Lower back pain anyone? - page 2

Ughhh my lower back pain has been so bad lately. I'm already planning on getting a rolling backpack this weekend to help. Tiget Balm helps some at night to relax. It is just the sitting at a... Read More

  1. by   Ruby Vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]what a timely topic! i've been off work for six weeks with a herniated disc. interestingly, i felt it "pop", turned to my student and said "i felt that." then forgot about it because we were so darned busy. the next day, i woke up with horrible pain down the back of my leg to my toes. so i went to work. (it was too late to call in sick!) that was the last day i've worked. at first, they thought i had "garden variety sciatica," but then my leg went numb. thinking "this can't be good," i nevertheless was relieved that the 8/10 pain was gone! the mri showed a large, economy sized herniation. i'm getting an injection tomorrow -- and praying that it works! i've been somewhat bored, worried and cranky sitting at home for the past six weeks!
  2. by   rehab nurse
    all i can tell you that have just started with back pain is...please take care of your back!
    i have four major herniations in my lumbar spine, with weakness and transient numbness and tingling in my right leg. worse than anything though, is the unrelenting, chronic, debilitating pain. i won't tell you what strong, narcotic meds i take on a daily basis to just take the edge off. they are all class II narcotics, however. so i am very limited in working, and i am suffering in every way possible. i've had this for five years, and i'm only 29. it has severely impacted my quality of life. i am very depressed, even with therapy and meds for that.
    on top of just back issues, i have a whole list of severe medical problems that shouldn't afflict someone my age. even my surgeon (back/spinal doc) thought he had the wrong mri's hanging in my room. he said i have the spine of a 60 year old. how sad.

    take care of your backs everyone! i don't want you to end up with the pain i have. i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. it really has changed my life for the worse.
  3. by   wooh
    Quote from ruby vee
    at first, they thought i had "garden variety sciatica," but then my leg went numb. thinking "this can't be good," i nevertheless was relieved that the 8/10 pain was gone!
    had surgery for a herniation once, and this last time, i did some pt and just have been super careful with it. i just refuse to do surgery again. it's now gone from 800 of ibuprofen every 4 hours and still the occasional crying in pain to a moderate dose of naproxen every couple days. at the worst of both episodes, i had the same feeling: i know the numbness is bad, but such a relief from the pain! and worse was during pt when i was going back and forth between pain and numbness as it was getting better. i'd know "pain means it's getting better" but it's not very comforting when i'm icing my back trying to fall asleep!
  4. by   charebec65
    The best thing I've had were facet joint injections. They worked longer than my doctor thought they would. I have thoracic and lumbar scoliosis, neither of which cause me pain. What does cause pain is a herniated disk and degenerative changes in my spine. After 20 or so years of lumbar pain I've learned to ignore it most of the time. I get a lot of burning radiation in the thoracic area....but have only had a little over a year to learn to tolerate that one...
  5. by   TracyB,RN
    Oh yeah!!! Another Chronic LBP victim here. In healthcare since 1990 & never had a day of LBP until my car was rear-ended...Long story short, LESI at L4-5, microdiscectomy, PT & pain meds. I haven't had one pain free day since getting hit 2 years ago. Some days are much worse than others & every day is not so good for the pain.
    Since surgery, I can feel my foot again, but still get numbness & tingling down my legs,and back & leg spasms almost daily. Went to the doc a few months ago for a complete physical. I was shocked that my labs were sooooo good, despite taking 1000mg of ibuprofen BID since that fateful day. Most days, I try to ignore the pain, but come home from work & I am done for.
    If I miss a day or 2 of my PT exercises, I can tell!! I can't stand straight up without them. I still alternate ice & heat. Thank GOD for the TENS unit. I have to drive with it on if I'm driving more than an hour. Sitting still is awful. My back feels best when I am standing. So, I stand, ALOT!!!!
    And good shoes! Must have good shoes. Dansko's are great.
  6. by   tracy2006
    Quote from bigjay
    In my opinion one of the biggest causes of back pain in the nursing workforce is lack of core muscle strength. Front-line nursing is hard on your back, lifting and twisting and being on your feet all day. It's no wonder most nurses have back pain and/or injuries at some point in their career.

    Find your "center" to prevent back problems.
    Your center is your core - the strength of your whole body. The easiest way to find your center is to contract your stomach into your spine. Use these words as an image to help you discover your center. Lie on your back and gently place your hands on your shoulders. Do not put your hands on your neck and pull your neck forward, as this could cause neck strain. Your legs should be straight out with your toes pointed for added strength. Next, raise your upper back, legs and feet off the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 20 times. As your center starts developing more strength, add more repetitions. If you need help starting, reach your arms forward to help you raise your upper back.

    I found this article on http://modrnnurse.com/personal-balan...g-fitness.aspx btw.
  7. by   pkeyrn
    Herniated 3 discs in my lower back 2 1/2 years ago at work. Moving an expired patient from his bed to the mortician's stretcher - doing everything right...4 other people assisting, bed at the proper height...according to the doctors, sometimes it is just moving a certain way. Also (after 24 years in nursing) I already had some arthritis and degeneration in the lower spine, so the neurosurgeons don't think that I would get any relief from spinal surgery. I have chronic pain but I continue to work fulltime. I take Celebrex for the inflammation, Neurontin for neuropathic aspects of pain. I also receive epidural steroid injections periodically for the resulting sciatic pain. I do regular back exercises as well. Looking back on my career, I think of 20 years ago when "ergonomics" and "no-lift" programs were not heard of and nurses and nurse aides lifted everyone manually (no matter how heavy they were). I encourage anyone and everyone to protect their back at all costs...it is the only one that you get.
  8. by   bigjay
    The exericse listed above is a good one. Afew others are:

    1) The "Superman" - lie flat on your stomach and raise both feet and both arms and hold for five seconds. I usually do ten reps but four or five might be a better starting point.

    2) Twists - this is best if you have hand weights. If you don't, use a fairly stable and heavy object like a water bottle or something to duplicate a dumbell. Hold the weights straight out in front of you and twist as far as you can to one side, stopping once you can't twist any farther. Then come back and do the same in the other direction. Always stop on the end, don't bouce through it. This motion duplicates a lot of the twisting action that can happen in lifts in a more controlled manner. We always try to avoid this motion but some will slip in from time to time and if your body is more conditioned for it it will protect your back.

    These are two really easy ones that directly target the muscles you're likely to injure doing lifts and fairly easy to do at home. Make sure you run them by your physician before doing them if you've had an injury though.
  9. by   jaky_speaks
    huh..., all the answers are really good.... but I just started nursing school too and I find that taking a memory foam pillow helps my back. YEA, It's one more thing to carry but at least when I get home I don't go straight to bed (like I did last week). I bought the little airplaine ones, sometimes it's under me, sometimes it's lumbar support. either way it helps. That and whatever pain med I have that day . Good luck-
  10. by   santhony44
    The disposable heating packs are great. I rarely have LBP but recently went across the country. Several hours in a plane seat followed by a couple of hours in a rental car and my back was killing me.

    On the trip back, I used one of those disposable pads. It was wonderful- no pain, and it stayed warm for probably 4 hours longer than the package says.

    Have you thought about trying some sort of seat cushion for those hard chairs? There might be something that would help keep your back in better alignment. I've seen wedge cushions in catalogs that have a cutout in back for your tailbone.

    Is there any way you can stand in class, at least at intervals? If so, talk to your instructor to explain why you need to stand, and sit near the back so it won't be disruptive.

    Good luck!
  11. by   one2one
    If your back pain just started, consider seeing your OB-Gyn. I had terrible back pain and found out I had a bad case of endometriosos growing on the outside of the back of my uterus. It was impossible to see with ultrasound but found it with laprascopic surgery. (I had other sx of endo as well). Once I had the surgery, no more back pain.
  12. by   mamason
    Hot bath with Epson Salts and a heating pad behind my back when I would sit down at home. Helped me.:wink2:
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from one2one
    if your back pain just started, consider seeing your ob-gyn. i had terrible back pain and found out i had a bad case of endometriosos growing on the outside of the back of my uterus. it was impossible to see with ultrasound but found it with laprascopic surgery. (i had other sx of endo as well). once i had the surgery, no more back pain.
    [font="comic sans ms"]interesting you should say this -- i've had intermittent low back pain for years from my endometriosis. the herniated disc is quite a different thing -- it causes leg symptoms, and i still have my back pain from endometriosis!