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Old 01-08-2009, 02:49 PM   #1
James Forshaw
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Chronic Back Pain

For the past fortnight (since I've been back at dental school), my back has been in near constant pain, whether I be sitting or lying down, and to a lesser extent when standing, though gluteal contraction usually helps when standing.

The problem is worst when seating, as when treating patients I invariably bend in the middle of my thoracic vertebrae. After a session last week, I got the most awful spasms between my shoulder blades. And even as I type this, the pain is now in my lumbar region. The inconsistency of where the pain occurs is confusing me as to what exactly the problem is, and what can be done about it.

My butt-wink during squats is improving steadily thanks to dedicated stretching, so I'm pretty certain that's not contributing lots. And I haven't deadlifted heavy for a while now.

Worrying about my back is starting to really get out of hand - if I'm sitting down, I consciously try to flex my spinal erectors to stay upright, and when I lie down all I can think about is "is my spine straight, or what?". It's becoming an unhealthy obsession.

I think my question is what are the best ways we are meant to sit and lie? And what is the best way of dealing with muscular pain in the back?
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:26 PM   #2
David Reynolds
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Re: Chronic Back Pain

what's up man, i am experiencing the same thing lately. Been learning snatches, squat cleans. Been feeling lots of tension in the neck as well. you doing alot of oly lifts?
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:05 AM   #3
James Forshaw
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Re: Chronic Back Pain

Yeah, have been doing my fair share lately. Do you find when you stand with the barbell overhead that your lower back is extremely arched?
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:53 PM   #4
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Re: Chronic Back Pain

Trigger point massage

http://www.board.crossfit.com/showth...=trigger+point

If you are holding a bar overhead and your back is too arched then you either have tight hip flexors or are not engaging your abs. Alternatively you could have shoulder flexibility issues if the point of your head is not directly below the bar (more behind). This would mean that you lack the flexibility to place the bar directly overhead and are arching/leaning backwards in lockout.

Neck pain that comes from pulls from the ground are usually because the lifter is craning their head back when they pull heavy. Also trigger points in the traps can cause pain at the base of the skull/top of the neck. The most common of these trigger points is located at the junction of the trap and the neck. It will feel like a rope underneath the skin running along the trap.

Do you have pain when you squeeze your shoulder blades together?
Do you have pain when you do a back extension?
Do you have pain when you lie down on your back and attempt to pull your hip up to your side?
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:43 PM   #5
James Forshaw
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Re: Chronic Back Pain

To engage your abs, do you mean just consciously contract them? Because I don't think that I engage them properly. Through shoulder dislocates, my shoulder flexibility is coming on very well. With light weights eg. a 95lbs push press metcon today, my ears always pass in front of the bar at lockout (as they should). But when I put a heavy weight overhead, I cannot stabilise myself very well at all - gluteal contraction is extremely difficult, and my lumbar spine is invariably arched a great deal. In my heart of hearts, I think it's a combination of heavy overhead work and poor sitting that's causing the trouble.

I'm not suffering neck pain, thanks to SS my head positioning is fine. After a day's sitting on clinic though, when I lean forward (bend my thoracic spine) it feels like a knife has gone between my shoulder blades. I THINK it hurts to squeeze the traps in those times, yes. No access to anywhere for back extensions, but no pain on supermans or deadlifts.

Not sure what you mean by the last question. If you mean lie on my back and pull my hips off the ground by raising my legs overhead and backward, then no pain.
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:20 PM   #6
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Re: Chronic Back Pain

What is SS? Also i have a pretty good arch in my lumberregion as well. when i do alot of ohs, tire flips, the dropping motion on the snatch, i feel the next day i feel lots of tension in my neck and lower back, any suggestions? Maybe avoid these exercises all together, i surely hope not!! Pretty proud of myself ohs like 175 other day, almost 5 lbs less than my body weight. Very good since i couldn't even do the 45lb bar 2 months ago
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:23 AM   #7
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Re: Chronic Back Pain

For the ab engagement check out this thread:
http://www.board.crossfit.com/showth...t=41389&page=2

Next time you OHP imagine that someone is about to punch you in the gut when you start your press.

In the movement in my last question nothing should leave the ground except for possibly your lower back. Pull your hip towards your shoulder with your back/oblique muscles. Hike your hip up.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:35 PM   #8
Steven Low
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Re: Chronic Back Pain

This thread might be of some help. wfs

http://www.performancemenu.com/forum...ead.php?t=3474

Also, have you had any CT or X-rays to see if there's a structural problem? If not, sounds like you need to loosen up all those muscles with some massage, foam rolling and perhaps ART.

If they're spasming and tight and lock up like that it's probably because there's either structural instability or because of the sudden tramua of the accident. Whatever the case, they need to probably be worked on, and then perhaps strengthened along with postural improvements.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:32 AM   #9
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Re: Chronic Back Pain

Hey Steven, what do you mean by structural damage, like bad disc etc. i have some crunchy sounds in my neck that are not audible to anyone but me, it is not popping sounds but crunchy. Not alot of pain involved, just like a strained feeling. Got any suggestions? Maybe i just need a ct scan
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:47 PM   #10
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Re: Chronic Back Pain

Could be disk. If it's painful and it's not popping that's probably not a good sign.

See a doc about that..
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