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Back Problems & exercise

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Old 05-29-2012, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default Back Problems & exercise

Hi, i find it hard to exercise because i have scoliosis of the spine, i can not do sit ups because of how my spine is..and this is a bit irritating because i use to get good results doing sit ups when i was a young teen. i'm 24 now.

i try and lift weights also to tone up my upper arm, but two days after the workout everything hurts and recently it seems like i pulled a back muscle, and it hurt for like 2 months before it completely went away.

so the only exercise i've been doing is walking.. my back only hurt when i sat down.

i'm trying to tone up , i dont own a bike or a gym card or a pool membership
so everything i do is at home with my husband who monitors me while i use to lift weights..we both go on walks together..

i was thinking swimming might be good for my back and tone up at the same thime.. but i have broad solders and i'm afraid swimming laps will only make my shoulders look even bigger.

i'd like to know if anyone else has the same problem with there back and what do you do for exercise , and do you have any advice?

i don't take medication for my back as the pain i get can be random and i thought it wasn't worth going to the doctors ,but it has been getting worse lately..the doctor doesn't think it's worth prescribing me anything yet because my back pain is not to bad even though my spin is really twisted
the doctors think my spine is the result of growing to quickly during puberty and that because of my height my back is weak..thats what they told me a long time ago.. but i think it's lack of confidence that did it + my height making me hunch over all the time while talking to shorter people xD.

meh sorry for the long post.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:13 PM   #2
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My suggestion would be to try Vinyasa Yoga. I have had back problems for 20 years, and yoga is an integral part of my life now since I discovered it for myself 2 years ago. I find if I do at least one session a week (or a little every day, even as little as 10 minutes) that my back problems are MUCH less, which opens up a whole plethora of other options for me such as resistance training, bike riding, hiking, etc. Yoga alone can do some amazing things. If I could only do one exercise, I think I would choose yoga because of the benefits to both mind and body (and back!).
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #3
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I second yoga. I also wanted to say that if you are wanting core exercises, the plank is the best for abs without straining your back too much. I have repeatedly injured my back over the years and I have to adjust what I'm doing when it flares up. So if it's lower, I don't run. If it's upper, I avoid chest presses or upright rows. I alternate what I'm doing so I don't hurt myself. ****, I even hurt myself stretching the last time I did it. I was seated, and reached out to touch my toes and BLAMMO! Something popped and then I had to crawl to my car. So I understand the pain totally. But try the yoga, cuz I've heard it really helps people with chronic back pain.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:09 PM   #4
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I'm also tall and have had my share of back troubles over the years. For me, it was a herniated disc that was just awful for about a 5 year span.

I did pilates during the time of my back problems, and managed to make them flare up so badly that I had to quit the class. I really think (for me anyway) it's a mistake to do any deep stretching when my back is not in alignment or when it's painful in any way. After a few months of no pain, I again took up exercise and yoga and my back has been great ever since (6 years and counting). (knock on wood!).

So if I were you, I'd stick with any exercise right now that is completely pain free. If it's only walking, great. There's no harm in waiting a few months for your current flareup to subside, then approaching exercise with a healthy back. In the meantime, I'd also explore massage therapy - it did amazing things for me.

GL!
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:33 PM   #5
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yoga was great on my back as well although i dont do it anymore

my back was damaged when i was a teenager from a fall on a trampoline...i was bouncing really high, high enough to see over the rooftop, and i lost my balance, flipped sideways and slammed my lower back on impact near the metal ring around the trampoline...i never told my parents that i was hurt

several years later, i told them and they took me to a chiropractor...my L5 area was twisted and collapsed inward and my spine in general was twisting to compensate for it...she gave me a few treatments which left me in more pain than i already was in, and then i quit going

i had ruptured discs in the L5 area off and on for years after that...finally one ruptured and took years to heal...i made myself go to the chiro and go through ALL the treatments...he said my hips were NOT level by Three Inches (eek!) but we got them leveled out, my upper spine untwisted, and most of the L5 area straightened out as best we could...there is still one vertebrae that is twisted around facing backwards but it probably cant be fixed without surgery

anyhow, my exercises have included walking, walking up hills, jogging and running, biking, yoga and some pilates...if it bothers my back, i take an Aleve or three...if it HURTS my back, i stop and take a few days break from that particular thing
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:10 AM   #6
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thanks everyone ... i thought yoga or stretching would make my back worse though, because it involves a lot of bending, but maybe i should try it and if i cant seem to do it with out hurting myself then i'll have to try something else .. i'm glad im not the only one on here that has back problems, i always felt a bit jealous of people who have a perfect back and that can do any type of exercise they want with out having to worry if there contorting there body
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VioletRain View Post
thanks everyone ... i thought yoga or stretching would make my back worse though, because it involves a lot of bending, but maybe i should try it and if i cant seem to do it with out hurting myself then i'll have to try something else .. i'm glad im not the only one on here that has back problems, i always felt a bit jealous of people who have a perfect back and that can do any type of exercise they want with out having to worry if there contorting there body
You are wise to listen to your body and definitely should avoid anything that hurts or makes things worse. I think you may be surprised how well yoga works. It not only strengthens your back, it also improves spinal lubrication and its ability to pull in nutrients. Even if I'm not doing a full yoga workout, I do cat/camel every day, and some spinal twists, child's pose and downward dog. Also if you have back problems don't neglect your hammies and hips. Tight hips and hamstrings will pull your whole spine out alignment. I finally found out after 18 years of back problems that my primary issue is my hips. The nice thing is that a good yoga program targets the entire body one posture at a time. And the twisting postures not only help the spine, they also improve things like digestion and elimination. It's pretty win-win. I herniated a disc two years ago and was on vicodin for pain- I didn't like it and began looking for alternative treatments. The chiropractor made things worse, but I found my holy grail in a combination of acupuncture and yoga. I would say most of the time my back is 99% of normal and I don't take an pain meds at all, not even OTC.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by EagleRiverDee View Post
You are wise to listen to your body and definitely should avoid anything that hurts or makes things worse. I think you may be surprised how well yoga works. It not only strengthens your back, it also improves spinal lubrication and its ability to pull in nutrients. Even if I'm not doing a full yoga workout, I do cat/camel every day, and some spinal twists, child's pose and downward dog. Also if you have back problems don't neglect your hammies and hips. Tight hips and hamstrings will pull your whole spine out alignment. I finally found out after 18 years of back problems that my primary issue is my hips. The nice thing is that a good yoga program targets the entire body one posture at a time. And the twisting postures not only help the spine, they also improve things like digestion and elimination. It's pretty win-win. I herniated a disc two years ago and was on vicodin for pain- I didn't like it and began looking for alternative treatments. The chiropractor made things worse, but I found my holy grail in a combination of acupuncture and yoga. I would say most of the time my back is 99% of normal and I don't take an pain meds at all, not even OTC.
wow you definitely swear by it, my mother also has back problems and she asked me to get her a yoga dvd last xmas, and she has been doing it she has lost 20lb but i never asked her how her back is doing, i have to remind myself to ask her in the next email.

thank you for highly suggesting it, i look forward to learning yoga!
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:06 PM   #9
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wow you definitely swear by it, my mother also has back problems and she asked me to get her a yoga dvd last xmas, and she has been doing it she has lost 20lb but i never asked her how her back is doing, i have to remind myself to ask her in the next email.

thank you for highly suggesting it, i look forward to learning yoga!
When you talk to your mom, I'd be curious whether she says if helped her back too, if you don't mind coming back and sharing that.

There is video that has gone viral on the web about this guy that was a soldier and had broken his back- he was unable to walk without two canes and had gained a lot of weight. The doctors told him he'd never walk unassisted again. He started doing yoga, and lost weight and better yet regained full mobility, and can even RUN now. No more canes. It's an amazing story. If you aren't familiar with the video, I can PM you a link.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by EagleRiverDee View Post
When you talk to your mom, I'd be curious whether she says if helped her back too, if you don't mind coming back and sharing that.

There is video that has gone viral on the web about this guy that was a soldier and had broken his back- he was unable to walk without two canes and had gained a lot of weight. The doctors told him he'd never walk unassisted again. He started doing yoga, and lost weight and better yet regained full mobility, and can even RUN now. No more canes. It's an amazing story. If you aren't familiar with the video, I can PM you a link.
sure i dont mind .. no i never heard about that story sure Pm it to me sounds amazing.
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