Pain in lower back after a crunch sound

by Nadine
(South Africa)

Slump test requires a helper to lift the leg passively

Slump test requires a helper to lift the leg passively

Hi,I'm a 40-year old female. During leg kick-back exercises, I heard a crunch on the left side of my lumbar spine.

Upon waking the next day, I couldn't and still cannot move. Today is the 2nd day. If I lay still all I can feel is the inflammation and a tense muscle pull over my hip going to my lower abdomen.

If I try any further movement with my left leg, the pain radiates down from my lumbar spine to my sacrum, that feels like it's about to break, and feel tension across my lower abdomen.

Any attempt to lift myself is futile - too painful. I can't even go to the bathroom,since I cannot stand up, but have to slide on by belly and relieve myself in a bucket, whilst leaning with my torso on the bed.

I applied heat, and just did cupping (myself, with a set I have at home).

Movement is still limited, confining me to bed.

What do I need to do first?
Do I apply heat/ ice?
Do I call the doctor, a physiotherapist or chiropractor?

Please help.

Hello Nadine,
Severe lower back pain is frightening, so don't feel all alone and wimpish; it hurts, and often the disabling effect is just as bad.

First a generalised comment; in the future keep in mind that any exercise routine should improve your health, not render you disabled and in great pain. Revisit your programme and try to decide what went wrong.
Did you warm up, are you trying to be Miss World, have you been advised on a programme to follow; I could go on.

At this stage there is no mention of leg pain which is good; however be warned, it can start at a moment's notice.

Start doing some very gentle lower back exercises lying on your bed; the rule is you may feel some discomfort, but not pain. Use alternating ice and heat on your lower back twice a day.

If you have pain on coughing or sneezing, or bearing down on the loo, then get professional help immediately. It's up to you to choose; I'm obviously biased!

The other useful test to do is called the Slump test for sciatica; use the search function at chiropractic help to find it. If you have severe lower back pain, then it's best to do something right away.

The one concern is the pain in the abdomen; that doesn't fit and if it's a big feature, then I'd start with your medical doctor.

See our slipped disc rules page.

I hope this contributes.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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