ive had a really bad lower back for the last 4 months and im just about fed up!
ive seen a few diferent people about it and all i seem to end up with is a lighter wallet and a sore back…
i think its related to surfing but i cant really pin point it. all i know is if i go surfing i can hardly walk for the next 3 days. im all for missing a few days of work but geeeezzz, no surfing is killing me.
surely some surfers out there have had some simular issues with this problem.
what can i do???
Yes, I can relate on the back pain as well as the light wallet…
I’ve had quack bonecrackers with dollar signs in their eyes as they look me up and down.
But you need help getting to the bottom of it. I eventually got a really good physio. I had suffered for years and this guy had me completely changing my sanding style, even the way I walk. Habitual movements were actually weakening my back, making the spine less supported on one side, exacerbating an old car-roll injury. This despite 8 years of yoga.
But each case is different.
With back pain, you need to sort out what it is, and not some quack…You need to establish if its just from being unfit, or an old injury, bones, nerves, muscles, what.
Many crew go in for a set of exercises, and either over-do it or slack off and chuck it in.
Given your profession, I’d venture a guess that you could have an imbalance of back muscles from year after year of the same movements on one side…(I had fucked knuckles in one hand also, from squeezing a spraygun trigger)
I say get some recomendations from local crew, and be prepared to put in effort to change your habits. Admitting that you are not handling it is the first positive step.
One benefit for me apart from reduced pain and better stamina for long days in the pit, is that I’ve become buff from simple dumbell work, half an hour a day.
i have started doing some yoga but i get the feeling this may be a good preventitive, not a cure. it’s still great though, and i enjoy it.
by any chance, did you find that guy in geelong? ill look him up.
otherwise, how the hell am i going to find someone with the same skills?
its hit and miss with more misses trying to find the crew that actually know what the hell there doing.
Make sure that there’s no actual physical injury (ruptured disc, for example) and then ease…that’s eeeaasssee into an exercise program that will strengthen the back (and abdominals- the other 3 walls support) and careful stretching. Tight hamstrings can be a cause of back pain.
Be careful with the yoga- seriously! You can really overstretch the muscles and connective tissue in the lower back (those tight hamstrings can be stronger than the back muscles), which can lead to weakening the support of the lumbar spine. Try some “Heal the Back” classes with an instructor who’s over 40 and knows a bit about wear and tear on the body. A good teacher can help to find better ways to sit and to stand, paddle, (and even to sleep).
Good luck. I’ve been there (severe back pain), and you can get through it!
Hey Shifty, was just thinking how my back was hurting,came across your thread, and as Allangibbons just said, nice website by the way, could’nt get the movie happening, the back pain can be caused by stiff hamies. What I have done in the past and will probably do it right now, or , and another beer, is lie flat on my back and point my toes at my melon, of course you should make sure you have no injuries, but I tell you, doing this in bed and other times, helps. I have been to all the quacks, more than I would admit to. Another thing I do with my aches and pains is to relentessly rub hot tiger balm on the troubled bits, hope you get it right, J.H.
Hi just read your post with regards to a bad back, 3 weeks ago i was suffering quite badly too, unable to work ,couldnt stand up straight, walking was painful and awkward i was feeling like a vey old man. I was also nervous as it wasnt geting better and i wasnt sure what to do, i was also going to Bali for a holiday and just lying on a board was very difficult let alone surfing. I found a guy over here from australia who used to work on football players back in perth and after an intense massage session and alining the muscles and using electic currents to soften the muscles, i stood up after it and seriously could believe it i felt amazing. done alot of surfing and no problems. I have to return to australia in a few days and i am feeling great, but aso worried if it happens again who to turn to back home.
I find riding boards with thruster fin clusters has me walking like a cripple for the next couple of days. I just ride twins, 2+1’s and singles with no problem.
It’s worth getting an x-ray which can pinpoint the problem to figure out how to fix it. Must be someone you know who can recommend a chiropractor and take the x-ray to show them.
Occasionally my lower back goes out pinching a nerve and giving me pain in one testicle. Went to the doctor thinking I have cancer and he tells me its a pinched nerve. Go see my chiropractor and one click and its fixed. Stoked.
Also find one of the verterbrae in my upper back goes out sometimes which can give me pain in the shoulder blade area and right through into my chest. This is common amongst surfers the chiropractor treats (Back hyper-extension while paddling). Again easily fixed with an adjustment.
Suffered with this pain for years while living in Thailand. Great excuse for 2 hour massages but to cure the problem I needed the verterbrae clicked back into place.
i should have stated earlier that i have had x-rays and they came back positive. i guess this means no bone problems right?
to tombstone - quote -
“Hi just read your post with regards to a bad back, 3 weeks ago i was suffering quite badly too, unable to work ,couldnt stand up straight, walking was painful and awkward i was feeling like a vey old man. I was also nervous as it wasnt geting better and i wasnt sure what to do, i was also going to Bali for a holiday and just lying on a board was very difficult let alone surfing. I found a guy over here from australia who used to work on football players back in perth and after an intense massage session and alining the muscles and using electic currents to soften the muscles, i stood up after it and seriously could believe it i felt amazing. done alot of surfing and no problems”
i too feel like an old man!
i guess i just need to go easy on the yoga and find the right person for the job eh?
should i be looking for a physio or an ostiopath?
I was just about to ask whether you were riding a twin fin! I think MP once said “Don’t ride twin fins, they’ll kill your back”.
I find riding boards with thruster fin clusters has me walking like a cripple for the next couple of days. I just ride twins, 2+1’s and singles with no problem.
actually, it seems to make no difference what i surf. although, it got rather bad after i let the fins go on a close-out reo kind of thing on a 6’0" shortboard thruster bubble kind of board…
does that make sence?
looser boards make me twist up more, making my back worse…
Have you been to an ortho?
How bout an MRI?
Most back probs are in the discs between the vertebra. There are degenerative changes, life’s wear and tear, and then there’s acute changes. Both can cause back pain.
If you dont like going to doctors and want to stay off the operating room table, I would recommend you buy one of the various books on spine health management. I’ll get you some references later…kids need me right now.
I’ve had back problems on and off for at least half my life. I know how much it sucks. The pain for me, on a scale of 1-10 can sometimes hit 10… literally taking my breath away. It will start with soreness, and over a few days, become worse and worse until I can hardly move. By then, the muscle spasms have started. So back problems can be pretty complex, with combinations of disk issues, nerve issues, and muscle issues.
First I have to rest. This means no surfing for sometimes a couple of weeks. Laying in comfortable positions, and I’ll stretch daily to a point where it hurts in a good way when I do it. When I can put on my own socks with the pain staying in the 1-3 or 4 range, I’ll start to combine some stretching with light excercise. At this point I’ll start surfing again, with the emphasis on paddling with my back straight and tensed by lifting my chest off the board. I’ll keep my sessions short and only ride a longboard. This can last for several more weeks.
Once I’m really starting to feel stronger, but still with soreness, I’ll ride some different boards, but try to resist the movements that make it hurt… for me, that’s rotation type movements, like hard turns, where your shoulders are 90 degrees to your hips.
Unfortunately, I’ll get back pain episodes that last for MONTHS. The longest was 9 months to fully recuperate.
Here’s my advice: Do as much as your back allows. Too much rest… too little movement… can make your back weaker and tighter. Correct your posture. Avoid the movements you know put your back under strain. Stay fit, particularly your abs, glutes, neck and back muscles. I have a weight training program specifically designed to focus on these areas I got from a personal trainer. Well worth the investment.
About ten years ago I suffered a nasty back injury that a few weeks later I figured out happened by carrying heavy bags on my shoulders for an extended period in the airport. The Denver Airport is huge. Anyway, the pain was worse when I got up in the morning than when I went to bed at night. I talked to a couple of physical therapists about what to do and finally found a book called, “Healing Back Pain Without Drugs and Surgery.” The book put me on the right road. I got on twice a day program which I stayed with it for over three years.
Note: When you have constant pain you have to immobilize the area or the inflammation won’t go away. I you hide from the pain with drugs you don’t really know whether your getting better or not. You can easily do more damage without knowing as well.
So I started wearing a small corset that I got at the drug store that has part that fits right into the small of your back to keep it still. I had to wear this all the time to keep my back from flaring up. I only took it off when I was doing the program. As time progressed I needed it less and less.
So morning and night I would go in the shower and heat up my lower back to prepare the area for movement. In the beginning I couldn’t move more that a couple of millimeters.
Following this I did my stretching then the exercises prescribed by the physical therapists. I feel the most important ones were getting in my knees and trying to gradually put my body in an tight a ball as possible, and I can’t tell you how many crunches, but it was three sets each session with the total amounting to well over 500 a day. I followed the movement by icing for about 30 minutes which helped relieve pain enormously as well as holding inflammation to a minimum. I was then back in the corset for the balance because without it every time I tried to do something I was in agony. Anytime I could take to time to ice my back I did. ICE! ICE! ICE!
Well, it took about three and a half years before I was pain free but my back remains pain free to this day.
Bottom line it takes lots of discipline and a huge amount of work but it’s completely worth it. Before you do anything talk to a top physical therapist and continue to educate yourself about the healing process. I you don’t take charge of it you won’t heal.
I hope these ramblings are of some help.
Now all I have to do is get my left hip sorted out.
I recall someone saying getting old is like being in a car wreck, well they weren’t far off.
Stay Stoked, Rich
I had major back pain for 3 years. rasied my shaping stands 1 " only. and got some ortherpedic thongs. fixed. no pain what so ever…
I used to get so shitty cause of my pain, thought i was f2@#ked!
chance are good you can overcome this.
all the best
In the past my back was so tight that I could go into lower back spasm in the morning when I leaned over to brush my teeth- so I don’t brush my teeth anymore ! No- really I had a lot of lower back problems from compressed disks. Anything that loaded up my spine would start the lower back pain. I tried stretching and all kinds of exercises and even wore one of those home depot type braces for my lower back. Everything helped a bit but I had to be careful. Last summer at Church’s a friend introduced me to a chiropractor who gave me some exercises to do that have been of enormous help to me.In just about 2 weeks I noticed a big difference and it is lasting - I’m surfing without the brace, even snowboarding again. Here’s the exercise - get down in a pushup position but resting on your forearms, so your body is supported by your feet and forearms, hips off the ground like a normal pushup, hold it for 15 seconds, then roll over on one side so again you’re supported by your foot and forearm, hip off the ground. Again hold for 15 seconds. Then on your back, feet and forearms supporting, hips off the ground -15 seconds and next -other side same thing. Then back to your pushup position and hold for 30 seconds- and continue to the different positions, 30 seconds each. I do my final set for 45 seconds, no rest right through the whole routine. At first I made it up to a minute but I was straining a little so I’m holding the last set to 45 seconds and it’s working for me. I’m really guilty of overdoing stuff so I’m trying to be moderate with this stuff this time. I thought that at my age (66) I would never get back to ‘normal’ but here I am again back in town. I really hope others can benefit as I have. ( I do this workout along with my back extensions and crunches every third day) Good Luck.
Here’s the exercise - get down in a pushup position but resting on your forearms, so your body is supported by your feet and forearms, hips off the ground like a normal pushup, hold it for 15 seconds, then roll over on one side so again you’re supported by your foot and forearm, hip off the ground. Again hold for 15 seconds. Then on your back, feet and forearms supporting, hips off the ground -15 seconds and next -other side same thing. Then back to your pushup position and hold for 30 seconds- and continue to the different positions, 30 seconds each.
at first i thought , hey that sounds pretty easy. ill give it a go.
its actually a lot harder than it sounds. you can really feel the problem muscles getting a real work out.
i like it.
how many of these should i do every day?
If your x-ray says that you don’t have any spinal injuries, then maybe it’s a joint problem. You might want to try taking glucosamine. It might help take the pain away. I find it helps when I have neck pain. I don’t know exactly what it does, but supposedly it keeps your bones from grinding together at the joints. My doctor recomended it to me. You can get it at any supermarket.
Unfortunately the physio I went to was in Kingscliff NSW when I last lived on the Goldy.
Have you been through Karuna Maya in Jan Juc?
There are issues with Yoga possibly being wrong if you just go to general classes, but a really experienced teacher like Ros Butterworth out the back of Bells may help…IF she is fullly aware of your problems.
I taught Yoga in Byron Bay for a while…(I’m a qualified Iyengar Yoga teacher…) and a big lesson as a teacher was that people either load all their woes onto you or don’t tell you at all…
A yoga program is not medical:- It can be remedial if designed for you by a thoroughly trained teacher who is fully informed of your problem, but it has to be hand-in-hand with a sound medical opinion.
You don’t need a “Guru” you need real knowledge. The field of physio my guy specialised in was called “Proprioception”, a fancy way of saying “awareness of postural habits.”
Rousa used to speak of a surfing doctor he had good experience with. I’ve forgotten the guys name, but its possible that the guy has a great referal list.
I think speedy is on the money. Be really careful with the stretching and excercise routine and get the right one. Also, check out what you are sleeping on, sleeping on a hard surface can often work, depending on what the problem is.
There was a great sports centre or clinic in Heidelberg when I was in Melb a while back. I think it was this one http://www.alphingtonsportsmed.com.au/contact.php
an x ray wont show a disc problem
you need an MRI to realy be sure
I have a bulging disc and the f n pain is breath takeing,
I have self cured this in the last 5 years by the following actions
1st I took cod liver oil gell caps every morning with a bowl of cereal and milk
2nd take lots of B complex vitamins
3rd no more lifting heavey loads ,period ,
4th pay attention to your posture, sit up straight and chin up and remove the wallet from your ass
within 2 weeks from starting my back felt great
the fishoil is good for soft cartelage and lubeing the joints, but it needs a host to be digested, so it attaches to the milk fats and the body absorbs it. the cereal keeps you solid.
the B vitamins are good for the nervous system
this worked for me and I rarely take the oil anymore