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This is the Yoga routine I have used for years for back pain. I have to admit that I haven't done it in several years and desperately need to get back at it. We just ordered a new copy from Amazon and plan to make it our New Year's resolution.

http://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Zone-Beginners-Premiere-Collection/dp/B00006G8HE

We actually just took a very expensive step to help increase our productivity by buying a massage chair for the studio. So far all the Ladies in the Studio LOVE IT!

http://www.bodo.ca/massage/EOS/

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Sorry that you're suffering with your back since surgery ... If anyone has the miracle answer here I am very interested. I am in pain every day with my back and it is no fun whatsoever... I find though that quilting helps me a little though as I am keeping moving, although when I do freehand from the front of my machine it hurts more leaning over my work. Pantos not so much as I am standing up straighter. I had a steroid injection in my facet joints about 3 weeks ago, and now they want me to have another one before deciding on de nervation !! not sure I like the sound of that though...

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Sorry to hear that, Janette! I have trouble remembering to stand up straight when I work from the front of the machine, too.

I would like to know what planking is as well. I guess this is a good time to point out a couple of other health-maintenance reminders. Wear ear plugs whenever you can while working at the machine, especially if you are using the stitch regulator, which is noisier and harder on your muscles to push the machine, AND especially wear ear plugs if you work from the back of the machine. I have a friend who is deaf in one ear from working at an industrial sewing machine for 25 years. Second -- wear a dust mask over your nose and mouth while quilting -- no sense getting that fabric and batting dust in your lungs.

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i always had back trouble til i saw a trainer.

he told me strengthening your core will strengthen your back.

and he was right.

i do 3 sets of 25 russian twists with a 10# medicine ball and 3 sets of 20 reverse crunches.

if you don't have a medicine ball, you can use an old milk jug full of water.

if you commit to doing this everyday, i think you will be pleased with the results.

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I spent alot of last fall at a gym with a personal trainer and one of the things she taught was to plank which was to get down on the floor on your stomach. Go up on your toes and elbows and try to make your back one straight line and just hold it as long as you can, 15 to 20 seconds is good to start and work up to a minute if possible. It really strengthens your core and it helped me with lower back pain. It is harder than you think and it hurts but you as you get stronger you are able to hold it for longer. It works on your abs but strong abs keep your back from hurting.

Here is an example http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/plank

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I have back problems also, and raising my machine definitely helped. But it isn't just quilting that aggravates my back, so this discussion of strengthening your core muscles is very helpful. Planking definitely sounds do-able. It's not as if this is news to me, but I'm just not doing anything about it. Maybe forum peer pressure will get me going!

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I feel like I got my life back, thanks to a wonderful physical therapist.

Two years ago to the day, I slipped getting off my toilet at night, ruptured 1 disc, herniated 2 and broke the toilet bowl. Surgery was an option but caring for my parents full-time, I didn't have time for that option. I was also concerned about the additional wear surgery would put on the area above and below the injuries. I did have a nerve root block for short term relief. Two physical therapist and no improvement, so I sucked it up, took pain pills on schedule and wondered if I would be in this much pain the rest of my life and unable to do the fun things I enjoyed. There was no comfortable position, sitting, standing or laying.

Went to a pain specialist last summer and was referred to the most awesome sports medicine physical therapist. He took a tool and broke down the scar tissue that had formed around the injury area. Within three weeks I no longer had the intense pain in my back or numbness in my legs and I could deal with the pain without pills. After six weeks I was rarely thinking about the pain I lived with and ordered delivery of my Millie. That was 4 months ago. I walk and do my exercised daily for a good hour. When I'm on an exercise bike, sitting or at my Millie, I don't slump but keep my back straight. Following are some of the stretches and strengthening exercises: (They only sound easy. I'm still working at some of them. Try to do them very slowly...)

Janette, these exercises and the therapist breaking down of the scar tissue have been my miracle! I pray it works for you.

Hamstring stretch, because people with tight hamstrings typically have back issues. Sit tall, maintaining arch in your back, extend leg and hold for 10 sec. Your leg will go straight out, with back arched, if hamstrings are not tight.

Re-education of trunk stability Lie on stomach on pillow. (Imagine a glass of water sitting on your back.) Keeping back flat, raise one foot at a time. Work up to doing both legs at a time, keeping low back flat and then add an exercise band around your ankles. With the exercise back, you slowly go out and in with your raised legs.

Press-Up Lying on the floor, press upper body upward while keeping hips on the floor. Relax lower back and buttocks.

Low Back Rockers On hands and knees, roll pelvis forward and arch back down. Maintain this downward arch and push bottom towards heels.

Trunk Stability - Lower abdominal training Lie on back and tighten stomach muscled to hold back lightly to floor. With both legs slightly bent, slowly raise one leg and put it back down, without rocking hips. Work up to extending leg out and finally to raising and extending both legs at a time.

Mid-back Rotation Stretch Resting on your knees, reach your arms forward, rounding your back, and hold 30 sec. Gently walk your hands to the right stretch and left stretch.

Back Stretch Hands clasp over head. Bend to the left side until stretch is felt, hold 20 seconds...then to the right.

EXERCISE BALL

​Marches Sit on the ball with perfect posture. March one leg at a time, without rocking the ball. Work up to holding a small medicine ball. Lift arms up when lifting leg and down when you bring your leg down.

Prayers Start on your knees with your forearms on the ball in "prayer" position. Slowly roll the ball forward as far as you can extending your arms and legs. Return and repeat. Don't let your tummy drop.

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OMG ... that all sounds like it is going to hurt... LOL... I have trouble just sitting without being in pain most of the time and am on painkillers all day every day!! I am better walking and moving about, but it takes alot each morning to get myself going. I will print it all out and try what I can and see if it will help - Thanks.

I have seen a couple of physiotherapists, and the pain clinic, and up until August was seeing a chiropractor for about two years, but I was finding I wasn't getting any relief at all in the last few sessions - although I may retry as it did seem to be my only relief for a while. And all of this from a car accident 2 1/2 years ago... apparantly according to a recent MRI scan I have a degenerated disc which is also bulging and touching the sciatic nerve, but also facet joint pain according to the pain clinic doctor who is sometimes helpful, but not always... he thinks that the day or so relief I had from the steroid injection shows the area which needs de nerving - now having to wait 6 months on the NHS for another steroid injection (which I don't think will work again anyway - but they want to do two before the de nervation... which will probably then be another 6 month wait.... I feel like I am going to have to live with this forever !! so depressing. At least the whiplash in my neck has gone finally (well on and off at least) I feel I am way too young to have these issues...

Thanks again..

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Janette,

Sounds like a similar location, low back. Nerve pain is the worst and it's depressing! Intense and nothing really makes it go away so there's never a good night's rest. I was there for 22 months. I didn't smile much...just hurt.

I finally went to a Pain Clinic to see what could be done because I wasn't making any progress. The doctor recommended this particular physical therapist. As I got to know the therapist, I had confidence in him because he's a triathlete who had ruptured a disc a few years ago and is now running marathons again. He's young and he shared that he exercises faithfully daily because it's the only way he'll be able to do the things he wants to do in the future. It was breaking down the scar tissue, a somewhat painful process, actually I was in terrific pain for the rest of the day, and retraining the muscles that I believe was most helpful. It was about two weeks in at 2 treatments a week that gave me hope that life could get better. Because of the damage and my age, almost 60, he recommended I don't try to run but he thinks I'll be able to bike again. I'm walking up to 6 miles a day, on a road.

One thing that helped with sitting was sitting on the front of the chair with my knees lower than my hips. That position makes your back bow in a bit, taking the pressure off the nerve. I've been sewing all day and I'm not hurting. Six months ago I never thought a day without pain would be a reality.

If you try the exercises, start slowly and don't have big expectations at first. Some are still hard for me. My goal is to be able to do the ball ones correctly in 6 months. I will honestly tell you that after 15 minutes of slowly exercising, my back felt much better.

I'll be praying for you.

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Thanks Heidi, sounds like you've had a rough time of it too.... I am going to try and lose half a stone or so, and exercise more (I am doing some pilates stretches that my chiropractor told me to do, cat stretches, pelvic tilts etc) but I need to seriously strengthen my stomach and back - I would like to avoid that de nervation if possible, as I fear it will be only a temporary fix againv. After two c-sections though I think I may struggle with that one with my tummy ... :P :P

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I have had low back pain for years. I think on this forum 3 years ago or so I read about different shoes people wear for standing and quilting. Based on those posts I tried MBT shoes and most of my pain has gone away. I think alot of my pain was from years of poor posture (plus two injuries from my 20's) no affiliation with the company it just has made a world of difference for me http://www.thewalkin...any.com/mbt.htm

PeggyB

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I also suffer from lower back pain, from injuries in my 20's. Moving furniture, carrying babies around, etc. I always had to have the DH or DS crack my back for me. While working out at the gym the trainer told me about the foam roller and it has changed my life. Here is a website that shows photos and explains it. I keep it under my bed and use it a couple of times a week. After I am done using it I feel like I have had a mini massage.

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/flexibilityandstretching/ss/FoamRoller.htm

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