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What to do if your back seizes up (?)

Hi there,
I am self-employed and have taken on a 3 week contract where I need to do some (not heavy) lifting as part of the work (which I would normally not need to do).

Yesterday was the first day and yup, I f***ed up my back, yet again. By the end of the day it had fully seized up and I was having real trouble walking, sitting and standing.

Today is a public holiday here, thank goodness, so I'm doing all the "emergency relief measures" that I know, so that I can go back to work tomorrow.

So far, what has helped:

- Heat

- The most gentle exercises from this Hans Kraus back exercise video, that someone on Spine Health recommended to me:

- Using this "Bed of Nails" accupressure cushion, which is quite painful, but effective - also recommended to me here, by a fellow Spiney:

- Gentle stretching

- Muscle relaxation technique (Jacobson Technique)

- Rest

- Using a spiky massage ball for accupressure on hands and feet

Do you have any other suggestions/ tips for what to do when the deep muscles in your back seize up?

Yesterday an acquaintance told me she puts on her inline skates when that happens to her - cos then her body is forced to "balance" properly and for her, that makes her back stop seizing...??

Thanks for your advice!!

Happiness is your chronic pain being less than it usually is...

Migraines and so many herniated discs (the same ones over and over) that I have literally stopped counting


  • hello painhhello pain Posts: 69
    edited 05/09/2013 - 3:36 AM
    Gawd, I am so daft sometimes. Re-reading the above it made me realise I'd literally forgotten: Meds.
    I am not a fan of pain medication, so always try and do without, bit that's not helpful if your muscles are seizing up.
    So, I've just taken 2 Diclofenac (?) tablets and will see how that helps.

    Plus I'm thinking of jumping (well, crawling) into a hot bath...
    Happiness is your chronic pain being less than it usually is...

    Migraines and so many herniated discs (the same ones over and over) that I have literally stopped counting
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    edited 05/09/2013 - 4:09 AM
    Still, I have found that when you have an acute onset, the three best friends are:
    Gentle Stretching / Relaxation Therapy

    How much of each is something that you will only know as you go along.

    Hope this gets better for you soon.. Havent seen you around here in a while, so that means you are doing ok?
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • hello painhhello pain Posts: 69
    edited 05/10/2013 - 3:27 AM
    Hi Ron, yeah, with a mix of the above (plus I used one of those "heat ointments" too) I got my back to 80% of its "normal" function/ disfunction and was able to get through today's working day very well.
    What's great is that it's a job where I can stand/ sit/ squat/ kneel/ whatever, just as my back feels most comfortable at that moment... and now that all the heavy lifting is out of the way (only needed to do that on the first day) it's fine.

    And yes, I've been "away" from the forum cos I'm doing quite well. Can't say that there's been a "sudden miracle improvement", but Spine Health has given me such a new, empowered, "patient first" approach to my back - so while the pain levels etc are much the same, I feel soooo much less helpless/ lost with it.

    Plus the new sport I've started doing since I joined here is showing first, tiny improvements: Getting my seized back to 80% of normal levels within a day and a half is "lightning speed" for me. Usually I would have been down for the count for a week to 10 days. My physical therapist has been praising me for some additional muscle that I've built up in my back over the past 4 months too, so I think I'm on a good track and am going to be patient with it and continue on this path.

    Hope you and your back are doing good too!

    Happiness is your chronic pain being less than it usually is...

    Migraines and so many herniated discs (the same ones over and over) that I have literally stopped counting
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