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Back and other aches and pains

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Back and other aches and pains

Over the last three or 4 weeks I have had chronic back pain which, at times, has been quite crippling often with sudden spasms in my lower back similar to cramps in the calf. At times I could not even stand up straight so walked around looking years old than my tender young 57 years. This can occur once or twice a year.

 

My GP could find no major issues to be concerned about and just suggested it is something I am prone to especially being tall (over 6' 4") and slim. I don't like taking pain-killers but do take up to 4/6 Co-codomols (500/30) on bad a day which helps. Even when the pain is so bad I try to keep active as that seems to be the best advice rather than bed rest. I bought a hot water bottle a couple of days ago and that does wonders for pain relief but have questioned whether the effect is more psychological than real until I can across this article from 2006. Apparently:

Dr King found that if heat of more than 40C (104F) is applied to the skin near where internal pain is felt, it switches on heat receptors at the site of injury. These in turn block the body's ability to detect pain. He will present his findings today at the annual meeting of the Physiological Society.

 

What other, non invasive, treatments do other forum members use for such pain. Do you try to remain active despite the pain?

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21 REPLIES
Trevor
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Re: Back and other aches and pains

Try to get an MRI scan. I’m just recovering from a slipped disc (it’s 13 years since the last one and I really thought I’d seen the last of these excruciating episodes!) so I know what sciatic nerve pain can be like, and you really ought to try to find out what is going on.

 

Unfortunately, I believe that GPs can’t refer you for a scan so you would need to get referred to a consultant (probably an orthopaedic surgeon or maybe a rheumatologist or neurosurgeon) who would then almost certainly ask for the MRI to assist with his diagnosis. In my particular experience, For some reason, GPs seem to be reluctant to make such referrals, preferring to spend the money on endless painkillers which can be only marginally effective with this type of pain.

 

Good luck,

 

Trevor

cyrilclark1
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Re: Back and other aches and pains

Hello Mav,

You certainly have my sympathy.

You have wisely visited your doctor to rule out any serious issues.

Yes, regular exercise will help but don't overdue it. I visit a sports masseuse once a month - I find that certainly helps my mobility.

I have also visited a podiatrist who specialises in orthotics. He has made shoe inserts to help correct the poor posture caused probably as a result of my three hip replacements.

 

 

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Re: Back and other aches and pains

I would previously have recommended a chiropractor but after my last visit where he actually cracked a rib where it joined  the sternum I wouldn't any more

A trained physiotherapist may be a better option

Steve
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Re: Back and other aches and pains

At 6'2 myself I guess I will have this to look forward to at some stage.I hear good things about foam rollers, might be worth a try.

rongtw
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Re: Back and other aches and pains

Several years ago i had a discectomy  to try and cure a couple of slipped disc,s .

It sort of works , but best relief i find is just to lay flat on floor Thumbs Up    also i found a Tens machine helped

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Re: Back and other aches and pains

I have occasional problems with a slipped disc (confirmed by my doc), and the best advice for treating it I got was from Doctor Google:

 

http://www.nhs.uk/video/Pages/sciatica-herniated-disc.aspx

 

When it happens, it's usually better after a couple of weeks of doing the above exercises... Smiley

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Re: Back and other aches and pains

For pain releif, try rubbing the area with  "TIGER BALM"... it is chinese herbal ointment,.... and available at Boots, and other good pharmacies.

My missus has chronic knee pain, through arthiritis... she uses it twice a day ( started recently about 6 weeks ago ) and says it is wonderful stuff...

( she is on Warfarin, so cannot take the usual medications, and always checks with the Warfarin Clinic, before any new medication prescribed or otherwise... she got the "all clear" about Tiger Balm, so is very pleased that I "put her onto it". )

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Re: Back and other aches and pains

Some varied and interesting replies, thanks.

 

At the moment the pain isn't bad (more like a dull ache) and I can walk standing straight again. I placed a hot water bottle on my back a couple of hours ago as I didn't want to take any more pain-killers (for now) and that has worked well.

 

I think I have heard of Tiger Balm as I seem to remember my mum using it in her early days of osteoarthritis. Not sure if she said it helped or not as it was over 7 years ago.

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Community Veteran
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Re: Back and other aches and pains

I tried something similar "Deep Heat Rub" which helped but a word of advice for applying it - get your wife to put on rubber gloves otherwise her hands won't be happy

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Re: Back and other aches and pains

The first time I remember having this kind of back pain was in 1987 and a then girlfriend used the spray-on Deep Heat which was very effective but only for short periods.

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Pete11
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Re: Back and other aches and pains

Being an avid match and pleasure angler, I suffer with back pain especially when sat on a seat-box for 5 or 6 hours fishing winter league matches. I found Voltarol very effective for easing it.  Thumbs Up

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Re: Back and other aches and pains

Interesting your advice to apply heat. I always find a cold pack more beneficial.

Don't apply directly to the skin, use a tea-towel in-between.

The theory is cold dilates the blood-vessels around the site of cold-pack, speeding up the healing process.

Anyway, the cold can be a bit of a "shock" when first applied, but has a pleasant numbing effect after a few minutes.

I always have a couple of sport cold/hot packs in the freezer, they can be heated in a microwave if required.

Oh yes, I know what lower back pain is like, my 5th and 4th lumber vertebrae have been fixed and fused in an eight hour operation, prior to which I could hardly move. Within 40 hours of the op I had walked two miles. My op was in the Royal National Orthopaedic at Stanmore. Not unnaturally I think this is the greatest hospital in the world.

I would suggest you put some pressure on your GP. 

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jab1
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Re: Back and other aches and pains


Oldjim wrote:

I would previously have recommended a chiropractor but after my last visit where he actually cracked a rib where it joined  the sternum I wouldn't any more

A trained physiotherapist may be a better option


@Oldjim I suffer from shoulder and neck pain, apparently caused many years ago when used to deliver newspapers using two shoulder bags and a trolley.

Like you, I visited a chiropractor, but found the treatment caused more discomfort.

On the advice of a friend who suffers chronic back pain from a fused spine, I found a local McTimoney practioner, which is essentially chiropractic without the violent episodes, and I have to say she has worked miracles. I still have to have 'top-ups' every couple of months, but the overall effect is fantastic.

John
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Re: Back and other aches and pains

that option was also recommended by a patient I was talking to in the waiting room at the hospital and for the same reason