Advice for Intense Back Pain?

JacktheVoid

New member
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
4
Reason
DX FIBRO
Does anyone have any tips/advice/resources for dealing with back pain? One of the number one places I experience pain is all through-out my back, lower, middle, up into the shoulders and neck; at the end of the day it almost a guarantee that my back will be hurting. My job and school is mostly online so I do spend quite a bit of my time sitting at a desk, but I try to get up and move and stretch my back a bit every 45 minutes or so when I can. I also try to do yoga each night, but my back is so tight/tense that even the very basic versions of poses end up making my back hurt worse. Anyone else deal with a lot of back pain? If so how do you manage it? Would it be a good idea to ask my doctor for chiropractor, physical therapist, etc. referral?
 

Geeena

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
21
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
UK
Hi there - sorry to hear this is happening.
the things I’m trying out to help are - cutting out sugar and sweet snacks they helped distract me from pain but in the end I put on so many kilos that are going now. Many people have told me this will help with inflammation. So far I’ve still got pain in legs daily , but hope that will get better now less weight.
Another thing I’d recommend is a good TENS machine. Invisible, you cd wear it to help block the pain. They are not $$
ive also bought myself a huge bouncy ball not expensive either. To strengthen core.
my physio said not to spend more than 20 mins in one posture to help with lower back. This is so hard to do - but he claimed it can eliminate so many problems.
Swimming as much as possible - or just getting in the pool and walking.
Wishing you all the best with this! I’m not there yet but happy to share my top tips !
 

CScalise

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Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
9
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
05/1986
Country
US
State
MA
I have lived with Fibro 35 years. 20 years ago I had to go on disability because I couldn't work any longer. The past 6 months have been the worst I've experienced in my life. 80% of the time I'm bedridden from pain and weakness. ~ I recently purchased "Healing Rose" CBD oil. I love it. It doesn't take the pain away completely since my pain is extreme, but it does help a lot. I also have a friend who comes to my home and gives me gentle messages with CBD oil/salve. Again, it doesn't completely take away all the pain, but it does help a lot. I hope you try it. In any case, I hope you get some relief soon.
 

Geeena

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
21
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
UK
Yes 🙌 Cbd oil great 👍
Also wanted to say that my iron levels and vitb12 levels and vit D levels are monitored by gp
Because if these are not at right levels - we will feel more pain. If I can think if anything else I will write more all best .
 

JacktheVoid

New member
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
4
Reason
DX FIBRO
Thank both of you for your replies and advice!
I had already heard a lot about cutting down on sugar for people with fibro and chronic pain but I hadn't really committed to making that change yet- I'll definitely be making more of an effort in the future to hopefully find some level of relief. And I'll probably start shortening the time I'm spending in one position at a desk or otherwise when it's possible! I have an extension that reminds you to stretch your back and rest your eyes after a set amount of time so I think that will help with remembering to not get stuck in one place for too long.
As for the CBD oil- I have heard brief mentions in relation to fibro but never really thought about trying those out! But it sounds like it's brought a fair bit of relief so I'll see if I can find maybe a smaller bottle to try it out and see if it works!
Thank you both again for these tips! It's definitely given me some options and ideas to consider when struggling with pain. I hope that the both of you find relief from your symptoms and happiness in life!
 

sunkacola

Very helpful member
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
1,508
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
Uni
State
Somewhere
Treating the symptoms of fibro takes a very multi-layered approach. Here are all of my suggestions for doing that:

I also have a lot of back pain, and while it seems as though you would treat that with movement and so on, and in fact that is correct, diet and attitude and all of the other things I wrote about are just as important, and stress reduction is also key. No matter how much you hurt, you need to keep moving in some way, and what you eat is vitally important. Eating sugar causes stress in your body; a lot of people don't know that. Check out my post and then ask me (but not in that thread, instead come back to this one or make another one to ask) if you have questions. Best of luck!
 

Jemima

Very helpful member
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
508
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
11/2019
Country
PT
Does anyone have any tips/advice/resources for dealing with back pain? One of the number one places I experience pain is all through-out my back, lower, middle, up into the shoulders and neck; at the end of the day it almost a guarantee that my back will be hurting. My job and school is mostly online so I do spend quite a bit of my time sitting at a desk, but I try to get up and move and stretch my back a bit every 45 minutes or so when I can. I also try to do yoga each night, but my back is so tight/tense that even the very basic versions of poses end up making my back hurt worse. Anyone else deal with a lot of back pain? If so how do you manage it? Would it be a good idea to ask my doctor for chiropractor, physical therapist, etc. referral?

Hi JacktheVoid,

Love the username!

I have real trouble with my back, but I've managed to get it to a much better place. I have a spinal injury that presses a nerve so know that some of the pain is true as opposed to fibro, but was always trying to figure out what was coming from where! I also work on a computer all day.

I was shocked to find out that sitting in a regular chair triples the pressure within your spine when compared to standing, so it makes sense that our backs get angry when we work like that - you might find you'd do better if you experiment with your workstation. Being unable to afford a premium orthopaedic chair, I took to writing sitting on an exercise ball some of the time, and that helped! I also eventually picked up a kneeling chair, and sometimes write standing or reclining too. Restricting myself to one position when working definitely aggravates, and diversity seems to help.

Beyond that, Sunkacola's advice is bang on. If you can treat your fibro symptoms holistically, your back pain will probably improve dramatically. Some yoga positions can really irritate the spine when it's in bad shape, so you could try searching for yoga for spinal injuries on YouTube - I found some dedicated routines that skip or supplement potentially hazardous positions. If you can get into it, pigeon pose is lovely for stretching out a distressed back. You might also find a TENS machine is helpful. However, doing some form of movement based exercise - not necessarily back focused, but designed to get your blood moving a bit - is also important for healing.

There's a couple of guys on Youtube who make excellent videos about managing back pain. Their channel is called "Bob and Brad", and I can warn you the intro and general tone is insanely corny, but the advice is really good!

You could also consider supplements to reduce inflammation, like omega3s and curcumin. The mention of sugar above is valuable - sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, and omega6s can all contribute to inflammation, which is not what a pissed off back needs!

Not fully caffeinated yet this morning, so that's all I got for now. If I think of something else, I'll come back!
 

JayCS

Very helpful member
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
654
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
GE
Omega 3 you mean (of course) - omega 6 we often have too much of, omega 3:6 needs to be in the ratio 5:1, which is why sunflower seeds and oil aren't as good as we think, as there is too much omega 6 in there.
 

Jemima

Very helpful member
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
508
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
11/2019
Country
PT
Omega 3 you mean (of course) - omega 6 we often have too much of, omega 3:6 needs to be in the ratio 5:1, which is why sunflower seeds and oil aren't as good as we think, as there is too much omega 6 in there.

I intended to portray that it's useful to supplement omega 3 to reduce inflammation, and avoid omega 6 because it causes inflammation. I hope that was clear!

You could also consider supplements to reduce inflammation, like omega3s and curcumin. The mention of sugar above is valuable - sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, and omega6s can all contribute to inflammation, which is not what a pissed off back needs!
 

butterflyandy

New member
Joined
Aug 25, 2021
Messages
3
Hi,
I have had very bad back pain since my car accident in 1989. The intensity of the pain has fluctuated over the years. But in 2013 it was absolutely horrendous. The MRI indicated I had spinal stenosis. I saw a neurologist -thinking I would have to take drastic measures like surgery. He put me on Gabapentin which helped a lot but not enough and then scheduled me for an epidural. It made all the difference in the world. They say it can last for a few years for some and longer for others. Other than mild back ache in the morning that doesn't even require Advil I would say my back is good now
 

Jemima

Very helpful member
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
508
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
11/2019
Country
PT
Hi,
I have had very bad back pain since my car accident in 1989. The intensity of the pain has fluctuated over the years. But in 2013 it was absolutely horrendous. The MRI indicated I had spinal stenosis. I saw a neurologist -thinking I would have to take drastic measures like surgery. He put me on Gabapentin which helped a lot but not enough and then scheduled me for an epidural. It made all the difference in the world. They say it can last for a few years for some and longer for others. Other than mild back ache in the morning that doesn't even require Advil I would say my back is good now
That's amazing butterflyandy,

Fantastic that you experienced such lasting relief - I hope your pain never returns!
 

JayCS

Very helpful member
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
654
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
GE
Does anyone have any tips/advice/resources for dealing with back pain? One of the number one places I experience pain is all through-out my back, lower, middle, up into the shoulders and neck; at the end of the day it almost a guarantee that my back will be hurting. My job and school is mostly online so I do spend quite a bit of my time sitting at a desk, but I try to get up and move and stretch my back a bit every 45 minutes or so when I can. I also try to do yoga each night, but my back is so tight/tense that even the very basic versions of poses end up making my back hurt worse. Anyone else deal with a lot of back pain? If so how do you manage it? Would it be a good idea to ask my doctor for chiropractor, physical therapist, etc. referral?
I've had it all my life, had it well under control due to 10' back exercises lying in bed every morning without fail, fibro flared it up again, now under control again. In my case the 4 areas you mention and more are all individual, altho partly interconnected.

A good orthopedist recommended a hard mattress and shoes without heels when I was 20. Others have said both are not necessary or even wrong, others say it's very individual - I still need both. With fibro I've had to add a soft topper and a lambskin. Carefully engineered insoles didn't help, it's still shoes without heels, sneakers in the summer and Roots or now barefoot shoes/boots in the winter.

Additional back "yoga" now helps me, e.g. holding your elbows and lifting your arms over your head, bending knees a bit, on a good day up to 20x, and holding it up on the last one, maybe breathing in that rhythm. I use about 20 of these exercises and have adapted the lying down ones to standing, so I can do them wherever I'm waiting. As with all exercises I (can) only do them in short stints, so regularly.

The fastest help for back & also limbs is something I've developed that I call twist-stretching: Turn feet outwards, and arms up palms outwards for 20'', back backwards, then perhaps inwards and outwards again. I do it regularly all day, standing & if nec. at night, lying down.
So I agree fully with the PT saying keep your postures under 20' and with @Geeena that it's hard to do, I've used alarms and all kinds of reminder things that only work if you don't ignore them...

Before fibro, standing was much better than sitting for me, so like Jemima implies my workstation is a bar table. So I can stretch invisibly (backwards) even in video meetings. As Jemima says
A swiveable & adjustable bar stool helps change positions quickly. Having both next to a wall lets me lean sideways if nec.
This bar stool has also helped find out that most normal chairs hurt me because I need them higher, so sitting at a slight slant / different angle. That also explains why I often try to slouch a while on chairs etc. until my hunchback hurts. I can also sit on the floor on a carpet, leaning my back on a couch for a while, then turning left and preferably right, with my laptop on the couch. That's actually my favourite working position now, altho standing has got better again. At the beginning of fibro the only position possible for resting & working at the same time was often lying on the couch, which makes typing harder of course. I've now started taking the bar stool everywhere, I use it instead of my kitchen chair too. As it's a bit high for the kitchen table it's not too good for my hunchback (a low chair is better for that), but my lower back can get worse quicker than my middle back. Higher chairs for me was the helpful idea of my acupressurist.
Staying in the tailbone/SIJ area: This can be the biggest pain in the - arse: and really make me mad & desparate, moan & shout. Main trigger is too much pressure on it, especially sitting in a soft armchair or couch which you sink into. The "lower back unrest" I often get at night I've now found is not something like RLS, it was especially being caused by lying on my back too long (more than 5-10 mins), despite a soft topper and a lambskin there (also for paining thighs).
The bouncy gym ball, the knee stools (Balans I know them branded as) and orthopaedic chairs mentioned are all too tough for my tailbone.
In cars I either have to put the lean as steeply as possible or as reclined as possible or both (I never drive myself & hate cars anyway).
When sitting on chairs or couches I often put one foot up, the twist helps to a certain extent.

For my (slight) hunchback my morning back exercises were & are vital, plus the about 20 back "yoga" exercises whenever necessary. At night I've been putting a small grain cushion, then that plus a small pillow, under it, lying on my back. It seemed to help the hunch itch & pain, but is maybe not to do too long. My acupressurist supported doing it for my posture, incl. shoulders back. Now I've realized that that's bad for my SIJ I do still do it a bit, but with my lower back twisted. I lie twisted a lot anyway. Recovery posture and then the upper leg back a bit or lot as needed. If nothing else helps a cold shower or at least cold washing takes the brunt off the pain.

As I'd been having a bit of rib, shoulder and neck problems the last days I've tested my arnica cream again, it worked pretty quickly.
For shoulders I use twisting and also the hunchback-pillow. For neck I do neck-twisting exercises: sideways and up and down movements, with a straight upright back (hand on breast helps) breathing in the rhythm (I can never remember which way round tho). The physiotherapists in the neck 'n' back I went to said then do them diagonally, increasingly tough (swing arms watching your hand, then arms with weights, then arms in the opposite movement to the hand). My acupressurist disagrees and says that's too tough on the discs, altho I have no problems with them. My back yoga book/DVD doesn't suggest the diagonal ones either. The neck'n'back group is way too tough for me, I can only do part of what they do, need to rest quite a bit of the hour and only go occasionally.

With everything I often need the help of my acupressurist: acupressure, trigger pointing, scar treatments, pneumatron and back mobilization (starting with swinging my whole spine to a fro). Before her an osteopath helped. Like Jemima I find the vids of PTs like Bob & Brad or Liebscher & Bracht good (they do German & English). If I have a specific problem & can't find something I look for that on youtube - sometimes it'll be those, but others are good too - shopping around to find something to fit me...
What harmed a lot last year rather than help was a hyaluronic acid injection under CT in my lower back. A new orthopedist wanted to go thru my whole spine doing that. It took me 3 months to recover. Despite greatly increased pain she insisted I continue, my wife insisted I stop - my wife won.
 
Last edited:

Jemima

Very helpful member
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
508
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
11/2019
Country
PT
A good orthopedist recommended a hard mattress and shoes without heels when I was 20. Others have said both are not necessary or even wrong, others say it's very individual - I still need both. With fibro I've had to add a soft topper and a lambskin. Carefully engineered insoles didn't help, it's still shoes without heels, sneakers in the summer and Roots or now barefoot shoes/boots in the winter.
Another really good point! I also have a very hard mattress with a soft topper. A memory foam topper in my case was a total lifesaver for both back and hip pain. When I was still working on my feel all day, custom orthotics from my chiropractor did help in my case - but man, they were pricey!

What harmed a lot last year rather than help was a hyaluronic acid injection under CT in my lower back. A new orthopedist wanted to go thru my whole spine doing that. It took me 3 months to recover. Despite greatly increased pain she insisted I continue, my wife insisted I stop - my wife won.
Wow, that sounds so frustrating, JacCS! It also sounds as if your wife is great at observing how you're doing. That kind of support is so valuable.
 
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