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Author Topic: Self help for a pinched nerve?  (Read 1888 times)

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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Self help for a pinched nerve?
« on: December 09, 2018, 05:38:02 PM »
SO I am just milling along (manual band mill) and all of a sudden my back starts screaming in pain. No special exertion on my part, it just happened. I could barely stand upright, let alone walk. I'll spare you the (probably very funny) details of setting the mill up for the night and cleaning up tools and getting back up to the house. Suffice to say I am in trouble and everything is a new adventure, taking a shower, getting out of a chair, pulling on socks, all those big challenges suck now.  I have a logging class next weekend that I am now worried about making (I have been waiting 8 months).
 Do any of you with thousands of years of combined experience have any suggestions as to how I can heal up quicker? This is not a routine thing with me, last time was around 1993 and gave me pain for a month and I had to go on painkillers. The time before that was around 1984. I don't like drugs, I don't trust doctors (they all tell me what I already know, then give me a huge bill and no help, just drugs), and I don't do 'alternative medicine' although one day I may find myself in a chiropractor's office, but not this week, I think. 
 Right now I am getting by with a warm fire, Advil (regularly), and beer (but it's getting low). Looking for suggestions the next level up. I could use the neighbors hot tub but the effort to get my butt there, in it, and then freeze all the way back home is more than I think I can bear right now. But I am still thinking about it even though it's 29f outside.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 05:46:28 PM »
Stretches? They need to be the right ones.
Some can pick a pencil off the floor and be down for a month. :o  :(
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 05:51:34 PM »
ICE ICE and more ICE. 
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Offline lxskllr

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2018, 05:53:21 PM »
I've had what I suspect are blown disks in my back for the last ~25 years. When it goes out, I can't do anything. It literally takes 15 minutes to get out of bed. Nothing helps but time. I can move /ok/ after a week, and I suspect I could do logging training after a month. Take it easy, and if you put your wallet in your back pocket, stop. Knock on wood, I haven't had a major back event since I stopped doing that. I still have issues, but nothing that completely knocks me out.

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2018, 06:21:41 PM »
Walk around or lay down, don't sit, helps for me. Flat on my back with my legs up on a chair turning 90 degree angles at my hips and knees, my lower legs jacked up a little on pillows helps, kind of suspending the lower back a little.

 There are physical therapy you tubes, some of which I've found helpful when something lets go.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2018, 06:58:39 PM »
acupuncture is amazing, several friends agree with me that it is the best treatment, always temporary but it does wonders.  Not self help of course but neat relief.  
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Offline Southside

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2018, 09:20:47 PM »
So I can't tell you much about many things medically related, but back issues I can speak to at length.  Lets see, broken L5, L4, blown discs up and down, PT, steroids, multiple surgeries, owned a couple of walkers, the list goes on.  

The first thing that comes to mind is you really need to know what is going on before you can do anything corrective without risking additional injury.  It could be that you simply strained a muscle and the ones surrounding it are guarding to prevent additional injury in which case alternating heat and ice, along with anti-inflammatory OTC and rest are the best thing you can do.  Most likely at your age you have some stenonis, maybe degenerative disc disease as well so the passages are more narrow, could be that the inflamed muscle is tweaking a nerve, could be a disc pushing on it.  If it's not too bad the disc will receed in time.  I would not go to a chiropractor without at least an X-ray of the area and most likely an MRI, because if it is a disc and you get to cracking and popping things it can go from bad to worse in a hurry.  

Less invasive treatments like deep medical muscle massage and e-stem really do wonders when it comes to muscle issues.  That is obviously not self help, but without knowing what's going on self-help beyond taking it easy and normal "first aid" could make things a lot worse.  

For sure I would stay away from any physical work until your GOL class because the last thing you need is to get feeling better in a couple of days and over do it, then you miss your class.  

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Offline JJ

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2018, 10:22:01 PM »
+2 on no wallet in back pocket.
my back pain ended years ago when I stopped carrying (and sitting on) a wallet, took way too long to figure this out.

         JJ

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2018, 10:29:57 PM »
This is some precise doctoring going on.  First we have a "self diagnosis" that it is a "pinched nerve" with a request for a "self help" cure.  We have no idea whether it is lower or upper back.  If it is behind a shoulder blade the "pop back into place" is quite simple.  Maybe it is a pulled/strained muscle.  Suppose it is an aggravated previous injury or possible even a ruptured or bulging disc.  ???  ???  Calling @doctorb.
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Offline doctorb

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2018, 11:00:05 PM »
Pinched nerve is both a catch all phrase and an specific diagnosis.  Most of the time, truly pinched nerves demonstrate more physical findings than just back spasm.  Numbness and weakness specific to the areas innervated by the nerve are helpful in diagnosis.  (Pain shooting down the posterior thigh, a numb portion of the foot.....). If you dont have any numbness or weakness, then your pain can be from a herniated disc or arthritis of the facet joints in the posterior spine.

I am going to surmise that you have debilitating low back pain and spasms.  You are already doing the right thing if you have stopped all physical work, found a comfortable position in bed or a reclining chair, use anti-inflamatories (I am not one to recommend muscle relaxer pills.  These are mostly just sedatives.). Ice and/or heat can help the symptoms. See somebody if your pain is debilitating for more than 7-10 days.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2018, 09:53:15 AM »
I've done that to myself on a number of occasions. It's always somethng minor that kicks it up: I'll be very careful and use good body mechanics while lifting a heavy trailer tongue to reposition it - no problem there. Then when I bend down to pick up the trailer latch pin I dropped (which weighs a couple of ounces), my back pops out, and I'm on the ground, and the process of getting back up off the ground takes me a good 5 minutes of careful grabbing on to things, positioning myself and attempting to climb back upright.

My Physical Therapist wife has done traction on me and given me stretches movements to ease things back into place. Once I'm healed up, she also gave me exercises to do to strengthen the area. They seem to work well, but I generally forget to do them once my back no longer hurts.
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2018, 10:40:06 AM »
Well I am 2 days+ into this and still totally debilitated. Lots of pain. I have an appt. with a Chiro in a couple of hours, then we'll see. I don't think I can make that GOL class on Saturday. It take me 5 minutes to pull on a pair of socks, with a lot of pain. After reading the Doc's comments above I thought about it and realized it can't be a pinched nerve. I was in pain and not thinking clearly. It is either muscular (likely) or an diagnosed disc problem. All I know is that I am one hurting unit right now. Hope this chiro fella can do something for me or I am toast for a week or more. My improvement since Sunday is so tiny that i am sure this is a bad one. Thanks for all the advice offered. I am doing what I can.
Tom
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2018, 11:19:54 AM »
Good luck with it, Old Greenhorn.

I've hesitated to detail the things I do to correct my back problems, since what has happened to you may be completely different than what happened to me. Also, I'm no medical professional, and if I were, I would not be dispensing treatment advice over the internet. There is too much chance of making things worse by not correctly understanding what is going on.

If this is something that happens to you regularly, you might ask your chiropractor or other medical professional about things you can do to help avoid problems in the future: motions to avoid, exercises to do to strengthen support for the area. We ended up buying an inversion table, which I don't use often, but has been really helpful for certain kinds of back issues.
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2018, 03:54:14 PM »
Just got home from the Doc and it turns out that it is mostly a muscular issue compounded by a nerve issue from a 14 year old injury I never had properly diagnosed or cared for. He worked on me for almost 2 hours. A very patient guy indeed. He thinks I could make that GOL class on Saturday, but is not too hopeful for me to wield a saw. I know how stubborn I am and if the instructor will work with me I can put up with a lot of pain to get it done, but I have to be able to walk and carry a saw. Today, that's not happening. The best thing that I can do now is walk, so that is what I am going to do.
Thanks or all the responses. I'll keep you posted.
Tom
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Offline lxskllr

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2018, 05:33:38 PM »
Best of luck OG! Hope you're able to make the class, and get value from it, whatever your participation level ends up being  :^)

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2018, 11:57:37 PM »
I had a reoccurring pinched nerve that eventually I just learned to live with until recently. Finally went to the doc, got an MRI and turned out I had two ruptured disc (c5-c6,c6-c7) basically right at the top of my shoulder blades. The vertebrae squeezed the nerve branching out to my right arm which gave me throbbing pain from my back to the tips of my fingers. Got the disc replacement surgery (not the fusion) which has been about six weeks ago. Doc cleared me at about 4 weeks to light physical activity and since then I've been for the most part free of pain and able to get out of bed fairly easily, oh and no pinched nerves. Still have all mobility in my neck and back. Last couple of weeks I've been able to saw a few logs and work on some of my equipment. Today I even scrounged through the firewood at lowes looking for straight lumber to build my kiln which was pretty taxing on the body but I dont have any bad pains just muscle soreness. Might be worth going to the doc to ask for an MRI. I dont know if this is your exact case but thought I'd share my experience with it. 

As far as temporary fixes before the surgery, what helped me the most was a foam roller. Basically just a round piece of foam you can pick up from academy or Walmart in the fitness section that you just put on the ground, lay your back on, then roll back and forth. Always loosened up all my muscles and temporarily lightened the pain. An inversion table might help as well.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2018, 06:21:00 AM »
That sounds good!!
You might be able to go,but I don't know about carrying a chainsaw. :o I betcha you can learn a lot just watching. Bring a cell phone and record. That way you won't forget anything.
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2018, 07:07:55 AM »
I know the drill for the class, its a level 2. If I don't cut a tree I don't complete the class and I need the cert for continuing my certification. If there is any way possible I will get it done. And yes, I know I will likely pay for it later. Such is life.
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Offline LeeB

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2018, 07:58:42 AM »
Wrap up tighter than a mummy and bend, lift as little as you can get away with. Slow and easy does it. Keep up the walking. Sitting always ends up making it worse for me. Standing is better than sitting. 
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2018, 06:39:54 PM »
Progress report:
 Yesterday I was pretty shot from the Chiro visit, but I managed to walk a bit, we had lunch at a diner after the Doc appt., lots of ramps and walking (well lots for a guy that walks like Tim Conway doing his old man routine). I wanted to go to work today so that I was forced to be on my feet and moving, figured I could always bail when the pain got to be too much. But there was no way I could even walk to my truck, let alone the 500 foot walk from the parking lot to my office, then all the shop walking all day. I tried but there was no way.
 Today I walked down the driveway, across the road and down the neighbor's driveway, side trip to check the dam on the pond, and back up the hill home again, about 2,000 feet, no pain, some tightness, but I made it. Half hour later I had a hard time getting up the stairs. So it comes and goes. But tomorrow i am going to work for sure before things go too far awry. Right now I am thinking I will make that class on Saturday. I might re-do the injury all over, but I will get through it.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2018, 04:05:46 PM »
Half of Level 2 is just saw maintenance. You can probably get by without picking up a saw for that part - just screwdrivers, sharpening tools, etc.

For the tree felling part, you might ask someone else in the class if you can use their saw, so you don't have to carry your own around all day. If I recall, in my level 2, we each just dropped one tree. If you have to drive a wedge for your felling, ask if they will let you make the cuts, place the wedge, then have someone else do the hammering. The impacts involved with that will probably aggravate your condition.

Being in severe pain is not exactly a condition conducive to learning. I hope you are able to make it, but take it easy - it's not worth hurting yourself worse.


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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2018, 07:59:37 PM »
....................

Being in severe pain is not exactly a condition conducive to learning. I hope you are able to make it, but take it easy - it's not worth hurting yourself worse.
Being is severe pain is a familiar way for me to work, been doing it for years, however I am concerned about going down and needing 2 guys to get me up and carry my gear. I've waited 6 months for this class and I am going to get it done. It just dawned on me today that starting the saw would be my big challenge because that presents quite a load to my lower back. I just went out to the shop and piled my gear for the class, took a few file swipes on the chain and then fired it up. It wasn't a lot of fun, but I could do it. I My next concern is that I get a tree they want flush with the ground, that bending is nearly impossible for me to do. But I will get through it. I know the instructor well enough to know that if I am straight with him, he will pick a tree I can work with. He knows my skills, ability, and confidence. It's not really a test for me. (Plus, I am in the process of booking 3 classes for him for next year level 1-3, so there is that.) 
 I finally got back to the day job today and put in a full day, walked a couple of miles on the shop floor (slowly) and got everything I needed done. Tomorrow I see the chiropractor again for some tweaking. I think I am good to go as long as I don't do something stupid, like pick up a dime off the floor. :) And if I do get make it worse, oh well, that my choice, as long as I don't mess things up for anyone else in the class it will be OK. (The wife, on the other hand, is maintaining a slightly different opinion on the matter and just can't wait to say "I told you so".)
 It will be what it will be and it will all be fine. Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions and help.
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I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.

Offline alan gage

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2018, 11:20:01 AM »
Be careful. I've been fighting my back for 1 year now. Very frustrating. It's hard to stop yourself from doing things you want to do. I try and ask myself if it's worth it. "Is it worth doing "xyz" if the result is me being laid up an extra 3 months (or worse)?" It doesn't always work but it does make me think twice about what I'm about to do and how I'm about to do it.

If I could go back in time I'd do anything possible to keep myself from trying to lift a couple of those oak rounds last December. But at the time it was only a few real heavy ones and nothing I hadn't done before. Why did I think it was so important to load them right then? Why not split them into smaller pieces before loading or wait until I had someone to help or use the loader? There is no good answer. It was stupid and now I'm paying for it (mentally, physically, and monetarily).

If you think you can do the class then great but I can guarantee you if something gets aggravated from the class and you're still limping around a year from now you won't be saying to yourself, "well, at least I took that class."

I started by going to a chiropractor with no relief. He suggested going to my regular doctor but instead I found someone who specialized in back and spine issues. He started by ordering 5 weeks of physical therapy. When that offered little/no improvement he ordered an MRI and found some discs that were bulged. Not severely bulged but apparently, in my body, enough to impinge on some nerves. He hoped it would calm down on its own without surgery. First round of cortisone shots helped for a few weeks. Second round did hardly anything.

Tried another chiropractor who spent a lot of time massaging and working muscles and joints before doing any adjustments. He spent some time pushing and prodding in different places and seemed to confirm the pain is a result of those nerves being pinched by the bulged discs. After half a dozen visits I was in worse shape then when we started. Not blaming him. I'm happy with what he did/tried but things got aggravated in the process.

Still have to wait another month to get in to see my back doctor for another follow up.  I've read up on bulged discs and pinched nerves and most people seem to get relief in relatively short order with rest and maybe physical therapy. I don't know what's different about my problem but that doesn't seem to be getting me very far. As much as I don't want to have surgery my improvement seems to have halted and I can't do very many of the things that bring me enjoyment. I'm realizing that people with chronic back pain have a good reason to complain about it. Do everything possible to avoid it.

Alan
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Offline Dakota

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2018, 09:12:55 AM »
Very well said.
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2018, 08:37:32 PM »
Just a followup: I was up at 4:30 to walk a little before the 1.5 hour drive to my GOL 2 class. Got through it just fine. My biggest problem for the day was that I was pretty much standing for 9 hours. The pain was basic torture. The funny part was picking up the saw and doing the work was easy and felt good. No, I could not pound wedges, but other than moving carefully and a little slow I did everything that was asked. (in fact, it's embarrassing to say, but I wound up with the high score for the class. I beat out the young gal I thought was the best cutter by a few points.) The drive home on rural roads in the dark was very long and I didn't know hard hard it would be to get out of the truck, but I feel just fine but tired. Walking was easy, working was fine, but bending is slow and standing is barely tolerable and very painful. My thanks to the folks in the class that understood my slowness. The instructor said he gave me a lot of credit for showing up, working through it, and not bailing, he had been watching my face all day I think and could see the pain. It was hard to hide. I confess, about 3 hours into the tailgate talk, I was wondering if I could make it through the day. But I survived and there is no further damage, yet probably a little more strengthening. Tomorrow will tell the tale (if I can get out of bed :)).
 Again, thanks for all the input.
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) I mill for fun and my mental health. NYLT Certified.

I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2018, 06:33:31 AM »
Good for you. I think.  :)   Hope it does not set you back too much.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2018, 07:16:51 AM »
I don't think it 'set me back' at all, although I pretty much expected it would. I think it actually helped with the healing quite a bit. I was very careful and didn't make any stupid moves but it would have been easier without all the standing. I am a little stiffer this morning and not as flexible as I was last night, but I think that will ease up as the morning goes by. Still using the cane to get around, but am no longer depending on it, just have it for security to lean on in case I cough or hit a wobbly spot. This shall pass as it always does. In fact, if it weren't coming down in a steady shower of sleet right now I would probably venture over to the neighbors hot tub. Today is for resting, I think, but I might go catch a Tony Trischka holiday concert tonight. He's an old friend and I haven't seen him in about a year.
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) I mill for fun and my mental health. NYLT Certified.

I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve? Final followup
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2019, 04:57:29 PM »
Just thought I would close this out. It's now almost 5 months in and I have been going to the Chiropractor regularly, in the beginning once a week, then every two weeks, now once a month. He has found and worked on injuries I incurred over 30 or 40 years ago and long forgot. My recovery time from hard work days is either very short or non-existent. I feel better all the time and am able to do more back to back heavy days than I have in a long time. I am not superman, but I am sure able to work within my capabilities much more than I have in many years. Getting the right treatment from the right provider is the key here. ON a physical level, I am a very happy guy.
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) I mill for fun and my mental health. NYLT Certified.

I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2019, 08:38:32 PM »
Great to hear you are doing better!

I've never managed to get my neck and upper back injury completely healed - I can get it fixed, and be pain free, but the area is not stable, and it doesn't take much to mess me up again. This is despite visits to a Chiropractor, and being married to a Physical Therapist

Wearing a chainsaw helmet aggravates it, especially if I do it all day. This year, once my land dries out, I hope to work up to it more gradually to see if it's a muscle conditioning thing. I also want to get my wife to watch me as I'm working in the woods: she's really good a spotting poor body mechanics, and might spot something odd I'm doing with my head or upper body.

Another thing that aggravates it is reaching out repeatedly with any kind of weight in my arms. (I think the way the muscles in my back support my arms tweaks things in just the wrong way, throwing things in my upper back out.) I've gotten much better at keeping the chainsaw close into my body, rather than reaching out with it (that reaching out is poor body mechanics anyway). That has helped. I have not figured out how to stack firewood without causing me problems. Even repeated lifting of relatively small pieces (4" diameter x 16" long hardwoods) can cause me upper back problems, especially if I'm raising them much above belly high. I think it's more the reaching out to put them in the stack than the actual lifting. I have not figured out a way around that yet.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2019, 09:34:49 PM »
Great to hear you are doing better!

I've never managed to get my neck and upper back injury completely healed - I can get it fixed, and be pain free, but the area is not stable, and it doesn't take much to mess me up again. This is despite visits to a Chiropractor, and being married to a Physical Therapist

Wearing a chainsaw helmet aggravates it, especially if I do it all day. This year, once my land dries out, I hope to work up to it more gradually to see if it's a muscle conditioning thing. I also want to get my wife to watch me as I'm working in the woods: she's really good a spotting poor body mechanics, and might spot something odd I'm doing with my head or upper body.

Another thing that aggravates it is reaching out repeatedly with any kind of weight in my arms. (I think the way the muscles in my back support my arms tweaks things in just the wrong way, throwing things in my upper back out.) I've gotten much better at keeping the chainsaw close into my body, rather than reaching out with it (that reaching out is poor body mechanics anyway). That has helped. I have not figured out how to stack firewood without causing me problems. Even repeated lifting of relatively small pieces (4" diameter x 16" long hardwoods) can cause me upper back problems, especially if I'm raising them much above belly high. I think it's more the reaching out to put them in the stack than the actual lifting. I have not figured out a way around that yet.
John, I get it. I think about this ALL the time. As we get older and 'weaker' as things break down, we start to think about ways to keep working and get things done, hopefully without pain. Your detailed description is the same as my issues, but yours are a bit more acute. Now if you caught me on a bad day a year ago, we would be about the same. My Chiropractor has done some magic for me, I found a good one, I got lucky. But still fixing damage from 40 year old injuries only goes so far on a body that is 63 years old. 
 I have a few 'new habits' in light of the foregoing words. I don't do the same thing all day, I mix tasks and go from one to the next so as not to tax one particular set of muscles. (well, maybe except for drinking, I can do that all day without any pain.) I reduce the amount I lift except when I have no choice. That is, instead of making fewer trips from the trailer to the woodpile by grabbing 5 splits, I just take one in each hand. Lots more steps and it takes longer, but I can go non-stop doing that verses the stress and pain I get trying to make time. If I am doing something and I really start to feel pain or soreness, I change the task and do something else. When I have to lift 80 pound rounds up to the splitter I have no choice and pay the price for a few days. You know all this already, I can tell.
 Your issues are much more acute than mine and I feel for you. I know the misery. Back in December I could barely walk with a cane. I am not suggesting that your chiropractor isn't doing well by you, but you might want to ask around for referrals of others that might do a better job for you, here are different treatment paths that can be followed. I know there is a limit to what anyone can fix. I bet your wife knows a few. Reaching is the tough part ALWAYS, that is the lower back. Strength exercises may help, and your wife knows those, but if you are not healed enough to do them, tread carefully and slowly.
 Good Luck,
Tom
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) I mill for fun and my mental health. NYLT Certified.

I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2019, 11:14:12 PM »
Thanks, Tom.

One of my problems is that I've always tended to get very absorbed in my work. Couple that with the fact that this has been happening off and on since a wrestling injury in college back in 1984, and I've gotten pretty good at ignoring the pain until it gets bad enough that my range of motion is restricted (at that point, the situation is bad enough that I don't sleep well at night, and I'm grouchy and exhausted during the day).

Generally, one trip to the chiropractor fixes the problem, as long as I am careful about posture and activities for the following couple of days. What really need to do is get better at doing the strengthening exercises my wife gave me years ago, so that my muscles would be better able to hold things in line during the problem activities. Unfortunately, I've never managed to make those exercises a routine part of my day: when the pain goes away, I tend to forget about them.

I too have gotten better about not doing the same motion or job for a full day. I try to mix it up. That's one of the reasons I like to hand sharpen my chains. No matter how absorbed I get, I notice a dull chain immediately. It's then I stop and take some time to sharpen that I realize how dehydrated or hungry I am, or that I need to rest or move on to something else. Fortunately, since I'm working on my own property much of the time, I can easily take a break from felling or bucking and do some hauling, or switch to cleaning up brush.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2019, 07:01:37 AM »
Yeah John, that's the ticket, keep changing it up. One of the things I did last year that helped lengthen my day was buy and use a short pickeroon for picking up and moving the cut rounds up to, and on, the splitter. It keeps me from bending over at all for the smaller pieces and serves as a good handle for picking up those 90 pound RO rounds. I like that pickeroon so much that I got a second longer one (24") for dragging logs into position for skidding. Look around at what you do and see if there aren't tools that can help take the load off your back.
Best of luck to you!
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) I mill for fun and my mental health. NYLT Certified.

I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2019, 09:44:57 AM »
Good to here thing are going better.
X2 on the pickaroon it has been a big help for me, for the larger ones once the pickeroon is stuck in the block I'll bend my knees and slide my hand close to the head so I can pick it up with my legs if the block is too big for that I lower the splitter (3 point hitch kind) to the ground and roll them on to split in 2 first but working that low also can aggravate my lower back muscles. 

I came across this video a while back, we will use the backhoe bucket to lift large blocks for his gas powered splitter but I thought this setup was interesting.


Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2019, 06:42:48 PM »
Yeah, that is pretty slick. i do so few large rounds that I don't think it would be worthwhile for me to build. My big stuff becomes saw logs mostly. Neat idea though.
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) I mill for fun and my mental health. NYLT Certified.

I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2019, 08:43:49 PM »
Yeah John, that's the ticket, keep changing it up. One of the things I did last year that helped lengthen my day was buy and use a short pickeroon for picking up and moving the cut rounds up to, and on, the splitter. It keeps me from bending over at all for the smaller pieces and serves as a good handle for picking up those 90 pound RO rounds. I like that pickeroon so much that I got a second longer one (24") for dragging logs into position for skidding. Look around at what you do and see if there aren't tools that can help take the load off your back.
Best of luck to you!

Picking things up off the ground does not bother me, nor does carrying heavy loads (if I keep them in close to my body). Only reaching out with something - even if it only weighs 10 lbs. Stacking split wood is the worst.

My tool of choice for picking up rounds for the splitter is a set of 8 Husqvarna timber tongs. I can pick up up to about 12 diameter rounds one-handed, and without bending over.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2019, 03:08:46 PM »
I thought I would check back in on this thread with an update. I have been visiting Dr. Marc for 7 months now. I just go once a month these days, as I have since April, I think. Last week he asked me if he was "doing me any good" because he thought I was in great shape every time I came in and had only very minor issues. His question caused me to reflect and I pointed out that a year ago, everyday getting out of bed had to be done carefully and slowly. Heavy work had to be considered and approached carefully. Extreme loads on my back would put me in a hurt for 3-10 days, every time. I had assumed that was my life because I believed everyone when they told me I was getting old.
 Today, the only limit to my work sessions is how long my breath holds out, extreme loads are recovered from within 12 hours, Those stupid things I would do to mess myself up are no longer even an issue. I hop out of bed without a second thought every day. I attribute this to him getting everything back in balance and the loads being properly distributed, which is why I still go back monthly for the little things he does to keep me straight. In short, I told him he had no idea how much good he was doing me. He said I am in perfect shape for a man my age. I asked him if he knew I was 29? he laughed and said he has 29 year old patients that aren't in half the shape I am in.
 I am SO glad I found this guy. My life in general has gotten so much better and I can do things that I could not do before without paying a steep price. I am no stronger, but I sure feel like I am because I am not getting hurt when I think I should.
 Just thought I would fill that in.
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) I mill for fun and my mental health. NYLT Certified.

I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.

Offline alan gage

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Re: Self help for a pinched nerve?
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2019, 04:22:00 PM »
That's wonderful news. It's good to feel good! 8)

Alan
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