Advanced Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Meridian, Idaho
Re: Mattresses & Back Pain
There is a chance that I can help you with your back pain. I am a weight lifter and on my job, I deliver 5 gallon water bottles. In any given day I will move about 180+/- bottles, and each one will get moved about 3 times. In the summer, double that. My hobbie is nutrition and physical strength (and guns of course).
I showed a chiropractor something that I do and when he saw me do it, he said that if everybody knew it, chiropractors would lose about 90% of their business. This generally helps most of the people that do this so I hope that everybody will try ths because it is preventative. Here it goes.
I am assuming it is your lower back because of the warehouse. The reason your back is hurting is because when you bend over your ham strings are working, but you really don't know it. As they become tight, they pull on your lower back, but you really don't feel it yet. Suddenly, one day your stepping up a curb, or running in softball and extend your foot a little too far, or you go to pick your grand kid up,,,, OR, the popular one. You sit in a different couch or chair that you sink a little farther than normal into and BAM!!! Your back goes our. Your first thought is your back. Well it is, but that's the symptom. The cause is your ham string. What happens is the nerve going through your ham string is pinched going around your glutes (your butt) and it affects your walk and when you lift you can't extend fully without having a spazm in your lower back. You can't even sleep, and it's real. You can't even stand up straight on your own. This often happens to people that garden in the spring and hunters that begin hiking without conditioning and it happens more with age. Their ham strings become tight, and you know the rest of the story.
This is the cure.
1) Lay on the floor with yourhands at your side.
2) Bring you right knee up to your chest and wrap your right arm around/under it so as to press your leg against your chest.
3) Take your left hand and grab your right ankle.
4) Make sure that your left leg is pressed firmly on the floor and keep it straight so you feel your calf stretching.
5) Begin slowly pulling your right knee and ankle towards your chest while keeping the left leg pressed to the floor. Take the ankle towards your head stretching the leg and back muscles and make it hurt a little. It's ok, just don't bounce the muscles.
At this point you will begin stretching your back ham string which will in turn begin stretching your lower back. Each time you pull tight, hold for a minute and then relax. Repeat 3 times.
Now put your right leg flat and do the left leg.
Try to increase your times to 2-3 minutes per stretch.
Once done, begin doing leg stretches and back stretches.
For back stretches, grab a pole about 3.5' from the ground and put your feet about 1-1.5 feet from the base of the pole. Then squat a bit and lean your butt back so you begin stretching your back. If you really want to maximize this move, use a rope wrapped around the pole and grab it with your hand. Get a full stretch on your back.
Then, place both feet together and slowly stretch your hands to the ground stretching the backs of your legs. Never bounce the muscles when you stretch. You run a big risk of pulling a muscle.
Now the last step, the one the Chiropractor doesn't want you to know about.
Sit on the ground and pull your knees into your chest. Wrap your arms around your legs (kind of around your knees). Now, slowly, begin rocking back and fourth on your back from your neck to your lower back. Naturally your back will begin popping into place. The only place you really can't get will be your neck, however that should follow suit when you stand up. If your neck feels tense, slowly stetch your neck from side to side to loosen the muscles.
Now, eat a banana (potassium for muscle cramps) and drink a couple glasses of water (helps muscle cramps) over a two hour period unless it's before bed. Then one glass will do.
One additional bit of advice. When a boxer does repeated sit ups as a regular routine, the primary benefit is to strengthen the abs so they can take hard hits as they flex the muscle. However, there is another benefit. By strengthening the abs, when the boxer is moving back and fourth and moving up and down, he is using his legs as his primary strength force. However, if his abs were not conditioned well he would begin experiencing fatigue in his lower back. What I am saying is your abs are the gussett to the back and legs. They offer the additional strength to the back. I recommend doing crunch's in small reps of 20 for 3 sets and work up to as many as you can do. Star with whatever you can do and don't overdue it. Then, when you are lifting on the job, each time you lift an object, tighten your abs and it will begin improving your lifting technique and help with the lower back.
As a weight lifter, I can't afford to be hurt. Hurt is time lost and time is everything to strength training. I am not a body builder, and I don't compete because I don't like the limelight. However, I do it because I feel better and it helps me to do the other hobbies I enjoy.
One last thing. As human nature makes us tend to want comfort, many people begin using softer mattresses as they age. But have you ever noticed how millions of American's can't sleep? My entire life I have slept on an extra firm mattress. I read an article by a seurgeon when I was young and he wrote about the importance of sleeping on an extra firm mattress. What stuck out in my mind was a statement he made. "You never would see a seurgeon perform an operation on a sort mattress, why would you sleep on one"? he asked. The whole basis is that an operation table keeps everything on alignment, a soft mattress does not. I remarried in 2007 and my awesome wife had back problems. I demanded an extra firm mattress and she just hated it,,, at first. Today, her back problems are gone and that mattress did for her what a chiropractor will never do. Now she sleeps better and better 4 years later and she says that sleeping is the best part of her day.
To get used to an extra firm mattress, just put a few extra blankets over the mattress and you will adapt to it.
Hope this helps.