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Pain in my back, to the left

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Pain in my back, to the left

Postby Diego Sahagún » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:53 am

I went for a 7 hous hike in the snow on January 21st carrying a medium weight backpack. Probably I tightened its left stripe more than the right. That night I slept on a bed wich has no spring matress, only a table below. Since the day after that hike I've had true pains in my back just around my left shoulder-blade. I've been taken Ibuprophen, Paracetamol and Myolastan at nights. I'm also eating many bananas (Potasium), putting IR light or heat to the back and receiving massages with anti-inflammatory gel. The pain near the column has disappeared but I still has it to the left of my neck, the sternocleidomastoid is still stiff. Even the shoulder and biceps were affected though they're fine now. I've also tried to use my computer less than before during this week.

Any advices :?:
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Postby tigerlilly » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:01 pm

warm bath? back massage? go see a doctor?
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Postby oso1212 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:32 pm

would you say sharp "pin-point" pain or dull "area" pain?
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Postby oso1212 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:09 pm

Dull pain = rest, ice, motrin. Slowly work your way back into using the muscles in the area again. Recovery should be slow to prevent further injury.

If it's a sharp pain then something is wrong. Pinched nerve, torn muscle, even a broken bone. I had a sharp pain in my upper back on the left side that felt like a needle poking about 4 inches deep. It was on and off and extremely painful for about a year. It was caused by carrying too much weight on my torso. I thought that I was fit and had good core strength but every time I put that vest on my back would start killing me. After I stopped having to carry that weight around I started working on core strength, especially my back. I did a back workout including deadlifts once a week during my "off" time. After building good back strength I can put the same load on now with no pain.

Of course, if it is an acute injury then rest is going to be the best thing. After you get better work on core strength focusing on abs and back.

Hope this helps....
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Re: Pain in my back, to the left

Postby moonspots » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:28 am

Diego Sahagún wrote:I...Any advices :?:


Based upon what you've described, I think that you might want to see a chiropractor.

However, be up front and ask if he'll refer you to an MD if the diagnosis warrants. I find that my MD and chiropractor will each refer me to the other if it seems that the other can best take care of the problem.
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Postby Diego Sahagún » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:03 am

oso1212 wrote:Dull pain = rest, ice, motrin. Slowly work your way back into using the muscles in the area again. Recovery should be slow to prevent further injury.

If it's a sharp pain then something is wrong. Pinched nerve, torn muscle, even a broken bone. I had a sharp pain in my upper back on the left side that felt like a needle poking about 4 inches deep. It was on and off and extremely painful for about a year. It was caused by carrying too much weight on my torso. I thought that I was fit and had good core strength but every time I put that vest on my back would start killing me. After I stopped having to carry that weight around I started working on core strength, especially my back. I did a back workout including deadlifts once a week during my "off" time. After building good back strength I can put the same load on now with no pain.

Of course, if it is an acute injury then rest is going to be the best thing. After you get better work on core strength focusing on abs and back.

Hope this helps....

Thanks to you all first,

The pain uses to be dull but sometimes is sharp and my upper back muscle get hard sometimes so I'm taking half or one muscle relaxing pil (Myolastan) each night. I should take a half at daytime as well but I fall sleep if then. Should I put ice on my upper back with those stiffnesses :?: Ice after too a month since the pain started :?: I've tried doing abs but my back is worse the day after. Though I'm better now I still don't dare to carry a backpack for a winter day excursion (crampons, ice axe and/or pole, many clothes, d-slr camera, gps...)

Massages with anti-inflammatory gels use to work but the thighten is back one or two days after them. I've also tried doing back stretching but my back hurts more after some hard ones. I've included magnesium pills from a week ago. I gave up Ibuprofen because of they were bad for my stomach and changed to Paracetamol but recently I'm back taking Ibuprofen still without any stomach effects. Any other advice :?:

Probably I should go to see a doctor but I hate it. They'll send me to a chiropractor in a month or two and the pain might have worn off by then...
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Postby RayMondo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:54 am

First check if you haven't a disc problem. Discs are not cartilage but a strong sack containing fluid. Thus, in the case of slipped disc, there is a bulge. Over time, given the right conditions, they recover naturally. A sharp pain can be attributable to more than one issue - pressure on a nerve, muscle spasm or tear. Down in the small of the back, what can feel like a pinched nerve can also be spasm - because the muscle there is small diameter. Here are some tips:

Don't:
1. Pack carry until better
2. Sit for too long
3. Strain the back <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK-Kk1fRSb0&NR=1>Incorrect Lift / Correct Lift</a>

Do:
1. When sitting, keep thighs level and shins vertical, with feet flat on the floor. (If feet are out straight, the hips tilt forward, which puts pressure on the discs)
2. Get up and walk around several times an hour - same if you do a lot of driving
3. Keep back upright - especially when lifting (move to the object, don't twist or lean when lifting it)
4. Plenty of walking
5. Do the basic back flexibility: lie on floor, draw knees up and roll to each side. Do that several times a day, without pushing it.
6. Go to Yoga classes or follow some on the Web. That will improve the whole posture, flexibility, and improve strength.

For pain relief, apply some natural "Arnica" cream. Works wonders.

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Postby Diego Sahagún » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:57 pm

RayMondo wrote:First check if you haven't a disc problem. Discs are not cartilage but a strong sack containing fluid. Thus, in the case of slipped disc, there is a bulge. Over time, given the right conditions, they recover naturally. A sharp pain can be attributable to more than one issue - pressure on a nerve, muscle spasm or tear. Down in the small of the back, what can feel like a pinched nerve can also be spasm - because the muscle there is small diameter.

We can't see any bulge on the column Ray. Anyway do you recommend to go to see a doctor though I don't like and delays I told you :?: Now I think it's probably a pinched nerve as you've said.

RayMondo wrote:Here are some tips:

Don't:
1. Pack carry until better
2. Sit for too long
3. Strain the back <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK-Kk1fRSb0&NR=1>Incorrect Lift / Correct Lift</a>

1. Better or well :?:
2. I'll do, it can be one of my errors for recovering.
3. I'll do it as well. That link is bad but I've could watch that video.

RayMondo wrote:Do:
1. When sitting, keep thighs level and shins vertical, with feet flat on the floor. (If feet are out straight, the hips tilt forward, which puts pressure on the discs)
2. Get up and walk around several times an hour - same if you do a lot of driving
3. Keep back upright - especially when lifting (move to the object, don't twist or lean when lifting it)
4. Plenty of walking
5. Do the basic back flexibility: lie on floor, draw knees up and roll to each side. Do that several times a day, without pushing it.
6. Go to Yoga classes or follow some on the Web. That will improve the whole posture, flexibility, and improve strength.

For pain relief, apply some natural "Arnica" cream. Works wonders.

Report back

1. They could be one of my errors but I'll try to do it, even maintain right-angled arms when at my computer.
2. Several times an hour :?: I don't drive too much time but I do everyday.
3. I'll try to do it, mainly when lifting.
4. I'm doing it but I'll try to walk more often.
5. I'll do it but I don't understand that pushing it (?)
6. I'll try to find something in the Net.

And I'll change from an anti-inflammatory gel to an Arnica cream.

Thanks a lot Ray
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Postby RayMondo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:29 pm

Diego. Of course, I'm not a doc, though have met a lot of people through sports, played some real body-stressing sports, and met a lot of people with injuries. And one who was just about to go for back surgery when they didn't need it all. (Though, here on the Internet, it's impossible to say the real cause of any issue. So it's wise to go see a doc for an opinion). For any problem in the lower back, a person should check that even if a disc shows no bulge, it may not mean that there is not a small bulge. Obviously that would cause pain. You can a get bulge to the side which may not show externally.

Though reading that your problem is at shoulder blade level, I doubt it's a disc issue. That is more usually associated with a lower back problem. Anyway, some info on that area: Okay, so I know from my own experience that I've had both a pinched nerve in the lower back (because I had sciatica), and muscle spasms in the small of the back. The sciatica travelled down the thigh and into my foot. It was caused by repetitive strain (fencer's lunge, used in Badminton). Okay, I cured that with the stretching and Yoga. Still, if I drive too long, sit too long, sleep too long etc, I can get the spasm in the lower back. But not if I keep up the stretching. So it works real well for me. (Though my preference to sleep on my front, is not good for the back). When you carried the pack and then slept without the mattress, you have one stress after another. (The shoulder and neck was loaded all day, without much real movement, and then expected to sleep on something hard. Better to have stopped more often and remove the pack. I guess you slept on your side, which, without a mattress would pressure the already stiff shoulder.

As for someone I know who was about to go for back surgery. Wow good job she didn't. The problem was psychosomatic (big stress in life, everything went wrong at the same time - mind couldn't deal with it, so it sent tension into the body. Back went haywire). Yet when someone diagnosed her as it being stress related - the problem went in 30 seconds. So for all the skill of the doctors, some guru kinesiologist sorted it for $50. I'm not having a dig at doctors.

In answer to your 3 question marks:

"Anyway do you recommend to go to see a doctor though I don't like and delays I told you Now I think it's probably a pinched nerve as you've said." (Well, I can't tell if it's a pinched nerve. But as it's at shoulder height, you are probably suffering a strained muscle. Although the constant tension to the sternocleidomastoid muscle may have strained that and put pressure on the nerve. Once you get it all relaxed, that will go.

1. "Don't pack carry until" (until well).

2. ? Several times an hour - yes, get up and move about, change the posture, flex the shoulders, stretch the arms. Anything to get movement in the spine. (Best not to cross the legs too). When at the computer keyboard it is important to relax the shoulders. This begins with the leg posture (as above) but also the position of the hands (at the keys, the hands must not be higher than the wrist (look now). If hands are higher, then this travels back up the forearms to the neck and shoulders, which become stiff. Therefore, find a keyboard position and chair height which solves that. (A wrist pad across the front of the keyboard will elevate the wrists). You might be surprised at the overall benefit that posture and hand position can make. Similar for the mouse. Get a large mouse that fits the whole hand. When using the select key, I place 1st & 2nd finger over the key. This helps prevent fatigue and tension. It's surprising how one imbalance travels through the body. Like my car, I though I had a problem with gearbox vibration, but it was really the rubber in the back axle.

5. "I'll do it but I don't understand that pushing it (?)". I mean - with any form of stretching, it should be progressive, not aggressive. Better to take weeks to gain increased flexibility, rather than risk injury. It took me 3 months stretching to be able to get my forehead to rest on my knee. I couldn't do that at age 17, but now I'm over 50 and more flexible than ever.


Sorry for the long reply, but I thought it would be useful to mention the things that I came across.
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Postby Diego Sahagún » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:53 pm

You could have written in Spanish Ray :wink: LOL @ that gear box thought mate :lol: You are right on many things you've said about my pain and treatment. I'll try to be progressive in my stretchings. 1h 30' ago I've came from shotting to the basket for 35-40'. Firstly it's not been painful but later when I've been shotting from mid court it started to hurt. So I decided to give it up. I'm again in front of my computer and I'm going to stand up just now. Tomorrow I'll start my stretching table slightly. By the way, I'll see my doctor on thursday or friday.

Thanks again
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Postby RayMondo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:12 pm

There is little hope for the English people to learn several languages. Though what I most need to learn is how to gain the admiration of a beautiful Spanish woman. "Tienes ojos profundos como el cielo nocturno. Su pelo es tan bella y oscura como un cuervo ..."

It reminds me of a girl I once asked for a date. I met her, and phoned her next day. When I asked her out, she said I should speak to her mother. So her mother came to the phone. What I got wrong was the girl's name, but it was the correct name for her mother. :shock: So her mother thought I was asking her for the date. She was married, though she seemed quite interested. Anyway, I got no date with either the girl or her mother. :(

The next girlfriend I had. Her mother was older than me. And the girl young enough to be my daughter. It just goes to illustrate how much good the new Yoga has done for me :wink:
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Postby Diego Sahagún » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:50 pm

Damned mother-in-laws :!: :lol:

It's bello and oscuro but it's not good to compare a girl with a crow mate :wink: It's odd that thing of a Spanish girl asking her mother for dating anyway. By the way, these days I'm remembering when I was in Northampton living with an English family for a month. I was 16 years-old and I remember those cloudy mornings and rains of July. They are really odd here in central Spain on that month. I was impressed because of that big grass park not far from the old part of the city. Do you know its name :?:

Sorry for my bad English Ray
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Postby Diego Sahagún » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:40 am

I'll go to see my doctor tomorrow morning and I think she'll send me to a specialist or say that I pass a blood analysis.

Ray, I've noticed that my back is better if I sleep without a pillow now. Sleeping on my back is less painful that on either side and I don't use to sleep on my breast
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Postby oldandslow » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:17 am

Why not try accupuncture?
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Postby Diego Sahagún » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:18 pm

I've gone to see my family doctor in the morning. They'll X-ray my spine and I'll go to see an orthopedic surgeon on March 30th. All could come from an old injury I had in 2004 when falling in a bad position to a pole vault mat (hard) when high jumping. Though they X-rayed my column then they couldn't see anything and I was receiving phyosiotherapy massages for 2 weeks at least. Even I took IR light on my upper back. The fact is I also was late to go to see a doctor then, 2 months or so.

Read this too. Any thoughts :?:
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