Back Injury Causes Agonizing Pain and Discomfort

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In summary, an expert summarizer of content observes that today, an incident at the gym led to back pain. The individual is currently attempting to sleep it off and if the pain is not manageable, plans to see a doctor. The chiropractor is not recommended, and the best solution for back pain is to perform chinups and slowly transfer the weight.
  • #1
FrogPad
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I hurt my back :(

Today I completely screwed up my back. I was at my University gym lifting with my workout partner, and things were going fine. We were finishing up on our last exercise, when it was my turn to lift the heaviest amount I was going to for the day. I got the first rep, and then on the second, BOOM, pain throughout all of my lower back. We were doing deadlifts, and I always try to have proper form. I don't know what happened with it today, but whatever I did, this is just horrible.

It hurts so bad to sit right now and write this. It hurts to bend over. I look like I'm 180 years old! I've been taking Excedrin Extra Strength, and that has helped a little... but not enough.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do?

My current plan of attack, is to continue to lay down, and try to sleep it off (thank god it is friday). I'm giong to keep popping the meds (next round I'm switching to Aleve to see if that works better). Tomorrow if the pain is not manageable, I'm going to the doctors.

This sucks! It's amazing how often your lower back comes into play in everyday movement.
 
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  • #2
Go to a chiropractor as soon as you can.

Also, NEVER over-estimate what you can deadlift. And if you find that your first rep was really difficult, lower the weight. Deadlifting is one of the exercises you do not want to perform with bad form. It's better to have a bruised ego than a messed up back.
 
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  • #3
I don't have a high opinion of chiropractors, having once had a Chiropractic College as a client and dated two chiropractors. At best, they're deluded, at worst, they're frauds.

Go to a real doctor.
 
  • #4
Have you tried homer's magical trash can?
 
  • #5
cyrusabdollahi said:
Have you tried homer's magical trash can?
that was awesome :smile:
 
  • #6
Homer: That's not a trashcan, it's Dr. Homer's miracle spine-o-cylinder, patent pending.

Patient: You think you can fix my sciatica?

Homer: I don't know what that is, so I'm going to say "yes."

His bedside manner is unorthodox. He tells the patient to go "limp." As he pushes the patient over the trashcan, which is on its side, he intones:

Homer: One, two, better not sue.
 
  • #7
devious_ said:
Go to a chiropractor as soon as you can.

Also, NEVER over-estimate what you can deadlift. And if you find that your first rep was really difficult, lower the weight. Deadlifting is one of the exercises you do not want to perform with bad form. It's better to have a bruised ego than a messed up back.

I wish someone would have told me that :(

On squats I am very careful to do weight that I can manage. On deadlifts I hit 4 reps at that weight on monday, but couldn't get the last one. Today the first rep was fine, the second rep, again fine, but when I sat the weight down... boom, it was just horrible. Trust me, I would rather have a bruised ego. grrr
 
  • #8
Go to singapore amd buy a little machine that you stick little pads on your back and it gives you electric shocks that feel like acupuncture and massages it really helps! Its so much better than a chiropracter. Also helps with colds, hangovers, any strains, headaches, heaps more (it can help any problem)
 
  • #9
cyrusabdollahi said:
Homer: That's not a trashcan, it's Dr. Homer's miracle spine-o-cylinder, patent pending.

Patient: You think you can fix my sciatica?

Homer: I don't know what that is, so I'm going to say "yes."

His bedside manner is unorthodox. He tells the patient to go "limp." As he pushes the patient over the trashcan, which is on its side, he intones:

Homer: One, two, better not sue.



Video of it :smile:
 
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  • #10
Evo said:
I don't have a high opinion of chiropractors, having once had a Chiropractic College as a client and dated two chiropractors. At best, they're deluded, at worst, they're frauds.

Go to a real doctor.
I agree. If it's anything that requires more than a good massage to fix it, go to a real doctor.

What's with all these back and neck injuries the past few days? You guys need to be more careful. You might heal up okay now, but the injuries you get now will come back to haunt you when you're older if you keep abusing your bodies.
 
  • #11
One of the best things I have found for bad back is grab a chinup bar and slowly transfer your weight until you are hanging by your arms for a couple of minutes.

OTOH considering what you were doing there could be some serious damage there.
I'm thinking you might want to get it checked out.
 
  • #12
FrogPad said:
I've been taking Excedrin Extra Strength, and that has helped a little... but not enough.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do?

My current plan of attack, is to continue to lay down, and try to sleep it off (thank god it is friday). I'm giong to keep popping the meds (next round I'm switching to Aleve to see if that works better). Tomorrow if the pain is not manageable, I'm going to the doctors.
Yeah, Excedrin will only help to cut the pain some, it won't help you heal. Ibuprophin is a muscle relaxant and anti-inflamatory. My doc tells me to take three IB three times a day to help knock down the pain and help the healing.

I also agree with NoTime that lengthening out the spine helps and for me it feels good. Better than a chinup bar is to stand back-to-back with a strong friend, you reach your arms back pointing down. Your friend squats a little, reaches up with their arms through your armpits, and then straightens up to lift your feet off the ground. This supports your upper body with your hips a little above theirs, and your spine in a gentle extension. It also helps if the friend does a slow movement side to side or circular with their hips, to help your back muscles to stretch out and relax. Kind of hard to explain, but the one time a friend did it for me after a bad back strain, it felt wonderful, and left me genuinely releived.

The doc sounds like a good idea. Especially if you have access to a sports doc or a doc who is very active in working out themselves. I've been very forutunate over the past couple decades to have a doc who is a very active athlete himself.
 
  • #13
Go see a doctor, and perhaps an orthopedist

A common misconception about back pain is that you need to rest and avoid activity for a long time. In fact, bed rest is NOT recommended. If you have no indication of a serious underlying cause for your back pain (like loss of bowel or bladder control, weakness, weight loss, or fever), then you should stay as active as possible. Here are some tips for how to handle pain and activity early on:

  • Stop normal physical activity only for the first few days. This helps calm your symptoms and reduce any inflammation in the area of the pain.
  • Apply heat or ice to the painful area. One good method is to use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, then use heat after that.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Sleep in a curled-up, fetal position with a pillow between your legs. If you usually sleep on your back, place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees to relieve pressure.
  • DO NOT perform activities that involve heavy lifting or twisting of your back for the first six weeks after the pain begins.
  • AVOID exercise in the days immediately after the pain begins. After two to three weeks, however, you should gradually resume exercise (particularly with the guidance of a physical therapist). And remember, getting back to every day activities starts just after a few days.
from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002119.htm

Orthodedics: Low Back Strain
http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/sprainsstrains/a/lowback.htm

Lower back pain symptoms and treatment
options
http://www.spine-health.com/topics/cd/tlbp/type01.html

If one has a herniated disk, that is significant and one should find out ASAP. Perhaps one has a strained muscle - very painful but less serious than herniated disc.
 
  • #14
I really think it's best to see a doctor before resuming activity. Make sure you haven't torn anything that does need rest to heal or that could be made worse with continued exercise or even stretching. If you get the all-clear, then continuing some light stretching or exercising will help retain good mobility while the injury heals.
 
  • #15
Moonbear said:
I agree. If it's anything that requires more than a good massage to fix it, go to a real doctor.
And if it does require just a good massage - go to a good massage therapist. Its cheaper and you won't feel quite so dirty afterwards. My mom has some back and neck issues from straining herself while golfing and a good massage helps a lot.
 
  • #16
berkeman said:
I also agree with NoTime that lengthening out the spine helps and for me it feels good.
I actually pulled a back muscle doing a seated-row a few weeks ago and I think doing lat pulls of various kinds has helped stretch it without putting too much pressure on it.
 
  • #17
Man I really appreciate all the responses! This forum is such a great community.

I don't really know what doctors are good, and who isn't out here. Most of my family members are involved in medicine back home, so they know the specialty doctors personally. So I go to them when I have a problem. Since I'm not there, I need to find someone out here.

Anyways, I tried going to a walk in clinic that was near me (I couldn't get anyone to answer their phone there). Once I got there, I asked them their capabilities, and they said they can't even do x-rays. Sounds a little sketch to me :( So I got in touch with another place that is about 30 minutes away, but they said they can't do x-rays on anyones neck or back... again, :(

If I'm going to go to a facility like that, I at least would like them to be able to go past a recommendation like, put ice on it and rest. Since I'm going to be doing that anyways, why pay to have someone tell me the same. So my choices are the emergency room, or to wait and see a "good" doctor on Monday. I'm going to wait it out until Monday.

Moonbear! You scared me with,
Moonbear said:
...but the injuries you get now will come back to haunt you when you're older...
I don't want to never be able to exercise again. Deadlifts were my favorite exercise... although doing them right now sounds as appetizing as consuming dog food.

:) alright, time to lay down for a bit. Have a good weekend everyone!
 
  • #18
FrogPad said:
Moonbear! You scared me with,

I don't want to never be able to exercise again. Deadlifts were my favorite exercise... although doing them right now sounds as appetizing as consuming dog food.
Didn't mean to scare you with it. Just be careful. Once you start injuring your back, it gets harder to heal and more prone to back problems when you're older. It won't mean you can't exercise again, and exercise is good for preventing such problems, but overdoing it can be just as bad as underdoing it. No doubt, you'll be more careful in the future anyway. :wink:
 
  • #19
Take advice from me. Go to the doctor ASAP, and do whatever he recommends. Physical Therapy--whatever.

I powerlifted and competed for several years struggling with nagging injuries etc (mainly my lower back). I lifted through these injuries and ignored and blocked them out. Now, I have a bulging L5 disk that is progressively getting worse, and I can no longer bend over to tie my shoes, letalone deadlift 600lbs anymore. I let my pig-headed-ness get ahead of me, and ultimately it has ruined my hobby that I was very passionate about.

I'd see a doctor and absolutely insist that you get an MRI. I had two doctors tell me its just a pulled muscle, and then finally I found an orthipedic doctor, and the MRI he sent me for revealed the disk problem.
 
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  • #20
I agree with those who tell you not to wait before seeing a doctor. Forget chiropractors... as Evo said, they're primarily fraudulent. Some of them might actually believe that they're helping, and in a relatively few cases they can, but they can also cause far more damage than they alleviate. There have been several cases of paralysis from neck manipulation, for instance. They also are trained in chiropractic college to never actually cure something even if they can. They merely relieve the symptoms temporarily. It's a planned obsolescence scam, like Windows; it works just long enough to build your confidence to the point that you'll go back when it starts to hurt again. It absolutely appalled me when they won the right to entitle themselves Doctors.
While there's a fair possibility that you just strained something, it would be purely stupid to assume that. It could be as serious as a ruptured disk, a chipped vertebra, an injured nerve, or serious muscle damage.
The last time that something like that happened to me was when I picked up the end of a pool table (just a couple of inches) and dropped it to knock a stuck ball loose. I'd done it a few dozen times before, but this time something went wrong. Went to the doctor immediately in the morning (no clinic in town) because I was sure that I'd blown a disk. Turned out that it was a couple of torn muscles. Immense relief there, but it didn't hurt any less.
The stretching thing can definitely help relieve the pain, if the cause of that pain isn't something that stretching will aggravate. Be careful if you do it berkeman's way, though. It's a good idea, but make sure to do it slowly. I say this from bitter experience. I was in a similar situation a few years ago (okay, it was an ill-advised dancing move :redface: ). The guy jerked instead of lifting smoothly, and I had two ribs torn off of my sternum. It didn't hurt until a couple of hours later, then I paid $100 for a cab to the emergency ward because I couldn't drive and seriously thought, based upon the location and intensity of the pain, that my pericardium had been punctured. Couldn't even breathe properly for six weeks after that, even wearing the corset-like rib belt to hold things together.
 
  • #21
Danger (I guess this also goes to Evo...?), in defense of chiropractors, there actually are some who help. Please don't make it seem like all of them are frauds who are only out there to make money.

The chiropractor which I have gone to, for example, has done marvelous things to many people I know. My mom's friend lost all feeling in one of her arms. She went to the doctor, first, but they couldn't really do anything. Then after a few visits to the chiropractor, she got all of the feeling back in her arm.

In my case, he may have rid me of my asthma (Im not sure if it was just because, or due to his work). Also, I used to get constant headaches, backaches, etc, but none anymore... I don't go to him anymore, because I don't really need to...

The problem is finding one, and knowing if the chiropractor will truly help or not.


In your case FrogPad, it's good that you're going to see a doctor.

Don't be one of those people who a few days later realize the pain has decreased and decide not to see anyone about it.
 
  • #22
moose said:
Danger (I guess this also goes to Evo...?), in defense of chiropractors, there actually are some who help. Please don't make it seem like all of them are frauds who are only out there to make money.

The chiropractor which I have gone to, for example, has done marvelous things to many people I know. My mom's friend lost all feeling in one of her arms. She went to the doctor, first, but they couldn't really do anything. Then after a few visits to the chiropractor, she got all of the feeling back in her arm.
Chiropractors who are helpful really are helpful in spite of what they are taught. Some of the things they are taught about what they are doing are downright scary. If there is a chiropractor who thinks he's just giving you a good massage and back cracking (heck, I can do that for you), great, but he's going against what he's taught. The "theory" behind what they do is just complete and utter BS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic_medicine
 
  • #23
FrogPad said:
So my choices are the emergency room, or to wait and see a "good" doctor on Monday. I'm going to wait it out until Monday.
So how did it go, FrogPad? What's the prognosis and treatment?
 
  • #24
Oops, I thought the term chiropractor meant "bone doctor." I guess I was wrong; should I have used orthopedician instead?
 
  • #25
berkeman said:
So how did it go, FrogPad? What's the prognosis and treatment?

Well my back is feeling better today (and yesterday too). It is uncomfortable to sit however, so I've been taking it easy today. My friends was nice enough to let me borrow her parking pass, so I didn't have to ride my bike to class today (I wouldn't have - would have paid the expensive hourly parking).

Anyways, tomorrow at 3:15 I'm seeing a doctor. So I will know what's up tomorrow. I'm guessing since the pain eased today that (thank god) it's not a slipped disc, or anything like that. We will see though.

Thanks for the care :)
I'll update you guys tomorrow.

PS - I wish homework would stop until I felt better :)
 
  • #26
devious_ said:
Oops, I thought the term chiropractor meant "bone doctor." I guess I was wrong; should I have used orthopedician instead?
Yeah, they're quite different. Since you've asked for clarification, a bone specialist would be called an orthopedist, not an orthopedician. :wink:
 
  • #27
Good luck! :smile:

FrogPad said:
PS - I wish homework would stop until I felt better :)
Haha - I know what you mean!
 
  • #28
Moonbear said:
Yeah, they're quite different. Since you've asked for clarification, a bone specialist would be called an orthopedist, not an orthopedician. :wink:
Ah, thanks. :biggrin: :blushing:
 
  • #29
And back pain like that is more than likely muscular anyway...
 
  • #30
My ex-husband was a star quarterback in college (Ivy League). He'd been hailed as the "one man football team" by the Vermont Sportswriter's Association, was on numerous tv football shows.

He ended up diagnosed first year with spondylolisthesis. This is a cracked vertebrae that slips over the vertebrae below it, it can go undiagnosed for years, it was probably a high school injury.

It ended his career, he was headed for the pros.

He now has trouble walking and standing for long periods. He stills works out and is very athletic, but it's now just stupid, his back is too deteriorated to keep up the pretense.

GET SERIOUS MEDICAL HELP RIGHT AWAY.
 
  • #31
Hi everyone!
Crikey, where do I start? My life's history is one of back problems. During the twenty years of learning to cope with and treat all these problems I have put together a short document with all my tricks n tips on. It would be too long to post here. If anybody would like a copy, pop your email on a reply and I'll forward it on. Here's just two points, which seem immediately relevant to some of the points made in this discussion :

1) Doctor? Chiropractor? Physiotherapist? Osteopath?

answer - go to ALL of them, maybe just once or twice. I have been
surprised at how biased their approaches are; and I have found that
while none of the above, in general, are true back experts, I have found
that each one is far more knowledgeable than the others in a particular
area, so if you go to all for some advice, you cover the full range of
possibilities and suggested treatments. Taking my visits as an example:

Doctor: Approach: Relied only on the x-ray
Diagnosis: possible spondylolisthesis.
recommended: train myself to sit upright,
do gentle swimming, take painkillers.
Recommended no surgery as I was only 18.
did the tratment work? Kind of got better slowly over 10
years! Glad I didn't go for surgery, I've heard this can lead
to complications in later life.

Osteopath: Approach: feeling all the vertebra and gently moving the
back, feeling further what each joint was doing.
I went to him with upper back pain, and he detected the
(15-year old!) lower back problem just by feel and
manipulation, without me even telling him!
Diagnosis: severe joint stiffness and possible injury scar
tissue build-up.
Recommended: spending as much money as possible on
an ultra high quality soft, independently sprung bed.
Did it work? Definitely. The bed was a HUGE help. Hard
beds being good for back=BS. (Note the new bed benefit
may not be felt for several weeks, but you will notice it.)

(one thing not so good: the osteopath's bone-crunching
manipulation of the stiff joint area worked a treat ONLY for a little
while - I always found the problem came back. Several others
have told me of the same experience.)

Physiotherapist: Approach: tested overall flexibility of back and limbs,
viewed my posture from a distance for several
minutes.
Diagnosis: possible very very slight genetic curvature
of the spine.
Recommended: a program of stretching exercises.

Chiropractor: Approach: looked at my height and skinniness and
nodded in a knowing way.
diagnosis: Too tall, too skinny. The back needs
muscular support to work properly!
Recommended a program of back-strengthening
exercises.
Did it work? No, because the exercises given were
unsuitable for the back's condition.
Was he right? YES, because with GOOD back
exercises building up strength, that I eventually
discovered myself, HELPED ENORMOUSLY.

Reiki : Approach: the laying of hands.
Diagnosis: Back splinting. (super-contraction of
muscles to protect an injury.)
Did it work? I have to say I was, and remain
skeptical, but the injury did seem to get better quicker
after this session. However I firmly believe that if
any undiscovered healing power does exist, then it
is a gift in a small number of people; I do not believe
anyone can 'learn' this stuff. So if you try an
alternative , holistic approach: go by a
recommendation.

so all these 'experts' gave different diagnoses and advice! Moral: get a second, third and fourth opinion, but each time from a different type of specialist, and combine the best advice into a program of treatment that
seems right for you.

2) The one single, best-of-all exercise I have found which helps loads of
different back problems: MINI-DIPS. Grab hold of a dip-bar
(I made one in the yard) and raise yourself to the upper position. Now
go up and down, but only by a few inches each time. So it's a series of
tiny little bounces; you are NOT doing weight-training full-dips.
Not even half-way dips. You need to do MINI-DIPS. This minimizes
injury, strengthens the joints in a safe way and puts the spine through
a series of gentle traction motions. Because mini-dips are so much easier
to do than full dips, you will soon find over the space of a few months
that you will be able to do hundreds of these mini dips at a time.
Then the back muscles will really start to strengthen up, and the back
gets stretched for longer.
This exercise is great for gently building up shoulder and back strength.

Although I was very weak to start with, I could still do 30 or so. To my
amazement some of my overweight friends could not even support
themselves on the bars! If this is the case for you, find a gym that has
an assisted dip machine. These have a platform you can stand on, and
you can adjust the assistance that the platform gives you, but the
exercise will remain the same, and you can build up slowly.

Oh another thing : for lower back problems, if you let your legs hang
LOOSELY on the dip bar (ie it feels as if your lower back is really being
stretched, you will feel what I mean when you try it) then what you can
do is move your legs back and forwards in a walking motion. You can
really feel the lower spine being moved about! I would not recommend
much of this, but it can give immediate relief if your back is poor.

3) As a last entry, and I hope I don't upset all you Americans too much:
DITCH THE CAR. Driving long distances is terrible, long-term for your
back. If you can, take the train or bus or cycle.

- - - -
ok that's it for now, my list has about 30 or so suggestions / treatments on in all, as said post your email and I'll send it to you.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert. I am a computer bod. I can script a mean bit of unix and code and deploy advanced j2ee on an oracle application server, but I am utterly ignorant of offical medical training. Take this advice at your own risk! :-)

bye for now ! :-)
 
  • #32
hedgehog said:
1) Doctor? Chiropractor? Physiotherapist? Osteopath?

Osteopathic medicine and allopathic medicine really aren't that different in terms of actual medical training, and osteopaths can get regular residencies (the residency is what's important to how they approach medicine). Your physician (the "regular" doctor) really shouldn't have relied only on x-rays to diagnose you, but should have also thoroughly examined if the pain was associated with specific locations and movements, felt for abnormalities, etc. Basically, what the D.O. ended up doing for you. (Then again, I was talking with one of the med students today who went to the student health services yesterday for back pain, and was basically given the "take two aspirin and call back tomorrow" answer...of course I told him it's med student hypochondria since they just covered the topic of referred pain, but only joking about that, and instead just suggested he remember how he didn't really like walking out of the office not knowing much more than he went in knowing so he wouldn't treat his own patients that way.)

Physiotherapists can really help with muscle and joint strengthening, but you should only go to those on the referral of a physician who has ruled out any condition that would be worsened by the exercises.

Chiropractors are still quacks. You might feel some temporary relief, but they can also cause a lot more harm than good. But, if your only problem is sore muscles that could be treated with a good massage, they might be helpful...but a massage therapist would be cheaper.

It's a good thing you took the advice to only go for surgery as a last resort. When it comes to back surgery, that's the best approach. If it's seriously hindering your mobility or quality of life, then consider it, but otherwise, it's not guaranteed to help, and you could wind up worse off...so you basically don't want to do it unless you feel that you really couldn't get much worse so it's worth trying and are willing to accept all the risks that go with it (including the possibility of paralysis). If anything else might work, try it first.
 

Related to Back Injury Causes Agonizing Pain and Discomfort

1. What are the main causes of back injuries?

Back injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture, repetitive strain, sudden impact or trauma, and degenerative conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis. Lifting heavy objects incorrectly, participating in sports without proper form, and sitting for extended periods of time can also contribute to back injuries.

2. How does a back injury cause agonizing pain and discomfort?

Back injuries can cause pain and discomfort due to damage or strain to the muscles, ligaments, or vertebrae in the back. This can result in inflammation, nerve compression, and muscle spasms, all of which can cause intense pain and discomfort.

3. Can back injuries be prevented?

While some back injuries may be unavoidable, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of injury. Maintaining good posture, using proper lifting techniques, staying active and exercising regularly, and avoiding repetitive strain can all help prevent back injuries.

4. How are back injuries diagnosed?

If you are experiencing back pain or discomfort, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. The doctor may conduct a physical exam, review your medical history, and order imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans to determine the cause and extent of your back injury.

5. What are the treatment options for back injuries?

The treatment for a back injury will depend on the cause and severity of the injury. In many cases, rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medication can help alleviate symptoms. Physical therapy, chiropractic care, and in some cases, surgery, may also be recommended to help treat and manage back injuries. It is important to follow your doctor's recommendations for treatment and to avoid activities that may aggravate your injury.

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