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Lower Back Pain and Spasms - Need guidance

Hello, I am a 50 yr old male.

Sorry for this lengthy post. Thank you for reading.

Since my early 20s I occassionally have issues with back pain that randomly turns into a spasm. The pain is in my lower back and always seeming to originate near the muscles where the top of my pelvic bones and spine come together. Spasms occur during moments of slight bending (reaching low for something, bending to hit a golf shot, etc). Once in spasm I'm hurting for weeks. I've seen a handful of general practitioners in the last 25 years who have all sent me to physical therapists. Each therapist has varying techniques on what to do and why I continue to have these spasms. Over the years I've been told to strengthen my core (which was a common therapy), stretch the muscles in my back, strengthen the back muscles, stretch my glutes. etc.

Now that I'm older the back pain is more frequent and for about the last 6 months or more I have pain nearly every day. Sitting is the only thing that brings relief. Sleeping and standing have become a nightmare. As long as I'm moving it seems to be OK. However I have plantar fascitiis (for the last 7 years or so) and being on my feet a lot becomes painful so I tend to sit down a lot.

Last fall I had another bad spasm and thus saw a therapist for about 3 months. After that I took about 3 months off from doing the exercises once it started to feel better but 6 months ago the daily pain returned and so I started back on my regiment. 3 weeks ago my back spasmed again. It is disheartening to do these exercises only to continue to have every day pain and then a spasm.

I have a clicking in my lower back when I try to do the therapy exercises that I have to be cautious of so as not to have whatever is moving in there move. Supposedly that is what is irritating my back. The therapist said what I'm feeling when I feel that click/pop is
a disc slipping, thus causing the nerves around there to become irritated. I move the wrong way, the disc slips and the body goes into spasm to protect the spine.

I am overweight (5'7", 205 pounds) and could stand to lose around 25-30 pounds to be an ideal weight. But I doubt that is going to help stop the spasms. I would get them even when I was carrying a better weight. Seeing I've been doing therapy on and off for over 25 years I have a 6 pack abdomen under all that weight.

I haven't had my back X-rayed in over 20 years and I've never had an MRI done on my back.

Are these therapists correct when they tell me it is something that will never be 100% cured and I just need to help my tendons do their job by strengthening the muscles in my lower back?
I'm wondering what direction should I take to find more help for my problem?
Should I see a back specialist?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

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    - Under the Resource tab, there is a section Doctor Advice Health Center which can be invaluable.

    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

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    Here are some you should take a look at:
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    All of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Thanks Liz,

    I have visited this site many times over the last year or so and I have read many of the articles and watched some of the videos on this site.

    I did read the Moderators Welcome Read This First post as well as the forum FAQs before I posted.

    I will try out some of those resources you mentioned.
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