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  1. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PaJay 1962 View Post
    Wow, lots of different remedies, much appreciated! Someone had asked about my shape, etc. Soon to be 55 years old, not overweight - 5'10" and 176 lbs. For the past 2 months I've been going to the gym, walking, hiking. The pain shows up every now and then. I'll look into those stretching exercises and possibly see a PT (but I'd probably have to go to my MD before I could go straight to the PT).

    Thanks!
    Most of the time this is how the process goes. "Patient goes to primary care physician and has back pain. PCP orders x-rays and which will show nothing most of the time other than a little wear and tear, they will then refer you to a Spine Specialist MD or directly to PT. When you go to Ortho MD they will look at the x-rays and say you have some wear and tear (normal at 55 years old) so they then may order an MRI. In the mean time why dont we try PT, chiropractic, medications, injections, massage, or any other host of modalities."

    As you imagine this can be a lengthy process and drives health care costs up. Why see two MD's and recieve no treatment when you can see 1 PT and get a durable fix? I am not saying there is no vaule in getting an MD's opinion on this, however many PT's now have doctoral level training and are truly the experts in DIAGNOSING and TREATING many spinal pathologies. Pennsylvania, and all 49 other states to some extent, have direct access laws which allow PT's to treat patients without a referral. This is a soapbox item for me so I apologize for the lengthy response.

    It sounds like a lot of people on this forum should be looking for a quality PT to work with. Best of luck!

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Marquette Michigan
    Posts
    112

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    Bowhuntphysio has given the best advise on this thread. Going to a PT will properly locate the source of the pain and treat it with targeted stretches and exercises. Working in spine for a profession, I would duplicate what he has said. The surgeons I have worked with would put you down this same path.

  3. #28

    Default

    PaJay, you've been given some great advise from a couple in the "KNOW" but you are willing to not go to a MD and a P.T. because you don't want a doctor involved?
    Hey don't go, take second hand advice and see what could or might happen with your back. The longer you let this go the more damage you are doing to yourself.
    Good luck, been dealing with back problems and sciatic pain for to long but it's getting better thanks to a chiropractor and a little seat called "back joy"

  4. #29

    Default

    Get your abs as strong as you can. There are infinite exercises you can do. Ditto to the yoga, foam roller, and stretching advice. Keep your pack weight on your hips as much as possible so you're not bearing a lot of weight on your shoulders and compressing your spine. I put mine on, get the hip belt situated and tight, and just tighten the shoulder and sternum straps enough so they aren't flopping around. Symmetry in your load is key. They're heavy, but I like Eberlestock packs that carry my rifle centered down my spine. Slung on a shoulder all day was killing me. Keep things warm and loose, and don't forget to engage your core muscles every single time you bend over, even just to tie your shoes. My problems are upper back, crushed disks between C5, 6, and 7, docs say headed for a fusion some day when the symptoms get so bad I can't stand it. So far I've kept them at bay for 13 years. And when you get those twinges, don't push it. Take a break and stretch things out or mix up your load configuration. If you think a day pack is bad, wait until you carry 80 lbs of elk meat! Good luck!
    There is no such thing as bad weather. There is only improper equipment.

    www.davesstories.com

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    interior Alaska
    Posts
    158

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire_9 View Post
    Stretch, stretch, and stretch some more. I have been fighting back issues the last few years and stretching helps me as much as anything.
    For me especially stretching the hamstrings is critical.

    One of my walk-in caribou hunts involves wading upstream to get 5-miles off the haul road
    and wading upstream really taxes the hamstring muscles, hence my lower back feels stiff
    and if I do not stretch the hamstrings frequently I would have back pain.

    Hydration is also important.

  6. #31
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    3,559

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bokeh View Post
    At 56 it's yoga, stretching, core exercise and healthy diet for me. Avoid sugar and white flour as much as possible. A strong core is more important than big biceps. After all these years I know my chiropractor so well that I went to his sons wedding! Yoga has changed my fitness, flexibility and strength. Regular yoga (at home gaia.com) has had the single biggest effect on strengthening and maintaining the health of my back, shoulders, hips and legs. I do a 20-minute yoga 3-4x per week and hike a small mountain near my home (3 miles/ 1000' elev gain) 3-4x per week. If I miss more than two days I can feel it all begin to tighten up.

    My father always said that you gotta get out of the fart sack every morning and do some work or you'll get old. He ran the wheels off the bus at 92 and kept busy 'til the morning he didn't get out of bed. We should all be so lucky.
    What he says!
    I know you all get tired of me harping about working your core to tighten it up to take some of the stress off your back, but I don't have any more issues at L5.
    "Talk low, talk slow and don't say too much." John Wayne

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    841

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bokeh View Post
    At 56 it's yoga, stretching, core exercise and healthy diet for me. Avoid sugar and white flour as much as possible. A strong core is more important than big biceps. After all these years I know my chiropractor so well that I went to his sons wedding! Yoga has changed my fitness, flexibility and strength. Regular yoga (at home gaia.com) has had the single biggest effect on strengthening and maintaining the health of my back, shoulders, hips and legs. I do a 20-minute yoga 3-4x per week and hike a small mountain near my home (3 miles/ 1000' elev gain) 3-4x per week. If I miss more than two days I can feel it all begin to tighten up.

    My father always said that you gotta get out of the fart sack every morning and do some work or you'll get old. He ran the wheels off the bus at 92 and kept busy 'til the morning he didn't get out of bed. We should all be so lucky.
    +1 excellent advice in my opinion.

  8. Default

    Don't aggravate the problem by killing something that needs to be packed out! Just take a camera and go for catch and release hunting!

  9. #34

    Default

    Going to a PT is a good idea. I finally did and he helped. I always used ice but he said to said use heat. Heat has helped a lot more. Stretching and core exercises. I can always tell when I back off the core exercises I start having issues. My wife sews a bag about the size of a gallon ziplock, fills it with rice and sews it shut. Then put it in the microwave for about 4 minutes. The rice gets really hot and retains heat for a long time. Put that behind your back where the pain is and sit back. It provides heat and pressure to the area. It feels SO good. They last for months and you can also put them in the freezer if you do need cold.
    Last edited by Elkdog; 08-13-2017 at 12:04 AM.

  10. #35

    Default

    Thanks everyone for your ideas!

  11. Default

    Surprised nobody else said this, but in my experience, often times back pain is your cue that you're out of shape. Are you overweight, or carrying a paunch? I would recommend strengthening your core, and doing crunches, or my preference, old fashioned situps. Your core abdominal area is basically supporting your upper body. I do 130 situps and keep my weight down by other fitness regimens and have not had back trouble for over 40 years when I wasn't working out. Aside from this, the stretching advice is good, but if you're not in shape, you're loading your back up with a heavy pack and your back is telling you "no way Jose".

  12. #37

    Default

    Are you using trekking poles?
    "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map" - Aldo Leopold

    "Send a couple more slugs. It shows you care." - David Petzal

  13. Default

    I love that everyone has there own experiences and has a program that works for them but that makes for a dangerous way to offer advice. Lets take the sit up advice for example, if this works for 1 person and keeps their back healthly by doing 100 sit ups per day, fantastic! This in research is called a case study, which is a low level of evidence. There is one subject and the results are unrelateable to the masses. If we had 2 groups of 50 individuals were randomly assigned to 2 groups 25 were assigned to a sit ups and walking group and 25 to walking only, if the sit up groups had less back pain this may be helpful to generalize and this was a randomized controlled trial or a higher level of evidence. Sit ups are a highly stressful mode of core exercise and in laboratory studies loaded spinal flexion(sit ups) are the mechanism by which disc herniations occur in the spine. Doing isometric core exercise (Planks, Side Planks) would mirror carrying a pack much more closely and produce less detrimental forces on the lumbar spine. There are a million reasons for someones back to be hurting so for the most durable fix is to seek out a movement specialist to help optimize your function.

    http://getpt1st.com/2015/08/29/low-b...therapy-first/

  14. #39
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    3,559

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by windymtnman View Post
    Surprised nobody else said this, but in my experience, often times back pain is your cue that you're out of shape. Are you overweight, or carrying a paunch? I would recommend strengthening your core, and doing crunches, or my preference, old fashioned situps. Your core abdominal area is basically supporting your upper body. I do 130 situps and keep my weight down by other fitness regimens and have not had back trouble for over 40 years when I wasn't working out. Aside from this, the stretching advice is good, but if you're not in shape, you're loading your back up with a heavy pack and your back is telling you "no way Jose".
    And you obviously know you can't do sit-ups if you don't have your rectus/abs tucked into your backbone or you will tear up your back. I missed a couple of classes until this morning and I HURT!
    "Talk low, talk slow and don't say too much." John Wayne

  15. #40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BowHuntPhysio View Post
    This sounds like the start of some discogenic back issues. The combined forward flexed position of carrying a pack, coupled with the extra weight puts excess load on the disc. As a physical therapist I would suggest having a PT take a look at your back and see how you move to get things moving more optimally. Even one visit to have someone take a look and screen your movement patterns and give you a home exercise program could fix things fast. Yes all the stretching and foam rolling advice may help but blindly trying random exercises can be as negligent as shooting an arrow into a herd of elk hoping to hit a bull. I know this may feel minor but the cost of one co-pay could be the thing that saved your trip and kept you going that extra mile to paydirt. Let me know if you have any questions.
    +1 here. This sounds like an inflamed nerve which could happen for several reasons. If you plan on backpack hunting then making sure you understand what is happening is important. I only backpack hunt and have 3 herniated disks and have been dealing with them for over 15 years. For years I kept trying to stretch more and exercise my self healthy and it only got worse. I finally insisted more treatment from my Chiro and we realized what was going on. With his guidance I changed my exercise routine and stretching and it has made a HUGE difference. Point of the story is that having an expert understand your situation and prescribe specific exercises and stretches will make a large difference. I was making things worse by trying the stretches that I had always used and personal trainers were giving me. For example twisting motions are really bad for me and I never bend over and touch my toes. I have to put my leg up on a raised surface and then stretch to touch my toes. If you find out you have a problem, there are several exercises that also make a big difference. Good luck

  16. #41

    Default

    Strength training under the guidance of a competent trainer is the solution here. I could not agree more with what BowHuntPhysio said as well about cutting to the chase. MDs are for sick people, and you're not sick, just undertrained and/or not moving right.

  17. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mvmnts View Post
    Strength training under the guidance of a competent trainer is the solution here. I could not agree more with what BowHuntPhysio said as well about cutting to the chase. MDs are for sick people, and you're not sick, just undertrained and/or not moving right.
    Absolutely. PT, chiropractor, and strength training have me free from back pain after years of suffering.

    Not as easy as, "Do more core work!", but close.

  18. #43

    Default

    Oh boy....where to start....How about the phrase, "PICK YOUR DOCTOR, PICK YOUR DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT"

  19. #44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BowHuntPhysio View Post
    Most of the time this is how the process goes. "Patient goes to primary care physician and has back pain. PCP orders x-rays and which will show nothing most of the time other than a little wear and tear, they will then refer you to a Spine Specialist MD or directly to PT. When you go to Ortho MD they will look at the x-rays and say you have some wear and tear (normal at 55 years old) so they then may order an MRI. In the mean time why dont we try PT, chiropractic, medications, injections, massage, or any other host of modalities."

    As you imagine this can be a lengthy process and drives health care costs up. Why see two MD's and recieve no treatment when you can see 1 PT and get a durable fix? I am not saying there is no vaule in getting an MD's opinion on this, however many PT's now have doctoral level training and are truly the experts in DIAGNOSING and TREATING many spinal pathologies. Pennsylvania, and all 49 other states to some extent, have direct access laws which allow PT's to treat patients without a referral. This is a soapbox item for me so I apologize for the lengthy response.

    It sounds like a lot of people on this forum should be looking for a quality PT to work with. Best of luck!
    Very much a soapbox moment here, sounds like a recent graduate, cure cancer and dementia type of PT..... PT is an option, just as are injections (depending on severity) Chiropractic (depending on the exact condition, cause, duration) and so is the gym/strength training options.

    Obviously a chiropractor by trade, but a medical realist...find someone you trust to get you to the right professional that will help your condition. I refer to PT's and get a lot of referrals from them, helps when you have a large patient base and community that trusts you. I also get a lot of referrals from MD's that know I don't BS the patient, don't tell them they need 36 visits on the first treatment day. That's Ludacris and people realize that a general rule of thumb works for only a select group, everyone is different. PRN or patient returns as needed goes a long way these days.

  20. #45

    Default

    Step 1: Don't go to a elk hunting forum for medical advice
    Step 2: Delete the word Chiropractor from you memory, they are quacks
    Step 3: Schedule a Physical Therapy appointment
    Step 4: Do what the PT tell you to do
    Step 5: Feel better

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Marquette Michigan
    Posts
    112

    Default

    Chiropractors do have a roll in positive spine outcomes. Early degenerative Facet/Pars defects can cause spinal misalignment and are often quickly remedied with a spinal manipulation.

  22. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by huronmtns View Post
    Chiropractors do have a roll in positive spine outcomes. Early degenerative Facet/Pars defects can cause spinal misalignment and are often quickly remedied with a spinal manipulation.
    There is no doubt my chiropractor helped me. Lived with a lot of pain for a long time due to a very rough stretch in my younger years. He has helped me since with a variety of problems.

  23. #48

    Default

    I have had back problems for many years from my low back to my scull. Dislocating rids in my upper spine was would happen probably once every 30 - 60 days for about 15 years. I have gone to chiropractors for over 20. Although the chiropractic was helpful when I was in pain, it never cured my problems. Every time I would see the chiro he would tell me my hips were out of alignment and give me an adjustment which would give me relieve for up to a week. I 2013 I herniated a disc in my neck which caused me alot of pain and discomfort in my upper spin and scapula region. At the same time my low back was so bad that every time I put on my shoes I prayed that it would not go out.

    My wife researched treatments for slipped ribs and found Prolotherapy. She found a Dr. in the area who performed it so I made am appointment. I was initially looking for some relief for my slipped ribs and impingement at my scapula. I was a little confused when the Dr. insisted on examining my sacrum. After the examination he explained to me that my sacrum was out of alignment and was torque on my spine which was causing my slipped ribs. He explained to me that I had at some point injured the ligaments that hold the sacrum in place which resulted in my sacrum not being stable. He told me that the other problems that I was having were a result of my unstable sacrum.

    I have Been seeing Dr. Clark for 3 years now & Prolotherapy has been nothing short of a miracle. I no longer have slipped ribs or neck pain. I seldom have low back pain & if I do I make an appointment and walk out of his office back in alignment and feeling relief immediately.


    Prolotherapy is a natural treatment that gives your body the tools to heal itself. I had a chiro tell me I had scoliosis, I had a doc tell me I had degenerative disc disease. Turns out all of my problems were caused by an unstable sacrum.

    I have friends with severe back problems that still will not follow my advice and go see a prolotherapist. So I am sure I have wasted my time by giving you this advice but it have had such amazing results that I can not help but share my experience.

  24. Default

    Interesting reading, kstitz. Read up a bit on disorders of the sacrum and prolotherapy.

    First I have heard of it.

  25. #50

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    I think my chiro made a minor injury into a major one.

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