I strained my back - OUCH

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I was doing a bunch of landscaping in my back yard yesterday. Digging, trenching, fixing sprinkler lines, back filling. When I was doing it I did not feel a thing, it was during the end of the day when I was basically on my knee trying to wrestle with a really stubborn leak for a long time when I tried to stand up to turn on the pump to test it I had a hard time standing up!
My lower back hurts like hell.
I don't know if it's a strain, or I pulled something. The pain is in the lower back. It's real painful when I try to get up, or sit down, or lay down, or lean over to reach something low. Once I am in a fixed position there is no pain, it's when I try to change position.
I wonder if it may be the wheel barrow? I shoveled a lot of soil into it and moved it to a pile, a few times it's so heavy the wheel barrow tilted and I have to right it.
I got some BENGAY and applied that to my back last night, no improvements.
So I went to bed early last night and this morning when I woke up the pain is still there when I tried to get up, although not as intense. I remember having muscle ache before when I did hard physical work, but usually the next day when I woke up I am ok. Not this time. I still have trouble getting up and sitting down, or bend over my upper body to wash my face or brush my teeth.
I am wondering if it's possible to tell whether I over strained my muscles or pulled something. If I need to go see a doctor what kind should I go see?
Also will any medication help with this? I already tried BENGAY and that gave me some mild cooling sensation and did not really do anything constructive.
Should I lay down and let it heal or is there something I can do to help it along? Should I stretch a little?
I know this is not a medical group but I thought this may be a common occurrence with DIYers I might ask here for practical information.
Thanks for any information you may have to share..
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Well MC, shit happens...good shit, bad shit, but shit always happens.
We all have "back" stories. It could be anything from "You ain't 25 no more" and just gotta rest it out to a bulged disk ready to bust or a pinched nerve ready to cripple you in another millimeter. It would not be wise for anyone to give you a diagnosis or remedy. An MD, not chiropractor, is best suited.
Sincerely hope you get it straightened out with as little discomfort possible in the shortest amount of time in a safe manner.
Red
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On Mon, 15 Dec 2008 19:52:18 -0500, "MiamiCuse"

Get yourself a Chiropractor RIGHT now, don't wait 12 days after you have to crawl to the toilet in pain.
Call now and go. See if you have insurance coverage...
I collapsed in a drive way one day, wanted to tough if out and suffered more days than cared to.
That injury still flares up now and then.
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"Oren" wrote

Oren, the reason why I'd not recommend that as first step, is without knowing more, a chiro can in some cases unwittingly do more damage than cure.
I dont know if all chiros are MD's. I just know mine is. He works with my spine surgeon to help defer surgical level needs as long as possible for people like me.
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cshenk wrote:

Chiropractors are NOT MDs. The fundamental theory behind chirpractic is that all or most human maladies are the result of pressure on nerves, usually caused by misalignment of the spine. By first putting you under an X-ray machine until you glow in the dark, a chiropractor will "manipulate" your spine until your bee-bite, pancreatic cancer, or dandruff is cured.
The human body has remarkable regenerative powers. Interestingly, the length of time required for the body to heal both with and without chiropractic intervention is the same. The chiropractor may, however, make you feel a bit better, but a visit to a "massage parlor" is cheaper.
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This is misinformation.
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On July 4, this year, I flipped a 496# atv over backwards on me as we both went barrel rolling down a steep hill. It folded me over, and the hard case on the back of the atv saved me from being killed or paralyzed.
I had a 1 cm crush fracture to the L1. That's like putting a beer can on end, and stomping it half an inch shorter. Two weeks later, I could bend at the waist and pick up my car keys from the doctor's office floor when he asked me how I was doing. I asked my chiropractor right after the accident about coming in and that spinal decompression thing. He said come on down. I don't do anything without checking first with my treating MD, and he said don't let the chiropractor touch me for six months. He said as long as I was doing so well, he would suggest NOT going to the chiropractor. We decided not to have the cement balloon thing, as there were more risks than benefits, as I was progressing so well.
I've had no chiropractic, and no physical therapy. I get around good, and except for the pain, not a lot of symptoms. Chiropractors are not the answer to everything, and I can see why MDs talk about them as quacks. Some of them are. And everyone does recover at a different rate, some of it physical, some mental, and some of it is dumb luck.
Steve
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I've had back problems literally all my life but nothing compared to your agony. Good luck with that dude.
Chiropractors seem to be getting better and more doctors are accepting the benefits of manipulation. My HMO in NM used to cover chiropractor visits in their clinics. But you had to have a MD's referral/
Your accident is a good example of the need to get good x-rays examined by a competent Osteopath before letting a Chiropractor do his thing. IMHO
Olddog
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olddog wrote:

I've known MD's who did chiropractic adjustments, and a few others who often referred to certain chiropractors. Chiro seems to have changed a lot over the years, with a lot fewer who treat everything under the sun according to the original philosophy.
Best docs I have known for treating/managing chronic pain (backs, amputees, etc.) were physiatrists.
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"Norminn" wrote Olddog wrote

Agreed on both. There are quacks and half-trained ones out there still, but there is also a growing base of true professionals.

Grin, mines a military Doc who 2 days a week is assigned to chiro. Got his chiro license then went MD an is now in school upgrading 3 days a week with classes to add some sort of osteopath specialty. I gather there are several and not sure which one. Works every other weekend at the acute care facility. Something about 6 year commitment after the schooling is done or he has to pay it all back.

Really? Thats a new one on me! Then again, chronic depression is not uncommon for people with chronic pain, so it's not that far off the ballpark.
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clipped

Nooooooo.......I didn't write "psychiatrist"........it's "physiatrist".
More here if you are interested: http://aapmr.org/condtreat/what.htm
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olddog wrote:

They are just legal quacks.
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I agree..some are. I've been to a few. The last one I went to didn't want to treat me unless I started treating my condition seriously. He wasn't interested in doing a few manipulations. He took serious x-rays and gave me a long term treatment plan. He was pretty straight forward. I couldn't afford it but I have no doubt he would of helped me.
I been to some that just wanted to pop my back and neck. Took horrible xray that could of been anybody for all I knew.
But I think the same is true in almost any profession. Funny how almost all doctors think their specialty is the one you need.
Olddog
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"olddog" wrote

Actually been meaning to mention this but X-rays alone arent really what's needed. MRI is also needed as some things will not show on X-rays.
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I've never been serious enough to warrant MRI's. I think you have to have some signs of nerve interference and my reflexes and muscle strength have remained intact.
Olddog
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"olddog" wrote

Lucky you ;-) Keep it that way! Although I'm not the worst off here (and do NOT wanna be either!) I'm well in the MRI range. Had my second full series spinal MRI from head to tailbone a bit ago to match against the other one taken in Jan07. Groan, now Doc is thinking to do my ankles, knees, elbows, and wrists. Xrays arent optimal for soft tissue damage.
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I doubt very seriously that his back problem is anything more than simple muscular strain. I know it hurts more than most things but the chances are that's all there is to it. If you have them laying around the house alternate pain killers with muscle relaxers. Get in the recliner or bed (whichever feels better) and stay there. Plan on babying your back for at least a couple of days, maybe longer. Don't stretch; don't exercise. REST.
OTOH, if you develop any numbness in your feet or legs you should get to a doctor immediately. Do not put it off until tomorrow. You may not be able to walk tomorrow.... and it might be permanent if you delay. Lightning bolts down the leg don't qualify as an emergency; it's sciatic pain and can be treated at a more leisurely pace.
Back problems fall in the overlap between neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery. There is no consensus over who does the best work; it's more the man than the specialty. Any practitioner worth a damn will be very reluctant to schedule any surgery. The usual treatments involve painkillers, skeletal muscle relaxers, and steroids such a Medrol dose packs. Hot showers feel great too.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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wrote:

In legitimate instances a massage parlor may be adjacent the chiropractor's office, next door and be covered by medical insurance.
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"HeyBub" wrote

*some* are. Mine is. He's not cheap either but insurance for now pays the bill.
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Depends on the problem. I've been to a chiropractor for some problems and had pretty much instant relief. I'm talking about a stiff neck or sacroiliac dislocation. One good push works faster than muscle relaxers. I don't go there for heart problems, cancer, pneumonia, etc.
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