I have had this problem for 2-3 yrs now. I have also visited a Osteo doctor for this and he had me do a MRI whihch showed "normal spine degeneration".
I am 32 years of age and I dont think it is a normal occurence at my age. I have already visited a chiropractor and the releif was temporary.
The origin of my trouble may be because of my work at a drafting board where I am bent over with a bad posture. Fortunatey with the advent of computers for the past 5 yrs now I have better posture at work. Anyway the damage was done and now I am really stiff in the morning to the point where I have to roll sideways out of bed. Its only after a hot shower that I can feel close to normal. Also this back stifness really kicks in if I play tennis or go jogging and then I am stiff for next 2-3 days.
I know my problem is nothing compared with some of what other people have, but I was hoping if someone had a similiar problem I would love to hear from them, or if anyone has any suggestions ( other than doing YOGA). I am at a point I will try anything to get back to normalcy. I am also scared that my problem will only get worse with age.
Another problem is that now I have gotten so used to favoring my back that I do not bend it at all and I feel strain picking up lightweight stuff like laudry basket etc
I feel really stiff in the morning if I had a good night sleep. If I've been tossing and turning all night then i'm fine. It's because you're not using your back muscles at night. I find that doing stretching exercises in the morning help.
Also about playing tennis, I know how you feel. I did that once. felt fine while playing it, then about 2 hours later I became totally stiff and stayed like that for about a week. I was told that if I played again it would be better to spend some time doing stretching exercise first to loosen the muscles, and gradually build up the time I spend playing tennis. Haven't played tennis since, as I still have difficulty playing table tennis for longer than 20 mins.
Thanks jjursketd. YTMB sorry to hear about the surgery, I will think about that waterbed. So I guess back surgery are the last option. YTMB the only thing that has helped is Bikrams YOGA ( god know what all I have tried) Bikrams yoga is basically genlte stretching exercises done in a heated room so that your muscles are limber, they have websites too,so take a look at it.
What I have understood about back problems is that once you start Favoring your back, its a downward spiral as your abs, glutes etc atrophy and there is more load on back, which means more wear and finally spine trouble
gohills<p>[This message has been edited by moderator1 (edited 03-27-2002).]
Hi--I am a survivor of the same lower back pain and I can recognize your symptoms. I had a severe strain to the sacroilliac joint that you might be experiencing (I had to brush my teeth while on all fours for weeks). Think about this--the heat from the shower helps you probably by increasing blood flow to that area and providing some limbering action to the muscles, which then relax. You are also feeling relief when you get up out of a bad sleeping position--check into this. I recovered by first staying in bed and stretching the lower back for a couple of weeks. Then I began hiking slowly up a popular hiking hill near town--an easy 2 to 3 mile walk one way but definitely UPHILL (I'm sweating hard when I reach the top or decide to turn around). Keep your head up and shoulders aligned and stride slowly up the hill while feeling the work done by your gluteal and lower back muscles (not your upper back--be careful to NOT look down at the trail while walking). This action is just like a massage. Try for the same feeling as if you were taking stairs very slowly--one at a time. Do this every few days and perhaps by the end of the summer you will have found an antidote for years of bending the back the wrong way. Check this out with your DO, PT, or DC before hand just to make sure it's OK. Good luck.
I really like your suggestion for the long uphill walk. I also think that I have the same sacro-iliac damage that you have. There is a small hill near where I live but the only problem is that it is only 1/4 mile long so I will have to traverse it about 2-3 time, up and down
Thanks once again
You will get normal back stiffness with aging but there is lots of information in bookstores and on the web. If your playing tennis afterwork your muscles are already tightening up after a day's work so your putting more strain on the muscles. You can enjoy the tennis put limit your playing time. How much water do you drink a day? Do you eat any fruit? Nutrition helps a great deal in keeping the spine healthy and you can be more active if you eat well.What about aerobics, do you participate in classes? You could be overdoing it?
Very light back exercises can also help you limber up, and you can find them in most search engines. Also you may want to try Robaxacet which helps relieve muscle tension.Again if you back muscles hurt after leaning over a drafting table it means your muscles need a break take a 20 second break or so or whenever you need it and stretch a little.
Gohills: I think cutebeagle has made a valuable point--excessive work in the lower back will continue to cause pain until you have (over the long-term) stretched these muscles in the proper fashion and nourished them. Scaling back on the Tennis would be MUCH preferable to adding another activity now, as it will tell you something about how much you are over-using already. Besides, you have to walk to Arkansas to get good hills. Just kidding.
Thanks Cutebeagle and Betterboy,
A lot of people have told me that I need to strenthen my abs and gluets to support my lower back. Over the past 2 yrs I have done all sorts of crunches, exercises, leg presses etc, the problem is I have had temporary to no improvement,do what I may I always wake up with a stiff lower back in the mornings, I thought it was my matress, but that too I have changed around with no result. The only exercise that helps me is swimmiing on a regular basis, but the moment I get irregular, its back to stiffness
My sister in-law related to me that for years she tried to treat her muscle strain for years in the wrong way and subsequently got significant relief from 6 weeks of complete bed rest with ice application. Maybe not an option for you, but I thought I would throw that out there.
I started to have the same problem 6 years ago when I got married, bought a new bed and started sharing the bed with the other half. Seven days after sleeping on the bed I suprisedly found myself unable to bend forward immediately after getting out of the bed. This never happened to my before. After a few gentle stretches and a minute later I was normal again. At that time there was no pain associated with it, just the morning stiffness.
Gradually it took longer to flex the back, and pain slowly creeped in. I went to see a doctor and she could not find any problems. I complained to the bedding company and they sold me two layers of foam to put on top of the mattress. This slowed down the progression of the problem but did not fix it. I also tried to sleep on the carpet and on an air mattress. That also helped.
After suffering from it for a few years, I figured out the cause of MY problem. After following a few corrective procedures, I no longer suffer from morning stiffness any more:
1. I believe the problem was initially caused by the change of sleeping habbit. Before the marriage I had the whole bed to myself so I could turn as freely as possible during sleep. After getting married I found myself mostly sleeping on my back and did not turn much, trying not to wake the wife. Coupled with unsuitable mattress the lower back became over stressed, became stiff and caused pain in later stages. The solution was to remember to sleep on the sides (this is hard to do when you have a habit of sleeping on your back) and turn as frequently as possible.
2. Finding a supportive mattress is also important. This is how I tested my mattress: Lay on the mattress on your back (or your stomach), very still, totally relaxed for 15 to 25 minutes. Slight movement would unsettle the back muscles and it would take another 15 to 25 minutes to relax them. If you start to feel any stress on the lower back, move on to another mattress. It is a time consuming exercise but there does not seem to be a quick way. I found my second mattress much better than the first one, although still not perfect. It is simply too expensive to keep changing mattresses.
3. A few months ago I started to follow a program that is designed to strengthen and stretch the back and abdominal muscles. This proved to be very successful. After following the program for a few weeks I experimented by sleeping on my back again. There was none or just slight stiffness in the morning.
4. Whenever I suffered from back stiffness, stress or pain, I found that by gently massaging the back muscles along the two sides of the spine I get instant relief.
Although I no longer have morning stiffness problem, I have developed another back problem, possibly due to prolonged back stresses (and weakened deep muscles?). My back gets tired very easily now when I do work in the bending or arching back positions: I need to straighten up, stretch and rest every so often; if I do not the back becomes so stiff and painful that I feel it is killing me.
My message is probably a bit too long but I hope you find my experience useful.