Middle Back Pain

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    Middle Back Pain

    Hello!
    My husband is in his mid-50s and has middle back pain, mostly when we walk, which he doesn't want to give up but other times too. He's had a desk job (working at a computer) for 24 years that is a definate contributor. X-rays and MRIs only show slight athritis and small curvature. He's done physical therapy, chiropractic and uses an inversion table. He does light stretches and very light yoga (easy twists). He is working on building strength and his core. Sometimes, the pain is better than other times but it can get pretty bad. Does anyone have any experience with this type of pain? Or any suggestions of what kind of exercises\stretches he can do? The obvious options of a different job\retiring and giving up walking\hiking are not viable. Thanks in advance!

    #2
    This may sound weird (and it is more my lower back) but squatting (conventional and front) really helped out my back a ton. As the weight goes up you have to brace with your whole trunk (really watch that form) and it strengthens everything. Deadlifts also help around the low back/hips but I do more volume than weight on those.

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      #3
      CODawn that sounds painful. That said, the inversion table looks like an instrument from the Spanish Inquisition... Does he find it beneficial?

      The desk job is the scourge of the modern world (but most of us seem to have them so I guess we'd better get used to it).

      If he finds the stretching and twisting helpful then I would suggest to gradually extend the range of motion and perhaps the hold time as well. What I would also suggest (if this hasn't been done before) is to keep a "pain diary" - a bit like a food diary; if he tries logging when it comes on, what he's doing and how intense it is - this may provide some insights as to what's happening.

      Damer - any suggestions?

      EDIT: has he tried Pilates?

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        #4
        I am not sure about middle back pain, most of what I get is lower back. I had a slipped disk for the first time when I was 18 or so, and have thrown it out every 5 years or so since then. Part of the problem is a specific movement when playing basketball or soccer that I try not to repeat.

        For me, carrying around the extra weight up front was a huge contributor. I am pretty sure it changed my body mechanics enough that my back had to compensate.

        A job that requires sitting is the worst. One time a doctor recommended that I get up to walk for 5 minutes out of every hour. That helped, plus it helps against the other drawbacks of sitting all the time.

        Incidentally I have discovered that what I thought was back pain was actually stiffness in my hip joint. It was not u til getting into better shape that I could differentiate the two discomforts, but that could be part of the problem too, in that it is not just one problem

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          #5
          Thank you Azercord, Martyn and CaptainCanuck. I will pass on all the info. And I think the inversion may help but it doesn't feel great on the "ex" hernia area that was repaired a few years ago.

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            #6
            Appart the exercises you mentioned, I'm thinking in some others that will help to relieve the pain and stretch the muscles in that area. In fact, I'm sure he's already doing them. For example some "hold poses" from yoga like Cat-Cow, Child’s or Cobra. Maybe Opposite arm/leg raises (doing on the knees mode), Bridges and W-extensions. One more can be to hold the arms in W-pose and hands in the doorframe, and go forward and back with the torso, stretching the back (see here corner chest stretch).

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              #7
              Thanks Cabriel. I will let him know. He is doing some of these but I didn't even know about the W-pose with the stretch.

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                #8
                Martyn thank you for tagging me here. CODawn this sounds like a weak core and possible tight hip flexors. We have a number of workouts that address back mobility issues: https://darebee.com/workouts/lower-back-workout.html and https://darebee.com/workouts/back-pa...f-workout.html and https://darebee.com/workouts/back-pa...a-workout.html. Like in most such cases it is a question of increasing physical activity to counter physical muscular and skeletal deficiencies but doing so in a slow, structured way so you can see what works best. I hope this helps.

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                  #9
                  Thanks Damer! I will pass this information on to him.

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