Lower back aches after playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by buckhorn, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. buckhorn

    buckhorn Pianissimo User

    Aug 19, 2006
    This is a new issue that's developed. First of all, I'm 60ish and play regularly. I played a week-long musical recently and then this weekend played lead on a 4 hr big band gig Saturday followed by 3 church services the next morning. Both the musical and this weekend were arduous. The day after these 2 events my lower back was really sore. I didnt make the connection until after the most recent blow. Does anyone else have this problem...is it normal or am doing something different/incorrect or am just getting to the old f..t stage?

  2. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I have degenerative disk disease (at 48, fooey) and arthritis all through the spine. My experience with any position, sitting, standing, lying down... I can't do any of them for too long.

    Something you might consider, before it gets worse, is a visit with a physical therapist. We tend to lose muscle tone as we get older, so a little targeted exercise might be helpful.

    I used to play leaning against the chair back but play a lot better sitting up and forward. That hurt too for a while but I've found that it has strengthened me some so that it doesn't hurt as much now.

  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Where is you back sore, center, right or lift. Any other things associated? What makes it better? What makes it worse? Is it sore throughout the day, or only when you wake up, or with walking? Does the soreness go down your leg? Not sure what the problem is with just soreness as the complaint.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Some really fine players who move huge amounts of air have reported having lower back pain and welcome it as a good thing.
  5. buckhorn

    buckhorn Pianissimo User

    Aug 19, 2006
    My back gets sore in the middle of my lower back. Gets sore if I stand for a long time and physical work and exercise. Feels better if I stretch it out/bend forward. Also, sitting down and resting. Soreness does not go down my leg.

  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Absolutely! Such is very painful and can relate to many causes, among them being arthritic disc degeneration, herniated discs, or like myself trauma affecting L4, L5, S1 that induced sciatica episodes. I sat in a wheelchair for 3 years while undergoing weekly therapy. I finally underwent surgery that reduced the pain 80 to 90 percent but now 37 years later continue with standing Rx prescriptions for Percosets and Lortabs which I can take either one or the other four times a day as needed. Yeah, it seems closer and closer to the time that I'll unwrap and lubricate my wheelchair again with PAD and claudication in my legs, plus diabetes interaction. Surely, its no fun!
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Back strain appears to be the cause. I recommend two options: Heating pad 20 minutes twice a day. And try Willow Bark Extract at least 260 mg per day. If this becomes a recurrent condition, the next item to add to treatment is the Back-2-Life machine that is sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond for around $200 (the price of a Monette mouthpiece).
  8. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I have a similar problem due to degenerating disks (L4 and L5).
    Nothing really has helped except for steroid (Dexamethasone) injections and mega doses of NSAID's.

    Exercise doesn't really help, other than exercise in general is a pain reducer.
    [edit: I should say, "normal" exercise doesn't help, unless you are obese, in which case
    losing weight would reduce the load on the spine. Now, specific exercises done under
    the guidance of a certified physical therapist can help. Those are designed with
    your specific back problem in consideration by the therapist.]

    When you have disks that are degenerating it is not a "pinched nerve", "misalignment" or any
    other junk-science explanation. The actual problem is that the material in the disk begins to leak
    out. That material hits a surrounding nerve and irritates the hell out of it, almost as if someone
    dropped acid on it. Then the muscles around the area tense up and cause pain.
    This is denoted in my charts as "S1 dermatomal pain is thought to be due to a chemical radiculitis".
    In my case the pain runs down my left leg to my foot sometimes.

    Strengthening the muscles won't cause the disk to stop leaking, nothing short of surgery will.

    Playing trumpet requires some contraction of the abdominal muscles, especially for high notes.
    That contraction, in my case, tends to make things worse. I posit that the contraction is forcing
    my bad disks to leak more, leading to more pain.

    Anyhow, this is probably more than anyone cares to know. But I thought I would relate the info
    I have gleaned from top notch treatment here where I work.

  9. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    There is no "junk science" in pinched nerves and misalignment. That is not true. Misalignment of things in your back, both lower and upper, can cause enormous pain. I have been through episodes of extreme pain and lack of mobility, when suddenly, and usually for no apparent reason, misaligned things in my back shifted. One time, I was knocked to the floor and could not get up off the floor for two hours, until my roommate arrived. I've had shooting pains up through my head and all over my neck and shoulders from misaligned tendons, muscles and bones. There are many things in one's back that can get out of alignment.

    Chiropractors put these things back into alignment all the time ..... in a harsh manner, IMO, that doesn't really fix it. You're usually back at the Chiropractor's within weeks. Enter a physical therapist who works in a different manner ... and I was able to get a complete fix. When my lower back "goes out" (misalignment), I can put it back in place myself, using the techniques my physical therapist taught me. The difference between her and chiropractors is profound. Her changes stay in place. She said, "once you've had surgery on a misaligned back, I can no longer help a patient, since the surgery will cause drastic changes."

    Degenerating disks, physical trauma and other injuries are another matter. Most people's back pain is of the pinched nerve and misalignment nature, and can be fixed without surgery. Another common problem of the lower back is compression, which can also be fixed by my physical therapist. I'm in my 50's and my back, thanks to her help, has never felt better.

  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Chiropractic treatment is junk science, IMO.

    People who get that treatment rather than going to real medical doctors risk further injury.

    I'm not an MD, just relating my experience as a 50 year old who has had back pain off and on his whole
    adult life and was a chiropractic "believer" until I got to the point where I couldn't stand up.
    Then I went to a spine treatment center and learned what was really wrong.

    There was no "misalignment" BS that the chiropractor kept saying. I had degenerative disk disease.
    Having some quack twist and yank my back around was not proper medical treatment.

    Through medicine, physical therapy and injections I was able to over come my first round of
    the disease back in 92-94. My latest round is not as bad, but drugs and injections do the most good.
    Exercise of any rigor at my age just seems to irritate the condition.

    I don't believe I ever had "misalignment" problems. That's an overused term that quacks put out there.
    If one really had a true misalignment, I think it would take hospitalization and maybe traction/ immobilization to get
    the spine healed, not some 5 minute yanking around by a quack in a strip mall.

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