What You Can Do About It

The aims of self-treatment for an acute locked back

The immediate aim in treating an acute locked back is to quell the alarm, so at the very least you can move your limbs without pain and turn over in bed. After the crisis has passed, it is important to deal with the joint sprain, and then bind up the problem joint with good muscle support so it does not happen time and again.

Getting the muscle spasm to relax is best achieved by muscle relaxant drugs and strong painkillers, both administered by injection. As soon as the drugs start to work, the spine must be exercised to lessen the clench of the muscles and release the joint. This is started as soon as possible—gathering one leg at a time up to the chest and rocking the knees, hand cupped over each knee, to make infinitely small and coaxing oscillations. Remember, it is not a vigorous tugging action. Continue for as long as possible (several minutes), gradually feeling the hardness in the back melting and the movement getting just that much easier. This gentle rocking can be repeated innumerable times throughout the day. It usually takes less than 24 hours to be able to move your legs in bed comfortably and to sit up without difficulty.

The sooner the next phase can be commenced, the faster the problem resolves. Both relaxation of muscle spasm and the return of normal movement of the injured joint are achieved by gentle reverse curl-up exercises. Working the tummy muscles hard relaxes the spasm of the long back muscles and encourages normal hinging of the locked vertebra. As soon as the joint starts moving, the trapped engorgement disperses and the pain eases dramatically. In many respects, the treatment at this stage is similar to the chronic phase of facet arthropathy, although there is a greater emphasis on re-educating the muscles to control the wrenched facet.

The final stage of treatment is devoted almost entirely to improving both the strength and the coordination of the various muscles influencing the injured joint. The strength of the deep muscles compensates for the traumatic stretching of the capsule and ensures the joint is not left susceptible to repeated lockings. At the same time, stretching of the long erector spinae muscles, particularly into full bending movements, inhibits their tendency to overact which automatically keeps the deeper ones weak. The bending exercises (toe touches) also relieve the general stiffness of the back.

A typical self-treatment for acute locked back

Purpose:

Ease muscle spasm to relieve compression on the disc, disperse joint inflammation and swelling, strengthen tummy and switch off over-active erector spinae muscles, and gap open the back of the spine to decompress the facet joints and introduce pressure changes to the disc.

Rocking knees to the chest

(60 seconds)

Rest, legs crooked, knees propped together (30 seconds)

Reverse curl ups

(five times) Rest

REPEAT BOTH EXERCISES 3 TIMES, TAKING CARE WHEN RETURNING EACH LEG TO THE BED AFTERWARDS

Medication: intramuscular pethidine followed by muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) tablets administered only by your doctor. Rest in bed. Repeat treatment regimen every 2 to 3 hours through the day or less often if you are sleepy from the drugs. When commencing the rocking exercise, always lift one leg to your chest at a time, drawing in your tummy and pelvic floor. The legs are very heavy and if you try hauling both up together you will jerk your back and set off another seizure of pain. See Chapter 7 for description of all exercises and the correct way to do them.

For how long? If you can begin the medication soon enough while doing the exercises for acute locked back, you may be able to start the sub-acute treatment by the next morning.

A typical self-treatment for sub-acute locked back

Ease muscle spasm to relieve compression on the disc, disperse joint inflammation and swelling, strengthen tummy and switch off overactive erector spinae muscles, gap open the back of the spine to decompress the facet joints and introduce pressure changes to the disc, and strengthen transversus abdominus to provide core stability.

Purpose:

Rocking knees to the chest

(60 seconds) Rest (30 seconds)

Rolling along the spine

(60 seconds)

Reverse curl ups

(five excursions)

Legs passing

REPEAT ALL FOUR EXERCISES 3 TIMES

Rest after each session with your lower legs supported on pillows. Repeat every 3 hours but do not hurry. Always expect the first one or two reverse curl ups to be more painful and try to round the lower back.

For how long? You must stay on this sub-acute regimen until you are largely pain free doing the legs passing and there are no sudden seizures of pain with unguarded movement. This usually takes two to three days to achieve.

A typical self-treatment for chronic locked back

Ease muscle spasm to relieve compression on the disc, mobilise central core and facet joint which disperse joint inflammation and swelling, strengthen tummy and switch off overactive erector spinae muscles, gap open the back of the spine to decompress the facet joints and introduce pressure changes to the disc, strengthen transversus abdominus to provide core stability, strengthen tummy, stimulate facet joint cartilage regeneration, decompress the spine, strengthen multifidus muscle to control the facet, strengthen multifidus one-sidedly to re-establish intrinsic muscles' segmental control of the facet joint, and release nerve root tethering.

Purpose:

Rocking knees to the chest

(60 seconds) Rest (30 seconds)

Rolling along the spine

(60 seconds & also pivot on the painful spot)

Legs passing

(five times each leg)

Cobra to Child Pose and squat

(back and forth 3 times)

BackBlock routine Step 1

Step 2

Step 2

(15 times)

(15 times)

REPEAT ALL FIVE EXERCISES 3 TIMES

Regimen repeated every evening. Your back will feel generally sore and fragile when caught off-guard but there is no sense it will let you down and you will enjoy the stretch of normal movement returning. It will feel tired and achey if you have been on your feet for too long. When this happens you should lie down and gently rock your knees to your chest until the pain goes.

When you no longer have leg pain you can include the following three exercises in your daily routine:

Toe touches

(down and unfurling up to vertical, twice)

Diagonal toe touches

(down and up to each foot 3 times)

Spinal intrinsics strengthening

(5-10 excursions, every ten days only)

Spinal intrinsics strengthening

(5-10 excursions, every ten days only)

For how long? Continue this regimen indefinitely.
Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis

Thank you for deciding to learn more about the disorder, Osteoarthritis. Inside these pages, you will learn what it is, who is most at risk for developing it, what causes it, and some treatment plans to help those that do have it feel better. While there is no definitive “cure” for Osteoarthritis, there are ways in which individuals can improve their quality of life and change the discomfort level to one that can be tolerated on a daily basis.

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