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exercises causing extreme pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Lower Back Pain
:jawdrop: Hi all,
just lookin for some more advice.
I was advised by a physio to do some basic core strengthening exercises,and boy have i been in PAIN.The pain is on parr with when i first herniated my disc,3 years ago.
S0 hears the question do i continue?.It sounds quite obvious what the answer is when i write it down!!.But when a professional tells you what to do i guess you believe its for the best.
Is it "NORMAL" to have soooo much pain from simple core stability exercises?.
I cant sit,stand,lie,sleep and the tramadol dont help just make me feel drowsy.I am climbing the walls.
I have gotten myself on the list for a discogram.I asked if i could have a epidural while waiting for the discogram.he said"no".I have a family wedding coming up and i dont want to be like this.
The pain management guy i saw was the most miserable,monotanous,emotionally retarded and empathetically dead person ever.He made me cry!.
So not to waffle,thanks for reading.
Off to climb the walls!!


  • I can't beleive what a "supportive" Pain Managemnt Doctor you have (NOT) he needs firing!

    I would say no to extreme pain during exercise. Nudge the pain don't push thro it - that is what I have been told. A hard one to call when you are in constant pain but only you know how bad th epian is, hysteria aside. I am not suggesting you are of course, but when we fret we do make it worse.

    Anyway, now for some suggestions. Heat for me was a life saver. It made the difference from being able to walk and not. Heat pads, Wheat bags or good old fashioned hot water bottle. NSAIDS - if you are allowed them, regularly so you get on TOP of the pain. Think positive (easy to say I know).

    I have learnt that the docs take you slowly thro all the steps, epidural (if relevant) PT, Chiro,TENS, Facets etc etc disogram only if they consider you suitable for surgery, both menatlly and physically. Your condition may not be suitable.

    I personally have to have ultrasound added into my regime or I can't tolerate even soft tissue massage. I have no idea why but now I know I insist on it. Try it.

    This site has a wealth of ideas and ppl in a similar position. I am sure you will find support here and some good ideas, hoping they work!!
    take care.
  • any activity is your body telling you not to do it. Listen to your body! You must find a new doc and possibly a new phisio. A good, caring, cmpassionate doc would offer you some relief. good luck and please keep us posted.
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  • :) hi! i want to welcome you to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. Your support team should be just that and if not, perhaps it is time for a change!! take a proactive stance and don't be pushed around!! pain is a signal something could be going wrong! good luck and make some positive decisions! Jenny :)
  • jussy- IMO, I would also stop the exercises (even tempoarily) if they are causing excruciating pain. Or at least, have a discussion with the dr about the type of exercises. The fact that you are getting ready for a discogram means they are looking for something causing pain. Who knows if you are aggravating something without knowing? take care..jade

  • When I was in PT a few months back, the therapist had me go through core exercises they thought would help me build my core.3 days in, my pain put a complete stop to their program and spent a month fixing what overdoing did.Admittedly, I pushed myself way too hard and let me tell you it will set you back or worse.Sounds like a new team is needed and just do minimal exercises to keep things going.
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  • PT operates on the principal that if the pain created by the exercise is acute, stop. If the pain created by the exercise isn't acute, but doesn't settle down over night, stop.

    Instead of heat the PT I use recommends ice unless you are certain it's a muscle pull or strain and then heatshould help.

    You can also try using heat on the muscles prior to exercising and then ice afterwards.

    Best thing to do is to talk to the doc or PT.

    I know that even today there are certain core strengthening exercises that I just cannot do without inflamming my back. So I do other exercises to accomplish the same goal. Add to that having a battery pack just at the top of my butt ... makes stretching an entirely new experience. =))

  • NEVER ever do anything that irritates your condition EVER. I don't want to sound like an asshole but please its not healthy no matter what the 'physio" tells you.
  • the main consideration in the decision to keep doing a task despite pain, whether it be exercises or a simply task, is being able to differentiate between hurt vs harm. it is ok to hurt, so long as it is not causing more harm. there are very few things that will cause further harm.

    a skilled PT / rehab person should watch your form closely and ensure that what you are doing it correctly so that you are not causing further harm. even then, chances are most people when given an opportunity will change their form as it is easier to complete more repetitions by doing so, even if they are trying really hard not to. this however is when pain can be flared as even the most subtle change can be enough to irritate a painful structure (irritating the structure in all likelihood has not caused further harm)

    another consideration is the deconditioning cycle where pain causes activity avoidance which causes deconditioning which causes further pain which causes further avoidance and so on. this is very common in people with chronic back pain and it is a vicious circle that is often very hard to get out of. sometimes, with the assistance of a skilled therapist, people need to go through a short term increase in pain to produce an outcome that reaps more long term benefit. in saying this, there is a fine balance and this decision needs to be made by a skilled therapist in conjunction with the patient. The patient needs to be fully informed of the possible outcomes including initial increases in pain, what is acceptable and what is not, etc

    in most situations, any exercise that increases your 'familiar' pain should be terminated as there is more often than not a variation that can be prescribed that will get a very similar result. Again, this is where communication with a therapist comes into play,

    good luck with your PT and i hope you are able to find exercises that do not flare up your pain to the same degree,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347

    You already know the answer, even without anyone posting here.
    If a simple exercise is creating more pain, additional new pain, then stopping is the best thing to do.
    Next step is to determine WHY this core exercise was causing so much pain. Under normal circumstances, you will have new pain when you first start to exercise after a flare up, a surgery, etc. At first that can feel pretty acute, but it quickly tampers down to the point where you start to see gains from that work.

    Reading your post, I was not sure if you have ever had surgery for those herinated discs. I was curious about the discogram test. Was that something your doctors suggested? I am far from a medical professional, but I would think that the normal sequence of tests and treatments would start with a clinical examination, followed by perhaps CTScan, MRI, Myelogram, EMG's discogram, etc. But at anytime in between these tests, conservative treatments such as Spinal Injections could be given. Unless the doctors are not sure of your current condition, I just wonder why the hesitation in going ahead with an Epidural.
    If you are totally unhappy with your doctor, you owe it to yourself to find another doctor for a second opinion.
    Meanwhile, have you had any luck with heat/ice treatments or other conservative treatments

    Good luck, and hope that you can get to the family wedding without alot of pain.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I have years of experience with exercise (leisure and PT). This includes starting over (it’s really hard to stick with it over time). I have found that if it causes excruciating pain than you are way overdoing it. I would definitely take the advice to get another opinion, and when it comes to any exercise, start out really slow and work your way up. Some pain is inevitable, really bad pain means overdoing it (I don’t care what they say; I have proof that only a little pain is necessary to achieve any reasonable goal). Good luck.
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