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Hurty back - advice or sympathy please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
henzerani wrote:
@Klammertime, thanks. I am aware I have a “slump point” which is where the muscle spasm is. I’ve tried over the years to work on it but I also have an issue with my neck that gives me neuralgia pain and that usually takes priority when sitting. The slump point is quite high - the lowest vertebrae with a rib. Would the support you mean reach that high? I don’t think even my grandad pulled his trousers up that high Very Happy


Support doesnt go that high, perhaps the body armour motorcycle back protectors that have been adapted for skiing could offer some peace of mind-
https://www.absolute-snow.co.uk/S/Body_Armour__Supports/Torso/Back_Protection(306).aspx
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Walk, walk, walk and then go for a walk. Have had back issues all my life that resulted in two disc operations getting on for 10 years ago. Still flares up every couple of years, usually with less than a month to a ski trip so don't panic yet. I find a thermal back support and the hot/cold regime suggested by others helpful. Go easy on the Ibuprophen - it will screw your stomach up - but a couple of co-codamol helps with sleeping (read and heed the warnings about prolonged usage).

Only took up skiing a few years ago but it has always seemed to improve the mobility in my lower spine. Just remember not to heave bags off belts!

Oh, & go for a walk Smile
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@numbfoot, I think you’d have to take a lot of Ibuprofen for it to damage your stomach. I’ve taken Diclofenac for a few weeks at a time and that can certainly damage your stomach, especially if you take it on an empty stomach. However, if you do need Ibuprofen or Diclofenac then there is an additional drug you can take that protects your stomach.
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@numbfoot, @foxtrotzulu, I am a seasoned user of ibuprofen. The trick is to eat something at the same time and has always worked for me. I am currently exceeding the recommended dose but I Think that’s okay for short periods.
The diazepam is interesting. It makes me feel drunk but does do the job of relaxing the muscles and for some reason time goes by quite quickly . Sadly, the doctor was only prepared to give me one weeks worth and they ran out on Christmas day.
I have some codeine but past experience tells me that it stops me sleeping and has rather the opposite effect to ibuprofens on an empty stomach. Apparently, there is a laxative that is prescribed to heroin users .
@numbfoot, I take it you think walking may help Smile. I have been trying to walk but sadly this time I’m not able to stand up right so I’m having to use a walking stick. I can’t get fat but I do remember other times walking for hours on end because it was the only way to relieve the pain.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@henzerani,

Ive had disc prolapses in my neck and sciatica/ back pain spasm multiple occasions.

The key to success is to keep moving and introduce exercise to reintroduce "normal" movement patterns asap.

Some times thats just requires anti-inflammatories and physio. I have taken much stronger tablets if that doesn't work. The quickest recovery is due to getting pain under control with painkillers so you can move. If the back feels locked/blocked consider a session or two of chiro but if you have sciatica i'd not go there.

If you have lots of nerve pain ( sciatica) i'd get a steroid injection - the results can be magical. A number of years ago i could barely walk/work but four days after a steroid i was off piste skiing Very Happy
Severe back pain can be quite alarming but it is safe to move.
Jonathan Bell
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Nope you are right, being able to walk any distance takes time, I should have said that the first walk might be down the hall, bent in two & in a very lop sided fashion but it will improve. Slowly unbending yourself before starting to walk (hobble) also helps and makes you look slightly less ridiculous.

Co-codamol is also available - at a lower dosage - from any pharmacy. Has previously helped me, might not work for you, but that goes for everything in this thread I guess.

Best of luck
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
A couple of people here have decried chiropractors as 'snake oil salesman'.

In the mid 80s I had chronic lower back pain and had spent two years getting bounced around the NHS only to be finally told "No more squash, skiing surfing or hang gliding." buy some tropical fish take these painkillers and sleep on a firm bed. At this point I could only stand for 20 mins and rarely slept for more than 30 mins before waking with my back in spasm.

I was a lecturer at Loughborough at the time and a fellow lecturer had told me more than once to go and see this chiropractor called Rose in Leicester. In desperation I went.

Like many I thought they were con men.

I discovered they operated a large practice with Xray facilities and far from conning money out of you they would quickly tell you if they could not help. I was assigned to Doctor Painter a fellow surfer who diagnosed the problem told me it would take 6 to 10 sessions and I should be back in business and to book that skiing holiday. 6 weeks later I was fixed. He gave me some strange contortion exercises to do if the problem came back. It has done 3 or 4 times in 30 years and each time the exercises worked.

I was suicidal the Rose Practice saved my life. They are still going although Dr Rose has retired.

http://londonroadchiropracticclinic.co.uk/about-us/3150836
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@TQA, cbbtttm

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/chiropractic-and-spinal-manipulation-red-flags-a-comprehensive-review/

https://edzardernst.com/2013/10/twenty-things-most-chiropractors-wont-tell-you/

https://health.spectator.co.uk/the-evidence-shows-that-chiropractors-do-more-harm-than-good/
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For sciatica Amitriptyline from the doctor can also be really helpful.

You certainly hear stories of chiropractors or osteopaths helping people. If the evidenced things have been tried and don't work, personally I'd give them a go.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
It is estimated, that 90% of world class athletes use a Chiropractor. As an example, Craig McLean writes in the SCGB Mag, worked with Chemmy Alcott and consults for the Warren Smith Acadamy.

Osteopath training: "An osteopath trained in the UK will have undertaken a 4 or 5 year degree ending in a BSc (Hons), BOst or similar (or a masters degree). These degrees concentrate on anatomy and physiology of the human body and include a large element (over 1000 hours) of practical work and clinical skills".
http://www.healthcentre.org.uk/osteopaths/osteopath-who-can-be.html
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The chiropractor I saw around 2008 for lower back trouble gave me big hamstring stretches which did help and was honest enough to say he couldn't help beyond that, respected him for being honest.

I am cautious about the merits of alternative treatments and some of its practicioners (doctors don't know anything types) but has to be worth a try if all else is failing I think and the person has a good reputation. Even a psychological boost from talking it over thoroughly in a calming environment can be helpful wrt recovery.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
As I mentioned, I would caution against any neck adjustments. Its really really not worth the risk. I know the OP wants back treatment, but chiros often treat the neck whether its the initial cause or not.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@motdoc, I suspect I'm already taking advantage of this. I take 10mg of amitriptyline a day for chronic headaches. It was 30mg but we whittled it down to 10mg as that was the minimum that had an effect. I know you can't prescribe here but is that the sort of dosage you'd be considering? My understanding of amitriptyline is that it is an anti depressant in high dosages but has a poorly understood but very real effect on chronic pain at those lower dosages.

Here's a thing though - my back is much more comfortable if I have shoes on. I suspect that it's because of the heel and maybe because they have soft soles. I am sufficiently insecure in my masculinity that I need to point out that I do not have high heels on.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Old Fartbag,
Quote:

It is estimated, that 90% of world class athletes use a Chiropractor.


The full quote is as follows ... 'Experts estimate that about 90 percent of all world-class athletes use chiropractic care to prevent injuries and increase their performance potential, according to the American Chiropractic Association'. Hardly an unbiased source and I'd love to know how they came up with that statistic. I also suspect that 90% of world class athletes are superstitious in some way. That doesn't actually mean that either the chiropractic or the superstitions actually work.

Quote:

Osteopath training: "An osteopath trained in the UK will have undertaken a 4 or 5 year degree ending in a BSc (Hons), BOst or similar (or a masters degree). These degrees concentrate on anatomy and physiology of the human body and include a large element (over 1000 hours) of practical work and clinical skills".
Does this tell us much? To become a fully qualified professional homeopath takes three to four years of training! The only university offering chiropractic is the rather third rate London South Bank University, so I'm not sure you can derive too much validity from the training regime of chiropractors.


@Klammertime,
Quote:

The chiropractor I saw around 2008 for lower back trouble gave me big hamstring stretches which did help and was honest enough to say he couldn't help beyond that, respected him for being honest.
+1 hamstring stretches should help (when the spasm, has eased).


Quote:

I am cautious about the merits of alternative treatments and some of its practicioners (doctors don't know anything types) but has to be worth a try if all else is failing
Some alternative treatments e.g. chiropractic and osteopathy are not risk free.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The chiropractor, osteopath, physiotherapist discussion is an interesting one. I suspect that most chiropractors and osteopaths are not taking a "new age" approach and are actually concentrating on the practical mechanics, so whilst they are classified as alternative they are taking a"secular approach". I've known and used physiotherapists most of my adult life and I tend to stick with what I know. The other 2 times this happened the physio worked magic and I was upright and pain free after a single session. She was trained in the Mackenzie Method which is apparently not used any more. I was interested to hear that osteopaths have a degree path. It's an -ology.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@henzerani, one of the big problems is that both chiropractic and osteopathy are to an extent based on spurious concepts with no basis in scientific medicine (actually, in fairness, osteopathy aims to restore “harmony” which sounds entirely reasonable but seems entirely undefined).

Chiropractic in particular relates everything to spinal misalignments and endeavours to fix these mechanically... recipe for disaster!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Jonathan Bell, thanks for the advice. I have irritatingly chosen a bad time of year. My physio is off for Christmas. The doctor kindly gave me some diazepam which helped quite a lot but he was reluctant for me to take it very long. I have appointments with both my physio and my doctor next week. I'm sure @motdoc with agree that I should start my appointments with "I have been on the internet …" Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@foxtrotzulu, We've already had this argument a while ago, so I'm happy to agree to differ about their effectiveness. I have tried both routes....which has led to my comments above.
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@foxtrotzulu, @Old Fartbag, I asked for advice and in this arena that is mostly going to be anecdotal. You have both been generous with your advice in true snowHead style. Now that I'm off the Valium (diazepam) I'm going to try the alcohol. With enough of that inside me I'll believe in anything (but hopefully not that I can stand up straight yet).
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@henzerani, +2 on hamstring stretches, but best wait until prescribed by the physio. Mine said a few of the stretches can actually aggravate it if not careful.
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Old Fartbag wrote:
@foxtrotzulu, We've already had this argument a while ago, so I'm happy to agree to differ about their effectiveness. I have tried both routes....which has led to my comments above.
Fair point. We all get irritated by one thing or another and for me it’s the whole world of alternative medicine. As I see it, the cynical/ignorant exploitation by its practitioners and the gullibility/non-evidence based acceptance of its patients. I know that’s a very personal opinion and others have found that it appears to work for them, but.....it does irritate me and that’s MY problem. However, as you have pointed out, this is not the place to have that discussion. We’ve done it before and I’m sure we’ll do it again...elsewhere.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Amitriptyline I'd stick to 1 or 2 at night though some give up to 7 for pain.

Interesting re the shoes, try higher heels. If this helps then hamstrings are the issue!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@motdoc, thanks. I did wonder about the hamstrings, that others have mentioned. Wouldn't that be both wonderful and annoying after all this time.

Now I need some higher heels. I googled "high heels for men" and I don't think that's what I need.
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Happy New Year everyone. Very Happy Very Happy A bit of an update and a question.

I went back to my physio on 31st December. The doctor had been reluctant to give me very much for the pain and as a consequence I was still in a lot of pain and the spasming had not stopped. The physio was quite cross and explained that painkillers weren’t for wimps but to stop my back registering pain so that the muscles would stop spasming - and she ordered me back to the doctors. I took my wife, a police inspector, with me in case I needed back up and the doctor agreed to prescribe me Diazepam, Co-Codamol and a laxative (I never knew until this happened that opium-based products caused constipation). Having added ibuprofen to that concoction I have to confess that I passed New Year’s Eve in a happy blur and I didn’t in the least miss my alcohol. Since then I have been slowly on the mend, practicing my exercises and increasingly starting to walk around more. I still have some pain in my leg and whilst most it is sciatic, I'm sure some is due to inactivity and strange sitting and laying positions. Best of all I've actually had a full night's sleep the last 3 nights. Tomorrow I have doctor and physio appointments and hopefully we can make some decisions about whether I can ski or not.

I would appreciate any opinions or experience about how soon after something like this others have dared to ski? I'm not sure what getting fit would entail and how likely would be for the injury to happen again.
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I'd say you should ski as soon as it doesn't hurt to do so! That's how I've done it anyways. Well, I'm a boarder but close enough eh.

My back pain / sciatica regularly comes back in fits and starts but if it kicks off just before a snow trip I go get the proper drugs (they really do help a LOT don't they) from the doctors and ride through it, jammed full of pills. It sucks a little, but it sucks a lot better than being at home/work in the same pain.

Good luck:D
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Timely thread as I pulled/tore a muscle in my lower back on Friday playing badminton. Handily have a ski trip booked next Sun and one two weeks after that. Cue a Saturday spend as immobile as possible in bed with painkillers and ice and then slowly mobilising today and gentle stretches etc with the painkillers.

Hopefully will be at least mobile enough to travel next weekend and can then enjoy a week of all included food, apres ski and spa. Even better if has recovered enough for skiing and can then use that as gentle (ish) exercise!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I can only tell you what I did/would do.

- See a good Osteopath as soon as the spasms have eased.

- Keep taking anti infammatories

- Do some swimming/gentle walking before going

- Bring all meds on the skiing hol and suss out where a good physio is located.

- Try yourself out skiing gently and be guided by your body's feedback.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Just bought some Dr salts epsom salts and dead sea salts products for a bath or two. I can't confirm that these have ever worked wonders for me, but worth a try as they claim to help relax muscles. I got them for a change from bubble bath.

I am not trying to do anything for my back, just increase muscle relaxation in old tired legs after a run.
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You know it makes sense.
@Old Fartbag, for osteopath substitute physio and that is my plan.

@jjams82, i’m too much of a wimp to ski with the pain but that was what I was thinking – once the pain has gone what is stopping me?

@DrNo, best of luck. Hopefully pulled rather than torn but I reckon £50 to a physio would be worth a punt.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@henzerani, Dont' get me wrong... The initial pain when mine first went, now THAT was something I couldn't ski (board) through if my life depended on it. But as far as I know remaining mobile and active is very good for it, so skiing through as much pain as you can handle can't hurt (if you'll excuse the pun). If it makes it worse that's another matter of course, but as @Old Fartbag says, listen to your body's feedback.
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@jjams82, Very Happy I know what you mean. In the past I seem to have a series of re-occurrences so that I more or less get over the pain and then my back clicks and it all comes back again. So there is a chance that might happen, but right now I see what you mean. I can gingerly walk around, I’ve laid off the Co-Codamol this morning and I can still stand upright. Not sure I can put my boots on though!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Back pain... don't you love it. Think I have a feel for it.

Have suffered from it all my adult life. Used to keep it at bay with osteopathic treatment. I was so enamoured by osteopathy that I started a BSC in such science (?art) but dropped out after a few months as could not get my head around the science/evidence base for it. I had recently finished a post -grad degree prior. Circa early noughties

2009 Sciatica kicked in very badly and after a couple of months of barely being able to walk or feel my right leg I had a lumbar discectomy. Apparently the osteoarthritis in my back was so bad the surgeon told me that I would never be able to have a fusion.

Sciatica went but pain continued and had an effect on my mobility. Core was pants and was barely unable to do a sit up. Was contemplating giving up skiing/sailing/diving and early retirement.

About 2014 went to a personal trainer who taught me core exercises and made me a gym junkie. Did some pilates too.

Rarely have back pain now a days although has been playing up a bit since fell off piste last month. Will be taling napoxen and co-codamol skiing next week.

I see people thru work with back pain +/- sciatica every day. Prescribe opiates and non-steroidals and occasionally short courses of diazepam. Amitriptyline too. However the advice is always aim to incorporate core exercises into their lives and loose some weight if appropriate.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I have suffered low back pain for decades and more recently sciatica bad enough to stop me walking. For some reason skiing does not hurt.

Lots of pain during the night with disturbed sleep and lots of pain for an hour after getting up.

I post to mention using a Tens machine. I have found this really effective for instant pain relief and allowing much more mobility than without. At a cost of about £30 on Amazon it is well worth a try. Research suggests it is not very effective but there are hundreds of very favourable reviews on Amazon and my personal experience is that it has allowed a return to walking and generally getting that movement which is the key to a happy back. I use the machine all the time just now and notice a slow and steady diminishing in my back pain. I was offered a fusion twenty years ago which I declined.
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@hawkesbaynz, I took the tablets and skied. The only compromise was no alcohol - strangely a small glass of beer gives me a cracking hangover for a whole day.

@JohnU, I bought a tens machine machine but the pain had reduced to the point that I never used it. I shall wait for next time
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@JohnU, @henzerani, TENS didn’t do much for me, but a caudal epidural was just magic for curing the sciatica.

Skiing never triggered my sciatica but sitting on a chairlift was agony.
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