Back Out of Whack

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Originally Posted by Glenn Pasewicz View Post
Just curious: is it the worst in the morning and get better as you're up?

You could try some stretches. Google press up stretch. They might help.
It doesn't necessarily get better or worse with movement but it's definitely more tolerable when I am standing. I've been resting it for about 4 days now and it is a lot better tooday then it was last Wed.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:30 AM   #5
Meredith Dougherty
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Re: Lower Back Out of Whack

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Originally Posted by Glenn Pasewicz View Post
Just curious: is it the worst in the morning and get better as you're up?

You could try some stretches. Google press up stretch. They might help.
Also have been doing some good stretches a friend learned during physical therapy for her sciatic nerve and they have seemed to help. It used to hurt to go through the stretches but the last few days not so much.
I don't think I was actually allowing my body to rest & recover as much as I thought I was.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:42 AM   #6
Meredith Dougherty
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Re: Lower Back Out of Whack

As far as seeing a chiropractor goes, it would certainly be something I would consider had I the funding for it or insurance that would cover it. I seem to be making a lot of progress on the injury the last couple of days so I am going to continue working with it and and hope it's all cleared up in the next few days.

So bummed I am missing so many workouts though. However, I know it is worth it to be going in completely healthy then to do something half-assed because of an injury.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:50 PM   #7
Namir Yedid
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Re: Lower Back Out of Whack

If it isn't getting better, see a doctor and skip the chiropractic. A doctor (and radiologist) can do an x-ray and order an MRI (if needed) to evaluate and figure out what's really going on.

When I injured my back (herniated discs at L3-L4, L4-L5, torn disc at L5-S1) I futzed around for 6 months with chiropractic work and stretching stuff before I finally got evaluated. Worst mistake I made was waiting that long. If you're having chronic/consistent back pain/stiffness, get evaluated and find out what's really going on. Only after you do that can you start to treat it and get back to activity the way you're used to.

One other thing-- there are all kinds of lower-back issues, and it's really worth finding out what's up. For example, in addition to my disc issues I have some dysfunction of the SI joints. That's what gives me real pain/stiffness sometimes. Of course it's all related, but you really need expert advice if you're having back issues. There are incredible PT interventions and lots of work you can do if you have trouble, but you've got to find out what you're working with.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:25 AM   #8
Brian Strump
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Re: Lower Back Out of Whack

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Originally Posted by Namir Yedid View Post
If it isn't getting better, see a doctor and skip the chiropractic. A doctor (and radiologist) can do an x-ray and order an MRI (if needed) to evaluate and figure out what's really going on.

When I injured my back (herniated discs at L3-L4, L4-L5, torn disc at L5-S1) I futzed around for 6 months with chiropractic work and stretching stuff before I finally got evaluated. Worst mistake I made was waiting that long. If you're having chronic/consistent back pain/stiffness, get evaluated and find out what's really going on. Only after you do that can you start to treat it and get back to activity the way you're used to.

One other thing-- there are all kinds of lower-back issues, and it's really worth finding out what's up. For example, in addition to my disc issues I have some dysfunction of the SI joints. That's what gives me real pain/stiffness sometimes. Of course it's all related, but you really need expert advice if you're having back issues. There are incredible PT interventions and lots of work you can do if you have trouble, but you've got to find out what you're working with.

YES! Because once you see on an MRI what's going on you're home, and pain free! Over 70% of people will show with bulging discs in their backs, and no symptoms.

Silly and ignorant statement. That's like saying, the only CrossFit trainer I ever met didn't know jack about training, so I went to Curves instead.

Find either a knowledgeable Chiro or PT that is familiar with what you're trying to accomplish, and go to them. Get some recommendations from people you know.

There's plenty of crappy PT's, Chiros, and orthopedic docs out there.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:11 AM   #9
Namir Yedid
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Re: Lower Back Out of Whack

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Originally Posted by Brian Strump View Post
YES! Because once you see on an MRI what's going on you're home, and pain free! Over 70% of people will show with bulging discs in their backs, and no symptoms.

Silly and ignorant statement. That's like saying, the only CrossFit trainer I ever met didn't know jack about training, so I went to Curves instead.

Find either a knowledgeable Chiro or PT that is familiar with what you're trying to accomplish, and go to them. Get some recommendations from people you know.

There's plenty of crappy PT's, Chiros, and orthopedic docs out there.
I never said that PTs weren't great, and I am sure there are good chiros out there. Maybe you're one of them. I also never said an MRI would help her physically. So let's be clear about what I did or did not say.

What I did say, quite clearly, was that getting a proper diagnosis would help her get started on recovery and treatment. Whether she opts for chiropractic, traditional physical therapy, MAT, acupuncture, or any number of other treatment modalities is obviously up to her. I didn't comment on the efficacy of chiropractic, only on the limitations of starting treatment before she figures out what's really going on in there.

Also, consider that she's having consistent issues and her insurance doesn't cover chiropractic, while it would likely cover the cost of diagnostics and some PT. Would you, as a health care provider and an affiliate owner, not suggest she get whatever care/treatment she can that is also affordable? Again, I don't think that I recommended anything unreasonable or out of line with what she's experiencing. Taking advantage of her insurance coverage to pay for diagnostics/imaging and hopefully get answers about her back pain/symptoms makes a lot of sense. It's not "silly" or "ignorant" as you claimed in your attack.

Presuming you are one of the good chiros, I'd assume that imaging results would help you in your work. And again-- that's what I was suggesting she consider doing.

Data, proper diagnosis, and treatment that actually addresses what she's dealing with. How could that be a bad thing? And how is that silly or ignorant? Let's also avoid ad hominem attacks and focus on the content of what was actually said.

Last edited by Namir Yedid; 07-23-2013 at 11:21 AM..
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:02 PM   #10
Brian Strump
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Re: Lower Back Out of Whack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Namir Yedid View Post
I never said that PTs weren't great, and I am sure there are good chiros out there. Maybe you're one of them. I also never said an MRI would help her physically. So let's be clear about what I did or did not say.

What I did say, quite clearly, was that getting a proper diagnosis would help her get started on recovery and treatment. Whether she opts for chiropractic, traditional physical therapy, MAT, acupuncture, or any number of other treatment modalities is obviously up to her. I didn't comment on the efficacy of chiropractic, only on the limitations of starting treatment before she figures out what's really going on in there.

Also, consider that she's having consistent issues and her insurance doesn't cover chiropractic, while it would likely cover the cost of diagnostics and some PT. Would you, as a health care provider and an affiliate owner, not suggest she get whatever care/treatment she can that is also affordable? Again, I don't think that I recommended anything unreasonable or out of line with what she's experiencing. Taking advantage of her insurance coverage to pay for diagnostics/imaging and hopefully get answers about her back pain/symptoms makes a lot of sense. It's not "silly" or "ignorant" as you claimed in your attack.

Presuming you are one of the good chiros, I'd assume that imaging results would help you in your work. And again-- that's what I was suggesting she consider doing.

Data, proper diagnosis, and treatment that actually addresses what she's dealing with. How could that be a bad thing? And how is that silly or ignorant? Let's also avoid ad hominem attacks and focus on the content of what was actually said.

If you are unfamiliar with how insurance works, even if you have it; many times an MRI request will be denied without a trial of care first. If that happens, then what? The patient is out a few hundred dollars, their doctor will probably send them to PT or the chiropractor, or offer them pain meds.

MRI's are one of the most over prescribed diagnostic tools nowadays. It's just a test that MAY give you positive findings. It does not tell you why something has happened, which should be most helpful to the treating physician.

I actually take very few x-rays, and send out for MRI's only after a trial of care unless there is significant muscle weakness present.

As for insurance coverage, over 1/3 of our practice pays cash. What many people do not understand is that just because you have insurance does not mean it will cost you less. We charge $50 cash/visit. What if the person has a $1000 deductible? That's 20 visits cash at my office, or they can go where their insurance allows, and pay $1000 to meet their deductible, then whatever it costs after that. Or sometimes, they want to go to someone they have been referred to, but their insurance does not cover them....so they go to a provider that is covered, and have a $35 co-pay. Now for $15 extra dollars they can go to whom they wanted, or let their insurance dictate what to do.

As time goes on, the more people let their insurance dictate their healthcare choices, the worse off they will be.

Sorry if whatever I said was taken as an attack....part of the problem with the internet today. =)
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