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Old 09-14-2007, 02:40 AM   #1
Shane Upchurch
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Returning back pain

ive had this back pain in my right lower back for nearly two years now and just when I think im rid of it, it returns. Im trying to decide if I should go so a phys therapist, again, or try a chiropractor. I like the phys therapist and she helped it for a while but she doesnt want me doing any squats or full situps or back extensions, and that just isnt going to happen. Im not sure if crossfit lifting is hurting it or just irritating an old injury. Im pretty sure it has something to do with flexibility, though I have been doing a series of stretches for about 3 months now twice a day to try and loosen up the hamstrings and hips, but it seems like when I get to parallel in the squat my hips just get really tight and if I try to go further, especially with weight, that is where the back pain comes into play. It never hurts during the workout only after.

So any suggestions? Chiro or PT?

Thanks
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:41 AM   #2
Tim Newsome
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Re: Returning back pain

That sounds just like my back has been for a long time now (4 years?). Basically, if I don't work out at all then my back feels pretty good, but occasionally achy/tight. If I do work out regularly I'll inevitably hit a point where it really starts to hurt.

So I did the physical therapy, twice. It helps me get back to where my back is fine if I don't work out. Earlier this year I hurt again and called my primary care doctor asking what I can do besides just physical therapy. He sent me to a chiropracter who I've been seeing regularly. The big thing I've noticed since seeing him is that I recover from a painful state much faster than I used to. If I did something bad, it used to take a week or two to get back to my steady state. Now that can happen in just a few days. My chiropracter agreed we weren't making much progress beyond that, so he referred me to an egoscue physical therapist. That's what I'm trying now. The standard PTs gave me exercises to strengthen abs etc. The egoscue PT is giving me exercises that are supposed to push my body back into alignment. (Specifically, apparently my hips are twisted a bit, which leads to an uneven load on my back, which might lead to my back pain.) These exercises are about 25 mins in the morning, and 25 mins at night. Two weeks in, I can't say if they're helping yet or not. They sure worked magic on a nagging shoulder injury I also had.

Anyway, that's my story. Maybe it's helpful to you. I think your best bet is to decide that fixing your back is your top priority, more important than doing crossfit, squats, etc. Then try whatever you can until you find something that works. You might also be able to find a PT who is more likely to let you keep exercising. If you feel you've exhausted PT, then by all means give a chiropracter a shot.

Tim
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Old 09-14-2007, 09:31 AM   #3
Shane Upchurch
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Re: Returning back pain

Thanks for the info. I just called my PT and am going to try her again. She says it sounds like a bulging disc, Im not sure how that will affect my WOD'S but it doesnt sound good to me.
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:21 PM   #4
Shane Upchurch
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Re: Returning back pain

With the idea of a bulging disk in mind, has anyone that now practices crossfit had to heal from a bulging disc? Were you able to perform the WOD'S with the bulging disc? How long before it was healed? Any info at all would help remove the sick feeling in my stomach.
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:29 PM   #5
Matt DeMinico
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Re: Returning back pain

One thing to think about, I never had back issues (and don't anymore once I fixed this) until I tried rowing, but did it incorrectly. I tried rowing on too high of a damper setting (like TEN) and just strained some back muscles doing it. Just FYI if you're overdoing it on rowing or something similar, my pain didn't go away for almost two months of taking it easy on it.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:29 PM   #6
Aileen Reid
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Re: Returning back pain

This sounds exactly like my problem. I went to see a musculoskeletal guy who does interdisciplinary stuff - mixture of chiro, osteo etc and he said my pubic symphysis was out and hence my left leg was 3 cm shorter and everything twisted when I tried to do stuff. He manipulated me, and has shown me how to do it. I go back next week to see him but so far so good.

I had been going to physio for ages and it did little.
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Old 09-15-2007, 10:01 PM   #7
Shane Upchurch
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Re: Returning back pain

Aileen can you explain in more detail what you mean by "manipulated" and him showing you "how to do it"? Did he give you stretches or exercises to help the condition? Did he tell you to stop doing squats, dl's, etc. until it has healed?
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:12 AM   #8
Aileen Reid
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Re: Returning back pain

In my case I went to this guy primarily because I have had a knee problem that prevents me from squatting etc for about a year now. I saw a sports med doc and then a surgeon, have had 2 MRI's and an arthroscopy but its just the same. Because one knee is RS the other is now playing up. SO, becuase a fellow work colleague/runner recommended this guy I went to see him because I got to thinking my knee issues could be coming from my SI joint which had been sore for about 2 years, despite physio - and having had a major trantrum about a year ago.

That's background. Anyway this guy works with generally 3 visits. I've only had one yet, next is Friday. This last time he stood me in front of a mirror, told me one shoulder was higher than the other (which I couldn't see) asked me to turn my head in both directions and showed me I had more movement one way than the other. Then he laid me down. Held my ankles and pulled on my legs and lifted them off the bed about 6-12 inches and showed me how my ankles didn't line up. He then put one of his hands on each of my hips and pushed them down on the bed. Told me to lift one leg, then the other - I could feel one was easier than the other. He then got me to bend my legs so my feet were still on the bed but knees bent about 45 degrees and feet about shoulder width apart. He then got my knees and told me to push them together while he resisted with his hands. There was a big crack which he said was my pubic symphysis realigning. He then did the reverse of that so I pushed his hands apart. Then retested my leg length and they were even.

Then he cracked my upper back and twisted it around first one way and then the other. That was basically it. My neck also now turns a lot better (I might add I had a neck problem last year as well!).

He's showed my how to do the first bit myself. You do it from a sitting position on a chair, feel flat on the floor. Use your forearm so you have one hand against one knee and your elbow against the other. Brace your wrist by grabbing it with your other hand and and push in with your knees against your arm. Reverse your arm/hands and repeat. And of course your partner can check your leg length any time.

Next week he will show me other exercises to do.

I'm quite happy, I can feel the difference especially when I"m eg digging in the garden, my back doesn't get sore like it used to. But I'm still banned from doing squats etc simply because my cartilage etc etc are all still not in good nick as it were. They will take weeks if not months to repair, I"m just hoping that if my bodys all lined up right and the pressures on my knees are all good and even then they will get better over time.

Hope this makes sense! These guys have a website - musmed.com. The guy I saw is actually a surgeon. But it may be a chiro or osteo would do the same thing. What I like about these guys is they teach you to self manage so you don't have to go back all the time.

Last edited by Aileen Reid; 09-16-2007 at 01:13 AM.. Reason: Spelling and omission.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:58 PM   #9
Shane Upchurch
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Re: Returning back pain

Thanks Aileen for the info. A lot of what you described was done by my phys therapist on my last visit which at least makes me feel like there is some method to their madness. I'll give it another shot and see what happens....Crossfit is a part of my life and I would go crazy not being able to do it.
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:27 PM   #10
Aileen Reid
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Re: Returning back pain

Sounds like you're on the right track then, that's good! Lets hope both you and I can get back to doing all that we'd like!
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