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Hurts most brushing teeth

charryccharry Posts: 5,657
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Lower Back Pain
I've found the worse sudden pain in my lower back is standing brushing my teeth and bending slightly to rinse at no more than a 30 degree bend. I have horrible pain standing if only for a minute and can't walk far and find only relief with laying down and some sitting for a while. My partial EMG showed peroneal sciatic nerve compression. I'll have to remember this to tell the Orthosurgeon when I see him. Anyone have the same thing?
DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN


  • Charry,

    Howdy! If I bend over to brush my teeth like you are describing, I start throbbing, hurts like all get out when I try to straighten up! Same for loading unloading the bottom of the dishwasher. When mine started doing that, I added that to my list for my doctor so I wouldn't forget to let him know.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I know what you mean, Charry. I have very bad pain when doing anything like this. Brushing my teeth, shaving, washing up, and all kinds of other little things (well, formerly 'little' - now big). Having a shower used to be a pleasant experience; now it's an ordeal to get through as quickly as possible. I can't do anything that involves the slightest degree of sustained bending or lifting without having to collapse in a chair or on the bed after a few minutes at most. Frankly, it's getting more and more worrying - I need to talk with my PM doc about this.
  • That is actually a specific question my ortho asked me back when they were first doing my big work-up. He told me it's a symptom that is very specific to a certain L-spine condition (I'm thinking it was spondylolisthesis, but I can't remember for sure). Definitely mention it to your doctor, but I think the good news is that should definitely tell them something.
  • Yep, :D I know what you'e talking about too. Not so much now but when my sciatica was at its worse, that slight bend from the waste to brush my teeth was not so pleasant an experience.

    I used to bend my kness to take the strain off my back and get in really strange positions to rinse my mouth out after brushing (LOL!).

    Take care,

  • Maybe keep a little spiral notebook in your purse with your list of questions....I am so glad I did. The numbess I have was something new ~ never had numbness before any of my surgeries.

    When it first started occurring, my PT encouraged me to call my doc, I did, left message.

    The weeks went by, other things came up, like PAIN, and I didn't think much about it.

    I almost didn't bring it up. And of all the things I did, that was the only one he really reacted to!

    You just never know what will help solve the puzzle.

    After my surgery, I couldn't bend at all. I had to use a cup and a plastic tray when brushing my teeth. Plus, I'm not very tall, so it's not that far from me to the sink! :) ha!!

  • What's helped me when I have to bend is bending at the hips, not at the waist. This suggestion came from my PT and seems to make things easier.

    Be sure to tell your doc like the others said.

  • I hadn't even left the hospital from my 2 level ALIF and one of the first things my surgeon did was tell me to not bend over sink to brush my teeth. I thought "he's got to be kidding! How am I going to change how I have been doing something for 40 years!"

    Sure enough, it kills me if I am in a hurry and don't remember to not bend. Hurts even more straightening up! But, like Jayhawk I'm a shortie, and the sink is pretty close!

    Brenda: when my husband bought our house before we married, I was a bit peeved because there was no dishwasher. Well, now I am thankful we DON'T have one! Washing dishes at the sink is very uncomfortable for me, hubby does much of them for me. When we go to someone elses house and I help load dishwasher it is a killer!

    Jayhawk: excellent idea on keeping a list. Even if it seems like "nothing" it should be mentioned.

    Cath: I sometimes bend at the hip, too. More often though, I seem to do a ton of squats a day. If only the dogs and kids could pick up after themselves!
  • I am currently having a terrible time brushing my teeth too!! I just wanted to wish you well when you go see your ortho surgeon, I really hope you get some answers and find someone who is willing to stick with you, get to the bottom of your pain and help you.

    Hang in there,
  • Hehehe... the mean ole Dishwasher! Yeah I have discomfort loading the top half, but major pain starts with loading/unloading the bottom. Hubby now takes care of that. Until about a month and a half ago, washing dishes didn't bother my back, now it gets achy pretty fast. I do the dishes in 'spurts' now. Seems to work.

    Like you, if I bend to brush the teeth, the standing straight up is a killer! It doesn't seem to matter if I stand back up slow or fast, can't escape the 'back rebound' attack! (G) Hope you all are having a good day! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Before surgery, I used to struggle brushing my teeth, even the brushing movement seemed to hurt, never mind the slight bending.

    Straight after surgery, I had to use a cup to spit into because I couldn't bend.

    Now 12 weeks after surgery, I can clean them normally without any pain at all.

    Thanks for the encouragement that I've got to realise that I don't even think about it any more. :D
    I am on the mend! :-)

    Hope you get relief so you can clean your teeth easily soon too Charry! :D
  • the brushing action or is it just coincidental .i know that when i am stood in the shower and i shave my lower back aches and i have to hold on to the safety rail ..but its not the shaving its the fact that i am standing ..is it the same for you ..the standing rather than the tooth brushing ? i know that i can't clean myself after i have been to the toilet ..so i use the body jets on the shower tower to get clean ..its amazing how we find ways of keeping and adapting when we are forced to .maybe if you sit down when you clean your teeth ..would that help??
  • It is so good to chat with people who understand :) I have adapted by doing mouth hygiene and hand washing at the kitchen sink. The sink is higher and I only have to flex my neck to expel. A quick spritz of the bleach water bottle into the sink and I am good to go.
    The pain of bending over a shorter sink is 'take your breath away' bad.
    Thanks for listening,
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