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Old     (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       07-25-2012, 11:07 PM Reply   
So i have been dealing with lower back issues for more than 20 years now. I have lower back spasms about 3-4 times per year. I have been working on strengthening my core, but i always seem to have setbacks as i get right to where i think i should be.
Does anyone use an inversion table, and find that it helps with back pain?
Laying on the floor right now, loaded on vicodin. I hate doing this 3-4 times a year. It only lasts a few days, but it sucks.
Xrays have never shown any disc or any other permanent damage.

Thanks guys
Old     (sippi)      Join Date: Dec 2007       07-26-2012, 6:47 AM Reply   
I had back spasms at the end of my college soccer career, had try outs with two pro teams that summer and couldn't go because i had 6 the size of baseballs up and down my spine and one the size of a golf ball inbetween my shoulder blades, basically bed ridden for like 5 months. had massages and therapy from trainers three times a day... it was bad. I do have an inversion table now (8 years later) and i love it. havent' had any back problems. i use it before and/or after work outs just to stretch things out. i think it helps. you also need to get in a routine of stretching. whether its yoga or some other form just to stretch things out and keep things flexible. that has helped me a ton.
Old     (wakeboardin)      Join Date: Apr 2001       07-26-2012, 8:39 AM Reply   
I have been diagnosed with two bulged disks in my lumbar area back in 89 and have had back and leg pain since being a kid. It got so bad for a while that my legs would get real heavy and then start to go numb. They determined the bulges via a MRI and also said I had arthritis on the spine. I still go through issues once in a while seems every time a high pressure weather system comes in I hurt. Back in early 90's I had cortisone injections in the spine roughly 12 at once and that seemed to make things better or almost better I guess I could describe it as tolerable. I have done chiropractor, inversion, spinal decompression and they all provide relief but its only temporary relief. Several and I mean several years later I still contend with this and one pill that worked and made me feel great was celebrex but it had side effects of raising your blood pressure so I stopped since there is history of cardiovascular disease in my family.

My suggestion is you really need a doctor to identify your problem so you can better understand what treatments are available and manage it that way opposed to the vicodin. I too had the same old take these treatments but they never really worked took the pain away but it always came back, have you gone directly to an orthopedic surgeon?

Good luck and back pain is no joke I don't think there is much worse then back pain.
Old     (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       07-26-2012, 10:11 AM Reply   
sorry to hear about all of the pain going on here....

X2 big time on the yoga. Find the right routine for you, or you will hate it. Beachbody has some routines. P90X and P90X2. Maybe you could just buy the yoga routine....not sure.

I tried the inversion table for a little while. I have arthritis in my hips from years of powerlifting. It helped, and helped with stretching out the shoulders. It's a great stretch to hang there with your arms over your head.

I didn't start until I was past 40, and could never get used to being upside down. I hear that the older you get, the more discomfort/nausea you experience.
but, I didn't work up to a complete inversion the way that they recommend.

Another thought is finding a good chiropractor. It took me a while, but I eventually found a guy that could tell me every injury that I have ever had, just by looking at an xray. He even guessed how heavy I could squat and dead lift (years ago). He managed to keep me "healthy" through the learning curve of landing that first invert.......I was a slow learner

good luck!!

Last edited by ord27; 07-26-2012 at 10:15 AM.
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       07-26-2012, 10:55 AM Reply   
+1 on yoga. The P90x one is alright in a pinch but not all that motivating. My suggestion is find an active, power yoga class with a hot instructor. She got me out of bed early on Sunday mornings!
Old     (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       07-26-2012, 11:01 AM Reply   
I am waiting to get in to see an orthopaedic surgeon, cuz my regular doctor wont do squat. I did P90X a few years ago, and hated yoga beyond belief.
when I tore the labrum in my hip 2 years ago, my ortho realized my femurs were misshaped, and asked me if I had trouble with my flexibility. he said based on the shape of the head of my femur, there would be no way I could get my palms on the ground with my legs straight. for years, the max I could get was my fingertips. this could be why I hated yoga so much.
he ruled out my back pain being caused by my hip issues though. I am now in a spot where my back is preventing me from picking my kids up, which for me is pretty much everything. I stay home with my kids, and not being able to lift my toddler in and out of the car is kind of an issue.
going for a massage this afternoon to see if I can get a quick fix till I get a doctors appt. supposed to be golfing saturday, and not sure that is going to happen.
thanks for the info guys.
Old     (sippi)      Join Date: Dec 2007       07-26-2012, 11:56 AM Reply   
There is a yogo dvd that someone bought for me a while back, its a lot better than the p90 one IMO. Its called yogo for athletes or something like that. i think its kind of geared towards guys. but it is a lot better than the p90 one. flexibility will help and will be a preventative thing in the future but yea, the Dr is going to be your best bet to get it nailed down and figure out what the underlying cause is first.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       07-26-2012, 5:08 PM Reply   
I have ab inversion table and it helps a ton with my disc issue. If you stick with it you should find consistent relief. Just as others have said its very important to work on stretching. Very often the pain referenced in one are is caused/perpetuated from another. For instance I a really tight hip flexor on my right side which is the one with the problem so I do a great deal of streatching that out so I can mobilize my hips and release them.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       07-27-2012, 8:24 AM Reply   
Do you sit for a living at a desk?

Most people are just talking about doing abs when they say "I work on my core". If you sit all day, and then do a bunch of ab work, you could be causing more harm than good.

I don't know the details, but building a strong core means working all 4 sides of the core, in all three plains of motion. For every ab exercise that you do, you should be doing a back exercise to maintain balance. Especially as a wakeboarder.
Old     (sippi)      Join Date: Dec 2007       07-27-2012, 9:27 AM Reply   
^^ very true. theoretically you are suppose to do back exercises for every ab one. your abs do are what is responsible for the pulling down motion, (like pulling your upperbody down, they contract that way), your back is the other side of it, it basically contracts the other way pulling your upper body back up. they work together, one without the other is pointless.
Old     (Therapy10)      Join Date: Oct 2011       07-27-2012, 12:18 PM Reply   
There are a thousand and one different exercises out there for your back/abs but a few that seem to address my needs best, based on research, are the following: bird dog, bridge with leg extensions, side planks, swiss ball walkouts into pike position. Trunk stabilization exercises should work but trunk flexors (abdominals) and extensors (back paraspinals) at the same time to increase effectiveness and the above exercises meet this criteria in my opinion.

Proper form is important! Ensure the hips/pelvis stay level during exercises-sometime you can tease out weakness/imbalance on one side which may predispose pain.

phase one

phase two

more ideas for variety,+2007.pdf
Old     (pierce_bronkite)      Join Date: Jul 2003       07-27-2012, 12:58 PM Reply   
I have had back pain on and off for about 8 years and did the following, chriopractor visits, inversion table therapy, spinal decompression therapy, yoga, stretching, core work, electrode therapy and cortisone shots. All these methods only temporarily relieved the pain. In 2008 I had a disc bulge in my L4 and L5 and went under the knife and got a Laminectomy/Disectomy. Since then that surgery has improved the quality of my life so much. Before I would be in constant pain, I couldnt sit long, stand long, walk very far and would hurt every time I wakeboarded or worked out, ran etc. Now I can do anything without having to worry about taking pain medication or waste time doing "therapy" that would only temporarily relieve the pain. Talk to you doctor about surgery options sometimes thats the only way youre gonna improve your life.
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       07-30-2012, 10:53 PM Reply   
I too went thru the bad back days. Changing careers helped as I am not bent over working as much anymore. When I do get a flair up, I take a Robaxin which can be purchased from Canada without an RX or the proper way is to have it prescribed by a doctor. It is a mild muscle relaxer. No pain pills as they just mask the pain. Healing comes from getting the muscles to relax, and some ibuprofen to reduce any swelling. I went to physical therapy and they taught me to put my disks back in place by laying on my stomach and coming up onto my elbows with my head up. Hurts like heck the first few minutes, then feels much better. Talk to a PT about it.

The inversion tables do very similar to what I described by laying on your stomach. Feels great to get on one, and wished I had one sometimes. Just let a free one on CL pass by too.

FWIW X-rays won't show a bulged disk that requires an MRI. Good luck!
Old     (jerrybrownlt)      Join Date: Mar 2014       03-02-2014, 10:50 PM Reply   
I don't see any problem with using an inversion table at home. As long as your body benefits from it, I think that is good. However, like any type of treatment or self-care one can participate in; if your body doesn't like it (and it will let you know), then don't do it.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       03-02-2014, 11:49 PM Reply   
I have had back problems before, mainly upper back, where my neck cannot move or be in 90% of positions without hurting. It flares up about once a year or so and sometimes I am able to do similar to what you do, lay on my back with some pain killers and get a fulcrum underneath the area that hurts to try and position it better. This works for a little bit, but what really helps it go away if it gets bad is a few visits to the chiropractor. It may take a week or so and a few visits to correct, but they get it squared away for me. Finding a good chiropractor can be worth it's weight in gold to heal those pesky back issues.
I have never used an inversion table, but it might be worth a shot if you've used one before and it's been shown to help, at least some.
Old     (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       03-03-2014, 9:40 AM Reply   
Funny how this thread shows up today. I have had an inversion table for a little over a year now, and I don't feel it did much for me. I was actually listing it on CL today. It just doesn't get enough use to warrant keeping it, and taking up space.
I went through some "non force" chiropractic sessions, didn't find much help there. Went through 6 sessions of myofacial release therapy, and felt that helped me a ton. I learned a lot about my posture through that therapist, and that has helped me a ton. I also went to a reflexologist, and she recommended me to eat more green veggies as they help with inflammation. Green beans, spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, etc. those last two people and their suggestions and help have been the biggest step for me so far. I've had one mild spasm in the last 8 months, and I haven't taken as much as an Aleve since I saw both of them. Got tired of the doctors just trying to fix my issues without trying to find the root cause.
I'm now doing a ton of functional training exercises, and have been strengthening my core regularly. I'm easily at my strongest point I've ever been.
I think just stepping out of my comfort zone, and trying new things has helped the most. Never thought I would be visiting "homeopathic" type therapists, or drinking herbal teas, and eating brussel sprouts or green beans, but it has been incredibly life changing. Now when I get back aches, it's more about soreness from a workout, then from bad posture, or weakness.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-03-2014, 10:20 AM Reply   
Train, Same thing here. Have you read this book? It changed my life. Well worth the $8.00
Old     (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       03-03-2014, 10:35 AM Reply   
Haven't seen it. I'll check it out. Always up for new books to read. Thanks.
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-03-2014, 10:58 AM Reply   
my Chiropractor told me an inversion table won't help because it allows all of the joints to stretch where as with lower back you typically need to hold your hips in place and let only the upper half hang.

Some back pain comes from your glutes and other upper leg muscles being tight. Stretching in these areas can really help stop the pull down from the legs. It's usually what is causing me pain. My back hurts right now as I type this. Still paying for the best day of snowboarding ever a week later.
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       03-03-2014, 2:18 PM Reply   
My chiropractor said something similar about not using the inversion tables that hang you from your feet. He has a Teeter Dex II in his office that allows you to hang from your hips. It feels great, so I picked one up when I found it on Craigslist. However, I still have back pain despite inversion, chiropractor, etc. It doesn't sound like I'm at the point of most people on here, but when it gets bad I've gotten stuck in bed before. I had an MRI and my chiropractor pointed out some problems, but said it didn't seem like anything major. My regular doc recommended I contact Laser Spine Institute, but this guy had trouble reading my MRI, so I don't have a lot of confidence in him. However, I saw the LSI commercials where they offer a free reading of your MRI, so I'm going to pursue that. I'm sure I won't be able to afford the surgery, but it doesn't hurt to get an estimate!
Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       03-04-2014, 12:11 PM Reply   
I'll also vouch for Dr. Sarno's book that Buffalow posted a link to, best $8 I've ever spent. I had a ruptured disc that had to be repaired surgically (4 screws 2 rods) about 18 months ago. I also have another disc that's torn and another bulging. Not having surgery wasn't an option for me, but I would avoid it if at all possible. I just recently read the book and it is quite shocking how words printed on a page can change the way you look at this stuff. For anyone struggling with pain, this book is a must read.
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-04-2014, 1:30 PM Reply   
I use a foam roller on my back and it is surprisingly effective. Probably more for chronic pain and tightness rather than acute. Plus you can use it to roll out your IT bands which will make your back pain feel like nothing.

Here is a pic of a chick in yoga pants. Just because.
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