How do I get relief from back pain?

i have suffered on and off with back pain for many years. The current episode started in September last year and has been sore since then. The pain is in my hip area and also down the front of my legs. i exercise regularly including playing Ice Hockey for 1 1/2 hours a week but the pain makes me drag my feet and stops me from exercising more. i love hockey so much I am not giving it up.

i had a docs appointment recently to ask about this and other things but my doctor shrugged her shoulders and said it was sciatica and she suffered too....not the response I wanted. After pushing she put me forward for physio but the waiting list is long.

i have had a look and the websites say Sciatica is down the back of lesg where mine is down the front. Previously i managed to get relief from manipulation but after several attempts this time I still have the pain.

Can anyone help me please?

6 Replies

  • I imagine hockey is tough on the back with all that twisting and explosive action. You def need some physio to check out how you are using your back before it gets any worse. Pain down the front of the leg sounds like L4 whereas sciatic is usually L5 disc. L4 is less well supported than the more firmly embedded L5 so would potentially be more easily aggravated by hockey. A good sports physio to find the stiff disc and joints mobilise rather than manipulate and some appropriate exercise/warm up stuff for you. ;)

  • Exactly as boozybird says, Try a sports physio, they know loads about injury, nerves and correction. They use several methods of manipulation. Also some pilates to strengthen your core muscles. This helps to support the spine from the inside, which will make it stronger to play hockey. Maybe a short rest from the hockey until things are sorted?

    That amount of playing hockey would need some back up training. Once you have sorted your back, a gym, swimming, even cycling will help, oh and continue with the pilates for the duration of your hockey playing.

  • I would certainly suggest a physiotherapist, either specialising in sports or another experienced one..

    You may find pain relief from both cold (for 20 minutes) and hot packs, especially after exercise.

    The other useful thing is a TENS machine - I've written in more detail on another post today.

    Good luck - Ann

  • Thanks everyone for their response. i have a done a bit more research on it today and have a few things to try. I am gonna try and get a physio, not sure if I should wait the months for the NHS one or get my own. Hockey is at the end of the season, I have a short game once a week for about 30 mins and nothing else so plan to use the time off to get oout on the bike and do other less impact stuff.

  • Try the Alexander Technique.

    You do not need to strengthen core muscles you need to use them better.

    Part of using muscles better is to become more aware of them. I am guessing that you are getting to the age where what you could do without thinking about it no longer works effectively.

    Muscles contract easily. What is more difficult is for the muscle to relaxafter contraction. As you get older it gets more and more easy for a muscle to go into over contraction and remain in contraction. This may be for single muscle fibres or more many muscle fibres. A muscle which remains in contraction needs to be uncontracted. A sports physio can explain this to you. An NHS physio has a tendency not to.

  • Koolatz, when I exercised three times a week doing intensive body conditioning ( those were the days!) our instructor ensured we paid attention to a rather neglected muscle which runs down the front of the shin. Is this wher you feel the pain? Johnsmith is right if so, because this muscle can spasm particularly in get active people. The exercise for this is, flat on back, knees up, feet flat on floor. Without lifting heels, raise front of feet and tap tap tap on floor for 20 then repeat. You might want to check the sequence with someone who remembers better than I do but Im sure you will feel this muscle respond after the first set of reps.

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