All Replies on How many of us suffer from severe back pain.......?

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How many of us suffer from severe back pain.......?

by Rick Dennington
posted 04-10-2010 08:41 PM

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74 replies

74 replies so far

View lew's profile


13357 posts in 4840 days

#1 posted 04-10-2010 08:59 PM

I pinched a nerve in my back this past winter (wrestling with the dog in a snow drift). I was lucky, the doctor hit it with some type of meds and after about a month of what you described, I was up and moving again. So I feel your “pain”- no pun intended.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4797 days

#2 posted 04-10-2010 09:11 PM

i used to work construction until i had a double sliding glass door dropped on my back. needless to say i don’t work on job sites anymore. i have 1 inch thick mates all over my shop but there are some days when it just hurts to much to work. the one thing that i have found that does help alot is yoga, i know some of you will laugh about this , but give it a shot. i now stand up straighter and have days when it doesn’t hurt, which is nice.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Bothus's profile


443 posts in 4261 days

#3 posted 04-10-2010 09:12 PM

Hi Rick,

I don’t have serious back problems but everything you discribed sounds exactly like what my wife goes through everyday.

We have tried everything. She gets so discouraged. I try to keep her spirits up but it doesn’t always work.

Hang in there and thanks for posting.


-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4354 days

#4 posted 04-10-2010 09:16 PM

Being another of the ones with disc problems…..I have not had the surgeries but opted for more conservative treatments. Time will be the judge as to whether these will or are working…as far as I am concerned….once you hurt your back worse then the aches and pain of muscle sprains….you will never have a “normal” back.

With that said….(and not going in depth to the how and what of my problem)....I spend a lot of time planning ahead for tasks so that I insure the least stress to my back as possible. First of all is shoes/boots….I insure that I have a good fitting pair with full support (the feet are your body’s support – don’t forget to consider this). I also have and use floor mats around tools that I will be standing at for any extended periods of time….they keep the floor flat and add a bit of extra impact dampening.

I wear a good back support belt and stretch a bit each morning prior to starting my day. Even with a bad back…excercise is one of the best therapies – and that is excercise not abuse….when the body says ouch…stop…the pain is a very good warning system. Use good judgement, always!

Always pay attention to where the stress will be when lifting or moving. Try to keep your back out of the equation by shifting the body or by using an assistant (including mechanical). Try to turn the whole body not just the back. Don’t carry items extended from the body….i.e. at arms length…always carry close to the body.

Remember to take breaks….and on a rough day… up at night….heat up in the morning prior to work…other then that….remember you only got one back and it needs to last a while…treat it that way.

I also have a personal TENS (do a search on this for info) unit (Amazon or other physical health providers have these at really reasonable prices) just can’t beat the relief these give.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4258 days

#5 posted 04-10-2010 09:19 PM

I sure know a person or two—including a LumberJock or two (whose choice it is whether or not he or she wants to chime in, here) who suffer—and I DO MEAN suffer—from back issues.

I’ve come to believe that we weren’t really built to walk upright [insert smiley emoticon … or seriously sad emoticon … here].

In fact, within my family, I’m only the SECOND generation to walk upright. Grandpa was a tree-swinger.

Mine’s my eyes—as I always mention.

Among a hundred other things … they get cramps … charley horses … when I try to focus.

Then … just LIKE a charley horse … it can knock me down, knock me out, and take me out of commission for the rest of the day … or longer.

I know just about all the things that trigger it, but … avoiding ALL of those doesn’t automatically mean I’m okay.

Four other factors can always get me: stress, fatigue, illness, or intoxication.

For lots of people with back issues … some of the above can do them in … even if they avoid all of THEIR usual triggers like the plague.

In my case, I’m an ongoing science project—seeking to find some balance of pain meds that relieves an adequate measure of the pain, but WITHOUT rendering me non-functional, dangerous, a zombie, or a guy who just goes into the shop every day to vacuum up dust, and admire his pretty tools :-/

Pain meds, themselves, are a hugely mixed bag of good and evil—as you may well know.

This SORT of thread lends itself really well to being broadened, Rick to a “How do you maintain your woodworking in the face of a serious physical issue/condition/limitation?” .... thread … IF you’re interested in that.

-- -- Neil

View swoper's profile


59 posts in 4309 days

#6 posted 04-10-2010 09:50 PM

Hey Rick I know just what your feeling, I had a Expedition hit me from behind while i was stopped at a light, it messed up my hips real bad causing constant pain and I made my living delivering steel so for 4 years i went to chiropractors just to be able to work and last year when benefits ran out in oct. I started rehabbing my whole body in the gym, it was hard in the beginning but in about 3 months I was able to stop taking meds and was able to work without any trouble now I do anything I want as far as hard labor gos just as long as I take it a little easier now and am so glad I over all the pain good luck with your problem hope it turns out good by the way I’m 51 years young

-- Harry, Jackson Mi

View dmorrison's profile


152 posts in 4346 days

#7 posted 04-10-2010 09:50 PM

I have suffered back pain for years. Actually since 1985. Threw it out a couple of times in High School gymnastics ( 1972 graduate) and then it did not bother me until 1985 or so. It would “catch” and I would drop to my knees and be out of commission for a week minimum if not 2.
Been going to the same chiropractic office since 1988. Started with my current Chiropractors father and then move on to her when her father entered retirement.
A few thing I have learned and read over the years. Yes some doctors recommended surgery, and I refused.

Over the last 10 years or so my back has not bothered me, and for some really strange reasons.

I read a book called “Healing Back Pain” by Dr John Sarno. A neurosurgeon and back pain sufferer.
He worked with psychologists with his patients and realized 90% of the time, back pain is a way for the mind to release stress. I know it seems strange but he’s the neurosurgeon who did the study realizing that 90% of his operations did not show the “pinched nerve” or the ruptured disc that seemed to interfere with the nerves.

When my back is acting up I usually try to figure out what is stressing me.

Now another finding that my Chiropractor/nutritionist found was a soy sensitivity.
When I eat soy, and it is hidden everywhere, it does 2 things to my. First it runs through me ( tried figuring this out for 10 years. Did a simple saliva test. Cut out the soy and the diarrhea and lower back pain disappeared. ) and second it causes a very particular lower back pain. I can now tell if I eat some soy unintentionally. I get a very specific lower back pain and tightness.

The second thing my wife and I have done is a food sensitivity test. .

My doctor used Immunolabs. I found out that I was sensitive to 42 different foods, my wife 38.
We went into a rotation diet eating only the foods we test OK with. Over the last 6 months I have lost 50Lbs, my wife has lost over 50Lbs, our joint ache is gone and actually, Ive’ started running again, I’m 55. And with the rotation diet you can eat all you want. Removing the sensitive foods from you diet eliminates toxins from you body that can result in various types of pain and inflammation.

So consider the book by Dr. Sarno and getting a food sensitivity test. I’m amazed at the results of these 2 things. I know this seems quasi medicine to some, it’s not, it’s holistic medicine which really has a better understanding of the mind/body/spirit concept. My experience is that it works and has produce dramatic results for me and my wife.


View IrishWoodworker's profile


159 posts in 5162 days

#8 posted 04-10-2010 09:59 PM

Hello friends, I do not have sever back problems like some of you have described. I am however active duty in the Army, Paratrooper that has hurt my back before on jumps. The Army doctors aren’t the best but they do their best, and one thing that they tell us is to strengthen an injury (after it has healed of course). I messed my back up pretty bad on one jump and was on my back for weeks. After the Docs verified there was no permanent spinal damage like bulged disk and alike they prescribed me stretching and exercises. I am fully aware that this is not possible for everyone, but I do challenge you to see a sports doctor about ANY injury pertaining to the spine. These people are paid to rehabilitate professional athletes putting them back to full strength. (I also know that pro athletes are also very strong when they do get injured and that helps speed their recovery.) I now make sure that I work my lower back and upper back with resistance weight training three times a week and it honestly helps me out so much. I DO NOT want anyone here going to the gym tomorrow to start working out their pain, just a humble suggestion to talk to your doctor about next time. I will pray for you my friends for your pain to be healed.

-- Dont just dream it, get up and live it!

View Dukegijoe's profile


55 posts in 4133 days

#9 posted 04-10-2010 10:32 PM

Got mine from the Army too… herniated disks, pinched syatic, lots of fun… and I just turned 30… really looking forward to the next 30 years. Saw a sports doctor when I got out, told me I had three options: exercise, meds, and surgery. So far exercise is helping… but I am pretty sure I will be messed up until a new medical marvel comes along.

Had a podiatrist look at my feet, was told I never should have been running those Army Ten Milers and ruck marches in the first place… glad to hear it after the fact. He said that performing those activities probably contributed to the back and knee pain. I really can’t argue with him.

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsmen can hide his mistakes! - Walter Blodgett

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4081 days

#10 posted 04-10-2010 10:48 PM

I suffered back pain 10 years ago, I changed jobs and decided to drive truck for a living. SITTING, Sitting and sitting some more. My back kept getting sorer and sorer. When I would walk down a sidewalk and not see a drop in the concrete the sudden jar would drop me to my knees with pain. I ended up in hospital emerg. Dr. Xrayed and gave me the good news. Bottom two discs are GONE ! He asked what I did for living, shovelling, lifting, carrying heavy things. He told me they were wore out. I was told you can live without disc. You need to build the muscle in your back. I quit driving truck, am careful what I lift, NEVER jump off 8ft roof anymore. As long as I do some excercise for the back, I am okay. (Can’t over do it either) I am same as above comments when I get tired, stressed, or drink to many favorite refreshments I am fine. Getting older and GAINING all this weight is NOT a good thing either !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7163 posts in 4279 days

#11 posted 04-11-2010 12:42 AM

Greetings guys: Thanks for all the comments and sugesstions. Let me explain a little more in details I didn’t go into on my post. This is what I really think started my trouble: When I was in VietNam I stepped on a boobytrap landmine and was shot twice. I spent many years in and out of the hospital, surgery after surgery, etc. It shattered my ankles, broke both my legs in 6-7 places, and a whole lot of shrapnel. That was in 1967, and it left one of my legs shorter than the other about 1/2”... I have total loss of use of my right leg (I still have it, thank goodness), all the nerves are damaged and gone, and a slight drop-foot when I walk. I really think this is where it all started with the back problems. It changed up completely how I walk. I had to wear leg braces for years until I finally had the right surgery to get out of those. So now we’ve kinda caught up to where my post started. And, I afraid it’s getting worse. It KILLS me to wash dishes( yes, you macho men, I do that) and making a bed is murder…. it’s that half stooping over is the real killer. It takes me about an hour to get motoring in the morning, cause I do have to streach and twist and turn to get loosened up, and bend over
setting in a chair to reach the floor, etc. So I do what I can to keep loose…..

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View JuniorJoiner's profile


497 posts in 4524 days

#12 posted 04-11-2010 01:52 AM

military service, buldged discs, torn muscles. a jagged hole that i lost use of a kidney through, and a syringo Mialia. fancy word for damage in the spinal colum that develops into a sac of fluid that never goes away.(ie. inoperable).
lots of pain and drugs, but now I get to woodwork fulltime.
I have done the whole physio, pain managment, chiro, accumpuncture, anything you can think of regime. I find what works best for me is to just not stop. When I first had trouble, and the military sent me home, I spent some time with other veterans who had been released, the recurring theme from everyone, is that if you let the pain stop you, you may never start again. So many fall into the trap of doing nothing because they hurt. before you know it, you are single, full of self pity , and caught up on daytime TV. Scares the hell out of me.
I woodwork to keep my mind busy, and hands off the remote.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7163 posts in 4279 days

#13 posted 04-11-2010 03:03 AM

Greetings Junior: I agree with you 100% on the keep on going. There are days when I don’t think I can’t get out of the rack, but I force myself to in order to keep on keeping on. I don’t stop, because I might not ever start again if I did. You just haver to force yourself and make due with what you have…... severe pain…....
I’m not a t.v person hardly at all, and I’ve had it so long, I’m used to it, or do you ever get used to it?.....

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 4782 days

#14 posted 04-11-2010 03:20 AM

I have lower back problem had it for many years I can bend down and work for an hour but boy it is getting back up it hurts like hell so now I am seeing a chiropractor had three visits up to now and it seems to help, she has the latest techniques something call a little hammer that hits all damaged vertebrates but it is not free I don’t know how long it will be before she brakes my budgets.

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile


338 posts in 4097 days

#15 posted 04-11-2010 03:40 AM

Wow, I can’t imagine the pain. I fell off a defective ladder a few years ago and ended up with facets syndrom and subluxated discs, but it’s been slowly getting better. Crazy thing is it didn’t cause any issues until last summer. It put an end to exercise, walking, laying on my back and more, but reading some of the stories above (Junior’s and Rick’s especially), I think I’ll stop complaining as I do have a light at the end of the tunnel … so my chiropractor tells me.

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 4565 days

#16 posted 04-11-2010 04:40 AM

I was building a field stone wall along a creek in my yard about 15 years ago. I was trying to be careful not to lift the rocks, so I rolled them up a stepped ramp into my yard tractor trailer. I then would roll them out and onto the wall. After about 3 months of this (I was gathering the rocks from the fields around me) I noticed a twinge in my buttocks on the left side. It just seem like a sore muscle. I ignored it and the following week it suddenly went into spasms. The pain was so severe I couldnt walk, sit, or stand. I dont think I got more than a few hours of sleep in 3 weeks. They finally diagnosed it as a inflammed piriformus muscle which is a large muscle that connects from your lower spine and goes through a hole in your pelvis with the siatic nerve. It swells up and pinches the nerve. Man, that was the worst pain I have ever experienced. My leg and foot would get numb and ach and my toes would tingle. It finally went away, but I swear I didnt think I would ever walk again. I can still feel it from time to time, but it hasnt flared up anymore.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7163 posts in 4279 days

#17 posted 04-11-2010 05:36 AM

Wayne, I know exactly how you feel on the pain. When that siatic nerve gets pinched, it’s just about all you can do to keep from screaming out loud. And to make matters worse for me, a year ago this past January, we had a severe ice storm that just about devistated most of Arkansas. No power for 8 days, trees fell all over my house, damage, etc. Anyway, when I was finally able to get out and get to town to buy a generator, I slipped on the ice and fell on my right hip… I think I may have cracked a bone. Didn’t got to the doctor, and it’s been hurting like hell every since. So… with everything else wrong with me, what else is new? Now it’s a combination of it all. Sometimes I wish someone would just shoot me like they do a horse with a broke leg…lol.
Not yet, anyway, but I could use a good stiff one every now and then…... make it a double…... lol.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4102 days

#18 posted 04-11-2010 08:59 AM

Hi guys, In my case back in 1986 when I was working off a ladder doing some welding !6’ off the floor(concrete floor that is) when the ladder started sliding sideways, needless to say GRAVITY took over and I remembered seeing a guy walking by just before I fell so I hollered twice on the way down. Time slowed down and the fall seemed to take hours but the stop was sudden. I landed on my right hip with my head and feet up like a V, I remembered that I had my left arm straight out to ward my head from hitting the floor. Seemed like seconds that every Tom, Dick and Harry were around seeing if I needed help. Ambulance arrived and they sped off and I had to tell them to slow down as the bumps were hurting me more and I knew I wasn’t dying. Spent the night in the emergency room, bit of blood in my urine, X-rays showed no broken bones but by now I had stabbing pains in my side and could hardly move. The wife arrived and it took me 2 hours to get into the car and 3 hours to get out and up half flight of stairs. Took me 3 months to recover and my right hip was tender for the next 5 years. Eventually I was fine but 20 years later my back started acting up and pain was shooting down my left leg. Seemed that when I landed on concrete it jarred my spine and now I am paying for the fall! My back gives me more problems in the mornings and it takes 2 to 3 hours before I can start doing anything. Some days I can work all day and other days its only 2-3 hours. I also have a very bad left knee, heel spurs and severe arthritis. When it is cold I ache, so I’m very glad I live in Fla.

However, I’m positive in my thinkings and still hope to learn at least one new thing everyday and since joining LJ I have learned a lot. Thanks for listening.

Erwin Jacksonville, Fl

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4388 days

#19 posted 04-11-2010 10:05 AM

hello fellow jocks, Ive read some of the post here and oh how i can relate and sympathize , im sure sorry for anyone who suffers from continual back pain, ive had back problems since about 1994, its lead to 2 back surgeries and ive had no choice but to go on the disabled list, i had to have a fusion done the second time, blown no i have rods and screws, and im in pain always…from low pain to screaming get off my feet pain..i have sciatica in both legs , mostly my left, i pick and choose my battles every day…im not one to lay around and avoid the pain from not doing , i try to live my life the best i can, a lot of things i use to love to do are gone…i cant sit very long and i cant stand still very long…, but i love my wood working and unless im forced to lay down…i do the best in doing what i can do, it would be easy to just lay in bed and forget on living…but im not wired that way…..i think we need to get our backs and stomach muscles as strong as possible and do the best you can to manage the pain….this last 2 weeks i have gone way over the line almost every day and get to the point where im forced to lay down and get as comfortable as i can…then when it subsides enough…i get up and go again..sometimes its just an hour , and sometimes if i just keep moving..its maybe 2 or 3…but i pay with pain… let me say this….i believe in the in god and i believe in christ, and i believe im a spirit son of god, designed to be here and do the best i can…and i think we need to be as positive as possible and know that he will bless us to handle it when it gets tough…and if we try , he helps us to become tougher….i think we are carried more then we like to think…..but i don’t look at people anymore and make judgments… because we just don’t know how someone feels inside ,how much pain there in…i think we can either handle the pain or let the pain handle us…i choose to handle it….i know for a certainty that i have been blessed, and i know that when i choose to do the best i can, then in my mind it helps me to keep on going…im not a morbid person, but one day i and you wont be in the pain were in anymore, and our spirits will soar to god and we will be pain free…..for those of you who also suffer from some sort of pain or disability..have faith in god that you will be alright…just do the very best you can with what you have…i think if we love one another, and do our best to help others..then we forget our own problems and we lift someone else …but know your never alone…i believe those of our family members who have passed away are doing what they can to help us along…weather you believe me or not…you will see one day that that was the case…our dads and moms and grandparents and all of them….well Ive preaches a sermon here…didn’t mean to…but i understand folks who live in pain…and my heart goes out to them all….grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Mike's profile


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#20 posted 04-11-2010 12:05 PM

Both my Sciatic nerves are shot, thanks to Uncle Sam and the Army. Left side is constant nag. According to docs it was the worst twisted and more rubbery. The right side is the worst. If is goes a actually stand crooked. Could have got 75% disability but didnt want it following me.

I have missed 10 days of work in 15 years so I can live with it. Heard to many stories about crack docs not being able to fix it and surgery ends up not working.

The Army had me on Demerol for about 3 – 4 weeks. I take Advil when it gets really bad.

I have a high tolerance for pain so I can bear most times. Had a motorcycle accident in 94 partially seperated my shoulder and went to work 3 days later. Didnt know about the shoulder until going back to hospital and the docs had to “pop” it back. Lost skin on my elbows, ankle bone, of course that one has leather and cotton mixed in where it rubbed straight thru my boot. The main reason I walked away was a lady pulled out in front of me and I put the bike down instead of it taking me down or slamming into her.

But it didn’t bother my back. The worst flare up was reaching around for a broom in the garage and I twisted wrong. I usually take care not to but …..

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View hvroberts's profile


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#21 posted 04-11-2010 09:23 PM

I will not take up much room telling you what every one else has said. I am on total disability and I work in my shop for 15 minutes and have to rest for at least 1 hour before I can go back an try again. I can’t do any lifting, twisting bending, you know the route, I don’t have to tell you. I have a power chair so I can stay outside longer and be able to go with the wife when she wants to go for a walk. So I can be added to your list, and believe me, this is not a list to be proud to be on.

-- Hvroberts, Up North In Maine

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 4775 days

#22 posted 04-11-2010 09:27 PM

One slipped disc two collapsing vertibrae £600 to get me walking and 8 mothes in rehab at the local hospital that was two years ago and i dont ever lift anything heavy again in my life and still wake up some mornings not being able to move so yeah i know back pain very well indeed…..............

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View pawpawsteve's profile


16 posts in 4074 days

#23 posted 04-11-2010 10:45 PM

It sounds like there are a lot of us with back problems. Mine started with a fall in 1993 followed by surgery and then a fall in 2004 and more surgery and then a fall in July of 09 … this time I have conflicting advise from docs as one wants to do fusion and another says it won’t help and another says it will make it worse …
So, like a lot of you I do the best I can with the pain and some days doing “nothing” is the best thing. I do have an inversion table that helps a lot and do a full regimen of stretching exercises every day and try to judge every movement as to the consequences. Usually I can “work” for an hour and then sit in this recliner for an hour and get through about five or six hours. But some days I can’t walk at all without more pain than I can tolerate.
So I “feel” for all of you.
One thing that would be nice to see more of from those who are suffering this way is how you have modified your shop or your shop tecniques to help you keep on working. I am determined to stay active and doing things as much as and as long as I can. To that end I am building garden beds that are waist high and if/when I get any tools they will have to be elevated as well. I have a shopsmith I am learning how to use and I have miter saw that is that high. I can still manage a sheet of osb or ply up to 1/2 but can’t do that 3/4 stuff any more and 2X12’s have to be pretty short!
But, the good part of all this is that I am alive, can think (usually!) and can still get out and about which I know is not possible for a lot of people so I feel pretty blessed in that respect. And if any one has a suggestion as to a “power chair” that will go outside I am planning to get one soon but would like to have one that go to the garden even if it is a little bit soft in spots.

-- Steve ... determined to die working and believing that God is good!

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 4409 days

#24 posted 04-11-2010 11:03 PM

Count me in for a crushed L1 after falling off a horse and being in a brace for 6 months but that led me to this site and replacing my passion to learn horse riding with woodworking. There is pain every day but I am glad to be alive and able to tie shoes (with effort – LOL – but I can tie them now!!!).

View GMman's profile


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#25 posted 04-11-2010 11:14 PM

I am one person who never never believed in chiropractors but after my doctor trying all kinds of pills he was the one who told me to try this one I am seeing now, I waited one month before going but it looks like it is working for me.

View pommy's profile


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#26 posted 04-11-2010 11:17 PM

mtkate you need to get slip ons thats all i wear now work boots are done up by someone else LOL…..

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View doordude's profile


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#27 posted 04-12-2010 12:11 AM

Hey Rick, reading about you and the responces; my back is feeling great,even if it isn’t,i’ll will it so.
ever think of laying plywood or rubber floor tiles in shop? maybe you could stand a little longer

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4850 days

#28 posted 04-12-2010 01:51 AM

Rick, you described my back condition in your opening post…... no fun. Sometimes it feels like I’m living just a quarter (or less) of my life. I can’t do anything for any long period of time. But I try. We have to try…. right?

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4375 days

#29 posted 04-12-2010 02:17 AM

I have Scheuermann’s kyphosis. It’s only painful occasionally, but there doesn’t seem to be any pattern to it. It comes on suddenly, lingers for a few hours, then it’s gone just as suddenly. It also makes me stiff – the discs in the affected area are so thin at the front that the vertebrae are growing together. Mostly, though, it just looks bad.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View HokieMojo's profile


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#30 posted 04-12-2010 02:33 AM

Anyone that is active will eventually end up with something. some it’s their back, some their knees. For me it’s a shoulder. a torn rotator cuff that just isn’t healing right no matter what i try. I think it comes from having a level of expectation about what we can do, and then as we age, the only way to find that the bar has been lowered is to over exert ourselves. sorry to hear about the pains.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 4191 days

#31 posted 04-12-2010 02:38 AM

You guys have discribed the pain so I won’t go through that. As much as I hate the VA, I really must thank them for the grab bars in the bathroom. And I must thank my wife, because when the siatica is on a rampage, she is always on hand to help me with the paper work. And there are times she has to help me transfer to the bathtub and back out.

So I see we each have ways to struggle on through and on the good days we get a reward of playing in our shops. And when I get in the zone, most of the pain is not so noticable, even bearable. I can’t take pain meds as I have allergies to the ones that work, that are worse than the pain and the rest I have tried don’t seem to help all that much. I just rely on ice packs and heating pads mostly. And as my mother says, “Cowboy up, son.” Her advice doesn’t always work, but I try.

Here’s hopeing that you have many more good days than bad. I hope that each one of you finds a therapy that helps you to endure this. Rand

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7163 posts in 4279 days

#32 posted 04-12-2010 02:50 AM

Greetings guys: Yea, it sounds like there are a lot of us on here with this back pain problem, and probably still more out there that hasn’t responded yet. I’m really surprized to hear of the different types of back trouble, and I learned a couple of things from them,too.

HokieMojo: You mentioned bad knees and shoulders. I’ve had both shoulders orthoscopically done to remove parts of the clavical bones rubbing the leaders and tendons a few years back…both good now. A year and a half ago, I had full knee replacements done on BOTH knees. So.. with all the staples, rods, all new knee parts, and glue holding me together, I’m still here…

Guys, one thing I’ve realized is when I wake up in the mornings and hurting really bad, when I feel the pain…
I know I’m stilll alive…................

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View JohnGreco's profile


284 posts in 4139 days

#33 posted 04-12-2010 02:52 AM

Rick- I understand where you’re coming from.

I have 1 leg that is slightly shorter than the other, and over the years lit ed to 3 herniated discs, the worst being at L5-S1. I worked in retail management, spending 10-12 hours a day on my feet 5-6 days a week. The back pain was unbearable, with that half-stoop you mentioned really being the worst. Any repeated bending or twisting was pretty excruciating, as well.

In ‘04 I stopped working and started treatments. Exercise routines, no luck. Pain management with a series of injections into the spine, no luck. I finally went ahead and had surgery. The Dr. took care of the worst of the 3 bulging discs and trimmed the surrounding vertebrae to make some more space. The first 6 months it was terrible, but it’s gotten much better since, as long as I’m careful not to bend or twist too much. Weather also plays a role- fast drop in the barometer has me floored.

I did wind up losing about 90% of the sensation in my left leg. The Dr. said the nerve would regrow at 1cm a month, but I have to call shenanigans on that (for my case, anyway). I had to learn how to walk again, which was mostly by taking many trips up and down my hallway staring at my feet and the floor. It took me about 5 weeks to be able to lose the cane. I do get random stabbing pains in my left leg/foot which will appear out of nowhere, feel like a knife was shoved in, then vanishes after 5 seconds or so as fast as it came. These happen completely random, I have been sitting perfectly still and had it happen.

Best wishes.

-- John

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


763 posts in 4593 days

#34 posted 04-12-2010 05:35 AM

Count me in.

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

View Clarence's profile


125 posts in 4190 days

#35 posted 04-12-2010 06:02 PM

When I started reading at the top of this thread I was thinking that I had back pain. I have low-grade ache in my lower back just about all the time, made worse when I pull a weed or do something stupid involving something heavy. Also, I tend to moan and grown and complain when I have to pull up on something to get off my old worn out knees, rise from a squat, or just get out of my recliner. But reading the stories of some of you poor fellas with real pain made me realize just how good I’ve got it, and that I need to just shut up with the complaining. God bless all of you.

-- Getting old is a good thing, but being old kinda stinks.

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 4782 days

#36 posted 04-12-2010 06:18 PM

John my chiropractor had my x-ray and I have one hip and pelvis are close to half an in. higher than he other one.
She said that most people have hat making a leg a little longer and it will displace some of your discs, a younger person they put a sole in on shoe to repair that, but in and older person it would not work.

View buffalo689's profile


175 posts in 4092 days

#37 posted 04-12-2010 06:40 PM

wow..I fell 18 feet (treestand) 2 years ago and broke 9 vertebrae two spots each,four ribs(in back), collapsed lung and punctured lung. I hurt all the time.

-- bill

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5399 days

#38 posted 04-12-2010 07:06 PM

Ouch I’m having to give up building kitchens for a living and am at a loss as what to do with my life. I knew this was coming and started to switch to furniture but the over seas competition and a change in styles ruined that dream to. I did place osb on the floor of my shop and that helped a little. Best of life to you, with your back.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7163 posts in 4279 days

#39 posted 04-12-2010 09:27 PM

Clarence: No matter what kind of back problem you have, when it hurts all the time, never lets up, and you can’t get over it, it’s severe back problems. Doesn’t matter if it’s major or minor to you, it’s still what it is, and no getting around that. Most of the time like we’ve talked about on this topic, it just won’t go away…

Wow buffalo689:... You had a real nasty fall. You are lucky to be on here typing this stuff. You’re gonna have to quit climbing trees…. haven’t you got too old for that yet…..?.. lol. Sounds like you boogered yourself up pretty good. Did you have to have surgeries to get straightened out, or are you still boogered up?.....

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5331 days

#40 posted 04-13-2010 09:27 PM

A lot of you know about me and my problems. I fell in 03 breaking T-12 and fracturing my tailbone. The surgeon my doctor sent me to said, and I quote, “yes, your back is messed up pretty bad. But I’m not going to touch it.” He then sent me to another surgeon that specialized in needle therapy. He shot facets into me for about 6-8 months while I did therapy. The shots would work for a couple or three weeks then the pain would come back. All this time this doctor is telling me I’m getting better. When I finally convinced him the therapy was hurting more than helping he started rizotomies, that is where they severe the nerves with needles, After man of those, the last time I think he stuck me 12 times and I was in screaming agony in the OR. I begged him to stop, even the anesthesiologist asked the doctor if she could give me more pain meds he said no we’re almost done. When I went back for my post op visit, the doc wouldn’t see me, he sent out the anesthesiologist to talk to me. I was in worse pain than I was before. She told me that last shot he gave me that hurt so bad may have burnt my spine. It took about a year to get over that and I stayed with my family Doctor since. She has managed my pain and what goes with it better than anyone so far. I’ve since broken my tailbone in half broken 3-4 ribs puncturing a lung by falling. I live with the pain daily, somedays I cry. I too have everything in the shop up higher so I don’t have bend over. Sonedays I don’t gp out there at all, you’ve heard the stories, they’re all the same. Back pain is with you for life. Somedays better than others. I thank God.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4117 days

#41 posted 04-14-2010 10:43 AM

Hi Guys:

Yes. I have had some back pain but mostly it was my left hip and right shoulder. Right off I’m going to say that I am NOT a big believer in Pain Medication or for that matter any kind of Medication. BUT! It took me 4 or 5 years to wake up to that. I believe that most, if not all Meds deal with a SYMPTOM of the REAL PROBLEM and that Symptom is usually PAIN. Unless it’s something like Depression and the Synapses need a boost to keep firing properly (I’ve been there also.)

If you go to a Surgeon guess what he’s going to recommend? Naturally! I was told over 30 years ago that if I didn’t have a Hip Replacement I wouldn’t be able to walk in 2 years. I booked it then cancelled it the next day. Went to my first Chiropractor a few days later, She did x rays, showed me 2 slipped discs (Vertabrae) in my lower back that were PINCHING on the Nerve running to my hip. in 2 weeks there was NO MORE pain! I very rarely get any pain but when I do 2 or 3 trips to the Chiro cleans it up. At this point NO visits in 3 Years!!

Shoulder? ( I fell off a roof onto an asphalt driveway when shingleing the roof, right onto that shoulder) Same thing. Doc says ….”Well! We have to open it up, take it apart, clean it all out, put it back together and it’ll be at least 6 to 8 months healing”. Oh really? Catch you later Doc!! Different Chiro but basically the same thing. I drove my Shoulder Blade right up into my Neck and cracked a couple of discs, they were compressing the NERVE again. She got it all relaxed, and the Cartilage/Bone healing. NO pain relievers except for Tylenol, Regular Strength 3 times per day.

WHOA!!! Is this a coincidence or is someone Hacking this site while I’m typing?? 3 inches down an AD! “Ease Your Back Pain & Sciatica a Little More Every Day.” HERE (Click On) I just moused over it. “” Good Grief Charlie Brown!! ...LOL….

So! Then she put me on Weight Training and it got pretty “Heavy”. I was Bench Pressing 225Lbs and my Shoulder & Hip Loved it!!

TIP #1…Your Muscular System Supports your Skeletal System!! TIP #2 …....There are a HELL of a LOT of TOXINS out there! (GOOGLE Teflon. Say What?) They will Destroy You From The Inside Out! Mainly by Ruining Your IMMUNE SYSTEM! DETOXIFY Your Body and do your best to keep it that way!! YOGA as mentioned above is GOOD!! No! I’m NOT a Vegitarian.

I also Concentrate on my WELLNESS … NOT MY SICKNESS. What you Ruminate on, You bring unto You! Your Body works continuosly to maintain a State Of “Homeostasis” i.e. a Balance between Acid & Alkaline. I believe it’s 7.2 or 3 on the Alkaline side. Easy to test! Go to a Drugstore, buy a little box of PH Tape, put it under your Tongue, get it all gooied up (Medical Term) take it out, compare the color of the tape to the Code on the box. It’ll tell you where you are.

The only condition I do have that Neither I, Nor anyone else can do anything about is “TINNITUS”, Ringing in the ears. Actuall it’s the Hearing Center of The Brain, trying to compensate for Hearing Damge that occured when I was 16 years old, in Army Cadets. Camp Ipperwash, 6 Weeks training for Cadet Leader and fired every type of Ordanance that was used in WW2. NO hearing Protection in those days. I shoot Left Handed. You CAN’T fire a Bren Gun Left Handed. I had a little problem trying to line up the sights, fired of a complete clip with my EAR tight to the stock. YEEOOOWWWW!! Range Master thought I shot myself. BUT! I stll WON the “Regiment Best Rifle Shot” (250 Others) with a Lee Enfield 303 Bolt Action. THEN! They sent me to “Sniper School” for 2 weeks. 16 Freakin’ Years Old! (I Loved It)

In any event I still have it and with the possibble exception of Hypnotherapy there is NO known cure. Actual Sound Intensity is slightly OVER 4,000 Hertz. The Decible Level goes up or down and I use a scale of 1-10, never seen a 1,.. 2 or 3 is NIRVANA, 8 to 9 has been measured at Apprx. 85/95 Decibles. As per today. Which is why my head hasn’t touched a pillow in 2.5 Days. Can’t talk the Dentist into gettin the Hell out of my Bedroom with his Drill which is exactly were 4,000 Hertz is. I Fully Accept “Life Is What Happens When You Are Planning On Doing Other Things.”

Actually I was Fortunate to get it when I was Young. Those days …”Suck It Up and Get On With It!!” I have a Psychiatrist Friend, Existentialist Type of Therapy i.e. “Yes! That did happen to you. Let’s Understand that, Accept it and Acknowledge that there is NOTHING that you can NOW do about it. Agreed? So! What is it that YOU, are going to do for You, Tommorrow.” A few of his Patients also HAD Tinnitus and made the Decision that it wasn’t worth it.

Oh well …...At 66 Years of age I’ll still be out there tommorrow afternoon playing Road Hockey with a few of the Neighbourhood Kids!! Little So and So’s always make me play Goal!!

As we part ….. Another of my Favorites: “Aging Is Compulsory. Growing Old Is Optional.” HOWEVER…. I was born on February 29th. (Thanks Mom & Dad) So! I consider it quite Legitimate to Divide my Chronical Age by 4, to arrive at my REAL AGE. Which is ….(Wait For It) .... 16.5 Years…. HEEEEE HAWWWW!!

The only thing that bothers me is this Puberty Thing. You know …the uhhhhmm…. new hair …. you know … down there …. it uhmm itches a lot. Well actually it uuhhhh doesn’t bother ME all that much ….but it semed to ..uuhmm kind of upset the other People on the Elevator.

REGARDS LJ’ers: Little Ricky

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7163 posts in 4279 days

#42 posted 05-24-2010 09:20 PM

Greetings all, Just an update on the back problem I have. As some of you know, I went to Texas a couple of weeks ago. The main purpose of the trip (besides to visit with Kent as I wrote), was a doctor visit. After meeting with the Dr., he set up an MRI and xrays the next day. After reading the MRI, I went in the next day for shots. He put 11 shots in my back, 2 lumbar epidurals, and 9 in the facets along the spine and vertibrae. Boy… did I feel relief after that…... But alas, it only lasted about 7-8 days. The numbing effects are gone, and as I write this, my sorry back is killing me once again..He prescribed pain, anti infammitory, and muscle relaxers…. all of which helps a little, and I use very little of them, which really doesn’t help all that much….. SO…. back to square one again.
The point is: Relief for a week is not enough… I’m greedy and want more, but I know it ain’t gonna happen.
So I say to all with back trouble….. forget the shots… they are not worth it, but then neither is surgery(at least for me,anyway). I had utopia for a moment, but only in my dreams…...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View dakremer's profile


2768 posts in 4176 days

#43 posted 05-24-2010 09:31 PM

I did not read the rest of everyone’s comments – after all those expensive surgeries and and pain medicines, etc, etc, did you not try going to a chiropractor???? My dad had siatic nerve problems in his leg and was making his feet tingly and numb. He was also having numbness in his hands. He started see a chiropractor a few times a month – and hes almost totally better. Before going to the chiro he went to a medical doctor. They were unable to help him and basically gave him pillls to manage the pain. (PS i’m about to start grad school for chiropractic at Palmer)

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 4565 days

#44 posted 05-24-2010 10:07 PM

Sorry to hear the doctor wasnt much help Rick. I agree with dakremer. I had such back pain years ago and all the medical specialists could recommend was surgery (they admitted they didnt even know what the problem was since the MRI was negative) and injections. I finally went to a chiropractor and had vast improvement in just a few days. If you havent tried it, by all means check into it…nothing worse than back pain.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Elaine's profile


113 posts in 4707 days

#45 posted 05-24-2010 10:19 PM

Good for you dakremer! Chiropractors have saved my back for years! How about some health changes? After reclining for six months due to foot surgery, my hips quit working – everything was thrown out again in my lower back and re-pinched my siatic nerves.

This is what I’ve been doing – walking with good supportive shoes. Not a lot but it gives me a chance to check out the flowers. I’ve stopped the caffeine after noon and increased water to help flush my system of toxins. I actually stopped taking a medicine that was changed due to the increased cholesterol level when I was non mobile – stopped the piercing middle of the night leg cramps, the cramping in my pelvis region. My numbers are good so no damage there. I’m also staying away from processed foods as much as I can. The best relief but hardest to do right now is to lay flat on the floor with my lower legs on top of a foot stool. I get my body to be at 90 degrees from hips to knees and then from knees to feet. This makes the arch of my lower back straighten out and takes the pressure off of my pelvis. I say hardest because of the bending getting up and down. When I’m more able, I’ll start the leg lifts I did 35 years ago after the drunk hit me and my horse.

What do the rest of you do to help the pain? Besides the pills and the liquor :)

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4850 days

#46 posted 05-24-2010 10:22 PM

I saw a chiropractor for three months without any positive results. She finally said, “you need to see a doctor”. Chiropractors aren’t for everyone, but by all means, if you haven’t tried one, please do. But be sure to check with your doctor first.

I went through the injections…... never again! Not worth it. They say it may take several times for them to take effect. I had my fill on the first visit.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7163 posts in 4279 days

#47 posted 05-25-2010 01:28 AM

Hey all,
Just a note: I have 2 herinated disks, and one very bulging disks, also. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the doctor I saw in Texas was an anistezioligist( I can’t spell that word—sorry), and not a nurosurgeon. And yes—- I have been to a chiropractor several times (one ’s hard to find in the sticks around here), and it did help somewhat for a while. When I lived in Memphis I went to one twice a week, but that dude up and died on me one day, so that was shot…. But it only relieved the pain for a short perod. He told me the same thing as juniorjock’s did…. I need to see a back surgeon… But after 2 b.s. already, I don’t think it will work, and I don’t want to be laid up for months again (I got to have shop time) like before…. So, I’ll just put up with it like the last 20 years… after 28 operations, I’m done being cut on… it gets old, you know?

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4388 days

#48 posted 05-25-2010 05:59 AM

hey rick…man does all of that sound familiar…ive had 2 surgerys….wish i wouldnt have had the 2nd…but was desperate….now after about 5 or 6 years of being on disability..and living with the pain every day..ive gotten use to a degree…im so numb as to what i use to be able to do …and now use to living here at the house…i cant remember what a life with a healthy back is like….i do have a wonderful home…and a great shop…and when i do get to use it..its pretty nice…ive had a nice streak of better days the last 4 weeks…and i just push until i cant stand anymore…collapse on my big bed and wait until i can get up and do some more…i sure feel for ya buddy..i dont do the shots anymore…they just didnt do very much for me… going to try one again soon…the siatic nerve on my left side is a real painful thing…all of a sudden it will shoot right down my leg…its the kind that makes ya stand up and notice…lol…....i wish i could help you..but know this my friend..i kno exactly what you feel and all i can suggest is do your best…its all you can do…and stay positive….find things that you can do…and look for ways to do things…just in a different way…i have my computer monitor on a rolling stand that i can lay in the bed and use it…cordless key board and cordless mouse…and a 17ich flat screen monitor bolted to this cart…..its a sweet set up..i just find ways to do things…i also have a pyrography set up on my night stand table, its a 2 port burnmaster…when im feeling to bad to get any shop time…i work on projects burning art onto wood…im still learning…but its better then not doing anything…if i can help you let me know…grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7163 posts in 4279 days

#49 posted 05-25-2010 07:21 AM

Greetings grizzman,
Thanks for the kind words, grizz….You know exactly what I and all the rest of us are going through. Like you, I’ve been disabled for many years. Mine was war wounds, and this back problem doesn’t make things any easier….. you know what I’m talking about, cause you have the same thing…But I try to make things easier, especially in my shop… like higher workbenchs, tables, tools, machines, etc. You have to figure out how to make it through the day, but like you, I’m so use to it anymore that it’s just part of everyday life, and I see no hope for the furture. I just try not to push too hard, and take breaks often. I do some streching exercizes to try to stay loose, cause when I get out of bed, I feel like I’m drawed up in a knot, and that knot has to come unwound…..So… we just have to push onward and take it one day at a time…I appreciate the offer to help, also, but I don’t think anything short of dying is gonna help…..just keep on keeping on…. I do…... Rick.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View UncleFester's profile


33 posts in 5271 days

#50 posted 05-25-2010 03:39 PM

I had surgery in ‘87 for a bulging disc on L-5 S-1. I still suffered every day until probably 10 years ago when a doctor perscribed Lortab (hydrocodone). Finally, some relief! I can walk and stand for hours at a time. Not without some pain, but I can live with it. But not without another problem. It’s a narcotic, and I’ve become addicted to it, sometime taking 4-5 pills a day. It elevates your mood to the point of feeling that everything’s good in life.

I’ve finally started to wean myself off, I’m down to 2 pills a day. I have much more energy. I don’t know how it will affect my back, I’ve been off this week and won’t know until I go back to work standing on my feet for 7 hours. But I’m determined to either get off it completely, or get to a point where it doesn’t rule my life.

-- Uncle Fester

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