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Pulled back, can't move -- this sucks

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by rogersmj, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. macrumors 68020


    So here I am, just shy of 24 years old, and as I stood from picking up a kleenex I had dropped this morning (which I have been using constantly thanks to a stubborn head cold), I suddenly had the most intense shooting pain in my lower back. I tried to take a step, and I couldn't. I tried to bend down again, and I couldn't. At first I thought it was just a little muscle spasm, so I gave it a few seconds and then tried to walk again. Nope. All I could do was lean on the counter and call for someone to help me. Now I'm in bed, and I can't even hoist myself up to a sitting position without wanting to scream in pain. Oh, and it hurts to cough -- which is great, since I have a cold. Going to the bathroom a half hour ago was an adventure.

    It seems I've badly pulled a back muscle, but I don't know how. All I did was bend down to pick up a kleenex. I don't understand how something like this can happen to someone at my age...it sounds like an "old man" story my father or grandfather would tell.

    At least I've got my iMac at the foot of the bed with Front Row, a bunch of TV shows, and a crapload of podcasts. And a laptop to browse MacRumors :D

    Sigh...this sucks. Anyone else have back problems? What do you do to fix it? I've taken some pain reliever (not doing a lot of good) and iced it (not helping all that much either). If I still can't walk by tomorrow, I'm going to the doctor.
  2. macrumors 68020


    Lift with your knees, not your back!
  3. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    I don't have back problems, but my father did slip a disc (I know...that's a medically inaccurate term) in his back bending over to tie his shoes when he was in his early 30s and have to have surgery to fix it. Definitely get it checked out...you're obviously in a lot of pain.
  4. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Thats the ticket, you not suppose to bend you back when picking up anything at all. Use those Knees! Sounds like its time for Dr visit
  5. macrumors 68040


    Ooh Matron!! :D
  6. Moderator emeritus


    My thoughts for your recovery! :(
  7. macrumors 6502a


    I can sympathize with you - I've had a lower back problem that I have dealt with for years. Proper exercise keeps it in good shape. Anyway - ibuprofen, ice, and probably some good bed rest is the best right now, followed up by some walking around to loosen it up some.
  8. macrumors 601


    When your resistance is down, things (weaknesses) tend to show up. Bed rest is your best bet, and I hope you're watching that cold for more serious symptoms (fever and congestion settling in to your lungs). 24 hours of ice, ibuprofen, then heat. Get better.
  9. macrumors 68020


    it could be a pinched nerve and not a muscle pull......both hurt!!!
  10. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    If it's not somewhat better soon, go to a doctor and try a muscle relaxant. Hopefully, that'll work, and means it's not too bad.

    I feel your pain ("felt", more literally). Every once in a while, mine's gone out like that, and, at times, the pain is excruciating. Hopefully, yours isn't that bad!
  11. macrumors regular


    I'm constantly on my feet and lifting all kinds of crap at work, so it's only a matter of time before I feel your pain as well. Here's to a speedy recovery.
  12. macrumors 68020


    Thanks for the kind words everyone. Yes, I will try to remember to lift kleenex with my legs, not my back :D

    I put an Icy-Hot patch on it a couple hours ago and it's really helped. I was able to get out of bed and shuffle around a bit. Standing and laying down actually aren't that bad, it's the in-between bits that hurt like hell -- rising to a sitting position, lifting myself off the bed or chair, lowering myself, crouching in any way, and sitting upright for more than 10 minutes.

    Other than a brief trip around the house, I've been lying down all day and that combined with the ice pack and icy-hot seem to have helped a little bit. Some more rest will hopefully leave me functional for the weekend.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    i did the exact same thing one time, only I was grabbing my dogs water dish. Its excrutiating pain. In my case it was actually muscle spasms. It took days to get over. It still happens about once or twice a year, but now I'm armed with muscle relaxers which help tremendously. If you can get your hands on some it may help.

    Best wishes for a speedy and painless recovery.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    My suggestions....go to a chiropractor. They specialize in this kind of thing. What you're experiencing is a muscle spasm. You've stressed/weakened the muscles in your back to the point where a simple act such as picking up something caused your back to go out. I'm sure if you look in a mirror, you will see your entire waistline shifted left or right by about 4 inches. And your cold doesn't make it better.

    I'm not sure about bed rest however. The latest word I heard says that moving around loosens the back muscles. Bed rest doesn't improve the heal time.

    Your back may respond to heat or cold, depending on your body. Most people recommend cold packs to reduce the swelling. Moist heat works better for me. Whichever you choose, only use it for 20 minutes at a time.

    The chiro is great if you can get there. They use these heavenly pads which provide electrical stimulation to the muscles in your lower back. Mmmmm...I could go to sleep now just thinking about them. They are so relaxing and soothing. If I could get a home setup...

    P.S. - In your case, I would also recommend bringing kleenex to the adjustment, nothing worse than lying on the table with a nose that wants to keep running!
  15. macrumors 68000


    You've got a stretched out muscle flopping around bumping on nerves. When this happens to me, I strap myself into a weight lifter's belt to keep me from using my back until the muscles retract back to normal.
  16. macrumors 603


    Ouch, I know how you feel. Pulled a major muscle in my back a few years ago on a trampoline, and I couldn't move for a week. (Yay, I missed 4 days of school!)

    Definatly, DO NOT MOVE! This will only lengthen the time of your imobility.

    Have somone put a poster you like on the ceiling, and just stare at it. I don't know why, but that helped me a lot!
  17. macrumors 68020


    A hot shower or hot bath relieves your pain. But I would go see a massage therapist or a chiropractor. It could be days before you can move again. I've done that before and it's not good.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Oxycontin and Soma should put you back on your feet. :)

    but first ask a doctor..... or go to your local drug dealer!

    EDIT- Heh.
  19. macrumors 65816

    My advice...go to an actual doctor...not a quack (aka a chiropractor)
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Why not use my advice?

    DRUGS!!!! :D :D :D
  21. macrumors 68030

    that sucks mrogers! I did something similar this year. wasn't good. went to a physiotherapist who gave treatment and then i did daily exercises to strengthen.
    it will get better. don't worry.

    biggest thing i did was also to look some weight. i found the lighter body is easier on both my knees and back.

    also, whenever i pick up anything light, i plant 1 foot forward and pivot over, lifting my back leg up...kind of like a crane. the back leg acts as a weight and uses momentum to ease the pressure on the back. works like a charm. both the physio and my physical trainer suggested it.

    for now, take some pills and see a doc about it.
    best of luck.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    mrogers - how's that back this morning???
  23. macrumors 68020


    Hey everyone, thanks for the suggestions -- lots of different advice! I am feeling pretty good this morning, so I'll tell you what I did last night.

    Late in the afternoon yesterday I started moving around a little bit. My fiance had to help me every time I wanted to stand up or sit down, but I could sit in a reclined position for a little while without too much trouble. I managed to shower, and the hot water felt good. We decided I could move around enough to go to a dinner party at a friend's house; we really wanted to go because we hadn't seen some of these people in years. Getting in the car was difficult, but once there it wasn't too bad. I wore another icy-hot patch for an hour before the dinner too, and that helped loosen me up a lot. I would stand for half an hour at the party, then sit for half an hour, then stand. I still needed help getting up and down, but after awhile I could tell I was doing better. When we came home that night, I still couldn't bend over but I was able to get into bed without any assistance.

    This morning, I am much, much better. I can pretty much do everything without help now, but I still have to be careful. No sudden movements, no bending over. I have to bend with my knees. Still though, given that I was in incredible pain and pretty much completely immobile 24 hours ago, this is an amazing recovery.

    I think what worked was resting it for a little while, taking some pain killers, ice followed by heat, and then making myself move around to loosen it up.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Good to see you back in action! Back's can be really frustrating. I find that I need regular exercise to keep from blowing mine out with a stupid move. it sounds like you did all the right things, though, with the meds, the ice, the rest and the moving around to work out the spasms. Just watch out for those Killer Kleenex in the future!
  25. macrumors 6502a

    In my experience a doctor is going to give you drugs and tell you to rest a few days. A chiropracter will actually be able to either fix it or lessen the pain right away.

    I know some people hate chiropracters, but I absolutely swear by them. Mine has saved me on several occasions when my regular doctor was pretty useless.

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