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OT-anyone else with this back pain?

ITB2012's picture

I tried searching on medical sites and just the internet in general but I cannot come up with anything that fits.

Has anyone had lower back pain (like right where you'd wear a fanny pack and about 2 inches more above that sometimes) when standing and when sleeping either on your stomach or on your back, BUT, the pain goes away with movement? It wakes you up at night it gets so stiff or painful or whatever if you end up on your back or stomach and you can barely turn onto your side? But within minutes of getting up you're fine? Sitting in an office chair for eight hours is fine? Getting up from the chair is fine? Doing aerobics and walking (exercise walking so a fast pace) are fine? Doing yoga is somewhat fine but there are moves you cannot do.

Anyone? I just get from the doctors that my sciatic nerve is inflammed again and maybe I have a small herniation. But no answers and no good way to get relief.

Tried eight hour Tylenol at night and that helps but I don't want to do that every night.



GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

I have two herniated discs in my lumbar spine, and I (literally) feel your pain! I find that I’m most stiff and sore when I first get up I’m the morning, and it gets better as I’m up and moving. I can’t sleep on my back or stomach either. Some days if I sit for too long, it starts aching as well, so i have a standing desk at work and that helps too. When I have a flare up, I have sciatica down one leg or the other, and the only thing that helps that is Inuprofen and gentle stretching.

At night, try alternating heat and ice, and get up and do some stretches. 

My back problem is most likely caused by the martial arts I’ve been doing for years, and my orthopedist said I *probably* shouldn’t be doing that anymore. I do, but I’ve toned it down a lot. I don’t go as often and I don’t take the hardest classes, as twisting is very bad for my particular problem.

one thing that’s helped a lot is hot yoga. I’m not really a yoga person, but I tried it and it really helped! Try a gentle flexibility class if you have a studio near you- the heat combined with the stretching feels great, and my flare-ups have decreased significantly. Regular yoga would help too, I’m sure; it doesn’t necessarily have to be hot. You can do it at home too- they have lots of videos on YouTube.

Good luck! I hope you find something that works for you. Chronic back pain is so hard to live with sometimes. A couple more pieces of advice from my ortho- ifbit hurts, don’t do it, and don’t rush to surgery. Try everything else first. 




ITB2012's picture

I hurt my back originally doing regular yoga. One PT person told me I have overly flexible joints so I probably have gone too far.

I get a massage once a month and found a wonderful, not covered by insurance, PT type place where they put my back through the ringer but I feel amazing afterward.

The imaging I've had doesn't show much. I have some small bulges in disks but nothing that should cause this much of a problem.


We have a lot of hot yoga places and I've always avoided them because I just didn't want to be that sweaty. But I'm going to give it a try. If it helped one person with a back problem, it's worth a try.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Has your doctor ordered any imaging?

I have chronic back problems and found, when most in distress, that going to a chiropractor and doing stretches helped. I have also been doing a lot of core training with my trainer to help with posture. I actually threw my back out while running (which resulted in strain on my knee, which is likely why I dislocated my ankle and strained my knee further...ugh) because my core was too weak to support my stride, resulting in poor posture.

It would likely be worth it to get some imaging done and do some physical therapy, especially if stretching relieves the pain.

ITB2012's picture

I have hit menopause and noticed a change in where everything is on my body. I don't have the core strength I used to but I think that was after abdominal surgery I took too long to start anything up again. I should do that, carefully.

PT has hurt more than it has helped, really.


ITB2012's picture

Stretching doesn't really relieve the pain. Moving does. I'm gonna have to go to the gym and use the boring track to get some walking in. Moving is always better than being still for my back.

I am going in for a traction device tomorrow for my neck (there's issues up there, too), I'm hoping it will help all down my spine.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

My DH has multiple back problems, so I've learned a bit about it. He has the same pain you've described, caused by disc deterioration in the lumbar section of his spine

You need some GOOD imaging. One highly regarded back doctor told us that he always orders films taken of his patients standing, in order to better see where misalignments exist. Prior to that, all of DH's films had been taken lying flat. 

You feel better after moving because that's the body's way of healing itself by utilizing bloodflow to remove toxins and lubricate joints, however the pain means something is amiss and if you've been experiencing it for some time, it's only going to get worse if not treated.

Totally agree with the poster who recommended core building.


TwoOfUs's picture

Agree on the core building and the continued movement. 

Motion is lotion! as my yoga teachers have often said. The problem is...people feel pain and quit moving and then get frozen / locked up even more. Vicious cycle.

Glad you're keeping up with the walking, OP! 

TheBrightSide's picture

I had intermittant low back pain which started about 5 years ago.  I can honestly say that its now chronic.  I feel low back pain everyday.  Its really bad first thing in the morning.  I have to roll out of bed.  As the day goes on, it feels better.  And exersicing helps a lot.  No bending over to lift.  I squat to do everything. 

(I just turned 50 and am in excellent phyiscal shape). 

After many tests, it was discovered last year that I have arthritis in my low back.  So there you have it.  All I can do is keep working out, take calcium and vitimin D and hope it doesn't get worse.


Get yourself checked for Arthritis.  

TwoOfUs's picture

Low back pain is the worst. 

I've had that before...particularly at night. Pain that woke me up it was so bad...but exercise was fine and even helped. 

I'd say your mattress might not be the right level of support for you...and that sitting at work is shortening your hip flexors and surrounding fascia so that when you lie flat and motionless your back takes on the pressure. 

The things that have helped me the most to get rid of my low back pain are hip flexor stretches and using yoga therapy balls on my lower back (and all over my back really) to encourage myofascial release. Basically, I place the ball(s) under my back and find a trigger point...then breathe into the position until I feel it start to release (it can really, REALLY hurt at first...but it begins to release after a few seconds and becomes more bearable...then actually starts to feel good.) 

I usually spend about 5-10 minutes using these balls on my back and neck, mostly...about every other day or so. I'm not going crazy with it, but it's really helped already. Haven't woken up with back pain in about 3 years.


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