Your Lower Back, and You


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May 9, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
Your post is timely for me- it took me 13 minutes to get out of bed this morning.

I won't bore you with my specifics here, but if interested feel free to PM. All us back suffers appear slightly different and have different things that work, don't work etc. That said, the last two years have been a different phase for me, and I'll throw a few ideas on to the pile.

Pilates, helped at first, but I was not one on one and got very adept at cheating- using other muscles to do the work than the ones I should have been using.

PT had worked great in the past, but could only bring me so far recently.

Swimming helped vastly.But again reached a plateau.

Trigger Points have been amazing in other parts of my body, but limited success with my back, but it has all been self treatment. I have not had someone else work on me using this method.

Chiro- Basically a big no- I need to be able to work on myself and like to do the work. Same w/ acupuncture

Egoscue Method- am doing this now in a clinic and the jury is out.

Network Spinal Analysis- looks at the problem from a whole different angle and very trippy. I can talk more about if you're interested. Jury is out.

For driving :

I just heard of a MD here in LA that has great non-surgical success. I can let you know.

Every practitioner of each modality are not equal. So you have to not only find the right path (for you) but the right healer practising that path. We have similarities but are all different.


Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 9, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
When my back hurts I go to the Cookie and do laps.

Then back hurts more.

Then day later back hurt goes away.

This is just sarcastic humor.

Almost 99% of my post are like this so do not disrepair ..... :-)

Thanks, Werner! This confirms that this is a legit thread.

Dingus: No weight issues with me, but lots of time flinging 95lb sacks of Red-e-crete in my safe installation days. Countless pallets with no way to lift with legs, etc., and lots of time with digging bar, jack hammer, and sub-floor work putting in floor safes. Forgot about all that time in my original post.

Thanks again for y'all's input! I'm fascinated by what has worked and not worked for you.

Mountain climber
May 9, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
good thread. I am missing half the disc between L5/S1 from years of gravity sports (falls,wrecks) and hardcore manual labor...mainly stonework and chainsaw work.. narcotics barely touch the pain, ganja helps though.

ditto on running I just can't do it anymore, the back pain outweighs the pleasure :-(

got a inversion table for $200 at costco and it really helps

yoga helps a lot too

tried trigger point dry needling for awhile but that didn't do much

actually had the nerves in my L5 S1 facets cauterized but that didn't really work either

looking into throwing some serious money down on a latex bed since sleeping hurts it worse than anything active I do.

Trad climber
May 9, 2013 - 03:03pm PT
Listen to Coz & Ksolem, they are right on.

MRI first --- then build the core.

Give yourself a fighting chance to heal & recover.

Trad climber
Hankster's crew
May 9, 2013 - 03:09pm PT
My lower back issues are purely muscular (according to doc's x-ray and separate PT opinion), but it has been debilitating at times and forced me to change my career.

Two largest things that help.
1) Holding Plank pose, elbows on floor. I usually do 3 sets of 1-minute holds (use a stopwatch).
2)Stretching the hamstrings.
Big Mike

Trad climber
May 9, 2013 - 10:14pm PT
Being that i burst l2 and dislocated l1 not long ago, (plus some spinal cord damage..) i can say that lower back is definetly and issue. Truth is it's always been ever since i was a kid. I have learned a few things tho in my last 11 weeks.

1. Get a mri, to make sure you don't have a herniated disk or worse.

2. Stretching is mucho importante senior!! Mucho! Your leg muscles are pulling on those glutes which are connected to the lower back muscles.

3. Posture, posture, posture! Pull your chin back with your spinus erector muscles (the muscles which line either side of your spine) relax your chest and shoulders while doing it. Look regal. Don't worry.. It's hard.

4. Use your transverse abdominus, this is basically your lower abs, it's the one you use to suck in your guts.

5. Build those abs. I can't even do a sit up yet. I can however do four point ok. Four point is kneeling on your hands and knees and engaging your abs, then lift a hand off and remain completly still. Your knee opposite your hand should feel weightless. DO NOT SHIFT. If you're doing it right you'll start shaking eventually ;) otherwise you are cheating. Make sure your shoulders are fully extended before you take that hand off. It should be hard. If not, lift the unwieghted knee also.

6. Get a good physio to help you make sure you're not cheating!!

Social climber
the Wastelands
May 9, 2013 - 10:36pm PT

I sent an email to our Supertopo listed profile email

I just had major spine surgery 32 days ago, check out my email


Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 9, 2013 - 10:49pm PT
Thanks, guys! You both clearly know of which you speak!
Big Mike

Trad climber
May 9, 2013 - 11:42pm PT
Thanks for the mags btw. Can't wait to start digging into them.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 10, 2013 - 12:59am PT
Glad Wayno is a generous guy, and willing to pass them on! Probably about 30 years worth there. Hope you are healing up well, Big Mike! My back issues pale in comparison.

Looking forward to my next trip to Squamish!

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
May 10, 2013 - 01:27pm PT
Pull your chin back with your spinus erector muscles (the muscles which line either side of your spine) relax your chest and shoulders while doing it. Look regal.

I love that!

My wife has some cervical issues exacerbated by years with a "head forward" posture (always on a mission.) I've worked on it with her, but I think that "look regal" cue will really resonate. Anyone who's met "The Barbara" will know what I mean.

not much of a
May 10, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
Make love to a woman 5 times a day.

Hiiihiiiihiiii. This one was way too tempting.

Trad climber
May 10, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
The doctors are amazed at my activity level, considering the fact that my l3,4 and 5 lower vertebrae are fused due to no disc space and arthritis.

I did them in from excessive heavy lifting for over 30 years.

I plan to do the RNWF of HalfDome next month, with my son. That will be a pain-fest for me, but not for my son, who does not abuse his back.

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
May 10, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
My 30's and 40's were filled with lower back pain.

In my 50's I am pain free thanks to yoga.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 11, 2013 - 11:25am PT
Been looking into local Pilates offerings. A bit spendy, but doable. For those of you who do Pilates (I have no experience with them), is it best done in a "studio" with a drill instructor, or is a DVD sufficient?

SteveA: Have a blast on Half Dome with your son!

Kennewick wa
May 11, 2013 - 11:34am PT
BOOBS - They solve everything!

Mountain climber
San Diego, CA
May 11, 2013 - 12:31pm PT
I'm a chiropractor. I cringe when I read "anti-chiro" statements on here because I know that they are most likely based on a lack of understanding. And that lack of understanding could be the basis for advice, which would be wrong, because there's a mountain of evidence supporting the management of low back pain (acute or chronic) with chiropractic care. And your fellow climbers on here will be misled and perhaps not get the right kind of help when they need it. Save the detailed speculative analyses and critiques for purveyors of the medical literature.

Chiropractic is superior to PT for episodes of LBP. Doesn't mean that PT won't help, but that's not what the evidence says nowadays. It says you should try conservative management, and that you should try spinal manipulation performed by someone that is really good at it (a chiropractor).

But really, don't listen to any advice on this thread, seek the counsel of the health care professional of your choosing.
Big Mike

Trad climber
May 11, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
Go to the studio mooser. Until you know what you are doing. It's too easy to cheat to get the result you are looking for, but not actually do the excersise. Chiro rules too. If you find a good one. Some of them are like bad mechanics, they only do half the job so you have to come back.

Ksolem- that's my physio assistant Derek's saying. I agree it works quite well. When my back starts hurting, i straighten up and it stops until i slump again... Pain is a good cue i guess.. It's so hard to have good posture. You have to do it all the time!

But really, don't listen to any advice on this thread, seek the counsel of the health care professional of your choosing.

I take exception to that. That was my first statement!!

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
May 11, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
Here's a beautiful example of the Pilates "series of five."

http://Alissa Wyatt

The only thing she does not make perfectly clear, although she does it perfectly, is that when you roll up through your head, neck and shoulders you want to find that magic spot where the bottom of your shoulder blades are just touching the mat, no higher and no lower.

Mooser, a good way to go is to pony up for a few privates to get your fundamentals, then do regular group classes, which cost much less. By "group," I mean ideally four people, no more than five. A good teacher can handle a group that size and still give individual attention.

The exception is when a master teacher has a large group of experienced people who do not need individual attention.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
May 11, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
What works for chronic low back pain? Assuming serious pathology has been ruled out....

-Maintain a normal body weight
-Core exercises
-Good abdominal tone
-Proper lifting techniques

I found that squirt boating (a discipline of whitewater kayaking) has been really good for my back, since it's a serious abdominal and core workout. If you ever wanta serious core workout come paddle with me in West Virginia...

Squirt Boating at the Halls of Karma, New River
My favorite little playground

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