SMALL - espritmodel.com SMALL - Telemetry SMALL - Radio
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Apr 06, 2005, 02:07 PM
Registered User
Mr.RC-CAM's Avatar
USA
Joined Oct 2001
5,200 Posts
Back to the Future. A Story of One Man's Bad Back.

Do you suffer from back or leg pain? Here's my long winded story -- Maybe my suffering will help someone else.

About three years ago my right leg went nuts. Non-stop Serious pain. It felt like an ice pick deep into the leg bone, always at the same spot, 24/7. As the weeks wore on, my foot began to twist clockwise several degrees. My leg atrophied. It royally sucked.

Over a period of several months, I was reduced to a physical wreck. Minimal rest at best (could not sleep at all with the constant pain) and standing or sitting was impossible. Viox, Vicodin, and other meds offered bare relief.

After months of dicking around by several different doctors, they finally found that I had a severely ruptured disk in my lower back. It is interesting that I never had back pain during this time. But, the nerve bundle at L5/S1 was being crushed by a huge bulge. They were so freaked out about how bad it looked that I was in surgery in two days.

Surgery took about six hours. I had some minor complications, so I earned a trip to the intensive care unit. But by morning, I was stable and they released me in the afternoon. The miracle was that from that point on, my leg was perfect. No pain, no meds. It was like being reborn.

So, fast forward to sometime around last Christmas. The pain had returned. Son of a butterchurner! Walking became difficult (again) and sleep was impossible. Viox is now off the market, so all I had was Vicodin (does nearly nothing to relieve the pain). All the doctor did was send me to physical therapy for several weeks. The pain became worse and worse. I quit the therapy last month and began to plan for the next step (epidural, witchcraft, surgery).

By the way, thank goodness for the new home theater room addition we built last spring. Because of the pain, I was spending more time lying down. I could go in there and relax in the comfy reclining La-Z-Boy sofa. A beautiful thing of leather and cushiness. And the DLP widescreen TV is just stunning. I have watch more TV on that glorious big screen in the last six months than I have watched in the last five years on the old 27 incher.

A couple of weeks ago I was writhing in pain while in the big comfy couch. Reclined as usual to help reduce the stress on my back in an attempt to reduce the pain. It was then that I realized that laying down really never helped much.

Then it struck me -- it's the couch. I'm being fatally tortured by the geometry of our new cushy, reclining, piece of beauty. It can't be, I thought. So, starting that day, I stopped using the couch. Today marks the second week and the pain is gone. The beautiful and comfy sofa is indeed the work of Satan. Son of a butterchurner!

RC-CAM
Mr.RC-CAM is offline Find More Posts by Mr.RC-CAM
Last edited by Mr.RC-CAM; Apr 06, 2005 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Typos. Hate them.
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 06, 2005, 02:31 PM
Ascended Master
Sparky Paul's Avatar
Palmdale, CA
Joined Oct 2000
13,499 Posts
I used to have the spiffy street-racer setup on my Honda Super Hawk.. racing fairing, clipons, low set rear footpegs, spend the weekends squdding thru the local mountain twisty-turnys.. had to stretch out on the bike to ride it..
Then for some reason, my back began to hurt a lot, and I ended up sleeping in an easy chair!
After some of this, I finally managed to put 2 and 2 together... and sadly had to remove all the nifty stuff, and become Joe Tourer.
Even had the machine shop make up some handlebar extensions that moved the bar back from the top of the tube about 3 inches, so I could sit further upright on my Suzuki 550.
Wore out two of those commuting between Burbank and Palmdale.
Sparky Paul is offline Find More Posts by Sparky Paul
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 06, 2005, 05:59 PM
Registered User
FFFlier's Avatar
Boston, MA
Joined Dec 2002
465 Posts
Congratulations on your recovery! Too bad they couldn't have found your crushed disk sooner. Did they not bother doing cat scans/MRIs? Sounds like a really obvious thing to find? Did you get rid of that couch?

I ruptured one of my disks putting in a hardwood floor a few years ago and it didn't get any better (months). Back pain down to the back of my right knee. Doctors couldn't/didn't see anything wrong/help and I was taking like 6-8 ibuprofins at a time and could barely sleep. My wife even tried sending me to a shrink to fix it.

Then one day as I was walking to work, I had a VERY sharp pain in my back as if something in my back popped back into place and then I had no more intense pain (just sore/swelliing for a few days afterward, then everything was fine again). I had assumed I had some sort of back damage and never realized that something was just out of place.

It's popped back out several times since then, but now that I know what's going on, I've been so far been successful getting it popped back into place within a couple days by walking, running/jogging, lying on a flat surface, etc. (When it does pop back, it's VERY painful for just a second).
Now I go to a chiropractor on a regular basis to keep everything aligned (like my car) and the last time it happened was over 8 months ago.
I'm also now very aware of how I'm sitting/lying down for how long to make sure nothing gets forced out of position.

Luckily, I found out before overdosing on pain pills. Found out from this process that while doctors/hospitals are good for having emergency life threatening surgeries but otherwise aren't very helpful and you have to diagnose/treat yourself.


Bill
FFFlier is offline Find More Posts by FFFlier
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 06, 2005, 06:43 PM
SpeedWing Test Cruncher
marjamar's Avatar
Loveland, Colorado, United States
Joined Jan 2003
899 Posts
Yep, been there for sure.

I have had a bad back since my teen years. Over the years, I canít say how many times I've nursed it back to some semblance of usefulness. Always worked hard all my life up until a couple of years ago when my back just kept getting worse and worse. Seen many a chiropractor as well and helped up until those last couple of years. Doctors only said it was normal for big and strong guys (like this was going to make me feel better) to over use their back and theyíd tell me to do crunches and take some pills.

Well, about 2 years ago it just got so bad I demanded I have an MRI and they did. Found I had a herniated disk and the doctor sent me to the black dungeon of ultimate pain and suffering (physical therapy) and within 3 visits I was in such serious pain and suffering I had to quit. Got a referral to an excellent neurosurgeon here in Orlando, and he looked at me and the MRI and within 5 minutes or so had me scheduled for surgery.

Took about a month to get me in (very busy man!) and that without any doubt was the worse month I hope I will ever spend on this earth. I had no peace at all, no matter what I did. I was on those VIOXX things, taking overdoses daily to just get by. I absolutely could not sit for more then a couple of minutes at a time without a knife blade entering my lower spine and ripping it down my right leg to the bottom of my foot. Laying flat on my back from more then a hour or so would result in becoming paralyzed in bed Ė No kidding, I could not move anything below my waist. I donít know if my mind stopped me, or if the pain was so sever I just didnít have enough in me to move, but either way the only way out of the bed was to have my wife roll me on my side (taking 5 minutes or so), move my legs into a sitting position (only on my side) off the bed and while she would hold them I would force myself up with my arms (usually another 5 minute job). Once I was sitting, I would lean forward putting my hands on my knees a press myself to my feet. At times this would hurt so much, I would drop to my knees on the floor in shear pain and then wait for courage to return and have my wife put a table chair in front of me so I coupe press myself up into a bent-over position, but standing. Then Iíd have to walk around so slowly for at least 15 minutes or so, just barely able to take the pain. As I could, I would walk faster and faster. After a half-hour or so of this, I was able to start my day Ė Which usually was not anything good to speak of because of the agony.

The last couple of weeks before the operation, I could not sit at all and could only lay my stomach with my legs from the knees down hanging off the bed. Hard to sleep this way for more then a few hours at a time, but at least when I was ready to get up, I could slide off the bed onto my knees and press myself up using the edge of the bed when I was ready. Still the same routine for getting myself walking though.

Talk about hell on earth.

Operation was a breeze, took along time to recover as I had a lot of nerve damage and really had to take it easy for a long time, but now I feel pretty much fine, but Iím still very sensitive to back strain and pain, so I donít really do any hard work anymore.

Save your back boys, anyway you can. This is not something anyone should go though.

-Rodger
marjamar is offline Find More Posts by marjamar
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 06, 2005, 07:34 PM
Registered User
Mr.RC-CAM's Avatar
USA
Joined Oct 2001
5,200 Posts
Quote:
After some of this, I finally managed to put 2 and 2 together... and sadly had to remove all the nifty stuff, and become Joe Tourer.
It is amazing how innocent little activities can cause such health troubles.


Quote:
Found out from this process that while doctors/hospitals are good for having emergency life threatening surgeries but otherwise aren't very helpful and you have to diagnose/treat yourself.
Ditto. I spent several years in the Medical Device field, so I met a few Doctors across the globe. I learned that they are just like the corner car repair guy (replace distributor, see what happens). But, unlike the corner mechanic, they do not have to warranty their work and at the end of the day they can afford to fill the closet with a lot more alligator skin shoes.


Quote:
Yep, been there for sure.
marjamar, your experience in torturous pain sounds a lot like mine. Prior to my surgery, getting out of bed was impossible, and going to the bathroom was a big long adventure. Glad to hear you are doing better.


Quote:
Save your back boys, anyway you can. This is not something anyone should go though.
From what I have seen, everyone is convinced that they treat their back just fine. The reality is that they don't. Only a back failure will convince them otherwise. I know -- I am one of the idiots that thought "not me." My wife, who was witness to my pain, still ignores my back saving recommendations. She is probably next.
Mr.RC-CAM is offline Find More Posts by Mr.RC-CAM
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 06, 2005, 07:47 PM
Registered User
LTChip's Avatar
Helena, MT
Joined Feb 2003
2,919 Posts
Me too. After 10 years of misdiagnosis, mistreatment and lots of pain....Almost lost function and feeling in my lower body due to a bulged disk that prolapsed and crushed nerves leading to the legs and other below the waist areas.

Went in for surgery. Regained about 80% of my feeling and function. I have stopped realizing any more nerve recovery and now have paralysis in part of my left leg and foot. Been working on training other muscles to take over and have been pretty successful in turning a very pronounced limp into a barely noticed one.

I am training by power walking. I am training for a 1/2 marathon and am up to 9 miles now.

My advice - if you have back pain, get an MRI and get follow up MRIs every year or so. When the time comes, get yourself a top notch surgeon. I have had a very good experience with mine but I traveled over 2 hours away rather than let the local guy cut on me.
LTChip is offline Find More Posts by LTChip
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 07, 2005, 12:35 AM
Registered User
Usta Bee's Avatar
Joined Jul 2004
3,775 Posts
When I worked at the electronics store I used to carry 100 pound 27" flatscreen TVs on top of my head, lift 230 pound 36" flatscreen Sony Wegas out of the box and put them on display myself, and lift and carry 43"-46" regular projection TVs by myself. It was all fun and games until the end of the day when I went to get out of my car at home and felt the lower back pain.

Things got sweet when we started selling LCD, DLP, and plasma TVs because they're so light. A 43" DLP or LCD TV in the box feels like its empty.
Usta Bee is offline Find More Posts by Usta Bee
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 07, 2005, 03:57 AM
sensitive artsy type
Treetop's Avatar
Tucker, Georgia, United States
Joined Feb 2004
3,168 Posts
It's interesting, after I got married and foolishly gave up my woodworking business for the steady paycheck, albeit small, of working retail, I was having some minor legpain from standing on a concrete floor all day. I bought a new mattress, a Sealy, very expensive, and had immediate relief.

I also have trouble with my back after driving my wife's accord for more than an hour. Like muscle spasms and stiffness. Never had another car treat me that way.

I would also like to tell about how I injured my shoulder. I was pulling on a fence post, one of those big galvanized ones for a 7 foot chain link fence. This was the post that holds the gate up. I had already removed the one on the side of the gate that has the latch, and had dug down and exposed the concrete, so couldn't understand why it was not coming out. I pulled a little too hard I guess. Turns out this post was 2 feet longer than the other one. Duh!

Thing is I got up the next day to go to work and my shoulder was really messed up. I thought I might be having a heart attack, as my left arm was hurting and I had spasms up and down my arm and across my chest and back. I went to several doctors, a pain clinic, where they would give me three cortizone injections at a time, and sometimes this would give some relief, but the injections had to hit the right spots, which more often than not they didn't. On a whim, I had seen an accupuncturists sign near my house. It turned out the woman was Korean, and had an M.D. She had spent most of her life working in a Chicago hospital as an ob/gyn, and was now doing accupucture. She had an electrical device that she attached to two of the needles, which gives a mild charge. It is very small, about the size of a PDA, and runs on batteries. It was truly amazing. I had tears in the muscles, but the thing that was haywire was I had so many muscles spasming in my chest, back and lower arm that the tear couldn't heal. The accupuncture relaxed the muscle spasms and after the first treatment, I was feeling 10 times better. No more muscle relaxers, or cortizone, which wasn't working anyway. I think I was almost normal after about 4 visits. My shoulder is not 100% what is was, but there is no pain, it is just not as strong as it used to be. As it is my left shoulder, I hardly ever notice it.

Anyway, just wanted to share what worked for me. I might have gotten lucky to find this woman, as she and her husband (also an MD) travel to accupunture functions all over the world, to keep up with the latest technique. Their office is almost shabby, and she only charges about $35 for the treatment. (insurance covered part of it but you have to file it yourself) She is also an MD to many in the Korean community here as well, so this is just part of her repertoire.
Treetop is offline Find More Posts by Treetop
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 07, 2005, 06:00 AM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
East Anglia, UK
Joined Sep 2002
29,705 Posts
Biggest thing that helped me thorough years of back pain - lumbar and up around the shoulders - is just general physical exrcise, plus a bit of manipulation when teh agony and numbness go too much.

One thing I remember as an anecdote for you.

We went go kart racing - long race, teams of drivers - maybe 7-10 minutres stints each.

I was utterly fired up and really hammering the thing round, trying to pull back a tenth here and there. Ended up drenched in sweat, and with all the muscles across my arms and chest feeling like they had been pulled out...but..

...The next day, every single frozen joint in my neck and back had unfrozen! No more stiffness and crunching.

A couple of weeks later hunched over the keyboard its all came back of course, but never again as bad.


The secret is not violent exrecise, so much as consistent hard exercise. No swinging of golf clubs, more just an hour or three spent lifting and carrying moderate weights, walking cycling and running. just USING those muscles.

They are what protect the joints: If they go flabby, the joints get damaged.

Yoga is allegedl good too, but I'd rather carry sacks of cement and build a wall than dress in tights and go er..oh..umm etc.
vintage1 is offline Find More Posts by vintage1
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 07, 2005, 12:21 PM
Go get them Meg!
lrsudog's Avatar
Cabin 21...
Joined Jan 2001
2,118 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage1
.

One thing I remember as an anecdote for you.

We went go kart racing - long race, teams of drivers - maybe 7-10 minutres stints each.

I was utterly fired up and really hammering the thing round, trying to pull back a tenth here and there. Ended up drenched in sweat, and with all the muscles across my arms and chest feeling like they had been pulled out...but..

...The next day, every single frozen joint in my neck and back had unfrozen! No more stiffness and crunching.

.
I had a similar experience while snowboarding. I was heading down a gentle incline waiting for my friends to unload off the lift. Not moving very fast (10 mph or so) and not really paying attention when I caught my heelside and basicly slammed my self flat out on by back. It felt like I had cracked (Like a chiropractor) every joint in my body from hips to skull.

After I got over the initial shock, I found that I felt better an looser than I had in years.

Wierd.
lrsudog is offline Find More Posts by lrsudog
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 07, 2005, 01:34 PM
[intentionally blank]
fprintf's Avatar
Cheshire, CT, USA
Joined Jan 2001
1,528 Posts
My mother-in-laws Honda Accord (this current one and the past two) have always given my wife and I sore backs. We refuse to go anywhere in that car anymore, instead riding along in our properly lumbar supported Volvo and Mini seats.

Sorry to hear of all the troubles here. It seems like a couple of the high post count folks are reporting the issues. Perhaps getting away from the PC is in order as well?
fprintf is offline Find More Posts by fprintf
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 07, 2005, 01:37 PM
Registered User
Mr.RC-CAM's Avatar
USA
Joined Oct 2001
5,200 Posts
Quote:
It seems like a couple of the high post count folks are reporting the issues. Perhaps getting away from the PC is in order as well?
That is a great idea. Just for the record, my first surgery occurred before my high post count.

RC-CAM
Mr.RC-CAM is offline Find More Posts by Mr.RC-CAM
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 07, 2005, 04:27 PM
Registered User
il
Joined Sep 2003
41 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by fprintf
My mother-in-laws Honda Accord (this current one and the past two) have always given my wife and I sore backs. We refuse to go anywhere in that car anymore, instead riding along in our properly lumbar supported Volvo and Mini seats.
we(wife and I) test drove a newer cougar, after a mile I almost got out and walked back, it felt like the lumbar support was trying to go through my back
2.0dohc is offline Find More Posts by 2.0dohc
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 09, 2005, 04:36 PM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
Up&Away's Avatar
Netanya, Israel
Joined Aug 2002
10,092 Posts
I totally ruined my back by sailing open racing dinghies. Being the sickly fanatics my brother and I were at the time, we always tried to reduce our wind resistance signature by making ourselves as small as possible. For me, being the helmsman, that meant making myself as small as possible, especialy when beating into the wind. For nearly 4 years I would sit for hours in a bouncing little dinghy with a round back.

Fast forward 20 years. 6 (!) slipped disks later, not able to walk, excruciating lower back and leg pains, tried painkillers, epidurals etc. A neurologist checked my legs and feet by touching with a needle: "can you feel this?" "no" "and this". at one point he asked "and this" and held up both his hands to show he was not touching me and had no needle in his hand. The needle was 1/2" into my foot and I didn't feel it! He said very dryly, "I think you need an operation..."

Did the op (L5/S2). Partial success. I function, walk, pick up my children, work etc. Parts of my feet and legs are permanently numb and/or tingling, parts of my legs, feet, and back are in constant pain. The only releave is reflexology once every 2-3 months.

There's lots of us around...
Up&Away is offline Find More Posts by Up&Away
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 10, 2005, 02:53 AM
Registered User
Kyri's Avatar
England
Joined May 2000
1,486 Posts
I have suffered disc injuries and know the pain involved, it can control your life... but understading the causes of it (or what aggravates it) is important.

In my case being tall and having bad posture for years (slouching, lifting and twisting etc) I got a disc injury and a surgeon eventually offered me surgury option. He said that according to the MRI scan I shouldn't be walking, but it started to recover around that time as I had been having physical therapy, so I was recommended to wait and see what happens, as MRI's are only half the picture and I had another disc further up that was bulging but causing no apparent problems...

To cut a long story short I recovered using techniques tought to me by the physical therapist, who swears by McKenzie techniques and Pilates.

http://www.enotalone.com/books/0959774661.html

Now I have adjusted my lifestyle (lifting, sitting positions, more 'useful' excercise) and am able to deal with it. It has been a learning curve and knowing your own limitations is very important.

According to some research that was done, some poeple can find success with such techniques and others cannot, and require surgury. So if it is a boerderline case (ie you can take the pain for a while longer) it is worth trying the physical therapy first, because depending whcih expert you ask you will get a different response. (Surgeons often offer surgury)
Kyri is offline Find More Posts by Kyri
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
One Man's Saga to build his dream plane...a DF VTO -- Tom Hunt's Vertigo -- RCPower! AMCross Fuel Jet Talk 1 Jun 19, 2004 07:05 PM
One man's junk is anothers treasure pt3 dr.E Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 4 May 24, 2004 01:06 PM
One man's junk is anothers treasure pt2 dr.E Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 3 May 23, 2004 01:45 AM
One man's junk is anothers treasure pt1 dr.E Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 0 May 22, 2004 09:57 PM
One man's Rappy CCPM interpretation. HankF Electric Heli Talk 7 May 03, 2003 11:43 PM