Lower Back Pain

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by vds01, Jul 10, 2006.

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  1. When running I get a pain in my lower back, as if the muscles are tightening. It could be down to my running technique, heel hits the floor first. On visits to Chiropractor/Osteopath etc, I have been told that my Right leg is longer than left by about 3-4 cm, which also has an affect on running. Or could it just be that I do not warm up properly? I do find that when wearing boots or a pack the pain is less. There can also be discomfort when simply walking up a hill.

    Any advise would be welcome

  2. You could try running circuits around small hills, with your shorter leg on the uphill side.

    Hope this helps.
  3. If it comes on when running, I'd pay a visit to your local physio. I have suffered back and knee injuries from sport in the past and have been told that the nerves/muscles linking the two are in some way connected, so that it could be linked to lack of stretching or running technique. A good physio can advise you on stretches and ways of modifying your running technique.

    I'd also make sure you buy new trainers every now and again, especially if you're doing lots of running. They tend to lose their bounce after a year and two and after that, you're just pounding your limbs against the tarmac.

    Word of warning though - it's tempting when you get injured and the doc tells you to cut down, to give up all kinds of training. Big mistake, since when you get back to it, you find you're out of puff and have zilch motivation. If the physio tells you to stop what you're doing, then ask if there's anything else you can do, e.g. swimming, other low-impact stuff.
  4. Are you sure about that? I know nothing about this, but I would think that 3-4 cm is highly abnormal. You're talking an inch or so difference. I'm sure you wouldn't need to be told that you have a difference, I would think that it would be fairly obvious to you from looking in the mirror.
  5. I too have one leg longer than the other, just under an inch differance, never knew anything about it until i suffered from shin splints during basic training, Once pointed out it is obvious.
    It was easilly rectified with sorbothane insoles and a small bit of padding under the heel, Just place it under the insole. You can never tell.
    Apparently it is very common but only becomes an issue when training hard.
  6. I get exactly the same thing mate, I find that stretching out beforehand seems to sort it out, and Ive found a perfect flat mile and a half to practice on, the best places seem to be cycletracks. Another way i've found is to not swing your arms as much when you run, try to keep them down by your waist. You look like a silly cunt, but it seems to work for me.

    Any other advice you want, PM me. I'd also be greatful if anyone else has anything more they can contribute here, as it isn't being knackered that stops me, its the bloody back pain.

  7. Difference in length could be more 2-3 cms, which is obvious in the mirror, one knee lower than the other...., I have had in the past inserts for shoes, this has meant that cisrcuits round the hills are not always necessary
  8. TGM,
    here's a couple of things you can try to do to see which bit of you is complaining - when it next hurts - and it will, try bending forward and see if it makes it worse (I suspect not) then try bending backwards and see if that makes it worse (I suspect it will). If this is happening it's because you are probably injuring your facet joints, rather than your discs, which run up the back of your vertebral bodies. These really sing if you injure them which most people do by gradually irritating the hell out of them rather than by one spectacular moment of daftness and the muscles are recruited to act as scafolding if you like to prevent you injuring them any more so they start to ache as well. These facet joints don't like to be bashed together and it sounds as though that's what you are doing whilst runing. This happens because you are running far more upright than you do when you have a bergan on your back (centre of gravity shifting forward stuff) and being upright compresses these joints together, especially if your discs are thinning a bit due to previous injury or age (get an anatonomy book out and you'll see why). Its 2 1/2 times your body weight through a lumbar disc on every foot fall so they take a beating, and then add a bergan...

    If you have got a leg length inequality thats anything over 7mm is worth worrying about - if you are an athelte, anything over 10mm if you are a fat normal bloke. 3-4 cm is special boots time, so I reckon youve moved a decimal point rather than lost an inch of bone. However, real LLI is rare unless you have been in a leg fracturiung fall from the sky type of an event. It is much much more likely that you have rotated your pelvis slightly out of wack (again look in your Grey's anatonomy book to see how). A good chiro can sort this but it'll take time.

    I've no idea why it hurts walking up hill.

    Listen to YD about giving up all phiz and get on yer bike/ in the pool - but don't do breast stroke or use a road bike for too long (I can explain why but it'd take a power poit lesson and I'd now wish that on anyone..
  9. I used the foam padding that they use for slings on broken arms. A little square of this under the heel was enough just to lift the leg
  10. There is a Japanese complementary therapy called Yumeiho - which is all about the alignment of the hips. When a child is born one should and one hip comes out before the opther - which usually results in one side of the body being slightly longer than the other. This is perfectly normal. Most people have one leg slightly longer than the other.

    I was born with a 2 inch difference between my left and right however by the time I was 3 the lengths had corrected themselves and now Im about 3 cm off.

    And in response to the last comment about feeling it - you dont. Your hips take upt he difference with the hip ont he long leg side simply moving slightly higher thant he other side and for the body it is seen as 'normal' and straight.

    Your osteopath should help you with it as there are stretching techniques to help the muscles that hold the hips in place and while stretching and lengthening the 'shorter' side it can actually bring you back into balance. I see mine once a month for a checka nd to keep myself in balance - and its good for relaxing aswell.

    Best thing would be to see your osteopatha nd if it is something that s/he is not aware of or does not specialise in might be worth while seeing another ostepath to get the second opinion. But please dont worry yourself abouyt it too much - by handing different length legs you are NOT abnormal or strange.

    Have you had the arch in your feet measured? If they are either too high or lowered the painy ou experience whilst running might be caused or agrevated by wearing the wrong shoes for your feet ? Worth getting everything checked :)
  11. I have a medical background and feel alot of this advice is rubbish. Yes you may have a difference in leg length but if its 3-4cm it is significant and I cant understand why you have never noticed it before. You must have a noticeable lean? Padding out one foot with foam is a bad idea. If you want to know what to do about this problem you are best seeing your MO.

    One problem that I have seen a number of times is that people get back pain due to not carrying out holistic exercise. Your abs are the best way to relieve back pain. Sit-ups may help relieve some of the pressure you feel when running.

    As for the trainer issue I hope your not the type who wears reebok classics or brand name trainers for running. Get yourself to a real running shop and buy some professional training shoes. If you run alot a pair of professional trainers will last about six months or less. No air bubbles, designer trainers or just off the shelf type. Speak to someone about your training style and they will advice you on the best trainers to buy.

    And finally if you really have a problem with your back a forum is the wrong place to be. Im sure there are not many professionlly quailfied people here to give you sound advice. See the MO, they didnt spend 10 years training for you to take advice from the internet.
  12. Well i did have a differance in leg length and never noticed it, yes i did walk with a slight limp but it was other people that pointed this out to me. It was only when i did training that the differance was noticed. The foam padding and insoles certainly helped me and allowed me to complete my training. This advice did come from the MO.
    However i do agree with you that Proper medical advice is sought, but vds has already seen an osteopath. I was merely offering some advice through my own experience.
  13. DK,
    we all know what the MO is going to say - pain killers (so take the warning light out, can't be clever) anti inflams (and we'll just ignore the number of people they do in) and then off to the physio (who are world class muscle injury menders but less clever at low back problems since this involves bones, ligaments and nerves). I'd take myself off to a chiropractor or an osteopath - no I'd take myself off to a couple and chose the best one, and get it done by people who are experts in the field rather than a bloke who knows a great deal about dermatology, child developmental landmarks and bunions. But it is your back.

    Got to agree with you on the foam thing though - again I'd go and see a functional podiatrist and get the bloody job done properly.

    Avoid sit-ups like the plague - they will not help (seewww.backfitpro.com) in the long run.
  14. Stop talking Sh*t....What do you do for a living strikesure? I am medically based and worked within many medical and surgical disciplines (No im not a CMT, Im alot better than that). Vds01 get yourself to the doctor and do as they tell you. No injury is the same and other peoples experiences will be totally different to yours. If the Doc really thinks you need something doing they will carryout investigations and refer you to the right people.

    LISTEN IN "GET TO THE MO, THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEIR ON ABOUT AND A FORUM IS THE WORST PLACE TO ASK FOR ADVICE". If you really think you need advice ring the NHS hotline and ask someone you can trust and qualified in this area.
  15. Take a wander into your local Watestones and look for the book "Combat Conditioning" by Mat Fuery (If not try Judo or Sambo books) and look up the Back Bridge exercise (also known as back arch and wrestling bridge). That exercise helped me get rid of my lower back pain which resulted from years of bad drills in lifting heavy objects in work. Also for those with bad knees look up the exercise "Akido Squats" (what i know it as, but sure its the same as squats) sorted my knees out big time! And ive got major ligament irritation in my knees causes by the knee cap (my knees are generally shagged).