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Old 08-02-2012, 12:43   #91
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

Glad you are on the mend, SkiprJohn... the MRI is non-intrusive but if you have any hardware installed like defibrilators or pacemakers, you have to go the meylogram route which is the dye injection into the spinal column process.
Been there, done that and am now on the mend after and L1-L5 fusion. Recovery is 8-12 months with a fair bit of Physical Therapy post surgery then a lot of gym time to get back to optimal health. Success rate is 75-85% which are pretty good odds if you are pretty much permanently disabled without the surgery. Important to have a neurosurgeon perform the procedure rather than a general or orthopedic surgeon because of all the nerve issues involved.
I felt sorry for myself until I got to know a young guy who had lost a leg in Iraq and was learning how to use his new fake leg! Sure put things in perspective for me! Good luck with your continued recovery... Capt Phil
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Old 08-02-2012, 18:07   #92
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

Let me think. The big circular ring they slide you through is a CAT. And the tube is MRI?
Is that right?
For those of you who have had surgery I truly hope you are on the mend and able to function properly. I'm so thankful I don't need it.
kind regards,
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Old 08-02-2012, 18:24   #93
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

I think you're right but I was so stoned on meds, I don't remember... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 08-02-2012, 18:36   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn
Let me think. The big circular ring they slide you through is a CAT. And the tube is MRI?
Is that right?
For those of you who have had surgery I truly hope you are on the mend and able to function properly. I'm so thankful I don't need it.
kind regards,
That is correct. There are open MRIs now too but still not as open as the CT donut. Open can do most imaging but you still need the tube for some things where they get a better picture (head). The MRI is also incredibly noisy.

Glad you're on the mend. My dad has struggled since before my time with back problems and as he ages it gets harder for him with arthritis and such. He has said he wishes he never had that first surgery but really didn't have a choice since he was dragging a leg at that point. Don't let it get that far is he moral of the story. SC
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Old 08-02-2012, 18:51   #95
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

just to add.
I had a disc replacement.
They did an anterior approach (went through my belly) I had 8 weeks recovery and lost no r.o.m.
The recovery on a disc replacement is much quicker and maintains movement of the joint. Also going through the front reduces recovery time as well by not having to rebuild those cut back muscles.
My doctor has a 98% success rate with the Pro Disc-L (they also have a C disc for the cervical discs) So, in short do some research. If you can get or qualify for a disc replacement, do it. Especially if the other option is a fusion. When fusions are done they put more stress on the discs above and below the fusion, possibly subjecting them to accelerated deterioration. Just some thoughts...
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Old 15-07-2012, 12:42   #96
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

Aloha All,
Just an update. I'm doing well.
It has been six months since my back spasm episode and I've not had a problem since.
I've been out sailing for day sails and have helped put a boat in the water and helped to haulout a boat.
The physical therapist that I was assigned to was amazing and he got me into a daily exercise routine that has helped immensely. He has encouraged me to continue cycling which I do nearly daily.
The two major things that contributed to my episode were an abdominal surgery a couple years earlier that left me favoring muscles and not working certain of those. And, while starting to work those muscles I did improper situps for "an old guy." I found out that whenever doing situps you definitely should not tuck your feet under anything to hold them in place, bend your knees and do a very short crunch instead.
Rebel Heart is right! A person should keep their core strong. How you go about it though is different for each person and you should not over indulge in any of those exercises that is good for that purpose.
Thanks to Cruisers Forum and my sailing friend who was very supportive and encouraging during my relatively short time of recovery.
kindest regards,
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Old 15-07-2012, 12:49   #97
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

DeepFrz was right on the money too about the core and trunk muscles as many posters suggested. Got to keep them in good condition.
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Old 15-07-2012, 13:19   #98
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

Thanks for the update John, I'm glad you are doing well.
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Old 15-07-2012, 13:37   #99
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

I had a similar thing happen which kept me off of work for a month. My doctor recommended a physical therapist. The physical therapist had me do exercises which stretched and strengthened by back muscles. He also had me do exercises which stretched and strengthened all the other muscles in my abdomen and trunk. Many of the trunk muscles and not just your back muscles support your back. I had back muscle spasms as well which gradually went away over time as the muscle fibers healed and strengthened. I don't know if going to a chiropractor is such a great idea, it's not a science.

I was told by my physical therapist that from now on my back will never be quite as strong so I have to listen to my back and not push my luck when it starts telling me that it is time to take it easy. I don't know if you are, but also helps tremendously to keep the weight off. Being overweight bends the spine in a way that is bad for it.
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Old 16-07-2012, 11:21   #100
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

When you get a little stronger I have just found a great fun core muscle exersize, last week my wife and I bought a "stand up paddleboard" SUP and we have been learning to ballance on it, using all the core muscles it is a fun workout and if you loose your ballance "splash" and you cool off. I don't think a physical therapist woud recommend it but after a week I can tell you it is making us stronger or a little sore ( in a good way) from using the board. By the way it is an inflatiable board and at 14lb of air pressure it is plenty stiff but very forgiving to fall on if you do, it is an Air Surftech brand. Having fun and getting wet in 100 F heat is great and the board is made out of PVC ( like a dingy ) and won't scratch our boat and when finished it rolls up and stows easily or like us it slides under our catamaran out of the sun at the dock. By the way I'm 62. Hope you feel better
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Old 16-07-2012, 13:14   #101
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

Hey, John... glad your back is on the mend and you are doing things you enjoy again. The suggestion from webejammin is a good one which I'm going to try out. Just finished up my last visit with the nuerosurgeon after getting the bottom 5 vertebrae fused last fall. Doing as much walking as I can but the paddle board sounds like a great core builder. Got a big lake here I can use (Lake Tahoe)... must check out the inflatable Air Surftech. Thanks for the suggestion... also I've found that massage is good therapy as well... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 16-07-2012, 13:27   #102
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

Good you're doing well too Captain Phil.
Those stand up paddle boards are all the rage over here in the islands. The hard ones are pretty expensive. Might try them but think that rowing is good too.
Lake Tahoe!!! Geez, isn't that like less than 70 degrees or something?
With the extra cycling I've lost some weight and am about 170 for 6 foot so not too bad.
kind regards,
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Old 17-07-2012, 01:13   #103
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

Thanks By the way the Columbia River is still 65F but the surface in our cove is a little warmer but it has been in the high 90's to 105 F for a couple of days.
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Old 17-07-2012, 23:01   #104
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

My brother tells me about the weather in Salem weekly and I tell him it never gets above 85 here or below 56 and the water is always about 72. Boooring!

kind regards,
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Old 18-07-2012, 00:14   #105
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Re: Lower Back Muscle Spasms

I'd rather have my boring life back in the Islands, John. It was 108 here last week and this week 55 at night!
Glad to hear you're doing well. We have a few more sailing adventures ahead of us. Here's to Mexico in 2013...
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