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The Crooked Torso

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
At work today I was lifting a few boxes, and upon lifting, I had a jolt of pain shot from my lower right back to my right buttocks. I blew it off as usual, just getting the occasional low/medium pains. After about an hour, I could feel not pain, but pressure, on my right hip. I looked at my waistline, and it was cocked on the right,leaning my body left. I left work immediately to go lay in bed at home, and on the way it got worse, to where I couldn't stand straight.( leaning forward and to the left )This has happened before, about 3-4 times since last year,and I just relaxed until it got better (24-36 hrs) but this time it is bad.Right now it is killing me to even sit here and type at my desk, but mostly it is not a nerve pain, but pressure? on my right side, from the muscles being pushed away from the spine. I can lay in bed for as little as 10-15 mins, get up and walk straight w/o much hurt at all, but then it gradually starts to pull me to the left again, as the pressure feeling grows with it. I just wanted to if anyone has ever experienced this. I told my boss it was a 50/50 chance I would be in tomorrow. I can wake up fine (as I've done in the past) or it may still exist. Is it a slipped disc? I don't believe it is a hernia, but I found something that sounds feasible. That it may be inflammation (on the right side) and the muscles are pulling the spine away from the inflammation, sort of like a natural reaction, or defense.Any advice, suggestion, or exercises?
BTW...was gonna wait a day at least before seeing a doc.


  • I would go directly to the doctor in the morning. You have a WC claim to fill out as well.

    When my neck went bad again it was the 3-5 time this has happened but it just stayed bad. Like you mine usually went away in a day or 2. But this time my arm got involved. I thought it was tennis elbow but then my fingers and hand started to tingle (I knew it was the spinal nerves). But first it was just pain (the muscle spasms were so bad it pretty much covered up the other pain).

    If it has happened before and you are now older it very well could be herniated or you could have something else. No way of telling with out test (x-rays and MRIs to start). Right now you are probably having muscle spasms (the body's way of protecting istself).
  • Thanks for the info Julie. I am planning to go to the doc in the later part of tomorrow if it persists. The bad thing is last time I went, I got sent to a chiro and the insurance does not cover them. The bill was $3xx.00, just for x-rays and a little electrical stimulus. I was wondering if anyone knew exactly what it is, and if there is anything I can do at home to help, as it is not always possible to see a doc as soon as it happens.
  • My torso gets so crocked that my PT says I look like a cartoon character. I do not go to the Chiropractor when I am that bad, as this only makes it worse when they don't do just the right thing. I have 3 ruptured discs and basically your discs are so inflammed they are grabbing all the muscles around them to help protect them. I would go to the ER and have them put you on an IV muscle relaxor, the minute they see you, they will put you on anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxer and possibly a steroid to decrease inflammation. Go to the ER, urgent care will only give you oral meds, prednisone and flexaril(muscle relaxor and oral pain meds,)-which are ok, but ER much needed. I am telling you from personal experience, the IV meds are much faster acting. I agree with the previous lady that you need to do a report for your employer, don't take this lightly, Your body is in a major spasm. I have L3-S1 discs that are ruptured and torn and hit the nevere to the point where I can't feel my leg. I am only 33, but was in a car accident years ago. I am getting a fusion in Nov. because my back has progressively not bounced back as easily after over-doing it. I use a lot of ice, rest and walking on good days. Good luck.
  • I would not recommend going to a chiropractor until you know what is wrong with your back. If there is nerve involvement you risk having him/her do more harm than good.

    For now, I would suggest that you do the following:

    Lie on your back on the floor with your hips resting up against the edge of a couch or chair. You can place a small pillow or rolled up towel under your neck (about the size of a paperback book)or lie with your head flat on the floor if more comfortable. Bend your legs and rest them on the seat of the couch so that from the knees to your feet, they are resting on the seat of the chair. Hope this is clear!! Just relax and breath deeply from the belly.

    This position allows the discs to unload and get out from under the stress of gravity -- it will help the soft tissue to relax. When my back is sore, I do this several times each day.

    Another form of natural traction is similar: lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on floor. Be sure your pelvis is in neutral position. Your arms should be as close to your sides as comfortable, palms facing up. Tip the head slightly so the chin is slightly pointing toward your chest...again, breathe deeply and slowly from the belly -- stay in either of these positions about five minutes at a time.

    Following are a couple articles that may interest you:


    This website has very informative articles written by spinal specialists. It is important to learn as much as you can about your particular problems. This helps you to be an active participant in your treatment plan and to better understand what the spine doc is talking about!

    Hope this is another passing episode of pain and that you will better in a few days. If not...feel free to post with all your questions and concerns.

    xx Gwennie
  • I would also ask for an MRI either from the ER or my general doc and a referall from your doctor to a neurosurgeon or orthopedic dr.
  • Wow, thanks for the great feedback everyone. It is now the next morning and my back/torso is about 90% better, and the pain has subsided about 80%. And yes gwennie, I know just what you're trying to explain.I am going to move the living room table to the side and lay my legs up on the couch...sounds like it will feel great. I guess I'll stay home today, to try to get a full recovery.Thanks
  • I will give it a few hours, and post back if I have anymore problems. Thanks to everyone!
  • when my back goes into spasms like that and im bent and twisted i find it great to ice it and i lie flat on my stomach, try alternating ice and heat,you have had some great advice from others, my back is killing me right now so im gonna try some of the things that have been suggested to you, good luck hope you are back to normal soon
  • With spondylolisthesis, you need to be careful about lying on your stomach unless you have a pillow under you around the "belt" area. You want to preserve the natural spinal curve and not allow the back to go into extension. You also should avoid any movement or exercise where your back is in extension -- anything where you are bending back.
  • Glad you could figure out what I was talking about. Before my fusion, when my back would get bad, I would try to do this for ten minutes every hour. IT can be really helpful. If it feels reasonably good to you, I would recommend that you keep doing it. It helps with proper spinal alignment and if any muscles are "guarding," it will help them to relax a bit.

    Glad you are feeling a little better today.
  • Really, this forum is great. Knowing I can return to this forum every hour or so for new info from cool people is alone making me feel better. Well, I've been laying down watching the news (called off work today) and my back is still not right. It seems sometimes right after I get up from lying down, it's almost gone.But then after going up or down the stairs, getting some coffee, etc., it starts to cramp up again.Then I lay down, it gets better,and this cycle repeats. So I got 5 hrs sleep last night, so when I got up it was about 90% better (see my post above)and I was going to go to work. Then, within 15-20 mins, it slowly crept back, to a moderate level. Should I try heat or ice? It did seem the super hot shower I took last nite loosened things up.
    BTW gwennie...the laying on my back with my legs bent and lower legs resting on the couch for 5-10 mins helps me alot with the stiffness for about 30-45 mins, and allows me to get up and walk around to get coffee, food, bathroom, etc. so THANK YOU!
  • I have found if it's a newer injury then ice for an hour if you can,(protect skin) and then try heat like hot bath with espom salts later to relax muscles. I think you really do need an MRI, I hope you have good insurance. I am in the same boat, where I feel great and within 20 minutes of standing or sitting it all starts to come back again. This is why the anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers help. I've been trying to recover from my latest flare up now for almost 3 weeks. You need more diagnostics tests done so that you can do the proper treatment. Not all Physical Therapist know what they are doing, but some are great. Massage can give some releif, but your problems sounds just like mine and I've got the 3 torn and bulging discs. Hope another night of good sleep helps. I take glucosomine and MSM from Costco, it can't hurt.
    Good luck. Don't think you are over-reacting by going to the ER, my sister works there and they are always more shocked by my crocked torso, I just get used to it and think it's no big deal I would think lifting boxes etc, will be hard for you. Good luck.
  • I had a physical therapist that told me to keep things within reach in your shelves at home, for instance, not above your shoulders and not below your knees. Stretching beyond this pulls on your spine. My husband just bought me one of those grabber things from Home Depot, it helps so much, you don't realize how much stuff you have to bend down and pick up, until you can't or until it makes symptoms worse. Just thought that might help a bit for long term stuff.
  • KENDRAK...I would like to talk to you further if possible. It is now Saturday 2 pm and I cannot see a chiro until Monday. Believe me,over the last 3 days I have noticed how hard things are to reach...not to mention showering and going to the bathroom. The back and its muscles are used in ways people do not even realize. I wanted to know if your torso/waist also get crooked/shifted also. No one I know has ever seen this, and they get quite shocked when they see it. I tell people my back is screwed up and I don't think they think much of it. Then I lift my shirt and watch their jaws hit the floor. Day 4 now, and no improvement.
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