The back is a strong machine when it comes to carrying weight - a stack
of bone that is braced
by (hopefully) strong muscle, front (abdomen) and back. It works best
for carrying weight when
it is straight, which is why the stoop-and-lift technique is
recommended. When force is applied
to the muscles (cough, sneeze, lift) with the back flexed or twisted,
then the force is transferred to the muscle.
Ouch! This is where the leverage can pop a disc. If abdominal muscles
are supporting 30# of fat (sorry, we all get a little too much out there
time), then there is less support for the back and the lumbar muscles
carry that much more of the
load. By middle age, something like 40-50% of adults have "protruding"
discs, although many
don't know it. It is not pathological, in and of itself....normal part
of change that comes with age.
Improper activity at that age increases chance of further protrusion or
rupture of the sac around
the disc. There is a lot less surgery done for this than in the past
because it can often heal as
well without surgery, and often was not improved at all with surgery.
But, sometimes surgery
is absolutely necessary.
Busting sod and digging is rough work, esp. with implement that requires
bending. I've gotten bad
signals (a little pain down my leg) while digging long ago. Never
lasted, thank heaven. The worst
back pain I've had was when my daughter was about 2....sitting on the
bed dressing her. When
we were done, I lifted her and twisted while sitting to take her off the
bed. Bang! I couldn't move
and my back hurt intensely. Took about 10 minutes before I could stand,
all the while thinking I
might have to send a small child next door to get help.
Sometimes position is the problem, with not a lot of weight being
involved. Even just a minimal
strain, repeated often enough, can cause pretty severe
pain........strain leads to swelling, which
can cause other problems. have managed lots of back
and repetitive motion problems in nursing. The best treatments, over
all, are ice (heat later), rest, physical therapy,
anti-inflammatory meds, and getting back in shape. A lot of industries
in Japan have, for a
long time, had warm-up exercises at the beginning of the work shift,
just as athletes warm
up before events. American companies have been slow to adopt good
ergonomic function in the workplace,
but many have......
Miami sounds like the pain is pretty severe.......from the posts he has
made, it sounds like he does
a lot of work. Call the doc when in doubt. Call the doc for sure if
there is pain or numbness
below the injury, or if the pain seems to be internal. I would not do
stretching or bending or any other
activity while it is very painful. Stretching is much better as a
warm-up to activity and should
be gradual, never extreme.