ChrisWoj
Apr 30 2007, 10:45 PM
What are the best ways you've found to lessen strain on the back whilst out playin a round? I played this Saturday through sciatica and favoring that (plus playing the next day in the MIDGC on lots of ibuprofen) seems to have REALLY messed up my lower back. Today I couldn't get off a single huck without doubling over.. or trying to double over, before realizing that that caused more pain.

Any hints? I'm icing it like mad now.


-Chris.

Sharky
May 01 2007, 08:36 AM
I would say don't play when your back hurts and you might want to see a doctor who will hopefully give you a referral to a chriopractic center where they will work on your back and just as importantly teach you how to do core strengthening exercsizes that you should do every day after your back gets better, worked great for me I know that. BTW icing is good do not apply heat though.

Alacrity
May 01 2007, 10:12 AM
I once talked to a doctor about some back pain I was experiancing. He told me that studies have shown, ice, doctor, physical therapist, drugs or chiropractor, it all takes the same amount of time. The difference with a chiropractor and physical therapist is that they will get you working on strengthening your back which will reduce back problems in the future.

bruce_brakel
May 01 2007, 11:54 AM
Never play on pain relievers. Pain lets you know when you need to quit. Disc golf is not important enough to cripple yourself for it.

I have serious back problems. A sports medicine doctor told me that if I were to throw with the opposite hand I could balance a lot of muscles in my back, and a lot of my problems would go away.

So I quit seeing that doctor because obviously he was insane.

So the doctor I started seeing instead eventually said, "You know, if you were to take practice throws left handed you could build up the other muscles and a lot of your problems would go away." This doctor was really good for a lot of things so I kept seeing him even though he was obviously insane.

Then I hurt my elbow and it was a non-surgical problem. So I had to play left handed for most of a year. During that year most of my back problems went away.

So obviously I'm insane. Ignore me.

bruce_brakel
May 01 2007, 12:37 PM
Oh, Kelsey hurt her back and I took her to my insane doctor. He did some manipulative stuff and then said, "The problem is that your back muscles are lopsided from throwing right handed only for 14 years. You should throw left handed for two months and see me again.

She's been playing left handed for about two months, including tournaments that the whole family goes to. Yesterday she took some righty throws. The back was not hurting and she was throwing almost 300 feet.

My whole family is insane. Ignore us. :D

anita
May 01 2007, 12:39 PM
If you are having sciatic nerve problem, I would suggest NOT playing! I have had sciatic nerve inflamation about 10 years ago. I wouldn't wish it on a dog. BTW: that's when I learned how good a pain killer alcohol (a big gin and tonic) really is. Too good. /msgboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Sharky's right. You need to get over the nerve thing and do some core exercises. You need to get the stomach muscles in shape to take the pressure off of your back. I used ibuprofen, excercise and heat to get rid of my problem. It takes some time. A chiropractor can help with this problem.

bfunkyp
May 01 2007, 02:15 PM
I was having major back pain two summers ago. I started doing yoga and using the Miracle Ball (http://www.elainepetrone.com/) and it is much better now. Alignment, core strength and flexibility were they key to eiminating back pain.

grateful24655
May 01 2007, 08:40 PM
I would say don't play when your back hurts and you might want to see a doctor who will hopefully give you a referral to a chriopractic center where they will work on your back and just as importantly teach you how to do core strengthening exercsizes that you should do every day after your back gets better, worked great for me I know that. BTW icing is good do not apply heat though.



Here in the last few months I've gained about 25 pounds (mainly in the midsection) and it has definitely put a strain on the rest of my body. I can feel my back and shoulder tighten up during rounds, not cool. Thanks for the input guys, this will help me three!

ChrisWoj
May 02 2007, 12:38 AM
The frustrating thing is that most of the advice, other than 'don't play' are things that I already do... at least in terms of physical activity. I have a very strong core and abdominal muscles (I circuit train for Ultimate season, I actually just jumped back into disc golf from Ultimate two weeks ago).

I will, however, consider the left-handed idea. But I'm not going to stop putting righty! :) Heh...

shaunh
May 02 2007, 09:26 AM
GoTo a D.O. that is also OMM
It is the best thing that has happend for me!
Skip the voodoo and chiros and go with a doc that actually has his or her doctorates.

SarahD
May 02 2007, 09:26 AM
So, Woj, what do you know about the piriformis muscle?

Yours is one of the easier problems: Sciatica = piriformis & L4 / L5.

Everyone is dead-on when they recommend the chiropractor, ball, ice, lefty-throwing, etc., but unless you get an elbow to the butt it may not go away. The piriformis muscle is one of the deep 6 lateral rotators, and it lies directly on top of the sciatic nerve, which leaves the lumbar/sacral region of the low back to feed the muscles of the leg. The reason you are having shooting pains down your leg is that the sciatic nerve is being nicked by either a bone which is subluxated (misaligned) or the piriformis is inflammed and larger than usual, which means the opening for the sciatic nerve is too small. There is also a chance you have a buildup of scar tissue in the area from planting and rotating during your drive, which is a very stressful motion to the hips.

If it's a subluxation of the bones, then a chiro will help. If it's inflamation of the piriformis, then icing may help, but only if you ice long enough to get through gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and glut medius. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour. The back ball is obviously great for stretching hips and I recommend it. But how many of you know what exactly is going on in order to strengthen certain muscles - which muscles would those be?

Your best bet is an elbow to the butt. Lie face down and have someone - preferably a massage therapist for best results - stick their elbow against the piriformis while rotating the lower leg to loosen the muscle. This also focuses your own brain's attention on that specific muscle, so your brain will say, "Gee, I didn't know that muscle was so messed up. Hey, Piri, relax, dude." and the muscle will start to relax, one fiber bundle at a time as the elbow moves up and down the muscle.

If you have scar tissue in the area to stabilize an area that is damaged or weak, the only thing you can do is have a professional massage therapist break it down so the body can remove it. For more info on this, please see earlier thread on "Back Pain" from a month ago.

As always, musclular questions should come my way first. Pain is my specialty.

Sharky
May 02 2007, 10:22 AM
I go to a place that I was referred to by my doctor called Sport and Spine Rehab and am seen by a D.C. or Doctor of Chriopractic, just to see what you think do you consider that kooky?

markpeterson
May 02 2007, 11:20 AM
I have had a bad back for ten years due to 20 + years of carpentry and disc golf ( from working on courses not playing). Best advice I've got so far is STRETCH YOUR HAMSTRINGS until you are sick of it then do it for another 20 minutes.Stretching and strong stomach muscles are the ticket for many ,not all back pain. The hardest thing is to remember to exercise when the pain goes away. It truely takes commitment to stick to any exercise program but it comes down to how much do you want to play. I have a reminder taped to my tv remote. Mark

circle_2
May 02 2007, 02:22 PM
The reason you are having shooting pains down your leg is that the sciatic nerve is being nicked by either a bone which is subluxated (misaligned) or the piriformis is inflammed and larger than usual, which means the opening for the sciatic nerve is too small. There is also a chance you have a buildup of scar tissue in the area from planting and rotating during your drive, which is a very stressful motion to the hips.


...can also be a lower lumbar disc bulge/herniation affecting the spinal nerve root as it leaves/enters the vertebral foramen (hole).
There is also a rare, but normal variant where some unfortunate folks have their sciatic nerve actually running through the piriformis...and when there's a piriformis spasm THEN there is pseudo-sciatica. BOTH the above require advanced imaging (MRI/CT scan) to identify. X-rays will not show either of these...

james_mccaine
May 02 2007, 03:27 PM
Wow, this is an interesting discussion. I had something that I self diagnosed as lower back/butt pain caused by the sciatic nerve. I had it for over six months last year. Luckily, it only ranged from extreme discomfort to nothing with some ibuprofen and/or warmup. For some reason, I did piriformis stretches because they temporarily eased the pain, but the basic problem never got better. Similar to Mr. Peterson's observation and based a professional's advice, I made a concerted effort to stretch the hamstrings, which led to eventual health. I still refuse to stregthen my stomach because I am a lazy slug, but those hamstrings are always stretched. Cross my fingers...no more pain.

tafe
May 03 2007, 11:01 AM
I had sciatica for awhile. I remember walking up the stairs into my church and dropping to the floor. Thankfully no one was around as the string of profanities I let loose shouldn't be heard in a church. It didn't go away until I started stretching religiously. For me, the most important one is lying on my back and bringing my knee to my chest.
Recently, I have been diagnosed with a left side high pelvis as a result of throwing too hard, too lop-sided (RH only). My chiro got me back after a week and a half. He has given me new excercises to work with and they are doing the trick. I also have a very stong core, but I need to pay more attention to my obliques.
Essentially, find some sort of doctor you have faith in, that also understands what you are doing. My chiro specializes in sports and when I first saw him, he had me bring in some videos and also give a demo. Now I know that he understands. Whereas most doctors sort of nod their head and then later in the conversation say, "Whadaya mean,'disc'?"

ChrisWoj
May 06 2007, 09:32 PM
Pain is my specialty.


*slowly backs away from Sarah...*

Heh... I've got to say I appreciate all of the more specific advice, I'll have to find somebody with some measure of training in massage therapy or some such thing and get this done. Right now I'm struggling through on Advil 2 every 4 and then Ibuprofen whenever I golf.

Lyle O Ross
May 11 2007, 02:57 PM
Never play on pain relievers. Pain lets you know when you need to quit. Disc golf is not important enough to cripple yourself for it.

I have serious back problems. A sports medicine doctor told me that if I were to throw with the opposite hand I could balance a lot of muscles in my back, and a lot of my problems would go away.

So I quit seeing that doctor because obviously he was insane.

So the doctor I started seeing instead eventually said, "You know, if you were to take practice throws left handed you could build up the other muscles and a lot of your problems would go away." This doctor was really good for a lot of things so I kept seeing him even though he was obviously insane.

Then I hurt my elbow and it was a non-surgical problem. So I had to play left handed for most of a year. During that year most of my back problems went away.

So obviously I'm insane. Ignore me.



I don't agree with Bruce 100%. His point is correct but I play on pain relievers on occassion. The reality is that pain relievers don't just relieve pain, they also reduce inflamation. If you combine a pain reliever with correct exercise and stretching to bring down the swelling while strengthening, you can speed up healing.

As Bruce would tell you though, if you are dependent on pain killers to play you aren't doing yourself any favors.

bruce_brakel
May 11 2007, 03:11 PM
Kelsey's problem came back so we went back to the doctor. He did some different strength tests to isolate the problem. Because she pushes off with her left leg to throw right hand back hand, her right gluteus is weak which she compensates for by using a back muscle just above the gluteus which is not strong enough for that job. So she's going to do some p.t. to strengthen the weak muscles and strengthen more of the torso stabilzation muscles. She could get most of this throwing left handed, but with a specifically designed program she'll get it faster and better.

gang4010
May 11 2007, 05:10 PM
Stretching is by far the best overall thing you can do to keep a healthy back. There are some really good stretches to help an already ailing back, should you not have access to professional care, or as standard practice to supplement whatever care you might be getting. Here's a couple:
Hip Flexor stretch- Lie on your back and raise one knee (heel to butt) take the other foot and put it across your raised knee. Reach under the raised knee and pull towards your chest - this will stretch parts of your lower back you didn't know you had!
Toe kick stretch - While standing and waiting for the tee, rock onto one foot while pretending to kick a hacky sack with your toe with the other. The trick is that your heel never moves more than about 3". It's a little snap of the foot that when done properly, you can feel all the way in your lower back. Just sort of rock back and forth from one foot to the other doing theses little kicks. It's a great non-obstrusive way to stay loose during a backup too.
Inversion Therapy - One of the best overall abdominal stretches. Check out "inversion tables" at your local healthy back store. It basically hangs you by your feet and uses your own body weight to stretch your core - phenomenal.

ChrisWoj
May 13 2007, 11:59 PM
Kelsey's problem came back so we went back to the doctor. He did some different strength tests to isolate the problem. Because she pushes off with her left leg to throw right hand back hand, her right gluteus is weak which she compensates for by using a back muscle just above the gluteus which is not strong enough for that job. So she's going to do some p.t. to strengthen the weak muscles and strengthen more of the torso stabilzation muscles. She could get most of this throwing left handed, but with a specifically designed program she'll get it faster and better.


Please share once you've put together the routine! I'd love to hear how this is accomplished.

I reduced myself to three ibuprofen as a precaution this morning and made it through five rounds of golf today without issue (last two rounds focusing on a lot of forehand and putter driving, mostly for work on other parts of game, less stress on usual throwing muscles)... so I'm happy, but it could come back so thanks for all of your help.

Jeff_Peters
May 21 2007, 12:57 PM
daily strecthing and good footwear are keys to a pain-free back

frisbeeguy
May 22 2007, 01:56 PM
A pain in the back…

I played competitive Ultimate for over 20 years & (semi) competitive DG for a over a dozen years. Vitamin “I” became a requirement for every practice and all weekend long during tournaments. (along with copious quantities of beer, a great chiropractor and daily ice packs) I had regular massage, & acupuncture treatments as well.

During this entire time I suffered from back pain that ranged from mild discomfort at times to severe pain to being completely laid up, unable to stand or walk for several days at a time.

Finally around 1997 it became so bad I had to stop playing disc sports. My chiropractor of +8 years said he wouldn’t adjust me anymore…I couldn’t walk upright or even step with my right leg extending past my left. Ultimate was impossible. DG was frustrating & painful.

It seems that the original back injury occurred as a kid while jumping on trampolines daily...there was no rest or treatment after several bad landings. The problem was compounded as I’ve continued to play sports and do manual labor type jobs since then.

The MRI showed two lower vertebrae had become squished together…they were ¼ the width of the others. Months of PT & floating pool therapy helped marginally. The therapist finally said there is no more that she could do…surgery was the only option. The surgeon said “it’s simple, we’ll just open up the pinched nerve sheath & scrape out room for movement”. Hmm…no thanks!

After being released from the therapy program I worked hard for several months doing he following and have been playing again regularly for years with little pain.

What helped:

The pool was great for taking all pressure off & relieved the pain.
PT taught me that arching my back backwards was good for the herniations. (the Yoga “snake” posture)
http://www.santosha.com/asanas/naga.html
The best thing was just doing “presses”. I did sets of 10 - 20 parallel bar presses ( I actually used the back of a chair on one side and a bookcase on the other for support to lift from). This was done 8 - 10 times a day for weeks and completely relieved my problem. (Do not confuse these with pull-ups from an overhead bar)
http://www.building-muscle101.com/parallel-bar-dip-exercise.html
The last thing that helps was rolling on a huge 36” diameter ball.
http://gymball.com/low_back_pain.html

I hope this helps anyone that has lower back problems.

frisbeeguy
May 22 2007, 01:58 PM
Sorry for the long post...wish I could figure out how to attach the images.

seewhere
May 22 2007, 03:15 PM
rookie

http://www.santosha.com/asanas/images/naga-vj-g.jpg

http://www.building-muscle101.com/images/dips.jpg


http://gymball.com/graphics/exerciseballs.jpg