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  1. #1
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    What Kind of Doctor For...

    My back hurts. A lot.

    I used to simply hop on the bike for a few miles a day (or on the trainer) and my back would feel fine again. Well, it's been three weeks and it's not feeling any better. I can't even walk. It takes 6 minutes to get out of the car. The preschooler jumps on me at home and I can't stand up for half an hour. I used to be able to bend over and touch the ground, now I can't even bend over enough to extend my hand to my zipper in the bathroom.

    I think it's purely muscular, as I can pinpoint the exact spot that triggers the pain everywhere else. It's not near any bones, and the muscles will spasm tight enough that it pushes on my stomach and I want to throw up, or on my lungs and I can't breathe for stretches at a time. In other words, deep muscles and deep spasms.

    It's my very low back, usually, and includes my entire left butt cheek.

    I have been dealing with this all my life, and it would usually come and go. I fell out of a car going down the highway when I was two or three years old, but I just got used to it and thought it was normal--until a few months ago, and then again a few weeks ago.

    All my life I had gone to chiropractors--they were amazing from when I was a little tyke through my teenage years. When I would go in my 20s, though, it only worked the opposite and I felt like it did more damage so I stopped going.

    So, I want to stay away from chiropractors.

    So, assuming it's muscular and not bones/spine, what kind of doctor do I go to? I Googled back doctors and didn't know what I was looking at.

    I have thought about going and getting massages but my insurance won't cover it (I thought it would) and my wife thinks I would need a massage every week. That gets expensive no matter how attractive the masseuse is.

    I am scared of back stuff because I know five other people in my life with back problems, and after going to doctors, they are in much, much, much worse shape now than before they started, so they won't even talk to me about it, and I won't talk to them. That is a 100% failure rate with people I know personally, so I told my wife that I would rather do nothing and live with the pain vs. the risk of going to a back doctor.

    Any FOOvice? I know I am not alone. Or maybe I am. Very alone. And in pain.
    Last edited by SonataInFSharp; 03-16-11 at 09:24 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Physical Therapist

  3. #3
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    try a chiropractor who is also trained in accupressure & accupuncture.
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  4. #4
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    See your family practice doctor and see if you can get a prescription for massage. It sounds like psoas, QL, and glute stuff. A lot of times if you can get a prescription for 6 weeks of massage, insurance will help out somewhat.

    I know that's not exactly what you're looking for, but it's what I got.

    EDIT: Yes to the physical therapist. An occupational therapist may help, as well.
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  5. #5
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    See an Orthopedic MD. A good evaluation of the source of the problem will offer the best treatment, PT, massage, or medications. Don't mess around with your back, get a good evaluation.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  6. #6
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    The treatment of lower back pain has been studied extensively over the past several years. Recent findings are in support of an initial approach of rest, exercise, therapy and limited use of some medications. Leaping right into scans, injections and surgery does not necessarily provide better results.

    Were I in your shoes, I would go to my primary care physician and see what they say. Primary care does a lot of back pain, since it is one of the most common conditions seen in the office.
    Regards, MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

  7. #7
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    I have lots of back problems from gymnastics and my primary doctor always referred me to a physical therapist. They never sent me to a chiropractor...probably because I was too young. I did go see a chiropractor when I was 19 but it wasn't too helpful and I think it made the pain even worse. "the muscles will spasm tight enough that it pushes on my stomach and I want to throw up, or on my lungs and I can't breathe for stretches at a time. In other words, deep muscles and deep spasms" I did experience that when I was 17 and my doctor recommended me to a neurosurgeon because they thought I had a spinal cord injury. It literally felt like fire running through my body. I ended up going back to physical therapy.

    Go see your primary care doctor if you have one. sorry if this post wasn't too helpful. good luck

  8. #8
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    shaman. they are getting hard to find, as are apothecaries, which would be my second choice. If all else fails, find a medieval barber and get a good blood letting. I imagine that you have some evil humours in your blood.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
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  9. #9
    runnin' down a dream edbikebabe's Avatar
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    Physiotherapy & massage. Most clinics have both in one. Your GP will be useless - generally they suggest rest/drugs. See your GP if your health plan requires a prescription to claim the physio/massage. Mine does.

  10. #10
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    GP for a prescription for PT. And maybe drugs too--those made me happy and loopy during the worst aches and pains from my car accident several years ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
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  11. #11
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    My daughter would say "Time Lord".


    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    shaman. they are getting hard to find, as are apothecaries, which would be my second choice. If all else fails, find a medieval barber and get a good blood letting. I imagine that you have some evil humours in your blood.
    Andrew Jackson did it by himself.

  12. #12
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    See an Orthopedic MD. A good evaluation of the source of the problem will offer the best treatment, PT, massage, or medications. Don't mess around with your back, get a good evaluation.
    I second that. You didn't mention your age... if over 40 it could be ths standard arthritic changes all of us "old" folks have to deal with but best first to get a real medical diagnosis before messing around with DC and therapist or any other treatment. And your condition sounds chronic not acute - you really need a medical evaluation.

    I have stenosis of the lower spine. It is so severe that I lost all the feeling in my left lower leg and foot. Cycling has helped to develop the muscles back in my foot (it used to drop). There is really little that can be done (except surgery) but I find relief (upon the advice of my orthopedist) from stretching (it really works) and use of OTC medications Aleve and Tylenol.

    I also have to add cycling has been a blessing. It keeps my back stretched out and limber. If off the bike for long periods, the back pain comes back with a vengeance. I have, finally, had to lift the stem a bit so I'm not so agressively bent over. I'm 60 now... hope to ride into my 80's and beyond!
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  13. #13
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    I second that. You didn't mention your age... if over 40 it could be ths standard arthritic changes all of us "old" folks have to deal with but best first to get a real medical diagnosis before messing around with DC and therapist or any other treatment. And your condition sounds chronic not acute - you really need a medical evaluation.

    I have stenosis of the lower spine. It is so severe that I lost all the feeling in my left lower leg and foot. Cycling has helped to develop the muscles back in my foot (it used to drop). There is really little that can be done (except surgery) but I find relief (upon the advice of my orthopedist) from stretching (it really works) and use of OTC medications Aleve and Tylenol.

    I also have to add cycling has been a blessing. It keeps my back stretched out and limber. If off the bike for long periods, the back pain comes back with a vengeance. I have, finally, had to lift the stem a bit so I'm not so agressively bent over. I'm 60 now... hope to ride into my 80's and beyond!
    You should look into some kinesotape for that leg. You might be surprised as to what can still be done.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    You should look into some kinesotape for that leg. You might be surprised as to what can still be done.
    I had a PT try that for my elbow tendonitis.
    It did just what you would expect a piece of adhesive tape would do: Absolutely nothing.

  15. #15
    Refrigerator Raider Hater fordmanvt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apclassic9 View Post
    try a chiropractor who is also trained in accupressure & accupuncture.
    Not technically a doctor but I would start here.

  16. #16
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    I had a PT try that for my elbow tendonitis.
    It did just what you would expect a piece of adhesive tape would do: Absolutely nothing.
    Tendinitis is one thing, muscle spasms are different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  17. #17
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    You should look into some kinesotape for that leg. You might be surprised as to what can still be done.
    I have no idea what that is... will have ot look it up. The lack of sensation is caused by permanent nerve injury. Don't believe anything can cure that but worth a looksie.

    Edited: Looked it up. Won't help the stenosis (the damage is already permanent and nerves don't regenerate) issues but something to think about if I have any muscular strains.
    Last edited by Pamestique; 03-16-11 at 05:40 PM.
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  18. #18
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    I have no idea what that is... will have ot look it up. The lack of sensation is caused by permanent nerve injury. Don't believe anything can cure that but worth a looksie.

    Edited: Looked it up. Won't help the stenosis (the damage is already permanent and nerves don't regenerate) issues but something to think about if I have any muscular strains.
    You never mentioned nerve injury. Nevermind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  19. #19
    Old Fogy
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    After poo-pooing chiropractors for years, my back pain finally go bad enough to try one. Within a couple of months my back felt better than it had in years, so now I go every month, and I haven't had a really severe episode in the two years I've been doing this.

  20. #20
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    I would recommend seeing a wise old GP who keeps him/herself up to date and is not put off by alternative therapies.
    What is bicycle touring?
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by StupidlyBrave View Post
    Andrew Jackson did it by himself.
    Someone was watching the History Channel last night.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  22. #22
    Blasted Weeds Tude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
    I would recommend seeing a wise old GP who keeps him/herself up to date and is not put off by alternative therapies.
    This - if you have health insurance for this - do it, especially if you may have a long time old injury - and I'm sorry but the other cure all's here that are not your health ins. supported are not cure-alls. Go have that doctor visit - and let him/her go from there for a better look at your infrastructure! Please!

  23. #23
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Danw View Post
    Someone was watching the History Channel last night.

  24. #24
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I would send your serf or patsy over to the shoppe of Theodoric of York, post haste. I am assuming you are a member of the aristocracy and not one of the lower classes. If the latter happens to be the case, I say you just toil on in pain and ignomy, as is fitting for your sort.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  25. #25
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    Try a rolfer, that plus a real good chircopractor did wonders for my lower back.

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