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Lower back pain that moved to my side ribs

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Hello all. Would really appreciate any help/advice you can give as to what this could be. Presently it is destroying my quality of life IMMENSELY.

I'm only 23 years old. I have a physically demanding job involving LOTS of walking, pushing, twisting and bending, and have had this job for the last 6 years. At no point have i EVER had this problem i'm about to tell you about.
Around 2 months ago, I noticed that as I started to get towards the end of my 8 hour shift, I'd feel a very minor achy feeling in my hips/extreme lower back area. It was VERY hard to describe. Anyways, the feeling faded off after i finished work. But as time went on and the days went by, i noticeed I would feel teh ache come on sooner and sooner in my shifts.
Then one day, about a month and a half ago, I noticed that this SAME ache came on even after sitting at my computer for 10-15 minutes. From that day up to now, it has always been uncomfortable to sit and right now it burns down there as I sit here and type this.

At first, it hurt to touch my lower back in the middle, making me think it was my tailbone that was affected. Then teh pain moved straight up, then over to the left side (the whole left side of my lower back was painful to touch or if i rested it against anything). Then the pain moved over to my left and right side ribs and this is where it hurts today. It's a shooting pain down the sides of my abdomen but it still feels like the ache originates in my lower back. And on the left and right side ribs where the pain is felt, i have slight bruising (yellow and black blotches)

Went to my doctor when the pain was felt in my lower back. He prescribed naproxen (anti-inflammatories) and baclofen (muscle relaxant), neither of which helped me. Went back to him for a follow-up after my medicine trial was finished, at which point he told me I must ignore some symptoms I get in my life, and then rudely told me "we all get symptoms, ya' know" and then said it was all in my head. Ughhh.

However, he did order an xray of my lower left rib where the pain was felt at the hip. Went todayfor results, it cam eback normal. But then the doctor looked at me and told me i'm out of shape, overweight, and can't expect to be symptom-free if i don't take care of my body. I am NOT overweight. I'm 5'11, 180 pounds. I DO have a little bit of excess belly fat, but i am VERy slim otherwise. I went to a massage therapist a month ago for another unrelated issue (which she fixed, by the way) and she tested the range of motion of my head, jaw, neck, shoulders, and back and said it was all exceptionally good for somebody my age. On top of all that, i don't drink, never smoked or done drugs, and I eat a relatively good diet. For this guy to tell me why my muscles are so sore is because i'm out of shape is ludicrus to me. He told me to join a gym, Not only did it not give me a good solution to my pain, it also hurt to hear this from him and ame me more self-conscious about the little bit of fat I have on my body.

The pain seems to be a bit better lying down, and feels at its best first thing in the morning after I wake up and gets MUCH worse through the day, especially while sitting. It's just this burning, fiery ache and it's draining me.
I did some grocery shopping today and the entire time it was killing me... just shooting pains at my rib area on the sides. It even spread to my chest bones slighlty. I've pulled muscles before, but if this was just another one, it sure did scare the hell out of me since I've never felt it before. It DOES get worse with physica activity but not alleviated much by rest either.

Could anybody give any advice on what this COULd be and how I should go about treating it?

Oh, and the doctor told me that I shouldn' be seeing a doctor at 23 years of age. He said if I was 60, this would be different. I guess 23 year olds aren't entitled to care or compassion when they experience pain.
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replied September 25th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
Quote:
he told me I must ignore some symptoms I get in my life, and then rudely told me "we all get symptoms, ya' know" and then said it was all in my head.

Sounds like "bankrupt expertise" so he blames it on "being in your head".

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xray of my lower left rib where the pain was felt at the hip. Went todayfor results, it cam eback normal.

An MRI would better show damage to the soft tissue, like the discs (ligaments). An x-ray shows the bones and if you don't have facet joint arthritis or disc narrowing (the bones would move closer together) it may not show your problem.

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the doctor looked at me and told me i'm out of shape, overweight, and can't expect to be symptom-free if i don't take care of my body.

MAYBE these could be a contributing factor but these are no guarantee that you should be in pain because of them.

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gets MUCH worse through the day, especially while sitting. .....It DOES get worse with physica activity but not alleviated much by rest either

Based on your problem with sitting and your young age, there is very likely a problem with your discs. These are the ligaments in your back which hold the bones in place. An MRI would show this.
Your ligaments are either stretched or torn due to an imbalance in your muscles / too much sitting. As the day progresses things slip more out of alignment and your pain increases.
When you are active, your muscles are engaged more, making the muscle imbalance worse but again, the discs are "passive tissue" and will contribute to your pain even if you are not active.

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Could anybody give any advice on what this COULd be and how I should go about treating it?

1) "Static back 90-90 position" (Do a Google search)
- This will let your lower back muscles relax.
- Notice if your shoulders or lower back don't sit flat on the floor. Especially of there is a twist where only one side is off the floor.

To put the curve back into your lower back try one of these 2 exercises:
NOTE: Discs move 1mm in 3 minutes. So you may need to hold these for at least that long for the disc to move back into place.

2a) "Static extension on elbows" (Do a Google search)
- To get your shoulders pulled back as well, pinch your shoulders together.
--- or ---
2b) "Static back 90-90 position" (Do a Google search)
- Put a rolled up towel -or- 2 soft foam balls under your lower back just below your beltline.

To balance the muscles in your hips, give these two a try. As with "static back" use the floor as a guide. Notice any twisting of your back or hips off the floor as you press against the block or straps.
3a) "SUPINE ABDUCTOR PRESS"
- Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor.
- Put the strap just above your knees.
- Put a yoga block or pillow between your feet.
- Press out against the strap either for 2 seconds intervals and relax or try a steady 30 second press. See which works best for you.
3b) "SUPINE PILLOW SQUEEZE E-CISE"
- Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor.
- Put a yoga block or pillow between your knees.
- Put the strap around your ankles.
- Press into the yoga block either for 2 seconds intervals and relax or try a steady 30 second press. See which works best for you.

Your hip flexor muscles get short from siting a lot so they need to be stretched. You may find one side is tighter than the other. This is bad because it will also put a twist into your hips and tear up the discs worse:
To stretch your hips:
4a) "KNEELING LUNGE STRETCH" (Do a Google search)
4b) "STANDING LUNGE STRETCH" (Do a Google search)
- Front leg up on a step of chair will give a better front-of-hip stretch.
4c) "Supine Groin Stretch" (Do a Google search)
- This is the most gentle stretch for your hips but it can take 20 minutes for the muscles to let go.
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replied September 25th, 2012
Experienced User
Wow, thanks for all of taht EXTREMELY helpful information! When you say go for an MRI, do you mean an MRI of the entire back or an MRI of just the spine?

can pressure on the disks/ligaments cause pain at the hip/ribs? This is a very awful feeling. If i need to work out more often and join a gym, I'll happily do it, but I fail to see that this is the problem. I do, however, sit in a crappy old hard computer chair, and sometimes I sit awkwardly in it. (I lay on it in such a way that, with my bed next to me, I lay with my upper back resting against the back of the computer chair, my lower back resting on the edge of the seat of the chair and then rest my legs on the end(foot) of my bed. The end result is that I have a folded up body, which I thought felt comfortable at firs but I guess it's doing more harm tahn good)
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replied September 25th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
RTL89, your welcome. Glad that this was helpful.
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When you say go for an MRI, do you mean an MRI of the entire back or an MRI of just the spine?

The doctor would determine what to do. The MRI would show at least your lower to mid-back.
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can pressure on the disks/ligaments cause pain at the hip/ribs?

It's hard to say for sure what is going on without seeing you in person. I do not know what you mean by pressure on the discs. The discs could bulge and cause pressure on OTHER things. If your muscles are tight / imbalanced, this pressure could cause rib or hip pain.
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If i need to work out more often and join a gym, I'll happily do it, but I fail to see that this is the problem.

You don't have to join a gym. The weights there would probably not help your problem anyhow. You need to do specific exercises which use your muscles to help put things back into place. If you broke your arm, the doctor would put on a cast until the bone heals. Think of the muscles as a splint for your discs. Tightening certain muscles will pull the ligaments back together again until they heal.
Have you tried the exercises I gave you?
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I do, however, sit in a crappy old hard computer chair, and sometimes I sit awkwardly in it.

Your sitting posture is not helping your problem. It's is better to not sit AT ALL if you can help it. I kneel on some foam pads (like right now) instead.
If you must sit, this exercise will teach good form:

5) "SEATED ABDUCTOR PRESS" Part I
a) Sit at the edge of a low step so your thighs are parallel to the ground.
b) Wrap a belt or Yoga strap around your thighs just ABOVE your knees.
c) Press outwards against the strap for 2 seconds. Repeat 20 times.
*** IMPORTANT: Let your abs relax and your hips rotate forwards, putting an arch into your lower back. ***
- Do NOT let your feet roll in. Keep weight on the outer edges of your feet and off the balls of your feet.
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replied September 25th, 2012
Experienced User
Yes, I did try all of the exercises (with the exception of number 3, for now) and i will continue to do them on a regular basis. Hopefully this will all help! The exercise that i felt helped me the most was the very first one. At first it was uncomfortable but after awhile, the aching feeling in my lower back started to fade.

I would like to ask my doctor for the MRI but i'm scared to go back to him. He's rude and condescending. He said that people my age shouldn't be in pain, need medications, or need tests. He said that "those are just excuses" for your pain, whatever that means.

What exactly causes this anyway? Is it from repetitive twisting motions? Because this has been going on for a few months, does that mean it will always be a problem for me now?

Thanks so much again for all your help!
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replied September 26th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
Quote:
What exactly causes this anyway? Is it from repetitive twisting motions?

There are a LOT of things going on in your lower back. You said your X-ray did not show 1) facet joint arthritis or 2) the bones moving close together (caused by disc narrowing). These are more advanced injuries that happen over many years and are more likely to show up in people over 40. You can have plenty of pain without these problems!
So I will guess the majority of your pain is from the discs. Discs are "fiber cartilage" and connect the bones directly above and below. So there are discs between each bone (vertebrae).
half of these disc fibers spiral to the right. The other half spiral to the left. This allows the back to move in any direction: bend / twist / arch or a combination. The problem is when you twist, only HALF of the disc fibers engage. The other half go slack. So the disc is only half as strong when twisted compared to straight bending or compression.
The WORST THING you can do is round your back when bending forwards and then twist at the same time.

- Do a GOOGLE search for "hip hinge" to show good bending form.

If you look in the mirror, do you see one side of your hips or shoulders is closer to the mirror than the other side? Doing exercise #1, do your hips and shoulders go flat on the floor or does one side tend to lift up off the floor?

This means you have a permanent twist in your body. This will continue to pull the discs apart until you fix it. That's what those exercises are fixing.

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Because this has been going on for a few months, does that mean it will always be a problem for me now?

You CAN heal and return to normal life. You probably need more than what I can tell you on-line.
I was told by one Doc that a simple disc herniation will heal in 6 weeks. If it does not, there are others things going on. Such as:
1) Chronic muscle imbalance which is pulling the discs apart.
2) Too much sitting, especially with bad posture.
3) Lifting weight, especially with bad form, before your discs heal.

There are plenty of people who sit a lot and have bad posture but have no back pain. The difference with you is, IMHO, the discs have torn. Then the pain continues until you fix your problems. It is a blessing in disguise, I guess.
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replied September 27th, 2012
Experienced User
Yes, but my XRAY wasn't of my lower back, it was of my left hip/ribs. I told teh doctor that my pain started in my lower back, moved up, then to the left side of my back, then to my left hib/ribs. He seemed skeptical to believe me so that's when I had an xray done of my left hip/ribs. When I went in to see him for the results, that's when he told me it came back normal and that I realy should stop worrying about "little" symptoms. Thus, I've NEVER had a scan of any kind done on my actual lower back. He was following the pain as it moved rather than focusing on the SOURCE of the pain, whcih is my lower back. I'm not even a doctor and I know that, so I don't know why he doesn't.

Looking in a mirror, my hips and shoulders seem perfectly even when I stand there straight. Likewise, with doing exercise number 1 (which feels like it helps A LOT, by the way), everything is flat on the floor.

When I sit, I tend to sit forward a little bit with a rounded back And sometimes I'll turn around to see who's behind me when people are passing by. When I do taht I always felt an uncomfortable pull in my back, which explains your reasoning why it's the worst thing for me to do.

Hmmm, I think all 3 of those reasons are applicable to me, but particularly number 3. If I didn't have a job that required all this awkward lifting, I'm sure I could get better from this much sooner. My personal theory after you telling me all this?

I think my bad sitting posture slowly caused the disks to stretch and tear, and the heavy lifting aggravated it to the point where it's keeping them from goiing back togther. Sounds like a vicious cycle to me.

I REALLY don't want to go back to that doctor, since he's just going to be rude to me again. Last time I aske dhim for back exercises he recommended and he said "pffff, I'm not a back doctor. But that doesn't matter anyway. You're overweight". BUT I'M NOT! It's soo frustrating.
Which doctor/specialist would you recommend for aiding in this? Any manipulations that can be done?
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replied September 27th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
Quote:
When I sit, I tend to sit forward a little bit with a rounded back

You can put a towel or roll of paper towels at your lower back to keep an arch in it as the ligaments are too weak to do this now. It could also be a shoulder problem with the upper back rounding forwards.
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Looking in a mirror, my hips and shoulders seem perfectly even when I stand there straight.

This greatly simplifies your treatment.
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My personal theory after you telling me all this?

You are on the right track IMHO.
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Which doctor/specialist would you recommend for aiding in this? Any manipulations that can be done?

I personally had the best luck doing exercises like I gave you on my own. I have used these on a friend with a torn ACL and an 80 year old with arthritic hips instead of hip replacement. They do their e-cises and their pain goes away! This stuff really works if you put in the time!
I sent photos of myself to Egoscue in San Diego and based on my posture problems, got 8 menus that I have been doing daily for the past 3 1/2 years. Pete Egoscue also has 2 books:
"Pain Free" and "The Egoscue method of healing Through Motion" but he now has well over 900 exercises so these books are pretty dated.

The best luck I had with manipulations was "neurofascial release" done by a P/T trained by Osteopath Dr. Stephen Davidson. He told me what was wrong, treated me, and I also did the appropriate exercises from what he saw wrong.
I had a little success with "Alexander Technique" postural guidance training.
Chiros can ruin you or help you. IMHO MY back was soo fragile that a Chiro would have ripped me apart. Also many insist on X-rays to track progress. If they can only see the problem on an X-ray and can't feel it, how can they treat it with their hands? I personally have had too many and will NEVER have ANY x-ray again unless it is life threatening as my last one had me throwing up in the sink 3 hours later.

As you learn about yourself, eventually YOU will be your own best doctor once you have the correct exercises.
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replied September 27th, 2012
Experienced User
Yes, but my XRAY wasn't of my lower back, it was of my left hip/ribs. I told teh doctor that my pain started in my lower back, moved up, then to the left side of my back, then to my left hib/ribs. He seemed skeptical to believe me so that's when I had an xray done of my left hip/ribs. When I went in to see him for the results, that's when he told me it came back normal and that I realy should stop worrying about "little" symptoms. Thus, I've NEVER had a scan of any kind done on my actual lower back. He was following the pain as it moved rather than focusing on the SOURCE of the pain, whcih is my lower back. I'm not even a doctor and I know that, so I don't know why he doesn't.

Looking in a mirror, my hips and shoulders seem perfectly even when I stand there straight. Likewise, with doing exercise number 1 (which feels like it helps A LOT, by the way), everything is flat on the floor.

When I sit, I tend to sit forward a little bit with a rounded back And sometimes I'll turn around to see who's behind me when people are passing by. When I do taht I always felt an uncomfortable pull in my back, which explains your reasoning why it's the worst thing for me to do.

Hmmm, I think all 3 of those reasons are applicable to me, but particularly number 3. If I didn't have a job that required all this awkward lifting, I'm sure I could get better from this much sooner. My personal theory after you telling me all this?

I think my bad sitting posture slowly caused the disks to stretch and tear, and the heavy lifting aggravated it to the point where it's keeping them from goiing back togther. Sounds like a vicious cycle to me.

I REALLY don't want to go back to that doctor, since he's just going to be rude to me again. Last time I aske dhim for back exercises he recommended and he said "pffff, I'm not a back doctor. But that doesn't matter anyway. You're overweight". BUT I'M NOT! It's soo frustrating.
Which doctor/specialist would you recommend for aiding in this? Any manipulations that can be done?
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replied September 26th, 2012
Experienced User
I DID have something else that was on my mind, too. And it MIGHT help in understanding my problem a little bit better.. not sure if it's relevant but I'll give it a shot.

I have VERY high-arched feet. As a result, I suffer from Achilles tendonitis on occasion.

In January of this year, I suffered from a bout of it on my left foot. (twisted it at work) .I visited a podiatrist who then made note about how highly arched my feet are (he said i'm on the VERY end of the spectrum, which is rare). He said it was just genetics though. However, he prescribed heel lifts for BOTH of my shoes because he said if just one was prescribed for my left foot, it would cause pain in teh hips after awhile. So i wore both heel lifts for a bout a month afterwards.

However, I was still feeling tenderness whenever my tendon rubbed up against the back of my shoe, so to compensate for this, I rolled up a standard plastic grocery bag and used it as a cushion for my tendon in my shoe. This helped that pain IMMENSELY. However, after I took the heel lifts out, I still continued to use the plastic bag muntil about May or June of this year and then took it out when I noticed my heel wasn't sore at all anymore. THIS is coincidentally the same time I noticed this ache was developing in my hips/lower back.

Is it posisble at al that maybe the bag pushede my foot forward in my shoe, which pushed my knee/leg forward, which pushed my left hip/lower back forward and caused the imbalance, and thus the pain?

Crazy idea, I know. But I remember the podiatrist saying that unbalanced shoe inserts can cause pain in the hips.

There are times where I have 3-4 days off in a row from my work, so if this was caused by work (twisting, bending and lifting improperly), then how come it STILL hurts even from just sitting or standing still? I've applied heat for 20-30 minute sessions for 3-4 times a day and get absolutely NO relief at all.

This is beginning to frighten me and is degrading my quality of life Sad
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replied September 26th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
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not sure if it's relevant but I'll give it a shot.

Its all related, especially when it comes to back problems. Because your lower back is the center of your body, it is affected by everything above (like rounded shoulders) and below (like twisted hips).
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have VERY high-arched feet. As a result, I suffer from Achilles tendonitis on occasion.

Stand relaxed and face a full-length mirror. Do you kneecaps point out, away from your body. Externally rotated kneecaps usually go along with high arches.

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Is it posisble at al that maybe the bag pushede my foot forward in my shoe, which pushed my knee/leg forward, which pushed my left hip/lower back forward and caused the imbalance, and thus the pain?

- DO a GOOGLE search for "swayback posture".
Do you look like this? If you do, let me know and I can suggest some stretches.
You are on the right track for your pain but it's more than the bag in your shoe.

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There are times where I have 3-4 days off in a row from my work, so if this was caused by work (twisting, bending and lifting improperly), then how come it STILL hurts even from just sitting or standing still? I've applied heat for 20-30 minute sessions for 3-4 times a day and get absolutely NO relief at all.

You have a condition that will never heal CORRECTLY on its own. That's because once the fibers in the discs have torn, they don't go back unless you PUSH them back into place. Either by chiropractor, osteopath, or exercises like I gave you. Without seeing you, it's hard to say exactly WHICH exercise you need.

Do a GOOGLE Search for "counter stretch".
- It may work better if you do this with feet turned in (pigeon toed)
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replied September 27th, 2012
Experienced User
YES! My kneecaps do point outwards.. does that mean anything? So far it has never been a probelm for me but that is a VERY interesting fact to note.

hmm swayback posture. When i'm standing still for a long period, I tend to jut my back a little bit more forward to increase the arch in my back. That`s what this looks like, judging by the diagrams I see here. If so, that is totally me. I don`t know why i do it, i know it`s a mental thing, but it just feels more comfortable to do it. I need better standing posture.
I`ve noticed in teh past that if i were to stand somehwere in one position for a long time, such as at a concert, I would have to rub my lower back and hip area because i would feel an ache, because i was standing with a bigger arch in my back

One last thing I should note.... when I feel my lower back aching (like when i`m sitting), i go to rub it in the general area I feel the pain but I can NEVER find the source of the ache. So waht ends up happening is I rub my lower back hoping to find the painful spot and never can.
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replied September 27th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
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YES! My kneecaps do point outwards.. does that mean anything?

It means you should do the pillow squeeze (exercise #3b from above) to fix your hips. That;s is where your foot problem lies. You can either do this sitting or lying on the floor while doing exercise #1 ("Static back" from my above post ) for feedback from the floor.
- Squeeze a pillow or yoga block between your knees.
- For extra benefit, wrap a belt or yoga strap around your ankles so they stay hip-width apart.
- Squeeze the pillow with your knees while your press out with your ankles.

Pressing out against a strap wrapped around your knees would probably make it worse. Experiment and see.

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I tend to jut my back a little bit more forward to increase the arch in my back........I would have to rub my lower back and hip area because i would feel an ache, because i was standing with a bigger arch in my back

Do you do this by jutting your hips forward? This sounds like you have too MUCH arch in your lower back. It is a position of fatigue and when you lack core strength. So you relax all you muscles, your hips go forward, and you rest on your front-hip ligaments. It's called "parking your hips".
Crunches to work your 6-pack will not help. You need to get to the deeper, "transverse abdominus" muscle. Here's how:
6a) "STATIC BACK ABDOMINAL CONTRACTIONS" (Do a Google search - "Campusfit" has an excellent video)
In case you do not want to watch the video:
- Do exercise #1 from above that you like to do.
- Inhale and let your belly expand up. You do this by dropping your "diaphragm muscle" down to suck the air into your lungs, NOT by expanding your chest / ribs up.
- As you exhale, your stomach goes down and you press your mid-back into the floor. - You will feel like you are doing a mini-crunch and you may want to do a little crunch up off the floor to activate the transverse abdominus muscle even more.

6b) You can also do this just standing up against the wall. Press your mid-back into the wall while your lower back still has an arch. I bet you will find this VERY challenging!

The other stretch to do is:
7a) "Supine Groin Stretch" (Do a Google search)
or
7b) "Supine groin progressive stretch"
- This is the most gentle stretch for your hips but it can take 20 minutes for the muscles to let go.

Also walking is great. One doctor would prescribe walking 100 miles a month for one year for his patients with disc problems.

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when I feel my lower back aching (like when i`m sitting), i go to rub it in the general area I feel the pain but I can NEVER find the source of the ache.

The discs go up the center of your body. Also they are surrounded by bone. So you cannot reach them by touch.
- Have you tried kneeling on a knee pad instead of sitting?
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replied September 28th, 2012
Experienced User
I did the pillow squeez exercise, tied a belt around my knees. I found this very uncomdfortable though. If you don't mind me asking, what is the correlation between outward kneecaps and my feet? How did they make a connection between the two?

When I first begin standing in one spot, i'm in a neutral position. After a few seconds I start to slip into that "new" position where my hips move forwrad and I can feel my lower back arch even more. I NEVEr used to think anything was wrong with this.. I just assumed it was a healthy, comfortable way to stand. But then I examined everyone else standing around me and they were all standing perfectly straight and comfortable with no added arch like me. Then it would ache in my lower centre back after about 30 minutes to an hour of standing like this.
This is EXACTLY the same spot where i feel the ache now. I wonder if this was the basis for my developing condition.

Thanks again for those adiitional exercises! Are there any more exercises that can help my core muscles? Would sit-ups help?
So exercises like these are the key for my treatment? I don't need to see any specialists for adjustments such as a chirporactor?

I do walk a lot already but I will try to walk even more whwenever I get the chance. Especially now that cooler weather is arrivin (I LOVE the cold), i'll be out and about for longer and more frequent walks than I was before. Smile

I did some research and goodled CORE MUSCLES, and i found a site that administers a core muscle test. It gives you an exercise to do and if you can do it, it shows you have good core muscle strength. I am going to attempt this test and gte back to you on te results.

And no, I haven't tried kneeling, but I should because when i do exercise #1 (the one taht relaxes the lower back muscles), it feels GREAT!
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replied September 28th, 2012
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I did the pillow squeez exercise, tied a belt around my knees. I found this very uncomdfortable though. If you don't mind me asking, what is the correlation between outward kneecaps and my feet?

So you are saying you had better luck when squeezing the pillow between your knees versus pressing out against the strap? That would make sense.
See for yourself that when you engage your hips so your kneecaps turn out, your feet will supinate. Meaning the weight comes OFF the balls of your feet and onto the outer edges. This will make the foot arches get higher.
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Then it would ache in my lower centre back after about 30 minutes to an hour of standing like this.
This is EXACTLY the same spot where i feel the ache now. I wonder if this was the basis for my developing condition.

You are unusually observant of your posture. This is a good thing!
Your primary hip flexor muscle (psoas muscle) connects to your leg and then T12, L1-L5 vertebrae in your lower back. It is one of the most powerful muscles in your body and once it gets a grip without the opposing muscles to stop it, puts an arch into your lower back and compresses your discs = PAIN!
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Thanks again for those adiitional exercises! Are there any more exercises that can help my core muscles? Would sit-ups help?

My first suggestion for abs are the two I gave above 6a and 6b. Let me know how those work. Just working the 6-pac like planks, etc. just creates MORE compression and does not work the muscles opposing the psoas to get the psoas to release. This is what you really want. So in addition to 6a) and 6b):

8a) Kneeling where you squeeze your butt (glute muscles) versus sitting.
8b) Shoulder bridges - again, squeeze your butt to lift up.

9) "standing quad stretch e-cise of the week" (Do a Google search)

To stretch your hips as described above:
4a) "KNEELING LUNGE STRETCH" (Do a Google search)
4b) "STANDING LUNGE STRETCH" (Do a Google search)
- Front leg up on a step of chair will give a better front-of-hip stretch.

10) OUTER THIGHS E-CISE (20 repetitions):
a) Lie on your side, with bottom leg bent, rest head on hand.
b) Lift top (straight) leg up and down 3-4".
- Keep quad tight and toes pulled back.
c) Rotate the top leg inwards so the foot is pointing slightly DOWN (pigeon toed).
- This will better work the gluteus medius muscle.

11) INNER THIGH E-CISE (20 repetitions):
Lying on your side, with top leg bent and foot flat on the floor (legs look like a figure 4), rest head on hand
a) Lift the bottom leg (straight leg) up 3-4 inches off the floor
b) Keep quad tight and toes pulled back.

Quote:
I don't need to see any specialists for adjustments such as a chirporactor?

That would be up to you and they may do you some good. But if you go the posture route, someone like Egoscue will better evaluate your posture than you can do yourself. They look at people all day and find things you may overlook such as:
- Equal weight on both feet.
- Equal space between arms and torso.
- One hip higher than the other.
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replied September 29th, 2012
Experienced User
This is all very useful information! But it's frustrating because even though tere are a wide variety of exercises here, it's hard to say which ones will benefit me without anybody actually taking the time to look at me. Is there any professional you would suggest I see (i.e..physiotherapist) who will actally EXAMINE me instead of jumping the gun and judging my weight. (or lack thereof). Shoudl I consult another medical doctor for a second opinion or is that just wishful thinking that they will have advice on which exercise sto perform?

I did google "core muscle exercises" and I found afew that I have been performing a couple times a day. One I found that feels like a good stretch in my body is the "bridge". You lie on your back, arch your knees at a 90 degree angle, and then lift your abdomen/back off teh ground so it's inline to your knees and shoulders. And you hold for 10 seconds, 10-15 repetitions. I woke up in the morning and felt sore muscles in the bottom of my chest area (from the exercise). Hopefully this one helps me too.

There are so many variables with my body that COULD be potentially causing the problem... I have no idea where to even start. It kills me with pain when i'm at work. I can't keep going on like this.
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replied September 29th, 2012
Experienced User
By the way i jsut saw your post now (sorry! Didn't catch it until now) about all the professionals that could help. What made you sick from the xrays? Was it the radiation?

I should also mention taht my posture in general is poor. My head juts forward slightly and I have a hunch when I walk. I contribute this to years of playing video games when I was younger, but I haven't done so in a couple years. I try to consciously correct my standing/walking/sitting posture but I always end up slouching when i don't think a bout it. Maybe this is the source of my back pain?
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replied October 2nd, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
Quote:
Is there any professional you would suggest I see (i.e..physiotherapist) who will actally EXAMINE me instead of jumping the gun and judging my weight. (or lack thereof).

I would recommend Egoscue and will p-mail you the link as i can't post on line. The exercises I listed would be good for your condition but it is better to get a complete menu of 10 exercises.
Quote:
I try to consciously correct my standing/walking/sitting posture but I always end up slouching when i don't think a bout it. Maybe this is the source of my back pain?

It's definitely a contributing factor in your pain. As you notice, if you have back pain, you also have to work on your head and shoulders or your back won't get better.
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replied October 12th, 2012
Experienced User
After doing most of the exercises continuously and not getting any positive results, and increased pain while doing them, I have an update!

I took a chance and booked an appointment with a massage therapist. I had my first appointment today, and had an hour session with her.

While doing it, she said I have something called "myofascial pain syndrome" because she felt all kinds of muscle knots going up my back, extending down to my hips(where the aching pain is, especially while sitting). She said to continue applying heat and to try an epsom salt bath until my next appointment. For my next appointment, if I'm not better, she's gonna try "myofascial release" to help promote muscle healing.

I know I shouldn't self-diagnose but i looked up the syndrome online and one interesting thing I found was "the pain never resolves itself" and "worse with physical activity" Both of these things desribe me pretty well. I think we may be onto something here...
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replied October 17th, 2012
Experienced User
Yet another update!
I was referred to a massage therapist who was higher up in years of experience at the clinic. She did a couple tests on me and confirmed that it wasn't a spinal issue, nor my glutes muscles being the issue.

And here's where it gets VERY interesting.

She laid me down on the massage table, on my back and straightened my legs. One of my legs are a bit shorter than the other! She said that this was likely due to the hip bone being twisted/rotated. Sge massaged the ileum (hip bone) and then checked my legs again.. apparently i'm all straightened out. This all happened yesterday

However, i'm still having pain in my hips when I sit. I'm hoping now taht things are popped back into place, the pain will slowly resolve itself. In th meantime, I have another massage appointment scheduled for monday. Hopefully this will fix the problem. This is pain that I can NOT bear to just "live with". It's awful and very intrusive.
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replied November 5th, 2012
Hi, hope you''re feeling better and are on the mend.
If this helps, I had very similar symptoms to what you described and was eventually diagnosed with a torn psoas muscle.
Pain moved from middle to lower back to right side lower ribs. I had mri scan, ultra sound to check liver, kidneys, pancreas and gallbladder, numerous blood tests, colonoscopy and gastroscopy again, all clear.
Apparently, these type muscular problems are often misdiagnosed, with mine in particular originally diagnosed as crohns disease.
Hope this helps in some way.
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replied December 2nd, 2013
Please update!
Please can you update this? I am in so much pain and this sounds so similar. I'm 28 and have had some lower back pain niggles over the years (I'm a software developer so spend a lot of time sat down). The pain started spreading up my back and around into my ribs. It feels like inside I am on fire. The pain is like nothing I have ever felt.

I went to my GP and he was quite dismissive, like he didn't believe the amount of pain I was in. He gave me Naproxen and said it's my psoas muscles. When I asked about exercises I could do to help he told me to just do walking. The bad pain comes in attacks for me but these attacks are becoming more frequent and the naproxen are useless.
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