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l4 - l5 problem

Hello I Hope everyone is doing O.K .
Two years ago I had an x-ray which showed that I had a narrowing between L4 - L5 vertebra. Over the last two years I have had problems if I lift any heavy or do heavy work. I was told it was not a bad problem take anti inflammatory and pain killers. About 6 weeks ago it changed I was sweeping a floor at work and it started to hurt then for about a week I had a small pain like someone stabbing my lower back with a needle every now and again. Since then every morning I have had a problem, I also have pain if I stand in the same place to long or I sit on a hard surface or chair. It does not make any difference if I have work hard or not. My doctor has sent me to a physiotherapist to help with the back muscles. I went today and he said he would help relax my back muscles first and then manipulate the vertebra. He started on the muscles but after 10 mins said he could do no more as the muscles along the back were to contracted. I have to back next week but I do not think this well help. Any advice please?


  • I too have had major problems with severely spasmed back muscles and needed to deal with them before any other issues. My PT has been using trigger point accupuncture and it has helped a lot. Might be worth a try. NS also suggested the McKenzie method as a possible option.
  • DNiceDDNice Posts: 1,962
    edited 09/12/2012 - 1:55 PM
    Back problems vary but...treatment is a slow go.
    If you are wondering if surgery is the magic answer...it is not.

    Physiatrist office I went to was fantastic. They set my expectation up front that it was a process.
    Each time I went, they checked my alignment and my pains since last time. They wanted to be sure they weren't making things worse and wanted to be sure they weren't trying to push me too fast.
    (I've had 2 surgeries but was having major issues moving at night and trying to stay up after lying down 10 min).
    So the doctor's comment about he couldn't do anymore was actually good - it says he knows it is a process to get you improvement.

    Long story short, 1 session is not enough. It took me about 3 months of 2x/week sessions + trigger point injections (like acupuncture) and revising the plan to get me off on my own. Also, it's not just go and hope that the 45 min session fixes things. You have to follow the program. I've been doing my exercises religiously (ok, only 1x per day and supposed to do 2x) since I stopped seeing them. This is 5 months. It can work.

    If you are worried it is more, I would ask if it makes sense to have an MRI done. At this point, it sounds like you are a chronic back sufferer and you need to build up core muscle strength, relative strength in your core, and learn how to adjust some of your activities that cause you increased pain. Indeed -> sweeping and vacuuming are aweful for me. Anything with BLT (bending, twisting, lifting) need to be approached with care.

    Give it some time....at least 2 months before you decide it won't work.
  • Jilly PicklesJilly Pickles Posts: 8
    edited 09/14/2012 - 10:26 AM
    Thank you both for your input. I had thought of acupuncture but I don't like needles. I only spent 20 mins with the physiotherapist, before then it hurt mostly at night. After then I now seem to have more problems through the day. In a way it's good because I sleep better but the days become harder. I well go on Tuesday and see what happens. Thanks.
  • Have been back. First of I showed him my X - ray from two years ago so he could see the problem. He said I need electronic for the pain which lasted 10 mins and left me feeling quiet sick afterwards. Then I went back on Thursday and He gave me a back massage for about 15 mins. I went to work on Friday and had a lot to do, making bed and vacuuming, by the evening I know it was going to be a bad weekend. I think I may have to give up my job but jobs are very hard to find here and we need the money. I am going back to the physiotherapist on Wednesday and think maybe I should ask for an MRI and then go from there.
  • finish with the physiotherapist and he said to back to my doctor if it is still a problem. He said the muscle is much better on the lower back but the upper back is not good. The lower back was the main problem but I did have a few aches now and again in the upper back. Now I still have pain in the lower back and more of a problem in the upper back. I have also been trying to help the lower back with a belt support but it does seem to make the lower back worse. Can anyone help, what to do next ?
  • I have now started another course of physio. The lower back problem is still there but now I have a bigger problem with the upper back. I went back to doctor and he said the muscles in the upper back felt tight, was I stressed. I did not think so but was not sure. I have had four more sessions but at the moment things have not got better. Can stress be my problem ? I still feel it's a back problem, I have had two weeks of work and things got a bit better but have been back two weeks and things have got worse. I have had a lot more pain in the upper back and some pain in the lower back. please can anyone help ? What do I do from here.
  • I do not know if I have been doing things wrong but I have not had much experience of forums. I had hope for some help and advice but I am asking questions and getting few answers. Maybe there is not any, I will not trouble you any more. I will go talk to my doctor again person to person.
  • Jilly PicklesJilly Pickles Posts: 8
    edited 12/09/2012 - 9:57 AM
    Jilly Pickles said:
    I do not know if I have been doing things wrong but I have not had much experience of forums. I had hope for some help and advice but I am asking questions and getting few answers. Maybe there is not any, I will not trouble you any more. I will go talk to my doctor again person to person.
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