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-   -   Intense lower back pain due to soft mattress (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6475)

Emily Mattes 01-07-2012 04:17 PM

Intense lower back pain due to soft mattress
My boyfriend got an extra-soft mattress topper last week and not thinking I slept on it. Sometimes I roll over on my stomach to sleep and did so that night for the whole night. I'm hyperlordotic and the result was my lower back was in hyperextension nearly the entire time. My lower back has been in a lot of pain since then. It ranges from intense, shooting pain in the area to a dull ache.

It's usually better in the morning and worse by evening. By the evening it feels like the entire area is compressed.

Treatments so far:
- Ice bath
- Icy Hot
- Ibuprofen
- Band traction (take heavy band, put knee through one end, bring around back, put other knee through other end, lay back)
- Ring traction (putting feet through rings and half-hanging from it)
- Trying to sleep on my back or side.

Last night I even slept on the floor with my legs propped up on a pile of pillows. In the morning it felt a lot better, mainly like a dull muscle ache instead of the "compressed" pain, but it's back to compression now. I get relief from lying down and propping my legs against the wall, but only for a few minutes. Can't even do child's post because my back is not totally flexed in it.

What could this be? Can anyone suggest any more remedies? I couldn't have done any permanent damage just from one night, could I? I don't have health insurance or much money for visiting a chiro, so if there's any chance this can heal on its own that's what I'd prefer to do.

Steven Low 01-07-2012 07:00 PM

Try the mobility work from the spinal section here and see what helps and what doesn't.


Then keep doing what helps.

And don't sleep on that matress thing... get rid of it for now.

Donald Lee 01-08-2012 06:13 AM

It sounds like chronically tight hip flexors may be aggravating your pain.

Can you stretch your hip flexors? If not, you can try the pin-and-stretch technique on yourself for your psoas and iliacus that is in this article.


Emily Mattes 01-08-2012 07:34 AM

Steven, thank you for the article! The good news it seems to be a very bad muscle strain. I tried some of the exercises and while doing the "camel" of the cat-came it provided a tremendous (and painful) stretch of the muscles. Now I'm wondering if it's possible the pain caused by flexion is further accentuating my hyperlordosis and that's what leaves the "compressed" feeling in the spine that gets worse over the day, as I'm walking around and upright.

Donald, that is a really good point, I do have insanely tight hip flexors and quads. I've been working on stretching them for a while now (even prior to the injury) but have seen little progress. I'll keep drilling it.

Steven Low 01-08-2012 02:03 PM

Typically, a bunch of reduction of mobility in the lumbar region that causes pain can also be caused from limitations in t-spine and hips.

So yes, stretching hip flexors, and other hip mobility stuff should help, as well as foam rolling and thoracic mobility work too.

Blair Lowe 01-08-2012 04:47 PM


Typically, a bunch of reduction of mobility in the lumbar region that causes pain can also be caused from limitations in t-spine and hips.
Ahh, that makes sense then as something I have sort of figured out over the years in myself and gymnasts. That's why our boy's warmups would have straddle swings on rings as those do a pretty good job of loosening up the shoulders and hips which also helps loosen up the lower back.

Besides the usual t mobility drills on a roller, I found that loosening up the lower back when it's tight is extremely difficult besides the usual lay and twist. Hip mobility does seem to work. Butterfly stretch is something that I feel really tight in my lower back with.

To note our gym chiro at one gym told me and one of my star lil guys that our lower back lordosis leads to tight hips and quads.

Donald Lee 01-09-2012 04:19 PM

Or tight hips lead to lordosis.

I've found with myself, that stretching the lats, hip flexors, hamstrings, and glutes helps with the low back prior to working out. Stretching your own glutes effectively is really hard to do though, so I often end up half-assing it and just drive my glutes into a bar. Fully equipped gyms tend to have bars that are at a good height to self-massage your entire back, glutes, hip flexors, and obliques.

Emily Mattes 01-11-2012 08:06 AM

At what point should I go see a doctor or something about this? It has never reached the point of bruising or anything seeming to be torn, but the pain has persisted for two weeks now without much improvement. It seemed to be getting better, then it was back to where I started this morning.

Steven Low 01-12-2012 04:26 PM

Now would be a good time

Emily Mattes 01-16-2012 03:06 PM

Went to a chiro and got an adjustment. He did this thing and it felt awesome (my spine cracking was not quite so terrifyingly loud though). After that and a few massages from my boyfriend the back pain has improved immensely. It's still pretty stiff on one side, but it gets better throughout the day without the compressed spine feeling and I don't feel locked up.

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