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Lower back pain

(44 Posts)
baubles Mon 29-Dec-14 09:10:29

Are there any fellow sufferers out there?

I've had an achey back for many years. Two or three times in the past eight years or so I've had episodes of real pain. This has been brought on by simple, small movements, nothing major and would last a day or two.

I've been in a lot of pain since Christmas eve. Not sure if it was brought on by lots of bobbing up and down getting things out of cupboards, wrapping gifts, lifting things (awkwardly since my wrist is still very weak). I'm not aware of a specific movement having caused it.

I saw an osteopath a couple of years ago who said there didn't appear to be any specific damage so it was basically just bad luck that I had wear an tear.

I've been taking nurofen plus and using heat packs on the advice of a pharmacist but there really isn't any relief from the pain.

Any advice?

Soutra Mon 29-Dec-14 09:54:55

Baubles have you tried relieving the pressure on your sacro-iliac joint by lying on the floor, a small cushion in the nape of the neck and your knees bent up in a "V" shape? Give it about 10-20 minutes or whatever you feel comfortable with. If you have a dog it may stand over you and fart or lick your face, but try to stick it out! Of course there may be another underlying cause but it can really help and does no harm - unlike NSAIDs which can go for your stomach.

Teetime Mon 29-Dec-14 10:01:14

Baubles I'm sorry you are in pain and as a long term back pain sufferer I feel for you. I would go back to the osteopath. Although heat is comforting what you are actually doing is heating up the inflammation so ice packs would be better. I've seen osteopaths, physios and orthopaedic surgeons who have all told me this and my experience of it although initially a shock is that it does work for pain relief. Remember to wrap your ice pack in a tea towel s you don't 'burn' yourself. as for medication - go back to the GP there are lot more drugs on the market - I have something called a Cox-inhibitor (Eterocoxib)-- expensive but works to keep the inflammation and therefore the pain at bay.

Elegran Mon 29-Dec-14 10:04:19

Baubles I was given some really good exercises (not strenuous - mostly stretching gently in various directions) which worked wonders. I will find them and PM you. I did have to do them three times a day for a while to get the result, but now I just do them when I feel it starting.

baubles Mon 29-Dec-14 10:32:49

Thanks for your replies. Soutra you managed to make me laugh smile I do have a dog! I'll give it a go

Teetime the thought of ice packs gives me the shivers but I'm willing to try anything including your exercises Elegran.

TriciaF Mon 29-Dec-14 10:38:29

Lower back pain can be due to several things. Even kidney problems - I would go to your doctor and have a thorough check-up, including an xray.
Years ago I pulled a muscle in my lower back by twisting, and the pain comes back now and again when I make the same movement.
Good advice from others plus make sure to sit in a supportive chair, firm, high seat and straight backed.

durhamjen Mon 29-Dec-14 10:40:15

My husband used to go to a chiropractor who gave him an exercise with a tennis ball. Whenever any of the family get back pain, they try this first.
You can do it lying on the floor or standing against the wall. Put a tennis ball where the pain is, then move, rolling the ball over your back between you and the wall or the floor. It means you can control the amount of pressure you put on the spot where the pain is. It seems to work.

tanith Mon 29-Dec-14 10:51:13

I've also had lower back problems for years, I had surgery on a bulging disc which helped but I do get pain if I bend and twist at the same time it will trigger it every time and I'm oh so careful to try not do it..
Some very good advice from everyone , so many people suffer with it don't they?
I have two excercises that help a lot one is lying on my back and gently clasping my knees to chest hold for a minute, relax and repeat, this helps to open up the spine. Then I get on all fours with hands directly under shoulders and arch my spine up and then very gently down reversing the arch, repeat half a dozen times...
also I know sometimes walking is the last thing you want to do when you have backache but I find a walk round the block sometimes will fix my back too I start off hunched over and in a couple of minutes the pain improves.. its worth a try if all else fails.

As the others have suggested see your GP for better pain relief and maybe a referral to get it checked if it doesn't improve.. I hope you feel better soon.

Liz46 Mon 29-Dec-14 10:59:23

I have been looking into acupuncture. My daughter had it for a different problem and feels much better. The NHS website says it can be useful lower back pain.

Greyduster Mon 29-Dec-14 11:08:59

I feel for you. It's like having a ticking bomb inside you - you never know when it's going to go off and when it does, it seems to be triggered by the most innocuous things. Like Tanith, I find that hugging my knees to my chest, and rolling slowly from side to side is helpful. Whatever you choose to do, don't overdo it.

merlotgran Mon 29-Dec-14 11:22:16

I would go to your GP before going back to the osteopath. DH had several sessions with an osteopath for lower back pain which was actually masking the fact he needed a hip replacement. The osteopath didn't pick up on that so it was a lot of wasted money.

I find simple yoga exercises help when my back 'kicks off'.

Hope the pain eases soon. smile

trisher Mon 29-Dec-14 11:29:01

So many good suggestions. I have had a bad back on and off for many years- a combination of an injury and the strain of bending, squatting etc with small children. I would add that I was told recently that it takes 6 weeks for any soft tissue injury to mend. I hurt mine again in late October and it has only just recovered. Moderate exercise,walking, regular rests, painkillers, heatpacks, ice packs all help. One thing I would say if it is recurring, do check your bed. I had to buy a new mattress and a mattress topper, these made a huge difference. My sympathies are with you. It is so debilitating. It makes you feel so old! If it isn't improving you should see your doctor.

Agus Mon 29-Dec-14 11:49:38

At this point, I would suggest you need a stronger painkiller. Speak to your pharmacist who can recommend a painkiller equivalent to co-codamol which can only be given on prescription. This will mask the pain until you arrange an appointment with your GP then you can hopefully find a solution to what is causing the problem.

I do sympathise with you baubles I am still on 8 co-codamol/24 after sustaining a broken back and torn muscles in March. Physio hasn't worked so I am about to start on a course of acupuncture. I would be wary of trying excersises without a diagnosis as you could possibly exacerbate what is the cause of your pain.

Hope you can get this sorted soon, that gnawing pain, day in, day out really gets you down.

Soutra Mon 29-Dec-14 12:13:40

Unlike Agus I would counsel laying off the stronger analgesics until you know whether this is a recent strain, "wear and tear" as before or something else such as a kidney infection. Of course seeing a doctor is the obvious way but if yours is like here this week, the third week in January is the best they can offer!! The "lying on the floor " is a recognised way of taking the pressure off the sacroiliac joint and can do no harm just resting the affected part.

Agus Mon 29-Dec-14 12:26:07

So you would advocate suffering in,pain as opposed to alleviating it until professional advice is sought? Why do that when it is unnecessary Soutra?

Galen Mon 29-Dec-14 12:49:24

It is possible to do further damage if you mask the pain with strong analgesics

Soutra Mon 29-Dec-14 13:23:28

Oh Agus you should know me better than that! See Galen's post above, just thinking that 1) NSAIDS can be very harmful, 2) the likes of Co-codamol to be approached with extreme caution and 3) if treatment without stronger pills can do the trick save the "big guns" till necessary? My advice came from a doctor when I had exactly what baubles described a couple of Christmases ago.

Agus Mon 29-Dec-14 14:04:37

I appreciate that Galen but I was thinking very short term and rest until it is possible for baubles'to see her GP.

Soutra, I am not making any diagnosis just passing on what I think may be helpful advice to baubles as treatment to date hasn't alleviated the pain which she has asked for a solution to.

At this point I will leave it to you baubles to hopefully find a solution to what is going on.

dustyangel Mon 29-Dec-14 15:42:33

baubles Sympathy from another back sufferer. flowers
One thing that might help until you can see a professional,if you are in pain at night, is to put a small pillow or cushion between your knees if you sleep on your side. It helps keep the pelvis level and takes the strain off the sacro-iliac joint. I find that a cushion the size of the ones they used to give you on airlines best.

Soutra Mon 29-Dec-14 15:47:35

Well agus I felt your jumping down my throat

so you would advocate suffering in pain etc etc

was unnecessarily aggressive. I may not have Galen's medical qualifications but I do have some idea of what I am talking about and experience of how OTC medication can mask a problem which needs investigation. With my own arthritis (osteo) and "wear and tear" I have Alexander Technique experience as well as a GP in the family and would never advocate anything which could cause suffering. Hurt that you should take this attitude. And if this what Baubles osteopath/chiropractor has called "wear and tear" then managing the condition will take a more planned strategy than popping ills.

Agus Mon 29-Dec-14 16:54:45

Soutra. Please accept my sincere apologies if I have hurt your feelings or come across as aggressive. It was genuinely not my intention to upset you or jump down your throat and had we been chatting face to face, I feel sure you would realise I am not an aggressive person. flowers

Soutra Mon 29-Dec-14 17:02:41

Accepted tchsmile

HildaW Mon 29-Dec-14 17:34:14

Good idea to get it checked out as lower back pain can mean something else but if its just typical wear and tear get a referral to a physio through your GP who will check out the damage and can give you some gentle core exercises to strengthen the area. Then when the pain gets annoying take paracetamol at regular intervals and use an ibrubrophen gel on the area.

baubles Mon 29-Dec-14 18:32:39

Thank you all for your responses and concern. I've only been taking the nurofen for 3 days but since I've felt slightly woozy I won't be buying more. I've an appointment with the GP on Wednesday so until then I'll try everything which has been suggested.

thatbags Mon 29-Dec-14 20:50:42

Sympathy from another back pain sufferer, baubles. I'd go with the stronger painkiller too, as agus suggested. Hope the GP prescribes something that helps flowers