Staying fit with a knacked back?

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Steven, Apr 9, 2006.

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  1. Ok one for the "experts" out there.

    Stopped wearing green a few years ago and am enjoying the civie life but am gaining flab.

    My major problem is that I can't do any of the fitness training I learnt whilst serving as I have got a fcuked back (really!)
    I have a crushed vertibrae which puts pressure on the siatic(sp?) nerve so if I run or walk fast for more than a couple of hundred metres my legs hurt like fcuk.

    Can't do situps for the same reason. Riding a bike is ok so long as I take it slow. Swimming is just too sodding boring.

    So apart from the food poisioning idea mentioned in another thread anyone got any sensible ideas how I can do some fitness training?
  2. Swimming may be boring but its the best thing you've got at the moment. I had sciatica in my lower back for years until I started doing specific exercises to strengthen that area. Now I have no problems as long as I avoid really soft armchairs and lifting heavy things in the wrong way. The right way (bending knees) I can lift anything.

    Basically all I do is lay on the floor on my belly with my arms out front. Then I just lift the front part of my body up using the muscles in my lower back. Arms are still out front in the air. I hold that for as long as I can. I just do lots of reps of that any chance I get. My back is stronger than it ever has been now and no sciatica shooting pains down my leg and exercise is no problem either.

    A crushed vertibrae is pretty serious though so I don't know how relevant this is to you. A mate of mine fell 20 meters and landed on his feet, thus completely destroying a vert in his lower back. He has a titanium replacement one now held in place by two pins either side. Took him nearly a year to recover. Mobility is much restricted now though.
  3. Yep, swimming is definitely your best bet. You won't find it so boring once you find that it does wonders for your back (and your CV fitness).
  4. Know how you feel, I had and arguement with the central reservation of the motorway at Dulmen a couple of years ago, in a series 90, which did my back no good, plus the usual pile of militay injuries. Finally got the quack to sort some of them out but went to see a chiroprator who sorted out a lot of muscles. Word of warning, some chiropractors are very good, a lot are crap. Its f***ing expensive but well worth it, if you find a good one.

    Then I saw a good NHS physio who talked about weight, posture, diet, good mini-exercise, and toning. Actually better than I thought. Finally got her to refer me to the local gym where she ran a 6-week physio / fizz course, and did a 4-week Pilates course with a load of coffin dodgers which, again was far better than I imagined. Joined gym and have a good workout if I can, at least once a week. Sadly muscle weighs more than fat so I have got a bit heavier. However, I have doubled my press-ups, and I use one of those 'abs' exercise things, which just stretches my back enough, without the pain of sit ups.

    At 53, I have just done my CFT (TA), passed my bounty skills, and can still keep my colostomy bag from overspilling at a good piss up. I hate, loathe and despite running because of the pain, and a bergen kils me, but at least I can build up and pass it, usually with a few Brufen to help.

    Hope it goes well. PM me if you want more
  5. further to my last drival, I just heard somewhere that there is a new op for your type of injury, which is putting a rubber gromet between the vertabrae which absorbs the pounding of the spine. No further info,
  6. Steven,

    I've had sciatica and the physio exercises I was given were tailored for my specific circumstances - not all exercises are appropriate for all symptoms. However, prolonged driving still laid me low from time to time.

    I endorse the comments about chiropractors - I found a good one in October and haven't had a problem since. (Pricey though)
  7. Steven

    You have my sympathy mate - i too have disc problem and sciatica

    If a chiropractor is too expensive or difficult to locate - try a sports injury clinic, they should be able to tailor a regime to your restrictions.

    good painkillers are still required!! 8O

    My personal help came from a book on 'the alexander techniques'
    Alexander was an Aussie actor around 1900's, he kept loosing his voice - he had all the tests of the day and they couldnt find a thing wrong. So - it turns out he was carrying his head low - i.e. shortening his spine. Alexander re-taught himself how to walk, sit etc. Worth a read down the library.
  8. Thanks for all the answers.

    Really really don't want to let anyone with a knife near my spine unless it is unavoidable. (Had enough knives in the back to last me a lifetime :) )

    I have a set of exercises which I follow (when I remember) that keeps the pain down and mobility is not really a problem so long as I don't "cut about" every where I go, strolling along is a skill which I have yet to learn.

    Seems like I will have to start enjoying swimming and find and stick to a reasonable diet then.
  9. Have you thought about Pilates Steven? I dont know too much about it, but IIRC, it was developed back in the 20s/30s by a gymnast who injured himself and coudnt exercise normally.
    Whilst flicking round the channels looking for something interesting to watch on the telly, I often find QVC demonstrating a Pilates machine.
    I'm not totally naive, and I appreciate that they're trying to flog you the thing, but even so, it looks very impressive. I dont have a link, but a bit of Googling should provide some enlightenment.
    Other than that, swimming is the way forward. You're right, it is dull, but even half an hour two or three times a week makes a big difference.
  10. Have to second that. I have used a pilates class as a wind-down from the gym. Plenty of coffin-dodgers and little old ladies in their prize Oxfam outfits.

    However, it did teach me a lot about posture, how to sit, how to stand, lift my leg and 'cue centre' AKA pull your crotch in, all very interesting. You do need to go to a class though, as there are a few things you won't get unless someone shows you and helps you.

    It's not physically demanding at all- although will definately help your core strength. Good luck, you don't need any fancy machines, just a bit of instruction and your own body.
  11. I'm so wary of chiropractors. There are som very good ones out there, but they can do all the good in the world for skeletal alignment but if they neglect the muscular imbalances it will costa fortune cos you just keep going back, the problem will never be sorted. Would definately suggest Pilates. The only way that you will be able to take the pressure of said vertebrae is by making your trunk more effective at the job it is anatomicall designed to do, and that is to support your torso. THis means, sadly, lots of core stability and postural work to strengthen the area. So, go seea good chiropractor, once or twice, then kick on with pilates. If you let me know where you are I can do some digging and recommend.
  12. I went to a chiropractor who does the McTimoney method which looks at the muscles primarly, as muscles are 9accordingto him) 4 times stronger than bones, and are what holds the back together. His view is 'get the muscles right and the bones will be in the right place.'
    Cost a packet, £80+ forjust over2 hours, but he introduced me to 'theraputic discomfort. Money well spent.
  13. Losing weight will rid you of those problems Steven!

    I have problems with sciatica when I was really overweight wNo swimming no running and it was and is, when I do get it, agony!

    It's hard to lose weight but once it's off it's relatively easy to keep off!
    Thats what I have found.

    I eat 1 meal a day, in the evenings abd as much as I want and whatever I want!

    Sod the calories, sod the fat etc, I'm sure it's not healthy when you start BUT you will lose weight as your stomach shrinks, you need not miss maccy dees or gyros or chips or sweets or even salads for that!

    I have lost over 1 and a half stone in as many months by doing this and I feel great! My sciatica has gone, my knee is better I sleep better I dont feel fatigued and my lower back pain has gone!

    Once another half stone has gone I will introduce soup for lunch and a cereal (possibly muesli) for breakfast and light exercise!!!!!

    The weight will stay off, I am sure of that and before all these health whallas go berserk....

    Being fat pts a long term strain on the body but starving / semi-starving for 2 to 3 months has only a short term bad effect on your body, also, the chances of gaining diabetes is very slim and being a bit cheeky here, concentration camp survivors reached an old age before death (after surviving the horror camps.....) and that has scientifically been put down to their "starvation".

    Rather an eye opener!

    Best of luck Steven
  14. Is your bad back due to your service? If so, did you flag it up during your final medical?

    My lower back is a constant source of irritation, pain and sometimes agony. I, on my father's (ex-Mil) insistence, made sure it was acknowledged by the idle bored civvy woman Army Quack when I left. Miserable bitch: quote - 'Well, what do expect if you've just spent the last ten years on the Infantry?' - Anyway, it's on my docs now, and I get a tiny War Pension each month, HOWEVER, it is the admission by the 'powers that be' that they broke me that I consider the most vital thing, for when it gets really bad in years to come! Cheerful thought.....

    Exercise is a problem (crap knees as well). So I resort to long forced marches with the dog, and struggle hard to control my diet. This is hugely difficult as I have a taste for industrial quantities of 6X. Willpower and press-ups is the way ahead.
  15. Yep definatley attributable and rated at 30% so a bit of tax free cash each month. :)

    Going to have to give this pilates business a look. Being in Germany on their medical system might work in my favour as they have a lot more extras built into the system than the NHS.

    Luckily enough I don't actually like beer 8O so my weight is not too much of a worry at the moment, only gained 6Kg in 6 years since I took the green skin off for the last time. Mind you if that keeps up I will be a really fat barstud by the time I am 60 odd..