lower back pain and muscle spasm after lifting

by Sean
(UK)

Lower back pain and muscle spasm after lifting, second time in two months.

As a gigging musician i lift Pa speakers and guitar amps in and out of my vehicle regularly. I'm 45 male and of good general fitness.

I came off stage after first set and noticed i was lopsided. My back felt like it had seized up and my left lower side felt like it was pulling me over to the left and slightly back. A few days later while trying to tie a lace i felt a sudden excruciating pain across my lower back and i was laid up a few days. Light exercise and painkillers helped me through. I was very concerned but the doctor just said take Ibuprofen.

I managed to get through it and back to normality but felt a discomfort for a few weeks including what felt like bone on bone movements in lower back. Anyway a couple months later and my back is once again twisted after a gig. Should I have an xray? Is it likely a slipped disc? I just need peace of mind that its just muscular and can be treated with excercise. I think an xray would help alleviate my worry.

Many thanks Sean.

Hello Sean,
Before serious things happen in the body, usually it starts to talk to you, warning you something is on the way.

Your bod is talking to you! That twisted posture you take on is called an "ant-algia". Meaning leaning away from (or sometimes towards) the pain. Was your pain left? Then you had a what in techie jargon is called a Postero Medial Disk herniation ...

It's okay to take ibuprofen for a few days, but the research shows that it actually impedes healing, so certainly don't take regularly.

Sean, this is a serious business. After two or three episodes of this leaning tower of Pisa stuff, the nerve is likely to be affected, and then it goes down the leg. Believe me, the pain in the leg is much worse than what you experienced in the back.

Read about the sequence of events that are likely to happen unless you take evasive action. Slipped disc symptoms

I would suggest three important things:

1. Accept that when you are moving heavy speakers, and such things, you need help. Get someone to take the other side.

2. Start doing some lower back exercises every single morning before getting out of bed. On your bed. Like brushing your teeth, whether you have pain or not. Disciplined.

3. If it happens again, see someone who knows about backs. Someone local. In fact, start looking now, so that when it happens, and it probably will, you'll know who to contact. As always, ask friends and family for a recommendation. Avoid your doctor's pills if you can possibly help it.
Anti inflammatory drugs ...

You can't see a slipped disc on X-rays. If you're in the Bob Dylan league, get an MRI! They're expensive, but unlike X-rays don't potentially cause harm to the body. They aren't ionising radiation. Nevertheless, X-rays often do yield useful information. The practitioner you consult will advise you. Obviously I would suggest you see a chiropractor! But do you homework before letting anyone touch your back.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

Dr B


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Nov 19, 2013
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Sciatica
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info Dr B. The sciatic pain from my right buttock down my leg did raise its ugly head and you're right about the pain being worse. It hasn't let up now for weeks.

I saw a private physio who decided she would give me excruciatingly painful deep tissue massage but that only left me bruised and feeling no better. I finally got into seeing a different physio through my doctor and its a much more gentle process.

The pain seems to have concentrated around my hip joint now, sitting down for any length of time seizes it up again and leaves me in pain again. So hoping this is going to alleviate soon, i need my life back. Thanks again.

PS I'm stopping the Ibuprofen, i've heard too many negative issues surrounding its use.

Regards, S.

[Hello Sean,
I'm biased toward chiropractic obviously. This is stuff we treat on a daily basis, but each case is unique and different and, if it's right down the leg, difficult.

You should at least now have an X-ray, or better still an MR scan.

Recommend massage only done whilst you are lying on your side, or cushion under the pelvis, buttocks up in the air.

Good luck.

Dr B]

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