In addition to the medical care they are receiving, I strongly recommend the “Treat Your Own Back/Neck/Shoulder etc” series by Robin McKenzie. McKenzie Institute of a large training organization that trains physiotherapists, massage therapists and other manual therapy practitioners in functional and pain treatment. The techniques in the books have saved me thousands of dollars and greatly improved my pain and function, and they are really cheap, like $10 each.
Treat Your Own Back https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0987650408/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_37D528BPBC3F26Z9M23C
Same! I wholeheartedly recommend the book Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie (link). It’s cheap if you want your own copy, and it’s a pretty fast read. My bad low back days are much less now.
Your back can stop hurting if you take care of yourself. Moderate exercise, a good diet that will prevent being overweight and proper body mechanics will go a long way. My wife is a physical therapist credentialed in a method called the McKenzie method which does a lot of back and spine stuff. She has helped me more than a few times when my back is sore from poor body mechanics at work. There's a Book Called Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie who developed his technique to help fix back problems. There are simple exercises and guidance on posture which may help you out.
You can avoid dehydration headaches every two hours by rehydrating yourself every hour to hour and a half. I generally grab a glass of water whenever I pass by the kitchen sink where my water glass is always sitting out, ready to use. When out and about, I generally bring a small bottle with me.
I'm going to strongly recommend the book Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie. If you're mostly having upper-back stuff, his Treat Your Own Neck is a good one too.
This isn't some chiropractic scam - this guy wrote the books on modern physical therapy, and this series is the patient-oriented version of that research - just common-sense, scientifically-backed exercises.
Currently I'm working through some actual shoulder injuries with the doctor, and I have back pain pretty much all the time as a result. When it's bad, it's really hard to focus - I totally understand what you're going through.
I suffered from neck pain for about 2 years (with herniated discs and burning sensation in my hands) that only went away completely after I read one of Robert McKenzie books. Not only did I learn to treat myself, but I also learned to prevent getting hurt again. This is his book for the back: Treat Your Own Back https://www.amazon.com/dp/0987650408/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_i_NZJ41N3BR9JJHS3HTT5Q
Robert's method is good, but I found it lacking in strengthening exercises. I added those in a way that wasn't hurting me and healed both, nerves and muscles permanently.
I'd recommend reading this book to understand how to treat and prevent the pain.
I've used this book to MUCH success for both my neck and back problems : https://www.amazon.com/Treat-Your-Back-Robin-McKenzie/dp/0987650408/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=3FCNC0T2ZBMOR&keywords=treat+your+own+back&qid=1644607047&sprefix=treat+your+%2Caps%2C101&sr=8-1
Nope, written by a physiotherapist and it really did help. Kept that little guy with the ice pick from sticking it in my back. Highly recommend.
Bring it up to your doctor and ask what they think / what you should do.
You could also read this book
mckenzie though? not all pt is the same. at the very least check out the book
yup, you don't have to live in pain. be sure to check out the book. I am pain free from these daily stretches and exercises after suffering on and off for a decade+
As long as you are not having other underlying serious issues ruled out by imaging/symptoms - like bowel/bladder/incontinence/bilateral leg or arm weakness/tingling/numbness - then PT is generally helpful. I would recommend finding a PT with some background with McKenzie background - just ask the front desk when you schedule.
This book is also a very good option - https://www.amazon.com/Treat-Your-Back-Robin-McKenzie/dp/0987650408/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519450256&sr=8-1&keywords=treat+your+own+back.
You're alternating between those two positions. It is essentially teaching the disk how to properly move.
If you'd like to understand more about the mechanics and WHY you are doing these exercises, check this book out. Most lumbar treatment is based off of McKenzie's methods. It's a cheap quick read and you will learn a lot.
A friend had serious back trouble in her early 30s. She says this book helped immensely. That and yoga.
Stretch, strengthen your abs and get better shoes for concerts.
I started with this, and it worked for me. At a minimum you'll learn some simple exercises/stretches and it's a small investment.
Also, if you see a doctor whose primary tool for fixing things is surgery, they are probably going to recommend surgery. My final advice-from-a-stranger-on-the-internet is to not get cut as a first treatment option.
Best of luck, when you make progress please post!
I actually recommend, as a first step, to pick up a copy of the book Treat Your Own Back.
Many people have reported good results using the Mackenzie method at home. If you don't get results, you could go to a GP, or, you could consider trying physiotherapy as a first step.
Hi OP. This comment will probably get lost, but I do agree with most others that a visit to a qualified PT would be appropriate. Specifically, I endorse the McKenzie method to treat the spine. You can find MDT certified therapists, doctors, and chiropractors by going online to the McKenzie institute's website. Or look into reading the book called Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie. Not to say that flexibility and core strength aren't the culprits, but there is also a possibility (Dare I say likelihood?) that the immediate solution is much simpler. Anyway, feel free to look into it as an option. Good luck.
Lydia Pierce at Combined Therapy. She's the best. She will help you heal yourself. Also, she might recommend the book Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie. You might want to go ahead and get this book. It's cheap and it's a super quick read.
I've been dealing with a couple herniated discs for 13+ years. I'll probably have pain every day for the rest of my life (because I've suffered repeated acute injury a number of times) but Lydia has helped me reduce the pain as much as possible. I only wish knew about the techniques she teaches 13 years ago. I might not be in the painful situation I am now.
I definitely advise buying your books from Amazon:
SZ000179 BOOK TREAT YOUR OWN BACK $33.00
$10 on Amazon prime:
The muscles I think you are trying to reference are the multifidi, which are some of your deep stabilizers of the lower back.
If you think of the nature of a stability exercise, you aren't necessarily aiming to have movement occur. The muscles that stabilize your spine aren't really meant to create movement, they are meant to resist movement. Additionally, the muscles that are meant to flex and extend your spine can contract together to create a scenario where there is no movement towards either direction, but there is still tension in the system. So in terms of performing the movement for stability, you wouldn't want to extend your leg to the degree that your spine starts to move.
Now, if you are to move your leg higher, you will start to get more activity in your glutes and hamstrings. If your leg is straight, you are engaging both muscle groups. If you bend the knee to 90 degrees throughout the whole motion, then you will bias your glutes more. That particular exercise is often described as a "donkey kick".
With regard to difficulty maintaining your pelvis level, that is the point of the exercise. If you cannot maintain your pelvis level, then you are losing stability. So you should go as slow as necessary and work in ranges that you can maintain your spine and pelvis in that neutral position.
All that being said, if doing the variant where you move the leg higher than parallel makes you feel better, then that seems like a good thing to incorporate. The two exercises aren't mutually exclusive, so you could do both in the same session.
From a stability perspective, planks are another good option, and they are easy to modify if they are too difficult.
Lastly, if you like reading books about PT for back pain, I would also recommend Treat Your Own Back by Robin Mckenzie. Amazon link here
TL;DR: Both ways are valid, most important part for stability is avoiding movement in your spine/keeping your pelvis level. Do what makes you feel good. Maybe check out the book in the link.
Not a doctor or PT, you should 100% see one for this. But definitely BACK OFF if you get symptomatic walking. Nerve pain in your leg isn't something you "push through" like stretches for muscles. Buy the "Treat your Own Back" book by Robin McKenzie and go through the checklist in the book to determine how bad your symptoms are. It could be something else so you should not do this in place of a Dr visit but rather in complement.
Here's the book: https://www.amazon.com/Treat-Your-Back-Robin-McKenzie/dp/0987650408
That book describes which movements may contribute to back pain and should be avoided. I would also talk to your PT about all of this. If the exercises are making it worse then your PT should be working with you to adjust your exercises. If they aren't, I'd find a new PT. A good PT will work with you to update your exercises based on your issues and current symptoms.
I have had back issues most of my life. My sister-in-law is a physical therapist and she recommended this book:
It changed my life. I rarely have problems now.
Lay on you stomach and work yourself up onto elbows, raising your shoulders back while arching your back slightly. If this doesn’t cause you pain, the problem is in your discs. It’s common for a bulging disc to send torn muscle like pain signal.
If this is the case, you want to gently hang from something as much as possible with doing just as much cobra stretches. Try and avoid bending your spine forward or to the side. This book and video can teach you the method to fix it.
Eventually you’ll want to move onto core exercises, check out r/Bodyweightfitness for that.
This book was recommended to me by a Physical Therapist - completely changed my life. McKenzie Method
I highly recommend checking out Dr. McGill, if you have the means see one of his certified therapists.
Here is a good article I read just this AM.
I had back pain from my early 20s. Herniated at least 2 discs, I think 3. Ended up having surgery for a severely herniated disc 5 years ago (had been seeing a chiropractor and I think he was responsible for the FINAL big herniation...stay away from chiropractors).
Unfortunately enough, I had this book before all that happened and looking back, had I READ it and followed it I think I would have avoided surgery and the nerve damage I have as a result. Seriously, get the book NOW. It will massively help you.
Lessons I've learned -
-Don't sit all day, get a standing desk, move around
-MOVE. But get a trainer / PT and learn good form. You can do strength training! You just have to learn to do it right and work with your body
-stretch, refer to the book I recommend above. I do cat/cows every night before bed.
-Be conscious of how you are feeling. Don't lift heavy bend a lot first thing in the am. Give your discs/back time to warm up for the day
Back off but don't stop moving if you feel in pain. Lying down won't help in the long run.
But seriously, check out McGill and definitely get the back book, its cheap and super helpful. I still refer to it if I feel like I've tweaked something. He also makes a neck one too.
You CAN feel better!
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Initially, no. You should avoid lifting. Here's my journey through lumbar herniated disk recovery and what I recommend:
Start by reading Robin McKenzie's Treat Your Own Back (pretty much the basis for Physical Therapy treatment of patients in the world). Read this and stick to this strictly for at least 3 weeks initially. Rest frequently and get a good night's sleep EVERY night. Just think of this as a "deload". You will not lose gains in this time. You WILL lose so much more time and quality of life if you are not strict and try to get back to it too soon. Been there done that.
Stay hydrated during this time (half your bodyweight in pounds = number of ounces of water you should drink every day, not counting any other drinks) No lifting anying bigger than a water bottle during this time. Alternate Tylenol, naproxen, and Ibuprofen during this time and work to reduce your inflammation (including dietary influences and stress induced inflammation). This will get you through your first month at a minimum.
You may very well get depressed. Fight that with your life and remember why you want to get better. Remember why you are taking the time to get better. Take short walks daily throughout this time if you can tolerate them and get sunshine. Get your diet on point. Stay standing or lying and do your mckenzie work any opportunity you get. More is better. And avoid sitting like the plague. Posture, balance, and breath work should become your life during this time.
I stopped wearing shoes all together during this time (except at work) and it changed the way my glutes, calves, and core fire while walking. Being barefoot all day forced me to soften my gait and realize how the typical heel striking movements were damaging my joints and probably cause some back compression. Same with sitting posture. Barefoot life is something worth looking into. It will change your entire perspective and give you some crazy body awareness that can't be explained. Take it slow. Get a pair of minimalist shoes to supplement. Your calves will cry. Your plantar fascia will hurt. You brain will be exhausted from all the new sensory input. Your nerves are rewiring so why not come out of it with improved neural awareness? Look at r/barefootrunning for guides on this transition. I wish I'd made this transition sooner. I'd probably have avoided back injuries in the first place. It's okay though. We're all learning as we go.
After this initial round of recovery is over, you're out of what's known as the acute phase of your injury. Stay hydrated and start your next round of rehab. For core and back rehabilitation many will recommend you start with Stuart McGill's Big 3. I never read the book but these exercises help. Do this twice a day for another 2 weeks at least. This is your time to strengthen your core but not in any way you've done before. This is a grind because you feel like you can start picking up stuff. Just don't do it. Stick with McGill and mckenzie during this time. Bob and Brad on YouTube are also amazing.
After 2-3 months, you can start doing bodyweight stuff (while staying hydrated lol) Use this time to start learning calisthenics movements. They're hard as hell, scaleable, have progressions that will kill anyone at any level of fitness if used right, and they have a much lower chance of injury compared to loading an injured body with weight.
You will be able to exercise more during this time but don't just think of building muscle. This is the time to start working on joint mobility as well. Light yoga and soft tissue mobility are huge here and will improve your strength and flexibility. This GMB Hip Mobility routine and this Bodyweight Warrior hamstring routine is a great combo. Take it easy on the hamstring stuff. It can be a bit intense initially and you can hurt yourself if youre not careful. I've been doing these both ever since and nothing stops my back pain like getting my hips and hams loose. As Katy Bowman says "If you move well, you feel well."
After 6 months of all this business, I picked up a kettlebell and started working on Pavel's Simple and Sinister . Initially that's all I needed. It kicked my butt. Now (8 months in) I've been able to add in other lifting but I'm still extremely cautious. My routine is mostly simple and sinister (increased bell weight within a month and a half), dips, pull ups, OHP, and Deadlifts. It's an awesome mix. Starting to add in some front Squats to help my core along.
You will make it here eventually, maybe sooner than I did. But the advice to not jump back into it immediately is not anything to scoff at. I tried to much too soon and had a worse blow out in my low back than even my initial injury. It ruined the early part of a vacation and I was miserable during the re-injury. I was just getting to the point where I was feeling better and I decided to hit the weight and get back to beach body before a trip. It really hurt my mind (depression) that time to have tried to get back to it and to fail. The depression is the worst thing for you! Stay strict and this will be no big deal. You will definitely have pain. The pain is from trigger points that develop as your body tries to tighten down and prevent further injuries from spine instability. Get yourself a foam roller and a lacrosse ball. Learn how to hang upside down to decompress your back. Look into myofascial release. Once you know what to look for, you'll find knots in the most insane places. This takes grit to get through but when you start to recognize the movement patterns and posture deficits that lead to knots. You can do this early on if you can tolerate it.
Anyway, hope you will learn from my mistakes and have a much quicker recovery. My back still hurts from time to time. I have developed the tools to work through it and now you do too.
Get this book. Stretch, keep active. After that, you can consider injections or other more invasive procedures.
And don’t do things that aggravate it. Eg, heavy lifting, twisting, etc.
This has been working for me:
First step, buy "Mckenzie Method for back pain" book from Amazon. It is what 95% of PT's back pain regimens will begin with. Quick read and it started helping my back almost immediately.
Next step, find out where your imbalances are and what is causing them. Usually with back pain, this is related to poor lifting techniques and/or frequent sitting. For instance, my core and glutes are weak and other muscles like my calves, hamstrings, erector spinae, rectus abdominus, psoas, piriformis, and quadratus lumborum have all tightened to pick up the slack. This sounds minor, because hey, that's a lot of strong muscles right? Well when they don't have other core muscles and the glute complex doing their jobs right, the pelvis and spine are less stable and then get pulled in bad directions by these overactive muscles.
This journey of taking care of my chronic Low back pain (from an old injury over a decade ago) started just in the last 2 months. One morning I woke up and I had a bad episode of hip/back pain. My SI joint was in excruciating pain. Spasms up and down my back, couldn't walk, couldn't put on socks, etc. It's set me back a lot. Now I spend at least 1 hr each day just working towards destroying the knots in my hips and back that have long since overstayed their welcome. It sucks, I could've just done this BEFORE I had that episode for probably 10 minutes a day, but I didn't, so here I am losing valuable time on other things. But you know what? I'm seeing it as that pain is finally making me stronger.
I am on a slow recovery towards a stronger spine. Glute Bridges, McGill's big 3, cobra pose, squat holds with a resistance band around my knees, planks, etc. If you want to be healthy, it all starts with a stable core. Without that, you don't sit right, breathe right, walk right, well, you won't do anything "right" until you do.
Good luck. Do not wait like I did. Oh, BTW, I'm 27. What I'm doing is working well but it takes patience. I damaged my posture over 27 years, it won't get fixed overnight.
There is a book called "Treat Your Own Back". It is a basic summary of the content I teach as a physical therapist. I recommend to my patients.
Treat Your Own Back https://www.amazon.com/dp/0987650408/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_bAPOFbJ5Y90G5
Treat Your Own Back https://www.amazon.com/dp/0987650408/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_oxqbDbX2SGTYH
It is all in a book https://www.amazon.ca/Treat-Your-Back-Robin-McKenzie/dp/0987650408
I rely on these exercises:
Your local library likely has a copy, but it's only $10 on Amazon.