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Chas
09-14-2007, 11:36 AM
Well, I should start by admitting that I'm 51 years old and not in very good shape.

I took my (Non MC) boat out two times last week, on the second trip I felt that my back was not up to any 'boarding or skiing, so I just drove the boat. This is an 18' Beachcraft with a softer entry than my S&S, and usually a better ride in the rough. And we had lots of rough.

Late in the morning, the lake was full of boats, the wind came up, and we were done for the day. I pointed the bow towards the marina and opened her up wide. Speedo pegs at just about forty, and it was sitting hard on the peg. I was instructing the kids about where to stow the gear, and how to put things into their carry bags and so forth, so I didn't see it coming: a set of three massive waves. I know I know, you were expecting "container ship" or "channel marker" or "huge houseboat" or something more exciting. But the first wave got us airborne, and we hit the second one on the way down, and the third one just added insult to injury.

My back began to tense up. An hour later, it was in full spasm. That was last Saturday, and here it is Friday almost a week later and I still cant sit for more than a few minutes, and I have to crawl into and out of bed - which is where I have been non-stop.

Doctor said it was muscle spasms, and gave me "Flexoril" and ordered bed rest.

Is a week of this more than one should expect? I have been reading about back spasms all week, some say it is the worst type of muscle injury, others dismiss it as something that should just be worked out.

Any tips? I have been in our spa as much as I can, but getting in and out seems to set me back.

And the worst part is that the brand new shaft is sitting in my boat, waiting for me to align the engine and take it out to the lake for the first shakedown!

Thanks - I needed to vent.

WilliM1940
09-14-2007, 12:17 PM
Listen to your pain. It could be a bulging disc, but I am no doctor. If it is, it could take more than a month or two to completely heal, but it wouldn't hurt to get an MRI if you haven't already.

TMCNo1
09-14-2007, 12:27 PM
http://www.gottadeal.com/forums/images/smilies/monkey.gifMonkeying around with the wife will usually take your mind off it!

Chas
09-14-2007, 12:31 PM
I thought the very same thing - I do have a bulging disk, but my doctor had me do a few quick movements: stand on my toes, then lift my toes and stand on my heels. Then he went down my spine pressing on each vertebrae and in between each one.

He seemed to think it was muscle spasms.

He gave me enough pills for ten days, but made it sound as if I should be back on my feet in three or four.

If I'm not done with this by Monday, I'm going to ask for an MRI.

Meanwhile, the boat sits... and summer is going slowly away...

M-Funf
09-14-2007, 12:34 PM
Sorry to hear it. Probably good that you weren't in the S&S. I know mine is very unforgiving in rough water. Real pain in the kidneys.

Doctor said it was muscle spasms, and gave me "Flexoril" and ordered bed rest.

That Flexeril is the BOMB!

Any tips?

Yeah, Send me some Felxeril and I'll give you some tips :rolleyes:

Just Kiddin' ya. I can't remember, but I think for muscle pain, heat works well.

Good Luck

M-Funf
09-14-2007, 12:35 PM
Castaic?.....................

bcampbe7
09-14-2007, 12:39 PM
Sorry to hear this Chas. Back injuries can be some of the most aggravating to get over. Take it easy. At your age the body takes a little longer to heal than it did at 25.

Slinkyredfoot
09-14-2007, 01:01 PM
I am a firm believer in chiropractors....I have had numerous back spasms in my life, like the very sharp stabbing pains that can literally take your breath away..Whenever I would go to this guy, he would adjust my back and in 2 days I was always back to normal I would always sleep on my back with my feet elevated with a pillow as well...

JohnE
09-14-2007, 01:27 PM
I've had muscle problems with my back on and off for 18 years. 2 years ago I couldn't walk for a week. Ice, rest, advil, and vodka is how I treat it/ deal with it. Not necessarily in that order. My friends wife is a physical therapist. She come over one day and got me in much better shape. She didn't speak highly of chiropractors. But I know some who swear by them.

The hot tub is the worst thing for it in my experience. Something about heating an already inflamed injury. Mine has always been hurt by either lifting something or working and moving the wrong way, so it might be different than yours. The sudden jarring hit makes me wonder if it is muscle or something more serious.

Good luck.

M-Funf
09-14-2007, 01:36 PM
First thing I would say is BE PERSISTENT. Managed healthcare means YOU have to manage your health :rant:

I'm not a complete believer in Chiropractors, especially when an injury is involved. They may be able to reduce pain, but they can't FIX the injury. See a doctor to make sure there is no injury, or if there is, have it fixed by a doctor. Then, if there is continued pain that the doctors can't account for, if it makes you feel better to see a DC, go ahead...

My wife had a shoulder injury about a year ago. She could not pinpoint when it happened, but she's pretty sure it was when she tried to pick up something very heavy (concrete bench). She went to the Chiropractor once a week, but the pain wasn't getting any better. Finally, after about 8 months, I convinced her to go see a Ortho doc, who did an MRI and determined that there was a torn ligament...So, why didn't the Chiropractor tell her to go see an MD? (stirrin' the pot :rolleyes: )

Now she's much better, and can actually swing a club again :banana:

Willski
09-14-2007, 01:39 PM
I have had the same problems. A few years ago I was off of work (desk job even) for a week. Same treatment plan. Muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory. After a week, I started to get better. The pain was so intense that I was sure it could not be just spasms, but apparently it was.

I still have the same problems from time to time, but never quite as bad as that time. Ice has helped me too for the first few days, but I find after 3 or 4 days heat can really loosen me up.

Hang in there.

Chas
09-14-2007, 01:41 PM
Castaic?.....................
We did Casitas on Thursday - can't ski there but I just wanted to be sure the boat was running right after I replaced the carb. Wow - I wish skiing was allowed - it was a beautiful day! Smooth water, warm but not hot weather, only a handful of boats on the lake but all except me were there to fish, so no wakes. Burned off about three gallons of gas and went home.

Saturday we were at Piru, and did some knee boarding and some wake boarding - I just drove.

Thanks for all the input - I am going to try icing for the next ten/fifteen minutes. Maybe rotate heat and cold.

RexDog1
09-14-2007, 01:48 PM
PM at You:rolleyes:

JimN
09-14-2007, 02:11 PM
Chas- It's hard to say what will be best because we don't know what the actual damage is but car and truck seats are notorious for having the foam cushion collapse over time and then the bar at the bottom of the backrest presses into the base of the spine, throwing it out of alignment. This has been a problem on my last 4 cars and my truck. It's not an expensive repair and any upholstery shop can do it for you. If that's not it, look at how you do things like sitting, laying while watching TV, strenuous activity without stretching, etc. Also, keeping a wallet in a back pocket really does bad things to alignment by tilting the hips and causing the spine to shift above the tilt. It's all gravity's fault!

One of the things I do to make my back feel better sounds like BS to a lot of people, but if you feel around your lower back, to the sides of your spine, you'll probably feel at least one lump which many call a knot. It'll probably be directly across from the disc that gives you trouble and if you press and massage this knot, it'll relax your back and relieve most, if not all, of the pressure. The spot that you massage will be tender after but the relief can be very fast.

Chas
09-14-2007, 02:26 PM
Yes, I work those knots until my arm gets tired, and it does help. This time it doesn't seem to do much for me though.

I use a massager - and I just got up off of a ice pack for a little over ten minutes and I can feel an improvement already.

Bruce
09-14-2007, 03:21 PM
Chas "I feel your pain" I've tried everything listed above and then some. Mine are degenerative lumbar and cervical disc. Many moons ago when mine would "go out" the secret was to stop those spasms before they took over. I hit the martinis (i.e white loud mouths) hard and fast. It worked every time. Since I quit drinking 15 yrs ago i have to find a new cure. I go to a physical therapist he concentrates on getting the supporting muscles flexible again. All the Drs. around here tell me it all starts with my short heel cords/hamstrings. Takes along time to get em stretched out. In the meantime ice and an electrical stem machine keeps me going. My back problems started in college and I have avoided the knife for a long time (I'm 74.) Still do pretty much what I want to do so don't give up.

milkmania
09-14-2007, 04:25 PM
http://www.gottadeal.com/forums/images/smilies/monkey.gifMonkeying around with the wife will usually take your mind off it!



I've created a monster:o

bigmac
09-15-2007, 08:59 AM
Muscle spasms in the back are different than disc problems. Chas is describing spasms in the paraspinous muscles, not a ruptured or bulging disc. Treatment is muscle relaxants (Flexeril), heat or ice/heat, anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen, pain medication if necessary, and bed rest. Physical therapy is a good idea for the acute problem - seeing a chiropracter might be helpful from a physicial therapy standpoint as long as you don't buy into their pseudo-scientific patter about causation.

If the pain doesn't go away, or if you develop numbness, tingling, or pain radiating into the butt or legs - go see a doctor. In the meantime, after you recover you need to see a physical therapist or physiatrist to develop an exercise plan to keep this from happening again. This episode is your body's way telling you that you have seriously weak abdominal muscles.

Doug G
09-15-2007, 09:21 AM
I am in that boat bigmac. I am at that need to develop an exercise routine to address mine since my back pain is almost constant nagging this summer and easily aggrevated. (I can't do 2 sets of wakeboarding without pain) How does sleeping contribute? I get up every morning with a stiff / sore back but when I stay at a hotel or something with what I perceive to be a firmer bed, I don't wake up with the back pain.

bigmac
09-15-2007, 09:54 AM
Abdominal crunches....lot's of abdominal crunches. The spine is like a goose-neck lamp that's too loose. In order to keep it upright and in the right configuration, you need four supporting guy-wires...the right and left paraspinous muscles, and the right and left rectus abdominus muscles. If one set gets too weak, the other set is prone to injury. It's almost always the rectus muscles that get weak, and it's almost always the paraspinous muscles that cause this back pain.

Mattresses don't cause back problems, but they can aggravate existing back problems.

surfacetension
09-15-2007, 10:27 AM
I had a bad back for about 1 year I had surgery on it BUT In the meantime you should try to ICE yes ICE your lower back . Take a BIG bag if ice and put it on your lower back for 20 min. then leave it off for 20 min. then back on for another 20min. If it is a disc the cold should take away the inflamation and swelling of the disc. When the disc swells it can push on the nerve and cause your lower back to spas.

The ice is a killer but I had good luck with it for about 1 year. I hurt my back in a stock car when I hit the wall backward at about a buck forty.

The flexor is alot of fun but all it does is mask the pain and when you go off your back to sqaure one.

betsy&david Harrison
09-15-2007, 10:28 AM
You are sounding just like my PhysTher. He had to work on my back for a month to get those muscles to release...I do have really strong abs so it was the back muscles that were giving me trouble. He also recommended that I put a pillow under me when I sleep on my stomach so I am propped up a bit and not directly on my stomach. I haven't had any pain in a long time.

betsy&david Harrison
09-15-2007, 10:36 AM
Chas...I have a great Physical Therepist in town if you want his name...Dr. H will gladly send you to him. He is the one who took care and fixed my back which sounds very similar to what is going on with your back.

Chas
09-15-2007, 10:47 AM
Yes, I think I would like to go see your PT. I am at one week and still very stiff and sore. I think it is getting better, but I sure don't want to go through this again.

I have a real nice weight machine which has gathered dust for the past couple of years. Might be time to dust that thing off!!

Willski
09-15-2007, 11:48 AM
Strengthening will help a lot. I do exercises, then I feel better, quit doing the exercises, then I hurt my back again. Vicious cycle caused by my laziness.

Chas
09-15-2007, 02:12 PM
Well, Ironically enough, that's why I bought my MC boat. I have a 'family' boat, bowrider I/O, but I wanted to get more into slalom and learn wakeboarding - specifically to build muscles and burn fat. The other boat is fun, but I usually end up just cruising around. It burns more calories than sitting on the couch of course, but not the intense physical exercise of skiing and 'boarding.

I have lost 60 pounds since I started, and I have another 30 to drop. But the muscle tone hasn't come up to where it needs to be yet.

...obviously.

Bruce
09-15-2007, 02:44 PM
Muscle spasms in the back are different than disc problems. Chas is describing spasms in the paraspinous muscles, not a ruptured or bulging disc. Treatment is muscle relaxants (Flexeril), heat or ice/heat, anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen, pain medication if necessary, and bed rest. Physical therapy is a good idea for the acute problem - seeing a chiropracter might be helpful from a physicial therapy standpoint as long as you don't buy into their pseudo-scientific patter about causation.

If the pain doesn't go away, or if you develop numbness, tingling, or pain radiating into the butt or legs - go see a doctor. In the meantime, after you recover you need to see a physical therapist or physiatrist to develop an exercise plan to keep this from happening again. This episode is your body's way telling you that you have seriously weak abdominal muscles.

Mac, I refrenced the disc etc. because first of all it can cause spasams. Certainly I know the diffrence. Likewise you add the mechanism of injury and the fact that he also said he had a bulging disc and it seemed appropriate. (Cause and effect) I failed to mention that my physiatrist along with my PT also are big on abdominal crunches. What are your thoughts on the hamstrings/heel cord scenario I mentioned?

bigmac
09-15-2007, 03:01 PM
Mac, I refrenced the disc etc. because first of all it can cause spasams. Certainly I know the diffrence. Likewise you add the mechanism of injury and the fact that he also said he had a bulging disc and it seemed appropriate. (Cause and effect) I failed to mention that my physiatrist along with my PT also are big on abdominal crunches. What are your thoughts on the hamstrings/heel cord scenario I mentioned?


I agree with you...a bulging disk can definitely be associated with back spasms. But in the absence of signs of nerve root compression, one would be likely only to treat the spasms, not the disk. Heck, even if it WERE pressing on a nerve root, the vast majority of neurosurgeons would be very slow to operate since most studies have shown that recovery is just as likely without surgery as it is with surgery. The utility in seeing a doctor about such symptoms, maybe getting it confirmed by MRI, is that they might be more likely to treat it with steroids rather than just regular anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants. MRIs are getting a lot of scrutiny these days from third-party insurance companies. Many of them look real hard at such MRI orders for back problems before they'll approve them, if they even do.

Heel cords etc -- I don't know much about that physical medicine stuff, but I do know that that can be a problem for the back.

Bruce
09-15-2007, 04:00 PM
How right you are. Certainly I know the dance with the ins. co. My son is fighting a severe multiple disc problem. (after MRI ortho said he had the back of a 60 yr. old. I"ve found him an excellent neurosurgeon who I know will take the conservative approach. That is not a surgery you want. My medical buds all agree that is the last resort. Add to that the fact that new things are coming everyday. By the way was the cold saline injection to the spine in the injured pro football player a great move or not! If I am in an accident and my spine is involved get me in a hyperbaric chamber!
I always enjoy and appreciate your depth of knowledge and attention to detail. I only responded to maintain a little credibility on my end. With this aging body I'm very lucky to still be active.(However, when it comes to luck I do subscribe the the fact that "chance favors the prepared mind)

AirJunky
09-15-2007, 05:09 PM
The problem with chiropractors is the fact that there is no regulation of them going on. I know 2 guys who are ex-chiropractors because they couldn't deal with the racket....... one of which is an ex-world champ in kneeboard & hydrofoil. Plus my mom sued a chiropractor when I was a kid...... called him a "witch doctor" in court. She won.

I had a physical therapist tell me that hot tubbin would thin the blood & expand the vessels & capillaries. Then ice would make the body send massive amounts of blood to the area. So ALWAYS end in ice. Heat wraps or hot tubs are great, BUT ALWAYS END IN ICE.
I've had plenty of back problems too. A bulging disc causes sciatica problems for me, which in turn causes muscle spasms as my body tries to compensate. 30 minutes in the hot tub & I'll ice up with one of these babies (http://www.icewraps.net/back-ice-wrap-by-coldone.html) & I feel great in the morning.

spanielman50
09-15-2007, 05:29 PM
you must get a mri so you know what your dealing with,,,,,,,i put 170hrs
on our prostar 190 this summer and it would have never happened without the orthopod and chiropractor working together,,,,,,,,it decreases your down time if you take advantage of both professions,,,
other wise it's a bottle of pills and it will happen again,,,,,
research building your core strength,,,,,simple floor excercises can change you back pain completely,,,,and they are not hard to do,,,,,,
can get them done watching judge judy,,,,,,,i'm 54 and ski'd 1 to 3 times a day this summer,,,,before this core workout i was a once a year skier,,,,,,,,e mail me if you want more info,,,,,chiropractors keep
me skiing and riding my horse,,,,
powerslot rule,
dr mark

betsy&david Harrison
09-15-2007, 07:56 PM
Chas...

PM at you :D

bigmac
09-16-2007, 07:15 AM
you must get a mri so you know what your dealing with,,,,,,,

Insurance companies increasingly disagree these days. Actually, they're probably right, up to a point. MRI's are VASTLY overused as a diagnostic tool. In this case, any competent neurosurgeon could know from history and physical exam exactly what he's dealing with, without ordering a $1000 MRI.

betsy&david Harrison
09-16-2007, 10:33 AM
I agree 100% on the MRI issue. I have given CHAS the name of an excellent Physical Therepist in our town. Turns out we have the same GP too.

spanielman50
09-16-2007, 05:50 PM
diagnosing and treating the spinal chord without a mri is like
buying a used and abused mastercraft and not picking up the engine
cover,,,,,,,,,,especially if there's symptoms down the leg foot or glute

eyeball_jerry
09-16-2007, 06:03 PM
I would concur, get an MRI. My back problem was dismissed as spasms for almost 20 years. My chiropractor ordered the MRI and a single disk was herniated out the front and budging our the rear sides. I choose traction drx1000 over surgery. Surgeon said to live with it, that wasn't and option without heavy pain killers, the traction really helped but it takes about 3 months to heal. I am back up and skiing, i missed the entire summer but it was worth it.

As for Flexural I have no clue, it did nothing for me. But pain, percocets helped me, but everyone is different. Vicodine is like Advil for me.