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KungFuPanda

I threw out my back. Fix me!

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I guess I'm old now.  My back "went out."  I don't even know what that means.  I just know that I'm on day two of being confined to the couch.  As long as I don't try to walk, or roll over, or God forbid go to the bathroom I feel fine.  When I do walk, getting up is the hard part, then I have to walk by supporting my core with my abs, completely relaxing my back, and isolating my leg muscles so that I only use my feet and calves to move my body.  So THAT'S an unexpected benefit to studying belly dance.

I went a little nuts with $1 a bag, bag your own mulch at our landfill on Friday.  On Saturday I power walked with a friend.  My friend hung and talked for an hour afterwards.  When she left I started to lock up an by two hours post walk I was frozen by a very nervy pain shooting through my back if I tried to move.  This sucks.  Fix me.  I've done ice and ibuprophen.  Today is somewhat better than yesterday.  I'm slated to teach 4 dance classes this week!  I do have plan B's in place for all.  

I do not FEEL old enough to be dealing with this.  (I'm 47.)  Who has a magical trick for me?

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So normally I'd say chiropractor, but it doesn't sound like any bones moved out of place, more than you strained your back, maybe bending over? I can tell you once I finally did what the ladies said here and went to an orthopedist, he sent me to a killer PT who cut my pain by about 60% immediately and gave me some exercises that got me to 90% in a week. Then it was worse as we did more to actually fix it, lol. 

Is there anything that feels good? By any strange change does squeezing your buttocks, one at a time (yes, for real, one side at a time) feel good? Your gluts kind of hug a lot of those lower back muscles. Turns out something so simple helps me.

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11 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

So normally I'd say chiropractor, but it doesn't sound like any bones moved out of place, more than you strained your back, maybe bending over? I can tell you once I finally did what the ladies said here and went to an orthopedist, he sent me to a killer PT who cut my pain by about 60% immediately and gave me some exercises that got me to 90% in a week. Then it was worse as we did more to actually fix it, lol. 

Is there anything that feels good? By any strange change does squeezing your buttocks, one at a time (yes, for real, one side at a time) feel good? Your gluts kind of hug a lot of those lower back muscles. Turns out something so simple helps me.

I do glute squeezes as a regular warm up exercise.   I use those muscles a lot.  I'll give it a go.  I've pretzeled myself into a cross-legged position so it'll take me some time to get out of it.  I feel no change with alternating glute squeezes in this position.  

Here's your laugh for the day:

 

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10 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

Here's your laugh for the day:

Ok, that's outrageous! That would really up my game, lol.

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This happened to me when our second kid was less than 2 months old (so way younger than you!). I bent down to pick up a towel I had dropped and I was instantly in excruciating pain. If my parents hadn't been here, I have no clue what I would have done at that moment. (DH was home but outside). 
As you said, it was rolling over and going from standing to sitting or vice versa that were awful. So what helped? Doing absolutely nothing. I stayed in bed on or the couch as much as possible. (Tricky with an 18 month old and NB, but I did my best.) If I had to move, if DH was around he basically moved me. I also invested in a very nice back brace.
I can't actually remember how long recovery took.  Well, months later I was still dealing with manageable, but lingering pain. I finally decided to see a chiropractor. I'd never been to one before. But there was immense immediate improvement.
I am sorry this happened to you. I hope you improve quickly!

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Oh I've done this more times than I'd like to admit. Unfortunately rest and time is the best medicine. Since it's been a day+ I'd alternate ice and heat, but my ortho says do whichever feels best- so if one feels better than the other go for it. I have never found the chiro to help. It's like a temporary help and then it's a million times worse 3 hours later. You really need the spasm to go away.

Some people swear by creating muscle confusion to relieve the spasm- get in a super hot shower, then switch to icy cold for several minutes and alternate (that has never worked for me but my former masseuse swore bye it). Those extra large icy-hot patches can be lifesavers when you absolutely have no choice but to get out and about, but as much as you can, just rest it, that is the best medicine. Take large amounts of NSAIDS. Aleve if you have it, otherwise up to 800 mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours is what I go for. If you go to an ortho or other MD you can get even stronger NSAIDs (but those make me nervous. I will just stress REST in so much as possible. Those muscles you overdid need time to heal. 

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Sorry to hear, as I have been there before at about the same age as you. I really wonder if it has to do with the peri-menopause timing, because it seemed like all of a sudden a lot of things were starting to change in my body and I just bent over one day to pick up a stick, and my back went out. Yes, very painful!  

I would say yes to all of the above.  I tried a chiro.  He told me to do stretches before getting out of bed, especially with the legs.  All I can say is that this did not help one bit.  Finally one morning I told myself that I was not going to do the stretches any more.  Good move because from then on...I felt so much better.  I just honestly think the stretching was too soon after the injury.

Another time, my back was out and I had to drive with 2 children across the state by myself.  It wasn't going to happen, that would have been too painful. I went to my first acupuncture appointment and walked out of there pain free.  That taught me to believe in acupuncture for sure!  If you go this route, discuss it first with the acupuncturist to see if he feels it can be treated.  

I did have back problems on and off for a few years, so I always learned to take a cushion to sit on bleachers, etc. I don't know exactly how long that lasted, but I can tell you now that I am in menopause, I have not had any issues.  (Knocking on wood!)

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Rotate hot and cold, rest, Epsom salt baths. I would still see a chiropractor. What if he can help? What if you can walk out of there with a pain level of 2? Isn't it worth a try?

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Acupuncture fixed mine.  I was about your age at the time.  I walked out of the acupuncturist's office not feeling much different, but over the next two hours, I could feel it melting away. It was 80% resolved within two hours and 100% within another day or so.  It has not happened again, and it's been three or four years.

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I would still go to the chiropractor.  I would consider asking a doctor for a muscle relaxer. I would take an anti-inflammatory and use heat or ice, whatever feels better.  I would try biofreeze.  

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I've done this in various ways. All the above advice is good. Since it's the first time, I would consider getting it checked out because you don't know the cause. Consider a chiro or acupuncture if it doesn't start to improve soon. Try heat and a soak.

As someone who has had chronic neck and back issues off and on - the thing I had to learn that I wish I had understood sooner is that it's much better to stop trying to stretch it out. When I have a pain, I tend to want to really stretch it, but that's usually a mistake. I generally have to really focus on shortening the muscles and not stretching them. And often there's a sharper pain when I do that. The stretch feels sort of good. Shortening the muscle feels borderline horrible at first. So it took me years because my body kept telling me that was the wrong thing to do. I don't know if that makes sense entirely, but it's helped me in healing when I have an issue arise.

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Thank you everyone for taking the time to comment.  I think I'll rest more until I sort out this denial I'm in.  Yesterday was better than the day before so today was 'supposed' to be even better, but THAT didn't work out for me.  My house is falling apart around me.  Dh is trying, but I'm very energetic and he has no clue how much I really do.  I think if I sit on the bed I can fold some laundry.  When I don't move at all, there is almost zero pain, so I'm getting REALLY bored and have almost finished my paperwork.  I'm a month ahead on lesson plans.  My 2 cents is ALL OVER this message board.  I tend to automatically do 90 percent of DS's caretaking, so DH has his hands full with the two of us.  I'll probably drag in eventually.  I can rest like a good girl and I can take a lot of pain, but I want to know what I'm dealing with so I don't do permanent damage.  Is this an orthopedist thing? I really don't want to go to my PCP just to be send elsewhere and I don't need the rec. with my insurance.

I know which advanced students will be my "stand in bodies" for the next two weeks of class.  I'm soooooo glad we drilled technique over the summer and we're focusing on choreography in this next session.  This means I can talk them through the combo then spend the next hour saying "Do it again!"  I may be called in this week to shadow someone in a job I applied for.  I'm so glad I started my mid-life search for a seated job because teaching dance might not be my best geriatric side hustle.  Maybe if a chair spins I won't go nuts.  I'm dying to garden because those perennials won't divide themselves.  Wheelchair bound DS is giving me all sorts of advice and has loaned me his grabby thing.  He's also teasing me mercilessly and parroting back every piece of advice he never wanted to hear.  "Try first. You can do this. Are you sure you need help? Have you tried it this way?"  He's annoying. 

I may work on new choreography.  I always map out the music on paper and work it out in my head first.  

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16 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

Wheelchair bound DS is giving me all sorts of advice and has loaned me his grabby thing.  He's also teasing me mercilessly and parroting back every piece of advice he never wanted to hear.  "Try first. You can do this. Are you sure you need help? Have you tried it this way?"  He's annoying. 

Karma, lol.

Someone mentioned the herniated disc thing, actually several someones. That's what happened to me. And it was brewing and then worse. So, given how active you've been, something might have been brewing. And yeah they'd do PT and imaging. And the DPT (doctorate of pt) that saw me was able, very gently, to release the tight muscles and just STOP the pain. 

So fwiw, I'm super don't go to the doctor, non-interventionist, but asking for help is good. 

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14 hours ago, barnwife said:

This happened to me when our second kid was less than 2 months old (so way younger than you!). I bent down to pick up a towel I had dropped and I was instantly in excruciating pain. If my parents hadn't been here, I have no clue what I would have done at that moment. (DH was home but outside). 
As you said, it was rolling over and going from standing to sitting or vice versa that were awful. So what helped? Doing absolutely nothing. I stayed in bed on or the couch as much as possible. (Tricky with an 18 month old and NB, but I did my best.) If I had to move, if DH was around he basically moved me. I also invested in a very nice back brace.
I can't actually remember how long recovery took.  Well, months later I was still dealing with manageable, but lingering pain. I finally decided to see a chiropractor. I'd never been to one before. But there was immense immediate improvement.
I am sorry this happened to you. I hope you improve quickly!

Holy crap! I have adult kids I can basically ignore.  I can't imagine doing this with two babies on me!

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There's no way to know for sure, but what you're describing totally jibes with my experience of basic throwing out of your back and not of some sort of major underlying issue. For me, I feel like it's almost a protective mechanism my body is engaged in. So every time I start to really move, my body seizes up in fear that it'll be bad. So then that seizing up is almost more painful than whatever has actually happened. But it's like my body is telling me don't move or you'll make it worse by essentially making it worse. You just rest, use the ibuprophen judiciously, and move very, very slowly until it gets better. And once it starts getting better, do simple movements over and over. Like, the times I've had this happen, I'll end up at the tail end of it getting up and then sitting or laying back down several times in a row - almost to remind my muscles that it's okay, they don't have to seize up anymore and stop me from doing it because I'm taking it slow and it's fine.

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