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Needs to get worse before it gets better

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Lemon Quarter
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Needs to get worse before it gets better


Postby stewamax » June 4th, 2019, 3:03 pm

When I was in my teens (a very long time ago…) I damaged my lower back doing judo: the result was a prolapsed disk and general blancmange around L4 and L5.

This comes back to haunt me every so often after physically awkward work such as hedge trimming with a heavy petrol-driven trimmer (I have a big hedge). The result is usually a nasty ache with some cramping in the two big vertical muscles either side of the lumbar area and some sciatica.

Sometimes it eases off after a couple of days.
However, on other occasions the ache and pain remain for many days – sometimes a week – getting no worse or better until I do something (accidentally) that makes it much worse. After two or three days of ‘much worse’, it rapidly gets better.

It is almost as if it needs to get worse before it gets better! Has anyone else encountered this and is there any logical explanation?

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Re: Needs to get worse before it gets better


Postby redsturgeon » June 5th, 2019, 7:53 am

Funny things backs!

It would be worth having a good physio check it out but my guess would be the following.

In order to protect your back in the damaged area you hold yourself rigid with the use of specific back muscles so that you limit the range of moment that you would normally do.

When you do something that requires extra mobility beyond this range then the muscles are strained beyond their normal limits, hence the ache.

Sometimes this movement will result in extra inflammation of the original site of damage and the muscles go into spasm to hold things in place to prevent further damage. This spasm holds things in an unnatural position for you that causes the prolonged discomfort which can only be relieved by pushing things further than your body would like to go and restoring the status quo (which in itself is sub optimal)

This is all complete conjecture on my part but I do think a trip to a back specialist of some description could help .


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Re: Needs to get worse before it gets better


Postby AleisterCrowley » June 5th, 2019, 11:08 am

Yep, backs are odd
Mine used to follow the same pattern -
OK for 'months'
Sudden twinge/jolt due to turning or twisting
Gradual increase in stiffness and pain over several hours
Completely locked up after a night's sleep, unable to walk far
Gradual improvement over 3-5 days

Touch wood I haven't had any problems recently - I lost weight, and started doing a lot of flexibility exercises (although got a bit lazy recently)

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