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Old 12-13-2006, 09:11 AM   #1
Nick Cruz
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Ususally when I wake up in the AM I have an annoying electric pain in the lower center of my back. It feels like what I would expect a pinched to feel like. After about 1/2 hour its gone. It doesn't get worse throughout the day and it doesn't show up after lifting or WOD's. Sometimes it comes up during the day but mostly its just as I wake up.

A year or so ago I went in to a Chiropractor for a "friends and family" event where I got a free xray and exam. He told me my spine was a bit curvy and that two of my disks (lower back) were either close to or were pinching on a nerve. He asked if I landed hard on my arse (I dont think that I had) because it looked like they had been slightly crushed. He then proceeded to tell me that I needed to get weekly adjustments and that if I let it go I would start getting pains in my leg and that I might lose responsiveness in my nether regions.

Now, Im not saying that I dont believe in Chiro care but when he told my wife that he could see that her stomach lining was very thin and that she was about to get an ulcer (all from an xray) I became a bit skeptical. How serious is this type of pain? Can I attribute it to my mattress (pillow top Sealy from Costco) Should I be going to the chiro or DR? Right now its more annoying than scary but I dont want to end up in a wheel chair or something later down the road.

Thanks for the replies.

Nick
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:54 PM   #2
Craig Van De Walker
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All fields have good and bad practitioners. I have been to a chiro periodically and will go again if I need to. If one told me I needed weekly adjustments I assume forever, I would think he was trying to build his income. Especially if he implied loss of your sexual function as a motivator. Most of the people I know have had back pain at one time or another, I bet everyone who goes for a free Chiro eval has had or is in pain, so I assume the pitch works often.

My first experience with a chiro was when I was 13 and flat on my back from pain. The old wiry guy made a huge difference in two visits and told me how weak my back and stomach were. He was the one who got me started exercising so I didn't have it happen again. He was a pro!

I didn't know you could get a good view of a disk on x-ray, I thought you needed a CT or MRI but I am not positive about that.

You can research online, many people with no back pain have what appears to be structural problems on MRI, many have back pain and structural problems, many have back pain and no structural problems. Funny thing is many of the people who have the structural problem fixed surgically still have debilitating pain. Back pain is a strange thing!

Family and work friendly on spine issues

http://www.spine-health.com/topics/c...ce/diff01.html

You might try doing some mobility exercises in the am. I recently purchased the Magnificent Mobility CD (suggested by Anthony B)and it has some good ones look up "spinal flossing" as well.

I will end by saying if my back really goes bad as it has in the past, there is no place I would go except to a good chiro or D.O.
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Old 12-13-2006, 02:56 PM   #3
Elliot Royce
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I have two cervical disk herniations and have tried various options but always held short of surgery. Craig is right in that a disk cannot be viewed directly on an xray; however, the bones can be and a doctor can infer that the disk has collapsed. However, he could not say that he saw the disk pressing on a nerve without an MRI. I would go see a neurosurgeon and see what he says. Obviously they will tend towards operating but at least you can get a more precise diagnosis. You probably should get an MRI for peace of mind.

The fact that the pain only last 30 minutes is a good sign and most probably you should do nothing. The only strange thing about that is that your disks refill with water overnight and tend to compress during the day as you put weight on them. It might suggest that your sleeping position is causing a problem. I hope you don't sleep on your stomach or back. Fetal position is best. You could experiment by putting a pillow between your legs to see whether that helps. But this is kind of hit and miss advice.

The neurosurgeon can run a test on you that will indicate whether there is any nerve function lose from pinching. That is where you can have more serious issues but continuing nerve irritation can cause muscle degeneration. Rigorous exercise counteracts it but basically your nerve is screwing your muscle up by broadcasting interference and the muscle loses its tone over time. Again, if it's only hurting for 30 minutes, it's probably not an issue.

As Craig says, millions of people have degeneration often in the lower back. I've heard of some people with no symptoms who have a battleground of destruction in the lower back. Mankind was not meant to walk upright.

Having said that, I always believe that with nerves you should get the best possible advice. They are too important to play around with.
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:07 PM   #4
Nick Cruz
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I appreciate the responses. I will be making an appt with the Dr just to be sure and see where is goes from there. For the record, I do sleep on my back and my stomach. When I wake up I am usually on my back. Do those compression mattresses help at all with posture while sleeping?
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:23 PM   #5
Elliot Royce
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I have tempurpedic and it's great but I doubt it's going to solve this on its own. Sleeping on your stomach is well known to cause back problems. Your disks are bent into funny positions. If you can stand the Paleo man analogy again, can you imagine someone sleeping on their stomach in a cave or a forest? We are made to do that. Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs for a week and see if it makes a difference. A lot of times your own experimentation is better than what the doctor can tell you (but still go see the orthopedist or neurosurgeon).
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:29 AM   #6
Beau Bryant
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Try the cave man method of a pillow between your legs, it may work.
seriously, see a Doctor, get an MRI and make sure you have no structural problems, then go from there. Agree with Elliot, experiment, but still see the Doctor.
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