Lower back pain

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by DUNE-T, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    Well the problem with low back pain is once they start trying to fix you, you'll never get back to 100%. If you're having shooting pain going down the back of your legs then you've got some disc that are either herniated or there is nerve damage. Getting pain relief is almost impossible so what ends up happening is you cover up the pain and the real problem does not get addressed. They can neither cover the pain by medications, shots, exercise, and/or modifying your daily activities. If they have to do surgery there are good and bad about fixing your back. Nowadays they can reduce the footprint they leave on your spine with minimal damage. They can get you back on the job and you can be without pain but still your life has to change or you'll be back in the operating room. I will not recommend a way to go because it's not my back. I just know that I went down a path and did get relief but it only lasted two years for me until I was hurt on the job and needed massive repair to my lower spine.

    I can however recommend a minimal approach that will get you about the same results without going through surgery. You're doing most of it now and you've got a great head start. If you've got great medical insurance try to have an MRI done so the film results will do your talking. If it gets to a point that you can not stand up nobody will think you're drug seeking and you'll get the relief if needed. I would do almost anything to stay off of prescription medication but there might be a time when you need to use them. If that time comes do you research and know all you can before the doctor just shells them out.

    It sounds like there are many drivers here doing what they can to help with their low back pain. Using the proper seat and adjustments help. The best I have found that works right away is 20/20. That's 20 minutes heat then 20 minutes cold. Be careful with work belts. They may provide support but in the long run they will weaken your muscles and you'll end up with more pain.

    It's just trying all the methods you have that's out there without narcotics and/or surgery. It will take time to find out what works for you but you can get relief. Whatever you do know this, your life is changed and there is nothing you can do to get back 100%. But now that you know what you have and you've studied it some you can adjust your lifestyle to reduce the pain.
     
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  3. greeneinc

    greeneinc Bobtail Member

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    I had a relative that had back problems and the cause was a disc rupture. He ended up going to a Chiropractic that gave him an MRI to find the actual problem and then treated him with a machine called a VAX-D. Apparently he told me you get strapped into a harness and lay on a table that literally pulls your shoulders and torso in one direction and the hips in another direction to stretch the spine and get the disc fluid back into the disc. Treatment took him 3 months to complete going 3 times a week the first month, 2 times a week the second month, and then finally once a week the last month.

    A few years later, he still has no back problems but did loose a considerable amount of weight and also exercises more often.
     
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  4. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    That sounds real scary. To tell you the truth I wouldn't trust my spine with a Chiropractor. Not for a delicate thing like that. If he were to go too far you could end up without the use of your legs. I will say however, at least he was using an MRI which is good. I know when they were doing all the testing on me after my 4th surgery I had a discogram done where they injected a dye into my disc and stood me on my head. I can tell you that pain was so bad I cried out for mommy! If I had that done by the Chiropractor he would have to show me the MRI and tell me where the soft jelly like substance would be going.
     
  5. BrenYoda883

    BrenYoda883 Road Train Member

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    I havent read through all the responses yet... so I dont know if it has been said yet.. but.. Firstly... lower back pain is not always the back that is the problem... back in 2010 I went from an office job to doing construction as a framer.. and about a month in started having lower back pain which I fivured was due to the physical work... so started taking measure to help... well.. it wasnt my back at all... turned out to be kidney stones... how I found out was I was at work and had a nauseous stomach.. so was sipping 7up and ginger ale for a couple days.. but stomach nausea got worse, and then one morning at work.. my rignt side felt lime I had done the twist for an hour... you k ow that stitch in your side you get.. then I broke out sweating.. heavily.. even thougn it was a pretty cool day.. I started throwing up and so theh se t me home... well.. my back pain got worse.. the pain was was horrible.. I would try lay down.. but could not get comfortable.. and then the pain was througn the roof... so I went to the ER... well, turned not only did I have a large stone passing.. but I was dangerously anemic.. so they admitted and had to give me 3 bags of blood... which, unfortunately caused a PRESS.. so , after beiing in tne hospital for a week then home for 4 days I was back in the ER having seizures...
    well.. another week in the hospital after surgery to release the PRESS..

    SO... do not just assume it is back related...

    now, another thing, which is actually good for both your kidneys and your back is drink water.. H20... not soda pop, not coffee, not gaterade... but good clean water...

    the discs between your vertibrea.. are like the air bag suspension.. only instead of being inflated with air.. they need water.. the disks in your bag need to be well hydrated to work properly... but, all organs in the body need to be hydrated.. and the majority of people in the world are dehydrated. .. they do not drink enough good ol H20.. so the body spreads out what it can throughout the body... so, it is like driving your truck or trailer with partialy inflated air bags..

    so.. start drinking water.. it will help your back, and your kidneys as well as your metabolism and your overall health...

    also... really pinpoint where your back hurts.. is it more to one side.. if so.. it may be your kidneys and not your back...
     
  6. tucker

    tucker Road Train Member

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    I wear a copper bracelet and I know that the back is incapable of hurting and that any back pain is due to stress and my silly mind. Someday I hope I get to read the book by Dr Sarnoff
     
  7. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    sitting down so many hours per day is almost a guarantee of low back pain. Bad habits like slouching or half sitting/haf laying in the seat will accelerate onset of low back pain. Keep in mind the curve of the spine on a model spine. Your spine isn't a vertical column, but stacked curves. You want to keep that lower curve curved while sitting, a lumbar pillow helps me. I had to make my own, since most pillows are too soft to do much good for me. I concentrate on sitting up, keeping my hips pushed to the seat back, and remember to also push my bellybutton forward.

    As you add weight around your belly, that weight acts to push the ideal curve of your lower spine back and lessen that curve. That, over time or with trauma, can start pushing the disks between vertebrae out. I guess each back pain is different, so whatever works for you, keep doing it. But low back pain is very common in the industry.
     
  8. poppapump1332

    poppapump1332 Road Train Member

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    Strengthen your core meaning abs and lower back muscles and also try stretching your back by hanging upside down in a inverter board or find monkey bars, when hanging you have to relax all muscles.What this does is put your disc in the proper places basically it decompresses your spine.
     
  9. Pur48Ted

    Pur48Ted Road Train Member

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    Sounds like Ankylosing Spondylitis. I turned 60 this winter and my back pain started some 20 odd years ago. I wasn't diagnosed until a year and half ago.
    I manage the pain by doing stretching exercises and yoga.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
    Reason for edit: didn't mean to use a commercial link for perscription medication
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  10. CaliforniaJellyroll

    CaliforniaJellyroll Light Load Member

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    You could just need a decent lumbar support. You could just use a small, flat pillow. It doesn't take much thickness to make a difference. You could even use a hand towel folded up. Don't spend a bunch of money on a store-bought lumbar thing. They aren't supportive enough.

    In addition to the good advice like drink more water, try anti-inflammatories and possibly an ice pack wrapped in a towel (if you have a freezer, or even a fridge, those gel packs do help). Warmth can help loosen muscle tissue, but if it's nerves and connective tissue inflammation, you have to go with cold.

    Stretching and strengthening the area "opposite" to the pain also is a great practice. As in, your abs in this case. It will take the "workload" of the stress off the back. Also I agree with a more vertical seat back. (Speaking from experience.)

    A great DVD to get is DDP Yoga. You will notice results in just two days. It combines yoga poses with rehabilitation excercises and isometric strengthening. It's the bomb. And you don't need much space to do it. Search Youtube for DDP Yoga and you will see a lot of stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
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  11. CaliforniaJellyroll

    CaliforniaJellyroll Light Load Member

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    Just want to add there's another scenario that's possible with low back pain and sciatica -- muscle knots. With sciatica, there are is a muscle in the butt/ hip area that attaches to the area between your tailbone and your lumbar/lower back, and it's called the piriformis. It can block off or pinch the sciatic nerve if it gets too tight or knotted. Here's a picture of what that looks like. [http://www.clinicalexams.co.uk/imag...es/Piriformis-syndrome-web-large(800x600).jpg]

    A good massage therapist can help with - ya know - deep massaging your butt, or if you don't have time or $ or know where to go, you can also do this: put your hands on your hips, then use your thumbs to push into your hip and butt muscles, starting from the sides and working in toward your tailbone, and find the sore/ tight spots and work them out yourself. You don't have to rub around or anything, just holding some pressure for 10-15 seconds in a bunch of different areas that feel tense will help a lot. [and then you will really want to take an ibuprofen and drink a lot of water.] When mine are really bad, I will wedge a tennis ball behind me and sit back on it, then move it around now and then. [Huh.. that came out sounding kinda dirty. Sorry! lol]

    With low back pain that's a little higher, you can do the same thing, but working over the tops of your hip bones from the sides of your waist toward the spine. Don't push on your spine.

    I went to school to learn shiatsu and acupressure a couple years ago, as I really liked the idea of getting worked on in class 2/3 times a week for 4 months (lol) and wanted to learn how to help myself. Feel free to message me if anyone has pain problems & I'll try to give you things you can try on your own. Your doctors don't know what to do about muscle pain, other than to give you drugs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
    Reason for edit: added graphic
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