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Ahhhhh!1! Persistent lower back pain

AttilaAAttila Posts: 1
edited 04/02/2015 - 7:41 PM in Lower Back Pain
Hi All,

I'm new to the forum. From what I've read many of you have quite sever conditions compared to mine (at least so far), but I do now have back pain that has become chronic and I am hoping that some of you might have some suggestions for me.

Essentially, I suffer from a lumbar strain that is persistent. I have had a stiff back now for 4.5 months and have spent a lot on physiotherapists and chiropractors and no-one has really been able to help.

It started two years ago when, after I attended a yoga class, I was carrying shopping and felt something go in my lower back on the left. My back spasmed and the muscled seized up. I saw a phyio who did some trigger point release on my L5, which essentially fixed it. He said that I had a muscle weakness at my L5, right at the base of my spine, and suggested that I strengthen my core. In the following year and a half I strained it 3 more times when in the gym doing squats and deadlifts. Each time he was able to do the trigger release and I was fine again. I worked on my core strength with a personal trainer and I was pain free and able to go to the gym for 6 months. Then after one workout I strained my back while touching my toes, my lower back seized up and I haven't been able to get relief since. I went to the physio maybe 12 times, and each time I felt a little better after the session, but it seized up again over the next couple of days. I had a similar experience with the chiropractor. I then went to a sports physio, who said that my problem wasn't a muscle weakness, but the fact that several vertebrae which had little mobility - this was passing on all the work to the L5 joint. He helped with the mobility by pressing on the spine - which once worked and once made it worse - and gave me some stretches. Essentially, he said that I need to get those joints moving again, and gave me some hip movements and swiss ball stretches that could help. I have been doing that for a week and a half, and have noticed little change. After my session with him yesterday it is as stiff as it ever has been. Fortunately at least, he is not fleecing me, and suggested that I come back in a month if necessary. He said that the back is used to being stiff and so reverts back to its stiff state after treatment and the only way to fix that is to keep up the mobility work to get it used to it.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I might do? Do I just continue doing the stretches over a longer period of time, and hope that that works?

I appreciate your time in reading this post and any suggestions you might have.

Best, A


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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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
  • To how my back began, even with touch points helping release the points (ahhh, how wonderful it felt after) Have you had an MRi done? If I could go back to the beginning, that is the advice I would give myself, get an MRI. If there is evidence of a bulge or herniation, it is better to catch it early on so as not to sets it further, also maybe PT could help. It sounds like you are fairly active, but a good PT can help you maintain that with back friendly exercises, again, to help prevent further injury.

    Of course, you and your doctor can only determine the next step, but MRI with or without contrast could potentially fill in some blanks.

    P.S. after years and years of going through this cycle myself, I did have a herniation at L5-s1 and bulge at l4-5
  • Its important to know exactly what's going on in your spine particularly if you're seeing chiropractors for 'adjustments'. If there is any structural damage you want to stay away from chiropractors! That's the advise I've always been given by spine specialists. I know of people who have gone straight from the chiropractors office too emergency surgery. That's the last thing you want.
    OverItAlls advise...MRI & physical therapy is what I'd go for in your situation. This has been going on for too long.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Attila, get an MRI, I was told for years by my dr and,chiropractor I had a stiff back and muscle strain. Did all,the things u have done. Bottom line they were all wrong . I had a synovial cyst in my lumbar spine L4 ,,developed all symptoms of a,herniation but was a cyst. I am 3 weeks post op From a lumbar fusion and doing wonderful. MRI nailed it. Good luck
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