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Random sudden lower back pain

sieren
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Random sudden lower back pain
I purchased the "8 steps" book a few months ago, and read through it and had been trying to follow the proper sitting/lying/standing/walking etc techniques.  However I think lately I must have been getting a little lax on the bending area, and yesterday when I was cleaning the house, I bent over to do something and when I stood back up, my lower back/lumbar area was SUPER tight and hurt really bad especially whenever I cough or bend. 

This happened a couple times previously (the last time was just before I found this site online and bought the book).  The other times I just kind of waited for it to go away on its own, but this time I am wondering if there is something I can do to help it heal up faster?  Since I will still need to move and bend on a regular basis, even now while hurt, how do you suggest I do it (squat down?)?  Also, I have no idea what caused this pain exactly...any guesses...maybe a strained muscle?

A little background on me: I am female, and 6 feet tall, and I've worked in healthcare (as a nursing assistant and now a nurse) for the past 6 years.  This has involved a LOT of bending and lifting, the majority probably not done properly because I am so much taller than all my co-workers and patients.  When I was younger, my mom was very strict with making us "sit up straight" which I did by creating excessive lumbar curvature and sticking my chest out/up.  My posture was that way my whole life up until college probably, when I started slumping more but still kept the curved lumbar area.  So I have a curvy-S shaped spine (top of the spine has an out curve, and lumbar curves in and the bottom of my ribs sticks out in front).  I have been trying to correct it by anchoring my ribs, which has worked to an extent, but it is still tricky for me to figure out if I am tilting my pelvis correctly, but not curving my lumbar area.  Do you have any tips for me regarding this?  Thanks!!!!  Sorry about the long post!!  I so wish I could just attend a class, but right now there aren't any in my area and I don't have video on my computer to do the skype thing.
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It's tricky to learn to hiphinge without guidance. Most people have trouble believing just how much their pelvis needs to move to do a deep bend.

Sounds like you bent slightly wrong. That threatens your discs/nerves, which elicit a muscle response via the brain, which is trying to do what it can to prevent damage. Once you have a spasm, there are several things you can do to return to normalcy:
1. wait it out
2. soothe the area by "breathing in the the back," i.e. letting the back lengthen with each inhalation and return to basleine with every exhalation. If the muscles are super-spasmed this may not be work.
3. stretchsit, stretchlie, use your inner corset to what extent possible.
4. use some extra way to help reset your muscles - my favorite is warm baths and acupuncture; you can also use meds or injections if the problem is severe enough.

While you have spasmed back muscles, you cannot hiphinge - you have to bend using your knees.

Most importantly, you don't want your body to perceive or experience a threat when you bend. There isn't a long-term substitute for lerning to use your body well. It sounds like you have made great progress in this direction - wish you luck!

Btw, be sure to request a course in your area - that's what makes these courses happen. And Skype works remarkably well (you could perhaps use a friend's computer) if you ever decide to try that route.
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Thank you so much for your reply, Esther!  I kind of used a combonation of your suggestions, and my back returned to normal within a few days.  :)  From then on, I have been paying closer attention to my posture, and stretchsitting, stacksitting and glidewalking as much as possible, especially when I'm at work.  I did start out just bending with my knees, when my back was still hurting, but now I have begun hiphinging again.  Acutally, just today, I think I figured it out a bit better, after seeing what you mentioned about most people not realizing how much you have to move your pelvis to bend.  Before, I really wasn't feeling the movement in my hips as much, but when I pay closer attention, I can really tell if I'm doing it right. It seems like my bottom has to move back more when I bend at my hips, instead of staying where it is in the start of the bend...does that sound correct?  I have tight hamstrings, so I usually need to spread my legs farther apart, and bend a bit in the knees to keep my back perfectly staight if I am bending to pick something up off the floor.  Is that OK?  I think they are gradually getting looser. 
Oh, and I did request a class in my area!!  That would be so great if there was one here!
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It sounds like you are right on track!
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