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Back question for drmark

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For the past 3 years or so I've been having soreness/pain in my lower back after I get done riding. I finally went to a local doctor(he rides too), and he told me it was from the abuse MX has on my body and told me to take anti- inflammatories and possibly try a chiropractor. I've been going to the chiro for a few months, and it helps with the discomfort for a few days, but it comes back when I ride. He said it may be a bulging disc and I could get an MRI and see for sure. From the research I've done, there doesn't seem to be much other than surgery that can be done and that is only recommended if your in lots of pain. Mine isn't terrible pain, just irritating. I'm 35 and in really good shape, do lots of running and weight training so I know its not from lack of fitness. I had really been improving and getting faster but the irritation afterwards has caused me to really cut back on my riding. Have you dealt with any riders having this problem, and if so, any advice?

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We have to take inventory of what you can do. It seems that your back hurts after riding. Why don't you take four advil before your ride. Get a deep tissue massage after a hard day riding. (A beautiful therapist wouldn't hurt either) I know you are all ready in good CV shape and I am sure you are not overweight and you don't smoke. If my assumptions are not correct, then correct yourself to my assumptions.

An MRI will show something stupid. A dumb surgeon will operate. You will neve ride again. Don't go this route.

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An MRI will show something stupid. A dumb surgeon will operate. You will neve ride again. Don't go this route.
Man, Doc, I love your attitude. I wish more doctors felt this way.

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Unfortunately, our Great State of Texas is ground zero for unnecessary back operations.

Fortunately, it is also ground zero for breast augmentation!

A worthwhile tradeoff!

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Please disregard if I'm intruding here, but I live and ride with a somewhat compromised low back. Having an MRI done helped me understand what I should and should not be doing and why. It is simply a tool for diagnosis and not a pathway to surgery. It is an expensive procedure if that matters to you. And other radiation exposures in the future should be tempered as necessary for a time. Anyway, I thought my back was a goner and I was headed for surgery until the MRI. The ortho doc gave me a much better prognosis than I expected. He also said to avoid surgery unless it is the ONLY choice in any back problem. Knowing that I had bulging and not herniated discs encouraged me to change my exercise program. Also, it showed that certain positions would aggravate them. For example, for me, flexion is not good. Extension good. Applying Yoga exercises with this in mind has helped to take stress off the discs and keep them hydrated. Why wasn't my back getting better for a long time - an aggravating exercise program (squats, for God sake!) instead of one conducive to healing. Having the MRI and thereby knowing what's going on inside my spine had a positive emotional effect which also is good for healing. Bottom line, I would advocate the MRI. Just avoid surgery unless you can't get out of bed and you are screaming in pain constantly.

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I agree with almost everything you have said.

Unfortunately, in Texas, the MRIs usually show something is bulging or something like that, and next thing you know, a guy his having a two level decompression and fusion.

Thats the reason why I hate to even reccommend an MRI.

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I agree with almost everything you have said.

Unfortunately, in Texas, the MRIs usually show something is bulging or something like that, and next thing you know, a guy his having a two level decompression and fusion.

Thats the reason why I hate to even reccommend an MRI.

Dang! And to think I almost moved to Texas.

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We have to take inventory of what you can do. It seems that your back hurts after riding. Why don't you take four advil before your ride. Get a deep tissue massage after a hard day riding. (A beautiful therapist wouldn't hurt either) I know you are all ready in good CV shape and I am sure you are not overweight and you don't smoke. If my assumptions are not correct, then correct yourself to my assumptions.

An MRI will show something stupid. A dumb surgeon will operate. You will neve ride again. Don't go this route.

Thanks for the reply, that's basically what I've been doing for the past year or so. Is it hard on your body to take ibuprofen quite often? I try to rotate between ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Aleve. I also took Celebrex for a while and it seemed to relieve the pain the best.

Thanks

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There is some difference in effectiveness between the NSAIDs (Advil, Alleve) among individuals. I take Voltaren when needed. Only 2 tabs/day. Avoid all pills if possible. Ice can be very effective for acute pain. My dull ache at the end of the day is eased by getting in the Jacuzzi.

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I agree with almost everything you have said.

Unfortunately, in Texas, the MRIs usually show something is bulging or something like that, and next thing you know, a guy his having a two level decompression and fusion.

Thats the reason why I hate to even reccommend an MRI.

I agree with almost everything you have said. There are certainly a disportionate number of Spine docs that tend to be overly aggressive. However, an MRI is a good diagnostic tool for Chronic LBP. If your doc reccommends surgery, by all means, get another opinion first.

Also there are several fairly effective minimally invasive meathods to treat a "bulging" disc. (Basically a long needle inserted into the disc.)

I find that the Cox2 inhibitors work best for me. Bextra, Vioxx etc..If you can still get someone to prescribe them.

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