Lower back problems after leaving the service

Just wondering if others have similar problems and if it's connected to my 12 years in the army.

2 years after leaving i developed lower back problems (lumbar region is it?) it wasn't one single action i did but it developed pretty quickly over a period of a couple of months and has remain more or less constant the last 5 years. What happens is that if i stand relatively still, move slowly like wandering around shops for example or lie on my back after about 15 minutes the muscles around the spine in my lower back get so tense almost like cramp that pain starts and just gets worse and worse until i either sit down or otherwise stretch my back by bending forwards. Bending forwards is usually accompanied by a good few cracks up the spine.
Now regular walking or jogging is no problem, it seems the movement prevents this 'seezing up'.
I went to the quacks back when it first started and he just refered me to a chiropractor first and then a physio. No explanation what could be wrong and neither helped so i haven't bothered going back as although it's no fun when it does hurt i work in IT now so much of my time is spent on my arrse.

so i was wondering if all those years humping bergans around caused some kind of wear on the vertebrae which might have led to this coupled with the muscles in my back being less strong than they once were when i was doing phys everyday.

I'm pretty much prepared to accept that i may just have to learn to live with it but i'd at least like to know what's wrong and what may have caused it.
Sorry mate, but "althose years" being 12 years, yeah?

If it started 2 years after you left, it is probably not connected. If it was surver you would have noticed it straight away.

It could be that your body likes to be on the go all the time. I know that if I don't do any PT for a while I become a raving nut case (more of one) and would kill just to do some. this is only because of my body not because I choose to. Yours may just do it in a physical way instead of a psycholical way.

Sorry if I can't help but Idon'tthink anyone could as it would help A LOT to see your back to examin it. t sounds like you also may be nipping a nerve (not constant or full trapt), but do not quote me on this.
Back problems are endemic in modern man, not just the military community. The root of the problem is that most people take insufficent care of their spine, and the muscle groups which service it.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs a regime of exercises to keep their back strong. Unless you are crippled with pain, it is not too late to start.
The three exercises that I perform on a daily basis, in order to keep my back strong are:-

Pelvic thrusts - Lay on your back on the floor. Bring your feet up until your soles are flat on the floor, and your lower legs are at an angle of between 70 and 80 degrees. Thrust your pelvis up off of the floor until your entire body from shoulders to knees is straight. Repeat as appropriate, starting at 20. I do these while watching TV (particularly Hollyoaks and Nigella Lawson :wink: ) you will soon be able to do hundreds. Its great for the muscles of your lower back, and also your pelvic floor, and yes gentlemen, this can be just as beneficial for you as it is for the ladies.

Windmills - Swing both your arms in concentric circles across your body, first in one direction, and then the other. Start with ten in each direction, and build up daily. I do 100 in each direction. This will build up the muscles of your upper back and shoulders, your tri-ceps, and your pectorals. I have shoulders like Viv Richards, so trust me, it works.

Pull-ups - I'm sure I dont need to explain this one. You need to do both overhand, and underhand. Many people will struggle with these, but stick with it. Ten is fine, twenty is better, if you can manage fifty, you're doing well.
Suffering with knee problem at the moment - back of kneecap needs a shave apparently.

Problem is that I 'favour' my bad knee and this is causing me problems in my lower back. Desk bound job at the moment and if I sit at the computer and slouch then my back is in tatters for a while.
back of kneecap needs a shave apparently.

Do you favour a Brazilian too? 8O :wink:


Be careful cdo as a mate of mines lower spine lterally came apart, his x rays have to be seen to be believed. It happened within 2 years of him leaving after about 6 in. He had a normal 12 months till the pain got too much, his first specialist wrote him off. Later a decent quack sorted out his pension claim by standing firm on his opinion and the regt benevolent fund kitted him out with a Brian Potter mobile. He is in serious pain by mid afternoon and drugs are the only way to survive. It cost him more than one relationship and one marriage.
PM me & I'll get him to send you chapter and verse on a nasty episode in his life. He is still a sicko b*stard and we are going on the piss next month. Should be intersting a physical and an emotional cripple pissed!
cdo_gunner you need to get 'professional' help. go back to your doc and discuss it with him/her, if they're half good at their job then they'll tell you straight. See what they say then if it does look like it's from service then you need to get in touch with Veterans Agency and apply for War Pension Disablement (think it's still called that). Had an injury to my spine in '92 (resulting in Med Disch) and still in constant pain 24/7. You'll probably be stuck with it from now on, but it's the way you 'manage' the pain that will determine how it affects your life. Exercise is cucial, as much as you can manage, if you stay imobile it will get worse. There are loads of things you can get to help, and not just medication. PM me if you need any more help mate.
back of kneecap needs a shave apparently.

Do you favour a Brazilian too?
Consultant took easy way out and insisted on 6 months physio first. Now physio is causing both knee and back to hurt as young physio (Ruth :twisted: ) is seeing if she can get me to strengthen muscles to pull kneecap into line.

I think Iwill be back with him in 6 months and then on waiting list for another 6 months to get op done. Fcuking NHS.
Agree totally with ugly, my injury and the results have cost me a lot, finacially and relationship wise. Really is best to get it sorted sooner, rather wait until later when the problem is a lot worse
Thanks for all the input fellas, it's appreciated. I think i will go back to my GP and ask, see if i can find out exactly what's going on. What it feels like is that when the spine is in a standing position something is out of wack causing the muscles to try and compensate for something which then cause stiffness and pain.

Good points about exercise, i still do a fair bit but it's probably the wrong sort ie. hill walking and skiing. Those pelvic thrusts sound like a good place to start.

keep your mucky thoughts off Nigela Lawson...she's mine...all mine :p
I would recommend going to see a McTimoney Chiropracter. I have had massive problems with my back and knees. After three sessions she has done miraculous work.

I still have problems and will have to keep going for treatment but I am no longer having to take massive amounts of brufen every day. If something is out of whack, they should be able to sort it out. When I first went along, one side of my pelvis was between one and two inches higher than the other! I had been to see a specialist who a) told me I had one leg shorter than the other (pelvis problem maybe?) and b) recommended major surgery on both knees which would have put me out of action for about 2 years. Now I should be back up to full fitness by the end of the year :D

The other good thing is that, because of the way they do their realignment, it is not painful like some chiropracters/osteopaths

Find a Chiropracter
Common Muscular Weaknesses.
Strangely enough you will find both problems mentioned in this thread at the link.
I have the same lateral patella displacement as Murielson, my doctor put it down to stopping running when I got out which led to my quads shrinking. I got offered painkillers. :roll: I've had it for about 6 years now and got sick of "don't run" advice. Trained up with weights/exercise bike for 3 months then started running again a few weeks ago. Dunno if this will sort it but I feel a lot better over all and it doesn't hurt any worse.
:D hi all

most of the advice sounds very good but an additional exercise and a main exercise in mobility is knee rolling ..it has the same start position as the pelvic thrust and keeping your knees and feet together you rock gently from side to side ensuring that you keep your shoulders on the floor. if it is a prolasped disc you may find relief but mainly on one side work your way slowly until your legs are almost on the floor either side.... if you find pain increases on one side avoid going too far and concentrate on the opposite side.... To finish off lie in that position and try to relax this should and does in most cases give relief......
I went to the quacks back when it first started and he just refered me to a chiropractor first and then a physio. No explanation what could be wrong and neither helped so i haven't bothered going back
There is a real problem in the Military with guys who get fed up too quickly because they're not getting the results they want straight away. You really do have to be patient with these things, especially backs. Medicine very often involves a great degree of trial and error before an effective treatment is found. My advice is to go back to your physio and stick with it. If you genuinely think that your physio isn't up to it then find another one, but don't abandon the idea altogether. Not all physios are the same.
I would agree with TubbyBoy.

I was having lower back problems and went to see a local Chiropractor (he's gone back to Aus now so can't name him) I found his knowledge of the spine outstanding and his treatment spot on. It wasn't cheap mind but very good.

I now also do pilates. Yes I know it's for birds but you have a bash and after ten minutes of deep abdominals you'll be crying for your mum.
I am an ex-reg infanteer and now a TA infanteer. I'm also a chiropractor, partly because my back was stuffed after being in for a while - I blame the white-sifter myself, and I wanted to know why.

I think we chiros know what we're talking about and so do the Medical Research Council in the BMJ "chiro management and skilled manipulation are more effective and cost-effective than usual or best medical care".

Physios are right on the nail for muscular injury and recovery but will not cut the mustard when it comes to disc damage and joint issues - and that's why we all stop going to them. Any bone stuff and you need to see someone who deals with bones not a muscles expert.

Now, like any trainier some you get on with (RMP Staff Sgt in the Wpns wing), some you hate (SASC Staff Sgt in the Wpns wing) so you'll need to shop round.

Don't expect miracles - they are rare but can be done. Remember its taken you years of tabbing with that bergan, two 81 rounds and the GSA to get you where you are - it'll take a bit to get you working right.

Finally, go steady on the drugs. They are like removing the bulb from your warning lights on your dash - its still knackered in there even though it might feel OK and you'll go and do something stupid. And avoid surgery unless you can think of nothing else to do that day.

If any one wants some free impartial advice give me an e-mail and I'll happily chat it through.
Core stability is the major issue I can see here. Get yourself back to a physio initially to get proper assessment of just how cr@p your abdominals/pelvic floor muscles may have become. If they say not bad go do some form of exercise try pilates, yoga or anything along those lines. Strengthening these areas will lead to decreases in pain, improvement in your posture and gait, big improvement in your sexual ability and down the track reduce the issue of urinary incontinence. The what caused it issue is something you will definitely need to seek advice on through "Veterans Affairs" type channels.


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mizkrissi said:

reduce the issue of urinary incontinence.

This is a good thing ? 8O


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