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Should I feel a bit more sore after 1st McKenzie session?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi all,

First time poster and I'll try to keep it short and sweet. I'm a 38 year old male. I've never had any back injuries. I've run since high school, but not as much lately. Maybe 3 - 4 miles / week. I was doing SPX Pilates (like pilates, but done on a machine with resistance) for the past 4 months. Used to smoke (for 14 years). Quit cold turkey in June and haven't had a smoke since...honest truth!! I'm an architect so I sit at a desk on a computer for most of the day.

- 3 weeks ago, felt sharp pain in lower back when putting leash on dog. Symptoms were lower back pain around waist. Burning feeling. Pins and needles everywhere from arms on down; although they were infrequent.
- Went to a Chiro. He didn't do x-rays or MRI. Just had me do some movements and asked me questions. He said I had a herniated disc. Not sure how he concluded that. He hooked me to a machine with little white pads that sent electricity to my lower back. Then he tried to sell me a laser therapy package that cost $50 per session and a minimum of 6 sessions. Bye bye to that salesman.
- Went to Ortho. Did X-rays, had me do some movements, and asked me questions. He said he didn't think it was a herniated disc. Prescribed anti-inflammatories. Next appt was 2 weeks later.
- in the interim between visits I was taking it easy. I get up from my chair a lot. I'm working from home (cool boss). I try not to do anything strenuous. I took the meds and after two weeks I felt better, but still have slight aches and every now and then I get pins and needles.
- Went back to Ortho. He said I'm better and should start PT. Twice a week for 4 weeks. Problem is, PT is expensive for us. My wife and I both got pay cuts and other unforeseen bills have made going to PT's tough. Insurance only covers $25/session. Everywhere I call they want $125 to $200 per visit. I just can't do it.
- So I tried self treatment with McKenzie method starting today. I just did the first round of exercises about a half ago. All I did was the lying down for 3 minutes (almost fell asleep), the elbows beneath shoulders exercise for 3 minutes, and 10 of the pressups for 1 set. I didn't feel any discomfort doing any of the exercises. Pain was not 'moving'.

- After that I got back to work. A few minutes later my lower back felt more sore, I had an increase in pins and needles in the same spots as before, and my whole back feels warmer...not burning too much, but definitely warmer.

Is this normal?

Sorry for the novella.

Thanks in advance.


  • Oh yeah, forgot to mention, just in the last two days, I've been waking up with a very stiff neck. Actually, I can turn my head from side to side and front to back with no pain...up to a point and then my LEFT trapezius muscle hurts big time.

    Related? Or have I suddenly developed terrible sleeping habits?
  • Have you looked at some of the information that is written by spinal specialists on this website? Here is a link to information about the McKenzie method, if you haven't seen it yet:


    Did the PT suggest you follow the McKenzie method? Did he/she set out a pattern of exercises or are you kind of doing it on your own?

    As with anything pertaining to the spine, you will probably not see any progress or big changes for awhile. I think if the pain is acute and you are doing the exercises every hour or two, you may feel the pain move up somewhat and start to feel better within a matter of days, but I wouldn't worry if it takes somewhat longer.

    If you are not feeling progress within six weeks, you might want to ask for a MRI to see if you can determine what is going on.

    There are a number of good websites that address the specific exercises that are fairly standard among physical therapists. I found that by looking through a number of different sites, you will see that some exercises are suggested on every site.

    Good luck...hope it works out for you.

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