Let me first apologize for not updating everyone about my back condition. I haven’t posted in a long time because I have been working 12 to 14 hours per day and trying to be a loving father and husband to my family.
As all of you know, I suffer from disc problems in the lumbar spine L4 L5 S1 and muscle problems in the thoracic area which are causing pinched nerves. I get numbness and shooting pain that goes down my left leg and radiates into my left and right foot.
I was on a treatment regimen which included physical therapy twice per week, medication, and hours restriction at my job. I had applied for an ADA request due to my situation. My job has temporarily accommodated my request for 8-10 hour work day maximum. I am in management and paid a salary. Unfortunately most days require extended hours at my facility. The physical demand of the job is heavy with minimal sitting time.
I was on the road to recovery but unfortunaltely got into a minor car accident. I really didn’t think much of it at the time because I felt fine. Boy was I wrong! Later that night when I went to work (I work nights), I started to feel aches and shooting pain. I was already accustomed to a certain amount of pain that I managed with my medication. The pain I was feeling in my back, left leg, and feet felt horrible and I wasn’t able to find enough relief from my current medication.
I took myself to the hospital to get checked out. They treated me and excused me from work until I saw my pain management doctor. When I saw my doctor he stated he wanted me to stay out of work for 4 weeks. He had changed my medication and increased physical therapy to 3 times per week. He said another epidural injection would be given in two weeks. He doesn’t want me to do any heavy lifting and no excessive sitting, walking, or standing.
I really took a step backwards. I was showing some progress prior to the accident. It didn’t seem that bad until the next day. The accident really exacerbated my back problems. My back, leg, and feet hurt more than ever. I applied for disability for now, hopefully I won’t be out too long and things will calm down over the next few weeks while I’m getting plenty of rest.
I have been dealing with herniated lumbar disc issues for several years now. I manage my pain with physical therapy and pain medication. However, for about a year now, I have been experiencing pain and muscle tightness in the thoracic area. I think a lot of this thoracic pain is due to my job and bad posture. My job is physically demanding and requires me to stand on my feet and walk around all day with no chance to sit down at all. My break consists of me grabbing a drink and using the bathroom. With that said, a combination of my bad posture and excessive standing is taking it’s toll on my back. I have to take pain medication about mid shift just to make it through the work day.
I decided to go see a chiropractor and see if it would be of any help. Boy was I wrong! The chiropractor put a unbelievable amount of pressure on my spine. He was hurting me during the treatment but I wasn’t sure if it was suppose to or not. I walked out of there and my back felt horrible. It feels like my entire spine has been bruised. I’m not looking to bash all chiropractors, but I definitely do believe it’s not for everyone.
Has anyone had any experiences like this?
For some reason lately my middle to upper back has been bothering me, thoracic region of the spine. I have a good muscular build, but I do have bad posture at times and I think this is the main cause of the pain. I have pinched nerves in my lower back and can tell the difference between a pulled muscle and a pinched nerve. The pain I’m feeling is definitely a pinched nerve in the thoracic vertebrae.
Over the the past couple of months I had two distinct situations where I was barely able to move due to the pain. The funny thing is I was barely doing anything when my back started acting up. I can run and jump all over the place and not feel too much pain, but something as simple as walking aggrivated it so bad that I had to lay on my back for 2 days. I was literally walking out of my job casually after a day of work and I felt this pop sensation. I could barely support my torso without feeling pain. The pain is in the area of the back between the upper and middle where you bend. I have always had bad posture here and I think that is one of the main causes of everything. I also did heavy squats when exercising that could have contributed toward this for many years.
I have already received 2 epidural injections of cortizone in my lower spine this years. My doctor wants to wait a little bit before giving me anymore steroids so he gave me a shot of sarapin in the thoracic spine. It’s hard to tell if it helped or not, but if it did, it wasn’t any major improvements. After doing a bit of research, a few sarapin injections may need to be given over a period of time. Apparently there are minimal side effects with sarapin, so I think I’m going to give this a try again.
Does anyone have any experience with a Sarapin injection in the spine?
Yesterday I received another epidural injection in the L4 L5 discs of my spine. I had one done about 1 month ago in the L5 S1 disk of my spine. My doctor says I can receive up to 3 epidural shots in a 6 month period. They definitely do help ease the pain in the back, but it will never be 100%. By the combination of epidural shots, physical therapy, and my pain medication; it has been possible to manage my back pain.
As I stated in my previous post, I have started exercising regularly again. I have been wearing one of the those back belts. They actually do make a bit of difference and it kind of forces good posture. Besides from muscle aches due to so much time off, my back has been doing okay. I have tried squatting with very light weight down to parallel position and it hasn’t really bothered me. However, I tried deadlifting with the same weight and I did start to feel a little bit of non-muscular pain in my back. In result of that, I decided to give up deadlifting and continue with the light weight squats. There is an apparatus at my gym where I can exercise my lower back with my own body weight; I’m going to try in a few days.
With respect to cardio, I have been using the elliptical machine. I like it very much. You can get a real good workout from that with minimal impact on the knees and back, maybe even more than jogging. You can set different strides, incline, and resistance that will allow you to exercise with more intensity. It allows for a nice smooth motion and really eliminates any high-impact that would come from normal jogging.
Today I renewed my gym membership and decided to start exercising again. I’m changing my entire workout regimen to cater toward my injury. I used to be big into powerlifting moves and using extremely heavy weight. Since my injuries, my goals have obviously changed. My priorities now are to get back into good physical shape and focus on strengthening my back. I’m going to avoid using heavy weights on exercises that put compression on the spine, such as squats. I’m not going to eliminate squatting, I’m just going to use really light weight and focus on reps and form.
Today I did a light workout just to get back into the swing of things. I started with 5 sets of bench press, 5 sets of squats, and 5 sets of bicep curls. I then layed down on the decline bench for about 10 min to decompress by spine. I finshed off with 10min on the bicycle.
It feels good to get back into exercising again. I’m just trying to be extremely careful with what I do. I’ve come to just accept I’m always going to have a little bit of pain and discomfort in my lower back. I wear one of those back braces when I do anything physical now. I’m just trying to strengthen the surrounding areas of my back and prevent the damage from getting any worse.