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Pain On Spine And Muscle Tightness

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Hello -

i'm a 35 year old that has been having back pain for the last month or so. It is not debilitating but a bother nonetheless. First, if I touch and rub my spine about 3 inches up from my waist line and maybe 5 inches down from my bra line I feel pain on the spine. There is also general muscle tightness that seems to vary in location but is more pronounced on the right side than the left around the location of the spinal pain. The tightness is worst when bending over and sitting for a period of time. There is no pain that radiates into my buttocks or legs.

I am an avid cyclist (road and mountain) and have been riding a lot more than I have in the past (2-3 times a week). I am thinking that the problem may be stemming from this because I cannot pinpoint any specific instance when the pain came on.

Does this sound like some kind of sprain or strain or something more serious?

I have been stretching, using a heating pad and massage. All seem to help in the short term but the pain and tightness come back eventually. Aleve did nothing for the pain but advil seems to work on the pain but not the tightness of the muscles. I have been off the bike for about a week now as well.

It does seem as if the pain on the spine itself subsides at times. There are now times when I touch it and I cannot feel the pain. But the muscle tightness is still there. Is this part of the healing process?

I'll be making an appointment with the doc next week. Unfortunately, it always takes about another week to actually get an appointment...

Thanks for any ideas and suggestions on my back problem.
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replied August 9th, 2006
Sounds a bit like a bulging disc given the nature of the symptoms. Disc bulging varies in severity, symptoms, and duration, but almost always are treated conservatively. If the pain does not go away on its own, your doctor will probably order xray and mri and will likely send you to therapy, though you could do some exercises at home to facilitate the recovery process. Email me and I can send you some exercises. Oh yeah, I am a director of rehabilitation and a therapist when I am not in here answering posts.
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