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  1. #1
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    Lower back pain starting to affect right leg

    In the fall I tweaked my lower back on the right side getting my son out of the car. It felt like when you over extend a joint and you get that dull pop you can feel. For a while the pain was almost gone and I thought I could ride again so I did an easy ride, maybe 10 miles tops with the last half returning on the road. But ever since my ride the pain has been creeping back and its starting to cause pain in my upper right leg and hip. When the Dr first looked at the injury when it first happend he said it was just a mild strain and should go away after a couple months. I have an appointment in about a week and a half for the Dr to recheck the injury since it hasn't gotten better but want to know if anyone could recommend some stretches or exercises to help with the pain. I have an odd resistance to most pain meds ever since I took one vicoden a few years ago after I had dental work done so my only hope to fix this is with physical therapy.

  2. #2
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    so you want advice from a bike forum about help for a back condition where you don't even know what's wrong with it ... and it doesn't sound like a mild sprain......
    Wait for the Dr's appointment, maybe an MRI; you could hurt it more doing what you shouldn't

    Rest and ice is the only thing I would recommend
    Hope you get better

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwjnky
    In the fall I tweaked my lower back on the right side getting my son out of the car. It felt like when you over extend a joint and you get that dull pop you can feel. For a while the pain was almost gone and I thought I could ride again so I did an easy ride, maybe 10 miles tops with the last half returning on the road. But ever since my ride the pain has been creeping back and its starting to cause pain in my upper right leg and hip. When the Dr first looked at the injury when it first happend he said it was just a mild strain and should go away after a couple months. I have an appointment in about a week and a half for the Dr to recheck the injury since it hasn't gotten better but want to know if anyone could recommend some stretches or exercises to help with the pain. I have an odd resistance to most pain meds ever since I took one vicoden a few years ago after I had dental work done so my only hope to fix this is with physical therapy.
    Good call. Have the Dr. Refer you to a good one. Sounds like PT shouls be able to help, The only stretch you may do is some light glute stretches. However the pain you describe could be a referral from another area so make sure the doc does a good check. Is the pain better in the am and worse in the pm? if so that sometimes indicates a musculoskeletal issue. If the pain is constant it may be a systemic thing. But PT should help for the former so ask them what to do. Anything you find on the net, webmd included will be worthless compared to actual healthcare. Ice probably won't be able to penetrate the area sufficiently but if you do use ice, only do so for about 10 min at a time. Any movements aggravate the pain?

  4. #4
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    Sounds like a slipped disk/pinched nerve to me. MRI.

  5. #5
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    doctors dont seem to care enough to look into those kinds of injuries. its not profitable for them, they just have no incentive to spend hours with you finding out whats wrong. every time ive been in for a strain, pull, or similar pain, i get a bottle of vicoden and a note to stay home from work for a few days.. just useless.

    PT and/or a chiropractor would be worth a shot, if just for a few times.

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    At PT they said that, in general, the more swelling/pressure there is in the injury area, the farther the symptoms will spread. Pain or numbness in your leg is definitely a sign to take things seriously, find an ortho that deals with back stuff and go from there.

  7. #7
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    I had back pain that began like that about two years ago. it slowly started creeping down the back of my legs and was so bad that riding was impossibile. I went to see a neurosurgeon and tried epidural injections (which did not work). Was diagnosed with spinal stenosis secondary to degenerative disc disease. End result was 7 hours of back surgery in october. This weekend will be my first ride on dirt in nearly two years.

    My advice is to go see a Neurosurgeon they deal with this everyday. Dont mess around with back pain especially when it is radiating into your legs.

    Best of luck and happy trails.
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  8. #8
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    I'd also get an opinion of a good chiropractor. Some PT's don't like chiropractors though.

    If you can find a chiropractor that also mountain bikes (the guy I go to does mountain bike)...even better.

    It should be said, that there slightly more to a chiropractic treatment than just "cracking". I think for most people, manual manipulation tend to be the most common treatment. Some doctors have alternative manipulation methods that avoid the cracking noise that some can be uncomfortable with.

  9. #9
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    inteq9 is right on the money. sounds like a bulging or herniated disc that is pressing on nerves which causes pain/numbness/tingling down your legs. i have had a sore lower back for years. it would hurt after riding/lifting etc. i thought it was from my hamstrings and glutes being weak etc but it wasnt. i recently injured my back jumping out of the bed of my truck. could barely walk, get out of a chair, wash my face. pure agony. went and saw a spinal specialist, had an mri and was diagnosed with L4 & L5 being worn/degenerative. had a cortisone shot and it has helped tremendously. now physical therapy/stretching. crosstraining going forward. no more 3 hour rides or doing an hour on the stairclimber etc. mix it up. total time off the bike will be about 6 weeks. back surgery is not recommended with 99% of back problems. oh and make sure you take plenty of xanax before the mri & do not open your eyes! good luck

  10. #10
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    The one who is right on the money is BBW. Where you get back surgery is not recomended for 99% of back problems I have no idea. That sounds like chiropractor BS to me.

    What the OP needs to do is go see a doctor. Most likely he will get xray and mri. Depending on the diagnosis he will then have to have a series of three epidural injections and some PT. and worse case senario is surgery. For my condition ( I guess I am the bizare 1% ) the epidurals and PT did absolutly nothing. At best I would get two days of releif from pain.
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  11. #11
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    there are many articles to support this. just google "back pain, surgery"

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/back-surgery/HQ00305

  12. #12
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    There might be misunderstanding about this.

    I have complex spine issues and will have surgery under only three circumstances: breathing difficulty, incontinence or pain that can't be managed with meds. As my surgeons have said, major surgical procedures for the back are often only the first of many to follow as a result.

    However, having seen dramatic results from mircosurgery to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve, I can say that I would not hesitate a minute to have that outpatient surgery after proper diagnosis.

    I have an off-the-wall suggestion for the OP--try crossing your right leg over your left at the ankle. If you feel tightness and pain in your right leg leg, use that pose as therapy to see if the sciatic pain you are experiencing lessens. It might. Sorry about this. I feel your pain.

  13. #13
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    I'm no Doc and don't even pretend to understand all the mumbo jumbo, but I've had my share of back issues, so here's some thoughts. If you heard a pop, it wasn't just a simple strain, strains don't make poping sounds, torn ligaments do or joints going out of place. Biggest thing to help heal and prevent back issues is a strong core, but get your problem sorted first.

    Last year was the pits for me as far as my back was concerned, I rode the first 4 months with it aggrevated and the finally when I decided to take a week off it went "out" and it took about 4- 6 weeks before I was back peddaling properly, then when I was just about recovered from that I slipped and fell on some concrete steps and luckily hit the muscles between my hip and rib cage on the same side - thankfully didn't hit on my spine or I probably would have been crippled, as I was carrying a 70lb dog. Finally started back riding close to 100% about another 6-8 weeks later and then about 2 months after I had a hard OTB , where I was pile driven into the ground/rock when my front wheel pitched full 90 degrees suddenly.

    With all this the only thing I did was go to a physio after falling down the steps for 3 visits and that didn't seem to help so just took it easy, stretched and iced/heat. It never really got better and when I was slammed into the ground, that really killed and twisted me up. Well this week I decided that no matter the cost, I was going to try and put it right , since I was waking up pretty lopsided and in pain and stiff every morning. Went to see an Osteopath and he said that despite what's been taught for years the pelvis is actually not fused, that there's about 3mm movement on each side and that I had slammed mine out of whack. The muscles are so out of whack for compensating for a year that it'll prob take a good while before I am straightened back out, but already after 2 visits with acu-puncture, IR, massage and adjustment I am waking up ready to go, all be it still a bit crooked.

    So I guess what I'm saying is it could be many things, don't rulle out alternative methods of looking at it or going at it. Check around and ask friends and people in your neighborhood if they know of and trsut any Osteopaths or such in your area and get their opinion as well as the docs.
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  14. #14
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    I have a bulged, compressed, ruptured disc at the L5/S1 and I get bouts of sciatica and it is quite painful. PT did not help and my workman's comp is being a biotch so I have gone a year without any treatment. I have a lawyer working on it now but until I can start seeing a doc again I just deal with it. To echo what has already been said several times...don't mess around with it...get to your doctor and if you can see a specialist even better. Back injuries are serious and can even ruin lives because of the pain.

  15. #15
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    I have PT in a couple weeks and hopefully they will be able to diag the problem better. The Dr. said it looks like just muscle strain and because the muscles are tight it is causing some tension in the upper muscles of my leg.

  16. #16
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    I have had similiar eposides: pain in one side of lower back, hip pain, upper leg pain.

    My chiropractor (who has worked with the U.S. Cycling Team) said it was ultimately due to having a weak lower back, which is not uncommon for cyclists. After the acute pain was relieved I began strengthing my core muscles, including lower back. I've had far fewer issues with my back since then and have notice far fewer instances of back pain on the bike.
    Last edited by BubColorado; 04-29-2010 at 03:04 PM.

  17. #17
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    I had the same problem (and occasionally it pops back up).
    PT got me going really well.
    Stretching (inversion table) provides immediate relief.

  18. #18
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    Welcome to sciatica. It sucks in here.

    The best treatment for mine so far has been lumbar traction.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwjnky
    I have PT in a couple weeks and hopefully they will be able to diag the problem better. The Dr. said it looks like just muscle strain and because the muscles are tight it is causing some tension in the upper muscles of my leg.
    I had this problem last year. I did PT for 6 weeks and it only helped a little, they suggested to me to lay on a tennis ball on spots on my back to help release the tension in the muscles. That only helped some so a month later I went to my DR. and they gave me pressure point shots I did two sessions with that since then I haven't had any problems.
    Good luck.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stop Drop N Roll
    there are many articles to support this. just google "back pain, surgery"

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/back-surgery/HQ00305
    +1. I was out about three months last year (this is why I seem to live here on this forum lately) with an inflamed disc at L5-S1. OMFG did that suck. Similar situation, I was putting down the hydropacks and pop! Chiro, massage, MRI, and PT finally got it under control. The MRI was inconclusive, but it was the PT who figured it out and helped the most with recovery. Note at no point was surgery even discussed as an option.

    Never took a viocodin for it. I hate taking pain meds, and I'm still taking them nightly for recovery from ACL surgery (horrible bone pain that keeps me from sleeping).

    Now this is what, March? 8 months later, I'm still doing the PT they recommended for my back which is hips, core and back. I'm doing PT for both my knee (ACL surgery 3 weeks ago) and my back at the same time, and the back PT I expect to do for life. If it keeps the back in check it's worthwhile. I also was refitted for my bikes, which was also huge in keeping the pain away while riding.

    There's a huge thread on this (if not more than one) in this forum.
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