The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #67917   Message #1138734
Posted By: The Fooles Troupe
16-Mar-04 - 07:51 PM
Thread Name: BS: Advice for treating bad back.....
Subject: RE: BS: Advice for treating bad back.....
Got L5-S1 damage 20+ years ago. This is a very common area to damage while bending over and lifting weight, especially if also turning - just like lifting a cat... :-)

Cold slows blood flow, warmth helps promote it to the muscles. Physios can also give you the little electric box with contact pads which sends a signal which tells the nerves to ignore the pain of a compressed nerve.

I found the following extremely helpful, and everyone who tried it also raved about it.

Lie on your back on the floor (not directly on a cold floor!), placing all of your back directly in contact with the firm surface - you will need to raise your knees to do this. Now the trick is to stretch the lower back. You achieve this by gradually, at first one at a time, bringing your knees down to the floor while keeping the whole of your back on the floor. It may take months of working at this, so if you don't get it first off, just take the knees down as far as you can while keeping the whole of the back flat on the floor. You may find you can only take one knee down at a time, so alternate them slowly. Over time you will find that you can get both knees down flat, and that the relief starts quicker, as you stretch the lower back.

The best exercises I did that strengthened the lower back and put 'tone' in the lower back muscles, was to lie on a bench with a weight in each hand (start vey light and work up over time). Start with the weights on your chest, then do what are called 'flys' - keeping the arms at right angles to your body - or since you are on your back - the arms vertical - open both arms all the way out and then back. When you have some muscular strength (in a couple of weeks), then only do it one arm at a time - these are called 'half-flys' - while keeping the other arm in various positions, - on the chest, straight up, or all the way out. You can also do them on your chest - you are then exercising a different set of arm/shoulder muscles.

What does this achieve? Well there are a set of muscles around the spine called 'rotators' - while waving your weighted arms around and lying on the bench, they are the set of muscles that stop you falling off the bench. When I strengthened mine, I had far less pain, as I now had more muscle tone around L5-S1. The doctors, the physios, and even the gym instructors were surprised.

Now you have my secret.

Please send all your life savings...