T Nation

My road to back recovery

Long story short: rough housing outside a bar back in Nov '02 messed up my back. A subsequent trip to the doc in Jan '03 was not helpful. A doctor switch and visit in April '04 was.

So I had my first PT visit today. Its not ART but I think it’ll be helpful. if not I may ask for a referal outside the network come June.

In either case during the exam the PT noticed a few things:

-I’m “off kilter” when he looks at my back. One side is higher than another…forget which.
-apparently my left side erectors look like a salami (my words). My right side…where the injury is…chopstick/hot dog. Definite imbalance either caused by my previous slight scoliosis or the trauma.
-right leg is weaker than left

He generally feels, based on what I’ve told him, that I either strained a muscle or a ligament and its causing the vertabrae to rub which is why my back cracks. he won’t know for sure till I take the x-ray…which I hope i can do tomorrow.

so hopefully after 8 visits I’ll have made some sort of progress.

otherwise its ART…on their bill (read HMO).

Good luck sounds like you have made some good progress toward recovery.

Hope it all come to fruition as you hope and you are kickin T-man style again in no time.

Good Luck
Phill

Go get an MRI, x-rays will only show the bones and not the soft tissues and discs. I made the mistake of going to a chiro when i first hurt my back and he took x-rays showing that i needed “space” between two vertabre which he said might be rubbing on nerves. Of course with adjustments this would get better. Bullshit…its cause i had a buldge in my disc. If your vertabrae look out of wack its prob casue there is an injury to one of your discs which causes you to lose disc height. This causes laxity in the ligaments around the area an can let the vertabrae move. If the disk is pressing on a nerve it can cause weakness in muscles. FIND OUT IF YOU HAVE A DISC PROBLEM. I’ve suffered a great deal due to the wrong diagnosis i recieved. I would hate to see someone go through what i’ve been through, it is by far the worst injury you can have.

I finally got my x-ray results…

normal.

Great. Or is it? For about a year and a half I’ve dealt with minor to annoying pain in my lower back…and my spinal x-ray was normal.

Well this is good since I have no worries about putting weight on my shoulders now…but it makes me wonder…what the hell IS wrong with my back?

The PT I have says he feels that the enhanced back cracking I’ve experience may be due to soft tissue damage (what he’s not sure be it ligament rupture or pulled muscle) and is causing my lumbar vertabrae to rub against each other when they shouldn’t.

I could of told him that. And honestly I feel I know my body well enough to know that its the Quadratus Lumborum and erector spinae that are causing me problems. The pains I’m having are just too deep and too localized to be anything else.

I’m just worried now about my numb glute on the right side.

Have you not read my earlier post??? FIND OUT IF YOU HAVE A DISC PROBLEM, YOU NEED AN MRI!!! I had the exact same cracking you are describing, it is caused by lack of stability due to ligament laxity. This is most likely due to an injury to a disc which has caused you to lose disc height. Don’t be stupid like me and ignore it…you will pay dearly for it later. Your PT can not see inside your back, he is just guessing. The MRI will let you know once and forall. Take care of it now or suffer the consequences later.

Not ignoring it. Xrays came back normal like I said. I mentioned that to the PT and he said okay thats fine but he hasn’t ruled out a MRI for disc damage.

On a side note…I have no flexibility in my lower back.

Why do I say no? Well the PT had me do what he called camel/cat. Basically you are on your hands and knees and go from a fully convex position (cat) to a fully concave position (camel). Its called something else in yoga.

Well I’m REALLY good at the convex position. I swear I’m about to put my head on my ass. But when I do the concave position my upper back arches real well…but my lower back is almost flat. Virtually no curving what so ever. I think the PT said “wow…you stay almost neutral…are you trying to bend it?”

“I’m bent all the way right now”

God I love medicine.

So what ended up happening to you Boss14?

Honestly, if I were to self diagnose (which I do quite often cause…well I work at a science library and have access to loads of medical research) I’d say I pulled my quadrum laborum which effected the erectors slightly. The scar tissue and atrophy that followed prevents me from bending.

But I’m not a doc…for all I know my lumbar could have fused and the x-ray missed it.