if tests are normal the problem may be muscular-- tight hamstrings are notorious for causing low back pain. I would get a book by Jolie Bookspan called How to Fix Your Back Pain without drugs or surgery
If you are like me, you were disgusted at mike's "simple" solution. If this is a chronic problem that has been going on for year, you have probably been given, by many different people, stretches and exercises to do. I am in the same boat. I'm sorry I can't offer a solution, because I haven't gotten a solution myself. But, I just thought I would vent my frustration of people who give simple, non-chalant, solutions as if your crippling pain hasn't caused you to seek such a solution.
THE biggest problem with pain syndromes is when patients look for someone else to fix them. Does it EVER work? Ok-- maybe 2% of the time? If it did work well, then why are there so many people in these forums? Doing a few stretches here and there wont even make a dent in correcting postural problems that cause pain--problems that have taken decades to form.. the CORRECT stretches and exercises need to be done many times daily for months sometimes before you may see results. djhartz is describing pain in and around the quadratus muscle, which is notorious for causing symptoms in the low back/buttocks in people due to weak core muscles and bad posture. Just because it has lasted a long time and has been labelled by everyone as "chronic" does not mean the solution isn't simple. People tend to look for complicated answers when their pain doesnt go away by itself after a few days. It is certainly worth trying to fix yourself before going on meds and letting someone cut you open and operate on pain--which is the worst thing any doctor can do. Again."trying" is a 24 hr per day thing, not 2 45 minute visits to the PT office each week for a month or so before patients give up becasue "it didnt work"--followed by going home in a SLOUCHED position in the car, SITTING, to eat dinner, and then SITTING or SLOUCHING in front of the TV for a few hours before SLEEPING INCORRECTLY, and then going to work the next day to SIT behind a desk. I'm not trying to diagnose anyone over the internet. All I am saying is that addressing the obvious makes alot of sense. If a muscle hurts, find out what this muscle does, where it originates and attaches, and why it hurts. then, with good guidance (Jolie Bookspan's book is fantastic, as is a book on posture by Paul D'Arezzo) give the best effort possible fix it.
My pain has only been going on for about three weeks.
My back pain is on the other side. It's the lower right back/upper right buttocks. When I am walking or moving around, it is fine. As soon as I become sedentary (whether it be sitting or lying down) for any length of time, I can't stand up, without being "bent".
I can only sit in office chairs, with lower back support, or in the car seat. Relaxing at home is no fun anymore, whether it be the recliner or the sofa. I did have a pinched nerve about a year ago, and was given an anti-inflamatory and an anti-spasmotic.
I can no longer lay on my back at night. I have to lie on my left side, with a pillow underneath my lower back. Even then, it's a bit tight when I wake up. I'm going to check out the book. I'm not a big believer in medicine, when there is something I can do.
However, any tips on sleeping positions would be greatly appreciated.
Maybe my descripton was off. I really dont consider it "back" pain per se. It feels deep, not associated with bones really, just a constant ache and spasm if I turn or move too fast when getting up. Never central aligned with the spine. Always the left side and I can actually pinpoint the spot that gives me pain. If I press on it hard it feels better. Does this make any sense.
I do appreciate everyone's comments.
what you are describing is muscle pain--perhaps from a trigger point or an out of balance muscle due to poor posture. i recommend correcting/working on posture (paul d'arezzo's book) and working trigger points in the affected muscles (clair davies book)
Hi Mike I live in Australia and am interested in the books you talk about. Do you have the title of Paul D'Arezzo's book on posture? I'm doing stretching exercises daily, given to me by my chiropractor and am contemplating pulling out a pilates DVD given to me sometime ago, to strengthen my core muscles - seems it'll be a good idea. I have a tilted pelvis and scoliosis in the lumbar and thoracic regions. I also agree that fixing back pain after years of suffering isn't going to happen overnight, we need to retrain our muscles that we've left neglected. I've been told short muscles cause pain, so stretching exercises seem logical.
This is what I posted elsewhere on this website and it may help you too:
I am a 43 year old male who had very bad sciatica 3 years ago for 2 months, then mild for another 4 months. I went to the chiro, got xrays, diagnosed with sciatica, spondyliothesis. Got MRI, confirmed the same, and showed disc bulges at L4 and L5 too.
I had chiro adjustments for a while. I went once to a back-decompression center, but couldn't afford the $2500 for a month of decompression therapy. So I incorporated the decompression in my workouts. I would hang at the gym from a "preacher chair" and from the pull-up bar repeatedly before and after my 2 hour mild workouts (2-3 times before and after for a minute for each hang). It was the only thing that ever gave me any relief at all from the pain going down my butt, leg, and to my big toe. It stretches the spasming muscles, ligaments, releases pressure on the discs, and pulls the slipping spine back up and straight). Doing it repeatedly also pulls fluid back into the discs to help rejuvenate them (discs have no veins to supply fluid so they need movement to push fluids into them to keep them pliable). I also leaned over my kitchen counter, bent my knees and let my legs hang several more times a day whenever the pain grew bad (or I leaned against the counter and turned my hands backwards on the edge and did a push up and locked out my elbows above the counter (anything to unweight/decompress the spine multiple times a day). I also lost weight and strengthened my abs on the ab-roller type bench at the gym, and did back strengthening exercises as well. I think the decompression was the most beneficial thing and helped heal my back. Even though I have read that 80/90% of these sciatica pain issues go away on their own after a few months, I still believe that multiple decompression helps heal and keep spine healthy, so I still do it once before and after my workouts today...3 years later. If you can afford the $2500 back decompression center costs, I would suggest to try that first before major surgery. I am still doing good now and keeping my fingers crossed. Good luck to you all and let me know how this works for you.