How to cure my lower-left back pain.
May 20, 2009 12:38 PM   Subscribe

I have pain in my lower-left back and occasionally in my left groin area. Does anyone who has had a similar problem know stretches or yoga techniques that will permanently alleviate this pain?

I've been to urologists and they tell me that there is a nerve that goes into my lower-left back and curves around my hip into my groin and that this is causing both pains. All possible serious problems have been ruled out with ultra-sounds and CT scans. One doctor suggested that bad posture is to blame. I have tried being more diligent about sitting up straight but I haven't gotten good results. I admit I spend a lot of time sitting on couches, buses, subways, etc. Does anyone know of stretches or have any other ideas of how I could strengthen my back and alleviate this pain. Any resources (websites, podcasts, video series, your own personal techniques) that you could refer me to would be a life saver. It's killing me! Thanks for the help.
posted by jasonmdennis to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

I might inflame all the chiropractor haters out there, but go to a (good) chiropractor. I had almost the exact same problem, and he explained to me it was the Psoas muscle that caused it.

eHow has some stretching exercises that are very similar to what I used, but he was able to use some pressure point work to help relax it really effectively.
posted by liquado at 12:56 PM on May 20, 2009

Data point. I have pain in the same area. For me it was my sacro-iliac joint. Had the problem for most of my life but it wasn't that big of a deal. Started doing yoga and the pain came back. Turns out it is not that uncommon to hurt your sacro-iliac joint by over extension. I never felt I over extended anything, but yoga really exacerbated the problem.

I found that belly dance excercises made the pain go away.
posted by Vaike at 1:01 PM on May 20, 2009

Seconding liquado in all respects. Acupuncture helped me too.
posted by jet_silver at 1:15 PM on May 20, 2009

A few tips, first of all, laydowns as used in the Alexander technique might be of some help to you. They have helped me with my posture. Lay flat on your back on a firm surface, hands resting loosely at your sides palms face up. Draw your feet in gently until your heels are touching your butt or close. I've found that laydowns really help me straighten and elongate my spine. (the image here is a person laying on their back with their knees up)

In addition to the laydown, a variant of the shoulder-stand cycle has made my back happy, healthy, and strong(Shoulder-stand -> plow pose -> shoulder-stand -> bridge -> the wheel). However, I wouldn't bother looking the cycle up on google, or trying to practice it without a teacher. Instead, I STRONGLY suggest finding a reputable yoga studio and just attending classes regularly. After the first class, you should approach the instructor and ask their ideas about your situation.

Finally, don't underestimate the importance of posture. Be constantly mindful about your posture. Every 2 minutes, think about your spine. Ask yourself, "are my vertebrate stacked and balanced one on top of the another?" If the answer is "No," or "I'm not sure" then correct yourself. One excellent technique for vertebrate stacking is to straighten yourself as much as possible, and use some gentle rocking motions to tweak alignment.

Specifically, let us say I am seated in a chair. My legs should form a perfect 90 degree angle, feet gently resting on the ground. Looking straight ahead, I pull my chin back and ever so slightly down. Now I tuck in my hips and roll back your shoulders(pinch your shoulder blades gently towards one another. I am not using a back rest or support. Now, when I feel as aligned as I possibly can, I start rocking. First, I gently rock back and forth in ever-decreasing amounts until I am centered forwards and back. Then I gently rock left to right, bending at the waist, in ever decreasing amounts. I repeat these rocking motions as needed until I feel centered, then I make sure to hold that posture in a relaxed way. I am always careful to keep at least my shoulders and head on one line, if not my hips as well. Instead of turning my head, I try to keep my alignment and use my eyes instead.

Anyway, just some tips which might be of value to you.
posted by satori_movement at 1:24 PM on May 20, 2009

In response Liquado and jet-silver, lower back pain is the one area that chiropractic and acupuncture have shown positive results in scientific trials. If you do go to a chiropractor make sure he/she does not manipulate your spine in the neck region and if he/she makes claims to cure anything other than back pain (ie. asthma, flu, cancer, etc.) than you're dealing with a quack. As for acupuncture, the overall research seems now to show that for lower back pain and nausea it gives positive (if marginally so) results.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 2:07 PM on May 20, 2009

For me, the exact pains you describe (except on the right side) were caused by a tight psoas muscle.

However, I am pretty certain that you can't really stretch it yourself, as it is quite deep in the abdomen if I recall.

However, my physiotherapist at the time, was able to stretch it for me by holding my leg under their arm, pulling it, and apply pressure to the muscle. I got instant relief for many months.

It seems to me it would not be a bad idea to get a physiotherapist to consider doing the same thing, and seeing if you get any relief.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 7:38 PM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

A sports masseuse worked wonders for me. Also, pilates is an excellent way to strengthen your core muscles so you can't "throw out your back" as easily - though it's not just the exercises but the intent (focus on your core while you do the move, etc) so a class would be better than a youtube, at least to start.
posted by lubujackson at 7:29 AM on May 21, 2009

« Older Evening language courses in Chicago   |   How can I use my PC's DVD drive from my netbook? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.