View Full Version : Back problems

February 22nd, 2013, 02:39 AM
I'm not very old (on the brink of 20 :blush:), but I'm having back problems. My parents laughed at me for about a week and formally "welcomed" me to the "adult world". Well it has definitely reminded me that I'm no longer 18.
I don't know what I did to it... but about three months ago it started hurting, a lot. I could barely get out of bed for a week, and even the slightest shift in posture had me screaming inside my head. The pain is on the lower left side (although pretty close to spine) of my back, just above my hip although the location isn't exactly pinpoint... its a flame that spreads. I can't really describe it. It's kind of like the pain you get when you turn your neck too fast while you're about to claw the chalkboard. At first I thought it was just because I had slept in an awkward position (since it first started after I got off a very cramped flight home), but three months later I'm still in pain.
The pain slowly receded and I thought that it was all better (I still feel a twinge of pain getting out of bed, or stretching), until I got back into the water. Swimming is perfectly fine, but flip turns are a major problem. My doctor is completely booked until at least April, and since I'm not in any life threatening situation, I've decided to wait until then. I have stopped doing flip turns for the most part; I still attempt them on those bright optimistic days, but even those seem to be lagging these days along with the lack of satisfactory swimming. I've been doing what I normally do for small injuries: icing and stretching.
I'm wondering if anyone here has any helpful advice.

February 22nd, 2013, 11:44 AM
Did you happen to fall/trip at all before you back started hurting? As much as 2-3 weeks prior? I tripped up a set of steps in college and hurt my back pretty badly, but it took almost 2 weeks until I had any noticeable pain. The way you're describing your pain sounds a lot like mine, both in location and how it hurts (especially flip turns).

Until you can see a doctor, I don't have any advice beyond what you're already doing. I was lucky that I was a varsity swimmer, so I had immediate access to a doctor and trainers, but most of what they did for me was assisted stretching and electrostim. If you can get to an orthopedist or physical therapist without seeing your general practitioner, I would try and do that.

February 22nd, 2013, 11:52 AM
Two recommended things

1) Stretch your hamstrings. After you warm them up with soem exercise

2) Do more crunches. When Joe Montana broke his back, he did 3000 sit ups a day as part of his rehab.

February 22nd, 2013, 08:51 PM
Strange as it may sound, you might ask your physician about getting your vitamin D levels checked. There are a couple of pretty convincing studies showing improvement in chronic back pain once levels are optimized. I think it really helped me. As Mick said, stretching your hamstrings may improve things. And try your best not to stay in bed when your back hurts. For me, getting in a daily swim (even if only for 15 or 20 minutes) is essential. I think there's something about exercising while horizontal that really loosens my back up. Obviously, make sure that you get medical advice.

February 22nd, 2013, 10:18 PM
DPR, you have been experiencing back spasms. The MD will prescribe a steroidal anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxant. If the problem was not brought on by straining your back, it is probably is due to something mis-aligned. A good chiropractor is what you need to see.

February 23rd, 2013, 05:19 PM
What you describe sounds like the back pains I started having in my teens. For me, I think it had to do with misalignment of my pelvis. I tend to have a "swayback" and have to work on tucking my pelvis when I exercise. Backwards-bending yoga postures (camel, bow, cobra, wheel) and other "core" exercises (but not just abdominal ones) have helped me to strengthen the underdeveloped muscles that allow me to do this pelvic tucking. For the past 25+ years I've had very few flare ups of the back pain.

Hope you find whatever helps you.