Author Topic: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues  (Read 1812 times)

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« on: October 24, 2020, 02:21:23 PM »
I have had intermittent stiffness and soreness in my lower back for years. I understand that this is a very common problem for men like me--late 40s on the tall side (6'). I am not overweight, I do (try to do) cardio several times a week, weight lifting (just dumbells nothing too extreme), and i do yoga for 30 mins to an hour every single day. There are many yoga moves that are great for the lower back. Your lower back muscles are connected to just about everything else in your body; there are actually not many yoga moves that do not in some way help the lower back! Despite COVID, I don't think stress is an issue; I've just been working from home enjoying not having to commute!

Earlier this year, it got so bad that I could barely even get out of bed without doing a couple stretches (in bed) first. It is not nearly that bad now, but is still bothering me. I am leery of going back to see my doctor and physical therapist (did a good job on my shoulder last year) because of COVID--although my wife and I just went in for our flu shots. I might do a tele-health visit with him and my PT.

In the mean time, I have been doing the yoga and using a little massage ball placed under the offending spot on my back. Lying on the floor, I roll around a bit on the ball for a few minutes. Sometimes this helps a great deal, other times it seems to do very little---can't figure that one out!

Anyway, I was wondering whether anyone could recommend any good-value in-home massage products. Years ago, another PT gave me a little electro-stimulator that had a 9V battery powered box to which were attached four electrodes you attach to your body. You turn it up to whatever level feels comfortable, and it feels like a good massage for half an hour or so. That device was rather cheap and died after a few months. I am looking to find a replacement. 

Any other products you would recommend? I am not ready to drop thousands of dollars on a massage chair right now, until I have tried other products. On occasion, I also get some slight soreness in my upper back.


« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 02:25:55 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

NotJen

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2020, 02:30:31 PM »
Have you tried to figure out if your mattress is causing your back pain?

My bad mattress was causing hip pain, which I only discovered after sleeping on a pretty terrible bed, but not having any pain in the morning when I woke up!  To fix it, I found the one spot on my mattress that isn't bad yet, and will buy a new one when the hip pain returns.

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2020, 02:37:55 PM »
Thanks, that's a good point, but I don't think the mattress is the issue so much as the wedge (Medslant) pillow I sleep on for GERD (acid reflux). GERD is another issue of mine, but my gastroenterologist put me on a good prescription that is working well. The wedge pillow was actually my idea and not his. He thought it couldn't hurt to try it, but maybe it IS hurting my lower back. I am planning to try doing without it for a week or so to see what happens. I also read that a pillow between the knees for sleeping is a good idea.

Found this: https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Electro-Machine-Electrodes-HealthmateForever/dp/B00K6LPSJG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?adId=B00K6LPSJG&ref-refURL=https://www.massageaholic.com/electric-pulse-massager/&slotNum=0&imprToken=vcJsTgWGkVpVzjMvRqpX5w&adType=smart&adMode=manual&adFormat=card&impressionTimestamp=1565859362833&linkCode=ll1&tag=massageaholic-20&linkId=6cbc82497ab5bfd7ba3f8b58df991df5&language=en_US

SunnyDays

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2020, 02:48:37 PM »
I have found that a shiatsu cushion that you put on the back of a chair (I have an Obusforme) works well.  You can press against it as hard or as lightly as you want and itís almost like a hand massage.  If you can get away from using an incline for GERD, so much the better.  I have that too and canít tell you how much itís screwed up my posture.  A pillow between the knees is highly recommended as well as one under your knees when sleeping on your back.  Doing back stretches by pushing your lower back into the floor while laying on your back is helpful too.

ETA - when sleeping on your side, pull your knees up towards your chest as far as is comfortable to take the hollow out of your back.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 07:53:37 PM by SunnyDays »

justchristine

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2020, 03:00:41 PM »
Thanks, that's a good point, but I don't think the mattress is the issue so much as the wedge (Medslant) pillow I sleep on for GERD (acid reflux). GERD is another issue of mine, but my gastroenterologist put me on a good prescription that is working well. The wedge pillow was actually my idea and not his. He thought it couldn't hurt to try it, but maybe it IS hurting my lower back. I am planning to try doing without it for a week or so to see what happens. I also read that a pillow between the knees for sleeping is a good idea.

Found this: https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Electro-Machine-Electrodes-HealthmateForever/dp/B00K6LPSJG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?adId=B00K6LPSJG&ref-refURL=https://www.massageaholic.com/electric-pulse-massager/&slotNum=0&imprToken=vcJsTgWGkVpVzjMvRqpX5w&adType=smart&adMode=manual&adFormat=card&impressionTimestamp=1565859362833&linkCode=ll1&tag=massageaholic-20&linkId=6cbc82497ab5bfd7ba3f8b58df991df5&language=en_US
I had bad hip pain using the short wedge pillow for my GERD.  I ended up switching to the avana mattress elevator and putting 2*4 blocks under the feet at the head of my bed.  It's  helps the reflux without killing my back and hips.   

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Avana-Mattress-Elevator-Under-Bed-7-Inch-Incline-Foam-Support/690196175?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=9885

Lady SA

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2020, 03:17:28 PM »
I'm sorry you are in such pain. That sucks.

One thing about muscle pain, is the location where you *feel* the pain, is often not the *source* of the problem. For example, I often get painful biceps, where I can't pull towards myself (like in a rowing motion) without dull or flashing pain. I can massage my bicep all I want, it will never go away... and that is because the actual problem is a muscle at the top of my shoulder blade that "refers" pain down to the bicep! A quick 5 min massage of my shoulder blade and poof, my bicep pain is completely gone. I also get stress headaches at my temples, but a quick massage at the base of my skull alleviates them (I must carry a lot of tension in my neck). My husband strained a muscle in his lower back a few years ago, a muscle near his lower ribs called the quadratus lumborum (QL). However, the pain was really intense at the top of his glute, almost 6 inches down from the source of the problem.

The way I think of it is, a pulled or strained or overworked muscle fiber becomes a knot. A knotted/tightened fiber pulls at the attachment points of the muscle, and other muscles that attach at that same point are now pulled a bit out of whac as well. You can have a "cascade" of muscles that are ultimately contributing to the problem.

I use this book all the time; DH and I are athletes and are forever pulling some muscle or overworking another, or even just sleeping weird can cause some odd muscle tweak that causes pain. We pull out the book, identify a promising trigger point or two, and usually within 10 minutes all pain is gone.
https://www.amazon.com/Trigger-Point-Therapy-Workbook-Self-Treatment/dp/1572243759

When my lower back is sore, it's often a sign for me that I need to massage my glutes and hips, my gluteus medius specifically.

We pair this book with a percussion massage gun and heat pads, all for the purpose of increasing blood flow and relaxing those tightened muscle fibers.

Also posture: tucking the pelvis under/forward can contribute to lower back pain; our spine/pelvis junction is actually structured to have the pelvis tilted comfortably backward, and ribs "pinned" inward and not thrust up and out, forming a "J" shaped spine with your butt behind you, not under you. Esther Gokhale's book on posture is pretty interesting, and after implementing some of her suggestions my lower back is much less sore after a typical day.

Encinoman45

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2020, 03:36:57 PM »
I have struggled with back pain off and on for a number of years as well. Last year I was using a cane to get around for a few days. I've found 3 things to help.

1. Stay active so your muscles loosen up, but go slowly and carefully.
2. Stretch and use an inversion table.
3. Use a herbal supplement called Factor 5. https://www.amazon.com/Factor-Capsules-Management-Inflammation-Product/dp/B01LY8EPV1/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
Herbal supplements never did anything for me but the Amish in my area highly recommend it and I tried it after my Mom used it for a knee injury with great success. To my surprise, it does work for my joint and back pain and seems like it helps in the healing and recovery process.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 03:39:39 PM by Encinoman45 »

Cranky

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2020, 04:36:11 PM »
 Back pain tends to resolve no matter what you do, but Iíd go to physical therapy before Iíd spend $ on massage or chiropractic.

use2betrix

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2020, 04:48:00 PM »
I battled back issues for the longest time. Once I forced myself to become a back sleeper instead of a front sleeper, it fixed 90% of the issues. Not perfect and still very rarely occasionally end up on my side, but as a whole itís been a huge help.

OtherJen

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2020, 04:58:51 PM »
I came on here to recommend yoga practice; it's great that you're already doing this!

If you're not already doing a Yin yoga practice, you may want to look into it. Yin is different from hatha yoga and aims to loosen the connective tissue. I've found that a combo of vinyasa and yin does wonders for my back.

Otherwise, yes, consider your pillows and mattress. My entire back is affected by a bad pillow.

Seahorse

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2020, 05:27:19 PM »
I came on here to recommend yoga practice; it's great that you're already doing this!

Ditto. Look up doyogawithme.com. They have many free classes - no signup needed when I last checked in. I usually do their class when I get a neck pain, shoulder pain or back pain and they definitely help. The teacher to look for is David Procyshyn. He's good. Not affiliated.

Other thing that might help is lying on the floor.. Anytime I get back pain, esp. lower back pain, I put a comforter or yoga mat on the floor and sleep there. That helps me.

Villanelle

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2020, 05:37:59 PM »
My mom usually treats me, when I visit her, to a massage.  There's a massage therapy school very close to her house, and the massages are very inexpensive.  (I want to say $40, or $35 if you buy a package, but I wouldn't swear to that.  And she gets a discount on hers because she's a senior citizen.)  It's students that have finished most of their training and need to accumulate hours in order to get licensed.  I've been probably 15-20 times, and all of the massages have been good.  Certainly some are better than others, but they've all been valuable in terms of my comfort.  If the person is newer (or perhaps just less confident), sometimes the draping of the sheet can be clumsy, or their transitions seem awkward, or something like that.  generally the actual massage itself has felt about the same as an average regular massage. But I've had worse massages for which I paid full price. 

If there is something like this near you, it might be helpful to add it to your rotation and could allow you to have massage as part of your plan, but in a fairly inexpensive way. 

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2020, 07:41:05 PM »
I came on here to recommend yoga practice; it's great that you're already doing this!

If you're not already doing a Yin yoga practice, you may want to look into it. Yin is different from hatha yoga and aims to loosen the connective tissue. I've found that a combo of vinyasa and yin does wonders for my back.

Otherwise, yes, consider your pillows and mattress. My entire back is affected by a bad pillow.

Hi, Thanks everyone! I like to change one variable at a time and see what the effect is. For now, I am going to keep the wedge (likely find a different elevation solution as mentioned above long term) and try a pillow between knees. There are some made especially for this purpose and I am comparison shopping them. Until it arrives, I will use one of our extra pillows around here.

I'm also going to order a TENS stimulator/massager. I have used these before, and they feel very relaxing--pain or no pain! But, it will likely take a week or so to arrive, so I can assess the effect of the pillow in the mean time.

As for yoga, I started with a vinyasa class about ten years ago. I learned a lot in the class once a week for a couple of years. I still look at the occasional video, but I mostly put my own routines together--cat, cow, downward dog, childs pose with extended arms are ones I do every single day. My typical routine is about 30 minutes. AT first yoga started as--"Oh yeah, that feels good, think I'll do yoga today" NOW, in the morning (just barely, as in 11AM) when I get up, it is more like, "Aaahhhhhhgggrrrh my back! MUST do yoga!!". Yoga BTW also helped my partially torn rotator cuff a couple of years ago (with the blessing of my PT).

Anyway, I like to hold each pose for at least 45 seconds to a minute, or sometimes longer. It just feels as if I need that long to get an adequate stretch, and it also helps to wake me up. (I HATE mornings!--I'm an unabashed nightowl!). I took a couple of fast yoga classes (ashtanga?) and I hated them--transitioning from one pose to another with only a few seconds in each one seems like a huge waste me. For me it turns it into just another boring form of boring boring cardio (boring!)



« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 08:11:31 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2020, 07:56:11 PM »
I have to ask: I notice that there is "NotJen" and an "OtherJen". Was there some notorious "Jen" here at some point??

K_in_the_kitchen

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2020, 08:35:56 PM »
A little over a decade ago I tried all sorts of things to fix my back pain.  We went on vacation, slept on a not so great mattress, but my back didn't hurt.  We bought an IKEA foam mattress (instead of spring) and solved 80% of my problem overnight.  The rest took longer because I'd learned bad habits.

I've done massage off and on for years, but finally realized that making time for walking everyday was almost as good as getting a massage.  Not speed walking, just walking with the dogs and family.  I consider it a walking "massage" because everything loosens up in a way it can't doing cardio doesn't.  I have inflammation of the sacral-iliac joint and I get piriformus tightness which causes low back pain and sometimes sciatica, but walking takes care of that for the most part. 

I still get tension pain, or sleep funny sometimes.  We have a massage gun (AcheAway) for my son and I use that if things get really tight (it's awesome for loosening tight calves and reducing achilles tendonitis pain).  But for me, I've learned that too much deep tissue work inflames my muscles rather than calming them.  My feet are full of knots, but working them inflames the plantar fascia and causes more pain, not less.

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2020, 08:41:17 PM »
Interesting. I also love walking, and I do a 30 minute walk around our boring (but largely safe) SoCal neighborhood at least a few times a week. I am never in a hurry when I walk, and enjoy a moderate-paced stroll. Back in the day when I commuted to work three or four times a week, I would get at least 20 minutes a day of walking to/from my car, and often much more walking around campus from my office to lecture halls full of adoring students ;-) and then to various other labs, offices and semi-wild lands adjacent to campus.

NotJen

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2020, 09:09:02 PM »
I have to ask: I notice that there is "NotJen" and an "OtherJen". Was there some notorious "Jen" here at some point??

Not that I know of.  People always call me Jen.  That's not my name.

lutorm

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2020, 09:11:48 PM »
I use this book all the time; DH and I are athletes and are forever pulling some muscle or overworking another, or even just sleeping weird can cause some odd muscle tweak that causes pain. We pull out the book, identify a promising trigger point or two, and usually within 10 minutes all pain is gone.
https://www.amazon.com/Trigger-Point-Therapy-Workbook-Self-Treatment/dp/1572243759
Glad someone already posted this! I credit this book with making me able to work on a computer again, plus fixing misc other neck, back, and foot pain and headaches. Can't recommend it enough.

OtherJen

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2020, 06:20:43 AM »
I have to ask: I notice that there is "NotJen" and an "OtherJen". Was there some notorious "Jen" here at some point??

I'm "OtherJen" because given the popularity of my name in Gen X, there is pretty always a Jen in any room/group/forum before I arrive. So I'm the other Jen.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2020, 09:50:23 AM »
Thanks, that's a good point, but I don't think the mattress is the issue so much as the wedge (Medslant) pillow I sleep on for GERD (acid reflux). GERD is another issue of mine, but my gastroenterologist put me on a good prescription that is working well. The wedge pillow was actually my idea and not his. He thought it couldn't hurt to try it, but maybe it IS hurting my lower back. I am planning to try doing without it for a week or so to see what happens. I also read that a pillow between the knees for sleeping is a good idea.

Found this: https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Electro-Machine-Electrodes-HealthmateForever/dp/B00K6LPSJG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?adId=B00K6LPSJG&ref-refURL=https://www.massageaholic.com/electric-pulse-massager/&slotNum=0&imprToken=vcJsTgWGkVpVzjMvRqpX5w&adType=smart&adMode=manual&adFormat=card&impressionTimestamp=1565859362833&linkCode=ll1&tag=massageaholic-20&linkId=6cbc82497ab5bfd7ba3f8b58df991df5&language=en_US

Oh, back pain. The middle age scourge. I use a TENS machine, like you linked above. It even happens to be a Heathmate! It works very well for me, but I believe itís intended more for nerve pain from pinched/herniated discs?

Again, my issue is spinal discs, and not muscle tightness, but my PT focused on core strength, and good posture. Both of which you can get a books on, and PT yourself. Be cautious, both of the movements and the charlatans, aim towards books written by actual PhD with kinesiology mentioned, etc. I personally found 8 Steps to A Pain Free Back helpful, as well as the Founder Training (look this one up on the internet, no need to pay the $).

RetiredAt63

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2020, 09:54:27 AM »
I have to ask: I notice that there is "NotJen" and an "OtherJen". Was there some notorious "Jen" here at some point??

I'm "OtherJen" because given the popularity of my name in Gen X, there is pretty always a Jen in any room/group/forum before I arrive. So I'm the other Jen.

I sympathize.  My name was popular enough that there were 4 of us in my home room in high school.  Think Jennifer, Jen, Jenny, Jennie.  We picked a not that common name for DD but there was still another girl with the same name in her class.  We need a bigger name pool.  ;-)

On topic, I have back muscles that don't like certain activities.  I've got the massage book on hold, hoping its exercises will help.

Mrs. Sloth

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2020, 11:02:57 AM »
Lots of good info here! I have ongoing daily lower back pain years (over a decade) and nothing ever seems to get rid of it. I have had my back scanned and there was nothing wrong with my spine. I believe it is sciatica.

I have had many visits to the chiropractor and there was one young chiropractor who actually recommended using a tennis ball and roll it again the wall to help loosen up my tight back and glute muscles along with various scratches (one called the Seated figure-four stretch that I love to do when I am just sitting at my desk or on my couch) that have actually helped quite a bit. I also noticed my lower back pain is the worst on days when I am super busy at work and work really long hours  and dont get up from my chair as much. I agree walking helps loosen things up quite a bit and with the pain! Anyhow back pain sucks...hope you find something that helps you!

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2020, 06:53:23 PM »
Thanks again folks.

I tried the leg support pillow last night, and it seems to have worked very well! I feel much less stiff and sore than yesterday, and that knot in my lower back is greatly diminished. I think it will likely take at least a few more nights to see the full effect, but I am already quite pleased about this!

It's amazing what a small adjustment can do. When I went to my doctor a couple years ago complaining about this, he suggested a change in my car seatback's position. I complained that it was basically impossible to stand up straight for a couple of minutes after even a 15-20 minute drive. He asked about the position of the seatback, and I told him I had fairly recently adjusted it upward. He told me that sitting too upright like that is hard on the lower back muscles, and that if I relaxed the angle even 5-10 degrees, it would allow my thigh and butt muscles to take over much of the job. Indeed, it worked like a charm--basically solved that aspect of the problem.
 


RetiredAt63

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2020, 07:24:51 PM »
Thanks again folks.

I tried the leg support pillow last night, and it seems to have worked very well! I feel much less stiff and sore than yesterday, and that knot in my lower back is greatly diminished. I think it will likely take at least a few more nights to see the full effect, but I am already quite pleased about this!

It's amazing what a small adjustment can do. When I went to my doctor a couple years ago complaining about this, he suggested a change in my car seatback's position. I complained that it was basically impossible to stand up straight for a couple of minutes after even a 15-20 minute drive. He asked about the position of the seatback, and I told him I had fairly recently adjusted it upward. He told me that sitting too upright like that is hard on the lower back muscles, and that if I relaxed the angle even 5-10 degrees, it would allow my thigh and butt muscles to take over much of the job. Indeed, it worked like a charm--basically solved that aspect of the problem.

Thanks for posting this.  I too like a very upright seat back (short arms) and I'm really stiff after driving.   Time to play with the seat back and the steering wheel column.

Laura33

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2020, 03:28:33 PM »
Some thoughts from my own continuing experience:

Second the thought of using the ball in places where it's not obviously hurting.  I have a curve in my spine and am too swaybacked for my own good, and I've struggled for years with pain/tiredness in the left side of my sacrum.  Turns out the source of the problem is the right side -- basically, the connection is too tight into the right hipbone, which is over-stretching the left side, so I "feel" the pain on the left, but the thing that gives me relief is when I work on the right side.  Same thing front/back/btw -- the left hipbone is rotated a little forward, so again, overly tight in front is over-stretching the back.  That ball is one of the cheapest and most effective tools out there; you just need to apply it to the right place. 

Examine your WFH setup.  If you were generally ok when you were working at the office, but have started to suffer since moving home, logic says that there is something different about your setup that is putting extra strain on your lower back.  I had that exact issue, because I have a desk that allows me to stand or sit at the office, so sitting still for three solid months pushed my back over the edge.  So I bought a thing that sits on my desktop that I can adjust between standing or sitting so that I can at least get a break in my position.

Do appropriate strength-building exercises, particularly focused on the core as a whole.  Yes, yoga, for sure!  But if your back pain is muscular and not disc-related, the problem may be in your posture and/or your core.  Again in my case, because of the swayback thing, I lean forward too much, which means my back muscles just have to bear more of the brunt of the teeny day-to-day movements, like walking.  That means both that my back muscles get tired out from working too much, and my other muscles atrophy, because they are not being used much.  So getting the back some through stretching or massage or whatever is very helpful, but unless and until you really work on building up those other muscles so they can work like they need to, you're going to still have problems.  Believe it or not, I started strongman training, partly because it was fun, but also because it seriously helps.  By far the most helpful exercise is carrying -- or just standing with -- a heavy bar or yoke on your shoulders, because it forces you to stand up straight and activate all those postural muscles.  Or walk around the room carrying a dumbbell over your head in one arm (straight arm) -- again, forces your posture and core into shape, and it's something I do regularly as a warmup just to remind those muscles to work.  I'm also doing a lot of back squats and -- believe it or not -- deadlifts, because in order to do those properly, I must activate my glutes/hamstrings and my core (the weak muscles).  Obviously, I work very hard on proper form, avoid specific exercises that set off the back,* and don't get stupid with pushing max weights when my form suffers (well, at least I try not to -- the stupid does sometimes take over). 

If you want to see someone, I would recommend someone who works in sports medicine -- not an orthopedist, they're basically surgery or ibuprofen or "stop doing that,"** but someone like a sports-focused PT or masseuse or acupuncturist.  I completely lucked into an acupuncturist who is less "traditional Chinese medicine" and more "what helps sports performance" -- she is an athlete herself, and she has a whole bunch of tools that she takes out to find and attack the source of the problem (by far the worst of these is the spoon you get in a Japanese restaurant to eat miso soup with -- OMFG it hurts, but there is seriously nothing better).  She has been instrumental in helping me figure out what muscles are working and what muscles are messed up and in targeting the particular areas.  She un-stuck my right shoulder within a few months (30-yr-old rotator cuff injury that I had been stupid and ignored when I hurt it in college because I wanted to finish the season, and did I mention I was stupid?), and I go to her religiously for my back.  It is a long process; after all, I have more than 50 years of fucking it up.  But I can't even begin to tell you how much better it is than it was 2-3 years ago.  The fact that I can go out there and deadlift 225# with zero pain is a HUGE win.*** 

*For ex:  our coach likes to do a couple of drills to work different aspects of the deadlift.  The one where you pull the bar from a rack about 8" off the ground feels completely awesome; the one where you stand on a 45# plate and reach down extra far for the lift absolutely kills me.  So I do the former and not the latter. 

** My one attempt at a sports medicine ortho for knee pain ended when I was telling him that it was painful when I was doing back squats, and he looked at me with this look that said "WTF is a 50+-yr-old woman doing doing 200# back squats?" and just told me to stop doing them.  I wanted someone who would help me figure out why my knee hurt and give me some things to do to make it better. 

*** Fuck you, Mr. Sports Medicine Orthopedist. 

TrMama

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2020, 03:56:07 PM »
Ditto the advice to go to a physiotheripist who treats athletes. You may not be an athlete yourself, but these folks will often have better suggestions than "stop doing that and take some ibuprofen".

I've dealt with lower back and hip pain for years. Turns out it's mostly caused by a weak ass muscle and weak core, despite the fact I was biking a ton of miles every week. Yoga didn't do squat, despite that fact it felt like it was doing "something" at the time and felt good. Unsurprisingly, the cure to pain caused by weak muscles is to get stronger. The physio exercises I was assigned helped some, but real progress wasn't made till I started weightlifting and did a ton of core work every week. Pilates is fantastic for back pain. Not only is it gentle, but you can't "cheat" and it really focuses on strengthening the muscles that hold you up.

I don't even bother with stretching anymore.

djadziadax

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2020, 04:25:23 AM »
I have had severe back pain for 7 years before I finally found my "cure". And by severe, it was a constant dull pain daily for 7 years. I used to go to a sports therapist 1 a week for 7 years, and even though things got a bit better, they did NOT improve past 50% of pain until...I was introduced to the miracle of Vit D. Someone on a forum mentioned indirectly that Vit D is connected with chronic pain, and I latched onto this and started researching. I got tested and found I am on the low end of Vit D (as many are, due to "hiding from the sun" recommendation we often hear).

I started supplementing with large dozes of Vit D, Vit K and Magnesium (all three together, read about it) for about 6 months to get my levers to close to the high end of the healthy range of Vit D  and in the course of 12 months, my pain has diminished to 90% of where it was with not much different lifestyle. For reference, I got my Vit D from 25ng/ml to 65-70ng/ml. VitiminD wiki https://vitamindwiki.com/ has very comprehensive list of science journal articles on the effect of Vit D.

So, that is to say, everyone is different, but that is what worked for me. Chronic pain in horrible and debilitating so I took that leap of faith to try this - and it is pretty Mustachian as Vit D costs pennies a day.


LifeHappens

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2020, 07:36:19 AM »
Founder Training (look this one up on the internet, no need to pay the $).
I loooooove the Founder Training 12 minute back pain solution video on Youtube. Doing that a couple times per week keeps me limber and pain free.

cool7hand

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2020, 07:40:09 AM »
Try Dr. Sarno's The MindBody Prescription. It changed my life. I thought it was BS when I read the jacket, but my pain forced me to give it a try when all else had failed to help. It worked immediately. DM me if you want more info.

Just Joe

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2020, 08:46:01 AM »
You mentioned sleeping 'til 11AM. Maybe you go to bed late. When I sleep late on the weekends I feel worse than when I get up when our dog thinks I need to get up. Dog usually lets me sleep in a whole ~30 minutes later than a work day. Then naturally her bladder demands I get up.

Anyhow - sleeping too long leads to lots of aches and pains for me. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2020, 08:56:35 AM »
Have you tried foam rolling?  You can buy a commercial one, or find a length of pvc pipe from a construction yard and glue some carpet pad scraps to it - whatever.  But rolling around on one helps a lot for relieving soreness.

Short of that, there are specific stretches I recommend for back pain (especially lower back) which help:








The other thing I'd recommend giving a try:
- a very hot shower first thing in the morning (aiming the water at your stiff back)
- sleeping on the floor rather than a bed (beds, especially soft beds cause back problems)

red_pill

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2020, 01:36:56 PM »
+1 to raising your actual bed 6" or so.  It was explained to me that a wedge puts pressure on your stomach, which exacerbates the GERD.   Also with GERD the key is to keep your weight close to your ideal body weight.  You don't have the luxury of putting on an extra 10 to 15 lbs, which guys your height can carry fairly easily.  Drop the weight and it's like magic.

Also +1 to the strength comments.   With yoga you might be trying to solve a strength problem with a flexibility solution.  The Founder series as mentioned is frickin' awesome.  Glute bridges.  Planks. There's lots of options.

I also think your reluctance to go to physio due to covid is probably a bit over board.  Wear your mask, wash your hands, and you'll be fine.

Zette

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2020, 10:18:20 PM »
Yoga can be very good for low back pain.  This one helps me:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLui6Eyny-UzxTn0BunL7tBwL9lhj9xE5c&v=Ho9em79_0qg

norajean

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2020, 05:33:06 AM »
You need a professional to help you find the source and cause of the pain instead of addressing the symptoms with massages.  Massages are expensive and things revert pretty quickly after that.   

Your sleeping setup sounds weird.   Don't eat for 3 hours before bed, keep dinner light, and use a prescription acid reducer for a while instead of the pillow.

BiggerFishToFI

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2020, 08:22:18 AM »
Do this 12-minute foundation training video every day or even twice a day for several weeks, then a couple of times a week to maintain:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BOTvaRaDjI

jeninco

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2020, 03:48:49 PM »
Some thoughts from my own continuing experience:

<snip>

Do appropriate strength-building exercises, particularly focused on the core as a whole.  Yes, yoga, for sure!  But if your back pain is muscular and not disc-related, the problem may be in your posture and/or your core.  Again in my case, because of the swayback thing, I lean forward too much, which means my back muscles just have to bear more of the brunt of the teeny day-to-day movements, like walking.  That means both that my back muscles get tired out from working too much, and my other muscles atrophy, because they are not being used much.  So getting the back some through stretching or massage or whatever is very helpful, but unless and until you really work on building up those other muscles so they can work like they need to, you're going to still have problems.  Believe it or not, I started strongman training, partly because it was fun, but also because it seriously helps.  By far the most helpful exercise is carrying -- or just standing with -- a heavy bar or yoke on your shoulders, because it forces you to stand up straight and activate all those postural muscles.  Or walk around the room carrying a dumbbell over your head in one arm (straight arm) -- again, forces your posture and core into shape, and it's something I do regularly as a warmup just to remind those muscles to work.  I'm also doing a lot of back squats and -- believe it or not -- deadlifts, because in order to do those properly, I must activate my glutes/hamstrings and my core (the weak muscles).  Obviously, I work very hard on proper form, avoid specific exercises that set off the back,* and don't get stupid with pushing max weights when my form suffers (well, at least I try not to -- the stupid does sometimes take over). 

FYI, watch it a little with the overhead stuff -- I'm currently resting both QL muscles because I did too much overhead stuff with too much weight on Sunday. Um, the stupid may have decided what would be a good load for those dynamic overhead dumbbell press/squats...

If you want to see someone, I would recommend someone who works in sports medicine -- not an orthopedist, they're basically surgery or ibuprofen or "stop doing that,"** but someone like a sports-focused PT or masseuse or acupuncturist.  I completely lucked into an acupuncturist who is less "traditional Chinese medicine" and more "what helps sports performance" -- she is an athlete herself, and she has a whole bunch of tools that she takes out to find and attack the source of the problem (by far the worst of these is the spoon you get in a Japanese restaurant to eat miso soup with -- OMFG it hurts, but there is seriously nothing better).  She has been instrumental in helping me figure out what muscles are working and what muscles are messed up and in targeting the particular areas.  She un-stuck my right shoulder within a few months (30-yr-old rotator cuff injury that I had been stupid and ignored when I hurt it in college because I wanted to finish the season, and did I mention I was stupid?), and I go to her religiously for my back.  It is a long process; after all, I have more than 50 years of fucking it up.  But I can't even begin to tell you how much better it is than it was 2-3 years ago.  The fact that I can go out there and deadlift 225# with zero pain is a HUGE win.*** 

Yes, we have a PT we go to. Finding the person who helps YOU, whatever your injury and body-type is is a big, huge, giant WIN. Our guy is crazy-painful, but it's generally a one-and-done kind of treatment, with maybe some exercises to take home.

Based on his advice and my own observation about older folks I know, my advice on the subject is to get as strong as you possibly can for as long as you possibly can. Probably with a certified, competent, and experienced coach, especially if you're over a certain age. @Laura33's advice, as usual, is great.


*For ex:  our coach likes to do a couple of drills to work different aspects of the deadlift.  The one where you pull the bar from a rack about 8" off the ground feels completely awesome; the one where you stand on a 45# plate and reach down extra far for the lift absolutely kills me.  So I do the former and not the latter. 

** My one attempt at a sports medicine ortho for knee pain ended when I was telling him that it was painful when I was doing back squats, and he looked at me with this look that said "WTF is a 50+-yr-old woman doing doing 200# back squats?" and just told me to stop doing them.  I wanted someone who would help me figure out why my knee hurt and give me some things to do to make it better. 

*** Fuck you, Mr. Sports Medicine Orthopedist.

Hahaha, SING IT! My PT suggested "lifting heavy, in fact consider Olympic lifts", and as I'd been thinking about it for a while I asked the most persnickety person I know (our CPA, who describes himself that way) who he recommended as a coach for Olympic lifting. I will forever love this coach, who almost never looks at me and says "just skip it" unless I'm, erm, actually injured or looking particularly beat.

If you were closer, I'm looking for a lifting partner, because 50+ year old women who want to work on momentum-based heavy lifting are few and far between, even where I live. I'm not yet quite up to my body weight on back squats, and I'm being pretty cautious on cleans, so I'm only barely over 50% of my body weight on those...

Edited to fix nesting fail.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 05:25:50 PM by jeninco »

big_owl

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2020, 04:16:57 PM »
You're probably getting a bunch of terrible advice in this thread but I didn't read it so I don't know for sure.

Forget massage or chiro or whatever.   Get two books by Stuart Mcgill - The Back Mechanic and Lower Back Disorders.  McGill is basically the God of spine research and injury.  There's so much broscience when it comes to the spine.  Reading those two books will totally change your outlook on life and what you thought you knew about the spine.  Stretching?  Terrible for your back.   Yoga superman pose?  Oh that'll be almost one ton of compressive force on your spine. Sit-ups?   Ah geez worst exercise. 

From someone who's lived with chronic back pain for years, get those books and read them.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 04:18:41 PM by big_owl »

DaMa

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2020, 05:27:31 PM »
I have osteoarthritis in my lumbar spine, which is the cause of morning stiffness and much of my back pain.  I had a significant improvement when I switched to a memory foam mattress (Novosbed, like Tempurpedic).  I also have slept comfortably on an Ikea latex matress.

Regular stretching helps a lot.

NSAIDs like ibuprofen work great, even in low doses, but I avoid them due to stomach issues.

Kem

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2020, 08:16:10 PM »
I spent 15 years with chronic debilitating lower back pain. 
.
For me the cure has been learning how to activate my glutes.  Heavy basic barbells - low bar back squats, deadlift, standing press... All I need for 100% pain cure.  Nothing else worked and I've gone to many 'experts' before finding my way under some good ole free weights.  Drugs, tens, deep tissue, cardio, significant weight loss, different rehabs, acupuncture, chiro, neuro pain therapy, different yoga styles... All offered, at most, fleeting relief.  But learning how to squeeze my damn cheeks and shorten my lats - pure bliss.  I could crack walnuts in that bloody vice now.
.
In addition taekwondo has really helped with increasing my mobility. 

ixtap

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2020, 01:06:22 PM »
Invest in a mattress that is great for you.

Consider a few physical therapy sessions (or yoga therapy, ie iyengar) to learn exercises to address your specific issues.

Hyperpshere vibrating massage ball. Being mustachian, I was very nervous about bringing home a $150 ball, but DH hasn't been to acupuncture since he got this and he sent me back for a second ball to keep at the office!

MishMash

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2020, 01:40:05 PM »
I'm heading into my second major spinal surgery prior to age 40. Like I am literally waiting on a surgical date.

 I've done everything mentioned above and it helps but someone suggested CBD oil, I thought it was a crock but last month I couldn't even hobble to the bathroom, never mind stand up straight long enough to shower so I got some and holy shit, it's night and day after two weeks of using it so far.  I'm still in a huge amount of pain, but I can stand and shower and do dishes etc vs sitting on recliner with my leg propped up most of the day.

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2020, 03:22:36 PM »
Thanks again everyone. After sleeping with the leg support pillow for a few nights, I am happy to report that my back is greatly improved! There is still a bit of stiffness in the morning, but far less than previously. Even more importantly for me is that fact that the knot in my lower right back is now virtually gone. I received the actual leg support pillow from Amazon today (as opposed to the one we had here that I was using) and it is great for the few minutes I tried it. Looking forward to using it tonight.

Yoga is great for improving core strength, especially for someone like me who has a hiatal hernia and was told by my gatroenterologist not to do repetitive ab training like situps or crunches. It also feels great and helps me to wake up in the morning. It also helped my partially torn rotator cuff--at the recommendation of my sports medicine doctor and PT.

I also agree about the sports medicine doctor. My primary care doctor/PCP sent me to a sports medicine doctor a couple of years ago for my shoulder, and he was really good. He said that surgery should be the absolute last resort, and that I should try the PT for at least six months, followed up by more imaging if needed. My PCP said that the orthopedist would just want to do surgery right away. Screw that--especially since that surgery is really hit and miss. I heard this from every specialist I visited

Also, screw painkillers for something like this. Finding the root cause for something like this is a vastly better idea. I rarely take pain meds--maybe a few times a year for headache or something. I invest a lot of time and effort in maintaining good health partly because I don't want to end up on six or seven pills a day like my parents and in-laws.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2020, 03:24:58 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

shunkman

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Re: Mustachian massage and other relief for lower back issues
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2020, 08:31:54 PM »
I tried just about everything. Surgery helped for a while but then issues returned just not quite as bad. Then again I tried TENS, PT, steroid injections, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, drugs, etc.  Aquatic therapy (and knowledgeable aquatic therapist) is what finally seems to have worked for me. I had to learn how to walk again by shortening my stride and swinging my arms correctly. Doing well two years later.