Dam It...There Goes My Back!

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Dam It...There Goes My Back!

Postby Webslinger » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:00 pm

Today while practicing warm up drives in preparation for playing a round of disc golf, I screwed up my low back and then some. I will admit that last night I was watching a couple of videos of Garrett Gurthie throwing these huge bombs. In one video, he was giving some tips on throwing for distance. Whether I tried to incorporate those tips or not doesn't matter, what I do know is I tried to hard to throw far and now I'm suffering the consequences.
Lets forget the fact that I turned 46 years old last week and some would say it's an age thing. Maybe it is.
Here's what happened...
I throw RHBH. Threw about a dozen warm up drives then decided to really get into a throw. I know as I began my approach, I took a bigger first step than normal, got into my x-step and reached way back - and I do mean waaaay back...much more than I normally do - at the same time I'm thinking about rotating through my hips more, so it was as I began to pull my arm forward and twist the hips that I felt a sudden and very intense stabbing pain in my low back. The pain stopped me in my tracks (couldn't complete the approach and follow through...didn't even release the disc). It was all I could do to walk the 10 steps to my SUV and rest my upper torso on the hood for support. Stayed there for about 5 mins. or so and realized I had to go pick up all those discs I threw. Endured that effort with a lot of grunting and grimacing. The drive home was the most difficult drive I've ever done.
Anyway, as I reflect on what happened, I am in a quandary about whether or not I pulled a muscle or ruptured a disc. 20 years ago, I was involved in a motorcycle accident where I rupture a disc in my low back. For several years I had some serious low back pain. Eventually it just went away and I've been virtually back pain free for 10-12 years now. I don't remember what it felt like to rupture that disc because a broken leg and concussion seemed to be the priority at the time. I don't recall hearing a 'POP', but I certainly felt trauma there.
So again, there is a real concern I may have ruptured a disc vs. pulling a muscle, but maybe that's just paranoia. Oh, and if you might be wondering why I just didn't go to the ER or doctor, I'm self-employed and have not had health insurance for two years. Bummer, I know!
Any expert back patients out there, or medical professionals that might have a thought or two on what happened?
The pain is centrally located along my spine, lower part of my back, and throbbing/pulsing constantly, slightly burning pain too. Since the injury occurred, I have had minor back spasms, but nothing that has incapacitated me. I've pulled muscles in the back before, but on those occasions the pain was localized to the right or left side of my low back. This pain is definitely in the center. I do not feel any bulging there and as I press along my spine there is tenderness but not an acute/sharp pain. However, it is very difficult to take a deep breath, and Lord knows what I'm going to do if I need to sneeze or cough.
My immediate regimen has been to take a prescription dose of Ibuprofen (800 mg), ice for 20 minutes then ran a hot shower on the area for 20 minutes. Feels better, but still unsure of the degree of injury.
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Re: Dam It...There Goes My Back!

Postby seabas22 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:40 pm

Sounds like its a mid-grade thoracic muscle strain and I've had those same symptoms a few times before, pain along the spine and hurts to breathe or move, yeah it sucks pretty bad. Rest 3-4 weeks or until you feel better and advil as needed. A good sports massage therapist can help you recover faster and they should be able to tell if its more than a muscle issue. If your symptoms don't improve any after two weeks it could be more than a muscle strain, although less serious disc ruptures can heal themselves with enough rest. If it was a serious disc rupture that required surgery, you would likely be having other symptoms like numbness and weakness. After you have recovered I'd suggest working on your core muscles, balance/posture, and flexibility to help reduce the chance of this happening again. Remember to stay relaxed/loose, and smooth is far in disc golf.
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Re: Dam It...There Goes My Back!

Postby JR » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 am

I have ruptured spine and your symptoms are different from mine. That does not mean necessarily that you don't have a ruptured spine as well. Pray it's just muscle related. I'm 10 years younger than you are and have always been limber and i never start out as abruptly as you do. You need to stretch before throwing. I hope all the best for you take care. Back troubles are weird because some of them heal faster if you maintain the flow of blood there to wash away all the gunk so very mild movement may quicken your recovery. Or put you in a wheel chair. Not being a medical professional and not having examined you i can't tell anything else than breaking the back is the worst thing you can do to yourself after losing your mind. Do NOT fuck with the back. If you have any means whatsoever to seek professional help do it. Your life style and quality of life may very well take a dive if your back gives out and won't heal or heals to a false posture. You can't make a better investment than to put the money into preventing a life crippling ailment that may also give you tremendous pain for the rest of the life which further drops the quality of life. Trust me i know this from experience after having less than three hours of sleep for a year due to pain and not being able to breathe in always.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Dam It...There Goes My Back!

Postby Webslinger » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:30 am

Hey guys, thanks for the replies. Both of you sound like you are speaking from experience. After reading through your posts, I was reminded of a few things from years ago when I ruptured that disc in my low back. Sleepless nights for a year, pain radiating down my left leg past the knee (compressed nerve), finally getting back to work and having to take 15 mins. per hour to stretch out on the floor and rest my back day in and day out for months, several follow up visits to the ER after the initial injury due to waves and waves of back spasms, etc. It was bad. So, now that I am two days post injury for this issue, I am nowhere near that acute, which is a relief and helps me to remain optimistic.
I tend to agree with Seabas22 about the mid-grade thoracic muscle strain. Yesterday and today, so far, were fine in that between the ibuprofen, ice (20 min sessions every 3 hours), and heat (just standing in the shower a few times per day for 20 mins and letting that hot water cascade over the affected area), plus the wife has been kind enough to provide some massaging, I have felt pretty good. Right now it's the nighttime sleeping that is torture. I will sleep for about 30 mins. or so, then wake up to an incredible burning, throbbing in my low back. Trying to roll over to one side or another multiple times throughout the night makes for a sleepless night. By morning, I can hardly move, so into the hot shower I go.
I am going to stick with that regimen for about a week. I think I will slowly, but surely, be taking some small walks during that time because it seems to help loosen me up. Sitting isolated on a couch or laying down in bed seems a bad idea. JR is right in that mild movement is helpful.
Prior to throwing or playing a round of DG, I generally do several stretching exercises to warm up. It takes about five minutes to complete. I am thinking it would be better to spend 20-30 mins. warming up to ensure the blood is flowing to all muscles. Better safe than sorry!
I appreciate the words of advice and encouragement. Will update this post in the future to let you know how it goes.
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Re: Dam It...There Goes My Back!

Postby JR » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:37 pm

There are a couple of ways i know to make a sore lower back muscles relax while laying down. The trouble is that normally people change position while sleeping at least 50 times a night. If you can lay in neutral position and with sleeping kind of loose muscles on a hard surface that will keep the muscles loose a variation is to have something under the calves up to 90 degree angle between the torso and the thighs and another 90 degrees between the thigh and the calves. Properly aligned laying on your side with perhaps small bent angle at the hip and the knees can help too you just have to find a comfortable position and relax the hips and allow the matress support you weight. You can try to use pillows to support you in these positions trying to stop yourself from moving out of the lesser pressure positions. All bets are off with injuries but it is good to find a good position that won't further aggravate your back. You need to find routines that stress you the least and relax your back the most while getting the blood flowing in the back. Sitting is harder on the back than walking slowly usually. Even standing still is better than sitting. A relaxed back laying down is ok for fairly long times depending on the kind of injury so our mileage should vary.

Yeah i've got too much experience although your troubles seem different from mine. I've had pinched nerves and nerve pain radiating to the leg as well. And out the wazoo in my arm and all of it ain't gone after surgery.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Dam It...There Goes My Back!

Postby Webslinger » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:15 pm

Man, I'm sorry to hear that. It all sounds very challenging. That's what worries me most is to find myself in a position of dealing with chronic pain rather than something that will heal up. I remember the days - 20 years ago - when an injury might have been painful, but it proved to be no big deal. Rehab and recovery time was short and then back to whatever was going on; baseball, volleyball, skiing, etc.
Now, as a middle-age dude, the rehab and recovery really has to be personally monitored. You can't just skip physical therapy visits or choose not to do the exercises at home.
I know I will be rehab/recovering throughout winter. I do not plan to play a round of disc golf till spring. Honestly, even though I'm feeling better, I would be afraid to throw a drive out of worry of reinjury.
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Re: Dam It...There Goes My Back!

Postby JR » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:49 am

The same thing looms over me too every time i throw.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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