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back problems
rest?exercise?
petro
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petro  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/13/13 2:59 AM

I have a large 'garden' aka jungle. Its full of large shrubs and trees in a permanent state of being felled or drastically pruned, so I rather over used pruning shears - the ones with long handles designed to cut through thick branches. I didn't notice a problem whilst I was doing this, but since then, a couple of months ago, I get periods of intense stop you in the tracks pain at bra strap level. I tried rest and warmth first time, it went away, but it keeps returning. I'm guessing I pulled a bunch of muscles trying to get through branches thicker than sensible. What's the best way to get muscles to recover from strain? Any exercises which might help, or a magic pill?

Sharon1952
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Date: 4/13/13 3:08 AM

I swear by massage therapy and relaxing hot baths. Once I overdid quilting and had to get muscle relaxant prescription from the doctor. Best of luck in finding what works for you.

------
Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

Doris W. in TN
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Date: 4/13/13 8:23 AM

Definitely rest. Most likely it is muscle strain. Ice only for the first 24 hours (sessions 15 - 20 minutes with 30 minute breaks in between to avoid frostbite). After that, ice and/or moist heat. My muscles prefer moist heat, but everyone is different.
One massage therapist I used to see, years ago, swore by "shocking" the muscles. 15 - 20 minutes of ice, followed by 15 - 20 minutes of moist heat. Repeat a few times over and allow 15 - 20 minutes between ice and heat treatments.

It also helps to take a NSAID like aspirin or ibuprofen. Tylenol is not an anti-inflammatory. Perhaps a castor oil compress might help draw out the inflammation, or a topical application of arnica gel. Again, everyone responds differently and experimentation is always a good idea.

Lastly, the vertebrae might be out of alignment due to the muscle spasms. This often happens to me. A good chiropractor or physical/physio therapist can gently manually manipulate the spine back into place.

Good luck! I have a long history of these type problems, so I know how much you are suffering.

tourist
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Date: 4/13/13 10:17 AM

Doris gave some really great advice. We are proponents of the heat/cold cycle at our house. We also like to roll the affected area with a tennis ball. Just put the ball under the sore area and roll around on it. That's about the only way you can self-massage your back.

If you were in my Iyengar yoga class, I would also have you like on the floor with your legs supported on a chair and put a small rolled blanket or yoga mat under your back just below your shoulder blades (bra strap area), possibly with some weight on your shoulders (we use sand bags) if you could tolerate it.

A simple stretch is to lie on your back with knees flexed and take your arms up and over head. Several repetitions, short hold.

These are all useful for sewing upper back pain, as well. Hope you are moving better soon! Oh - and I second or third the vote for a good massage therapist. They can do wonders.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

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Date: 4/13/13 10:25 AM

I swear by my massage therapist and my physiotherapist -- they have gotten me through some pretty rough times. I see my massage therapist every 4 weeks for a 1 hour remedial massage -- I call it my routine maintenance.

I use the heat/cold cycle and have a set of stretches that I do every single day -- then I have target area stretches that my massage & physio have provided that I use when needed to work out the current problem area.

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
53.875 yards sewn (as of 07/28/14)
79.875 yards purchased (as of 07/28/14)

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 4/13/13 10:50 AM

I would suggest professional treatment.
What works for one may not work at all for you or it could complicate the problem.

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I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

petro
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Date: 4/13/13 1:17 PM

Some really great advice, thanks so much. I've gone with heat but not tried cold, or alternating. I'm going to give the exercises a go, gently.
The odd thing is, it seems to get right, then just suddenly hits with an intense pain from a simple movement, like hitching yourself up in an easy chair.

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Date: 4/13/13 1:44 PM

I recently had a chiropractor put my ribs back place after pulling some muscles in my back and neck, and it was a miracle for me. So between the massages and the ribs back I place, I could move so much better. It was a surprise to me how easy it was to have it done. I was a little sore for a bout a day, but then I could breathe and move freely.

ryan's mom
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ryan's mom
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Date: 4/13/13 2:32 PM

Massage therapy and chiropractic care.

I'd try those two approaches first, but if you're not finding much relief in a timely fashion, the of course see a back specialist. Massage therapy, in my family's experiences, has been amazing for back pain.


-- Edited on 4/13/13 2:35 PM --

------
Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing: Elna 760, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E. Coverstitch: Janome CP1000. Straight Stitch: Janome 1600P.

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

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Canadian Jane
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In reply to petro <<


Date: 4/13/13 2:35 PM

I would check with a doctor first before trying some of the things suggested in case you have a disk problem, or something else that is aggravating the muscles. A few months is a fairly long time for just muscle spasm to have not resolved itself.

Good luck... back pain is not fun.

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