[QUOTE=Kieran;1104386]Thanks everyone, some really helpful posts. I think i may try streching abit more as i used to do karate and was fairly flexible and no back problems but since stopping i have noticed my hamstrings are tightening up. Will also look into going to a Chiropractor see if that helps. Thanks for all replies[/QUOTE]
My profession has significant sedentary time intervals. A lot of sitting, a lot of paper work.
Try this : [url=http://foundationtraining.com/video/foundation_training_dvd_trailer/]Foundation Training : Videos : Foundation Training DVD trailer[/url]
Watch all the free videos and see and feel how your body responds. If it helps....wonderful.
I've had lifelong chronic back pain and I'm always experimenting with things to try to make it either more bearable or disappear.
Do an internet search for 'TENS unit' and back pain. It's a pretty cheap device (I paid $50, but I'm pretty sure there are ones a little cheaper) and you can use it as little or as much as you need. It basicallly sends little electrical impulses to your nerves, which blocks them from receiving pain signals. I just got mine 2 days ago and I'm still playing around with it, but many people with chronic pain swear by it. You can easily conceal it under clothing and it's battery operated.
There's a saying. "First move well. Then move often." Skipping the first line of that quote is how lots of people compound their problems.
I herniated a disc at the age of 15...bout twenty years ago. Chiropractic saved me from surgery. I still get an alignment about 1x/month just as a tune up.
[QUOTE=Rojo;1102278]I had recurring back problems for years. Sometimes they were crippling. What basically stopped it was Healing Back Pain by John Sarno.
He maintains that most back problems are psychological. Not quite psychosomatic, as your muscles do really clench, but the clenching is from suppressed anger and/or stress. He points that 50 years ago nobody had back problems, but everyone had ulcers. Back problems just replaced ulcers as the favored stress response.
He also points out -- and we should all appreciate this -- that our backs evolved to handle most of what we demand of them. They're not hot-house flowers. He recommends staying active, instead of taking to your bed. He also recommends talking to your back, letting it know you're wise to it's "game".
If it sounds "woo-woo" it's not. Works for me. Must work for others: 447 five-star reviews on Amazon.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=jmsmall;1102707]My masseur recommended Somatics, available on Amazon. It's a series of fairly simple retraining exercises for posture. The first set helped my back pain tremendously.[/QUOTE]
I found this thread searching for "somatics" because I ran into the Hanna somatics method while looking for tight psoas treatment. Just reading Amazon reviews, the two approaches seem similar in that they attribute hip/low back pain to muscle clenching due to stress. Somatics uses exercises to release the tightness and realign the posture while Sarno just advocates a psychological approach. I find this all fascinating. Yoga also teaches that emotions are stored in the hips. A purely psychological approach seems a bit woo-woo, however I feel pretty certain I cured years of obesity using the strategy of an addiction therapist [url=http://www.amazon.com/Anderson-Method-Secret-Permanent-Weight/dp/1935097288/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384997101&sr=1-1&keywords=William+Anderson+diet]The Anderson Method - The Secret to Permanent Weight Loss: William Anderson: 9781935097280: Amazon.com: Books[/url] so I'm willing to consider self-talk for my back pain.
Anyone else find Sarno's approach helpful?
I found the best thing for muscle pain is regular exercise which involves the whole body (martial arts are perfect for me) and yoga would be helpful. Also not putting your body in shitty situations at work (though I know this is sometimes unavoidable).
I'll toss out what has helped me. Background- I've had lower back problems since age 20, herniated a disc at 35. I'm 40 now and have very little low back pain, most of the time none. This is what works for me. I do not take any pain medicine, not even OTC, I don't wear a back brace.
Daily: stretching (mostly yoga postures that focus on the back such as childs pose, prayer twist, etc) also stretches on the glutes and hamstrings because tight glutes/hammies can pull your lower back out of alignment. Pigeon pose for glutes. If stretching your hammies in traditional poses hurts your lower back, try laying on your back and raise your leg straight up and grab your ankle and pull until you feel the stretch.
Daily: Strengthening - Bird Dogs (on hands and knees, raise one arm and opposite leg hold for one minute, switch), Planks.
Once a month: Acupuncture (works for me far better than the chiropractor ever did)
Once a month: Therapeutic massage (I usually have my massage 2 weeks after acupuncture to break it up)
Don't forget that some supplements have been linked to reducing back pain- Vitamin D in particular. Take your D.
Don't count out going to the doctor. I have a very bad back (double ruptured disc, laminectomy surgery, some permanent nerve damage, etc.) and what has helped more than anything else is physical therapy. The only meds a doctor has given me are muscle relaxers when my lower back tightens up but the PT has really helped. Find out what exactly is wrong first and then learn the proper exercises that will help. Unless you are in excruciating pain, they won't give you pain meds. They might recommend an nsaid but that doesn't mean you have to take it.
Once you know what the problem is, then planks are great for your core and will help with back pain.