Pushing leg lower back pain... turned nasty

Now you broke it, etc.. and how to make it better ....

Pushing leg lower back pain... turned nasty

Postby controverialmike » Tue May 19, 2015 12:19 pm

Hey all,

I've had a stiff back for months. Skating irregularly without any issues. Got up and hit the tarmac about 2 weeks ago without doing any stretches and twinged my lower back whilst pushing quite hard. The iliolumbar ligament I believe, connecting the lower vertebra with the hip bone. I was bed ridden for couple of days, completely unable to get up.

I went to the hospital and sat in A&E for 7 hrs and they just gave me some cocodamol. Went to the docs who prescribed Diazepam. Then back to a different doc who told me that everyone else was wrong in their diagnosis, prescribed me something else which I ignored due to the prescription costs. You know, usual english NHS scenario. Back ache became, stomache ache, ball ache but now i'm up on my feet thanks to regular morning exercises and stretches.

I went out skating at the weekend and, it wasn't a good idea! I quit after 4hrs of gentle skating but, then the leg pain started. From the top of the hip, down the outer side of the leg and into my calf muscle. By 9pm, these shooting pains (only when walking/standing) were intolerable. None of the pain killers worked. Ive stayed off my board since but it seems, as the day goes on, this leg pain starts to manifest.

My major problem with this is: in 12 days I'm embarking on a 2400k solo push from the UK to Ibiza. I've already pushed the leaving date back by 10 days. I've invested over a year and a lot of money into the planning and preparation for this trip, I've got sponsors depending on me now.

If anyone can relate to this kind of injury and offer some proper advise, it'd be most appreciated. All i'm hearing is horror stories and worst case scenarios.

Pitch in if you can.

Thanks
Last edited by controverialmike on Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby mjlally » Tue May 19, 2015 12:36 pm

maybe look into getting some sports specific medical help / therapy?

GP or A and E doctors will do their best but sometimes you need to see a specialist.
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby controverialmike » Tue May 19, 2015 5:05 pm

With only 12 days to go before I leave.. I don't think the NHS will be able to get me to a specialist in that time. 80% sure I'm going regardless, even if I only manage a few miles a day at first.

Currently pinning my hopes on a full recovery from the exercises.
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby duck » Wed May 20, 2015 4:07 pm

controverialmike wrote:a 2400k solo push from the UK to Ibiza.


A what? Are you skating to Ibiza?

From the sounds of it I had something very similar, sudden severe back pain which put me in bed for couple of days, unable to get up or walk. Then about a week of walking with a stick before I was even able to get around normally.

Mine I think was a result of a long term desk job, combined with no proper exercise, stress and sporadically lifting heavy things (laundry, children) without being sensible about it.

Since then it's come back twice, but less severely, and I've learned to spot the signs that I could be overdoing it. I've also made some changes which have helped massively and made me able to do more before I reach the warning-sign point.

This happened before I started skating, and skating has definitely been one thing that's helped a lot - I mainly do bowls, and avoid hard impacts (i.e. street). This has built up my core muscles which were very weak, and so my back has more support simply from the core muscles.

I also sleep on my back with a special wedge shaped cushion under my knees and calves which raises my legs and puts the back in a non-stressed position - or, on my side with the cushion between my legs, because I used to wake up with backache and sleeping without leg support put stress on my back.

I'd suggest sorting out something like this if you haven't already, but a "2400k" anything sounds pretty extreme so soon after a back problem like this - take it carefully mate!
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby mjlally » Wed May 20, 2015 5:23 pm

just saw this

http://skogging.com/pedidexterity/

and wondered whether your problem might be down to the imbalance of pushing on one side for long periods? Assuming you are doing that..
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby parker_knoll » Wed May 20, 2015 8:01 pm

do you have huge wheels? reduce wheel size

are you pushing on the road? get softer ones

i had terrible pain from pushing and reducing wheel size helped. also, it was just muscles working that hadn't been working like that for a long time and it did get better as they built up.
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby controverialmike » Fri May 22, 2015 10:11 am

duck wrote:]
A what? Are you skating to Ibiza?


Yup! It's been in the planning for about 12 months now. Take a look oldtricks.co.uk/the-long-push-to-ibiza for full details on the trip.

duck wrote:From the sounds of it I had something very similar, sudden severe back pain which put me in bed for couple of days, unable to get up or walk. Then about a week of walking with a stick before I was even able to get around normally. Mine I think was a result of a long term desk job, combined with no proper exercise, stress and sporadically lifting heavy things (laundry, children) without being sensible about it.

I'm very good with my manual handling but I seriously question my sleeping position and sofa. I quit the sofa 2 days ago and am trying to sleep on my back (but always wake up on my side). Mine was a result of a twinge, I can pin point exactly when it happened so it's not like it's a long term development. I think I just didn't do enough exercise before I went out that morning.

duck wrote:This happened before I started skating, and skating has definitely been one thing that's helped a lot - I mainly do bowls, and avoid hard impacts (i.e. street). This has built up my core muscles which were very weak, and so my back has more support simply from the core muscles.
I'm sticking to carving! last time I was in a bowl was 95' <)

duck wrote:I also sleep on my back with a special wedge shaped cushion under my knees and calves which raises my legs and puts the back in a non-stressed position - or, on my side with the cushion between my legs, because I used to wake up with backache and sleeping without leg support put stress on my back.
This I find interesting! Mainly because it's exactly that hip movement that sets it off - Lay flat = ouch, raise the knees = snug as a bug

duck wrote:I'd suggest sorting out something like this if you haven't already, but a "2400k" anything sounds pretty extreme so soon after a back problem like this - take it carefully mate!

I went to the docs again yesterday and she seemed fairly positive. She said it's was crazy leaving this early too but was fairly confident the leg pain is just part of the healing process as opposed to sciatica. I hope she's right!
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby controverialmike » Fri May 22, 2015 10:15 am

mjlally wrote:just saw this

http://skogging.com/pedidexterity/

and wondered whether your problem might be down to the imbalance of pushing on one side for long periods? Assuming you are doing that..


Yeah, I saw that too. I just don't do enough skating to cause an imbalance. I've only been back on a board for a year or so and have probably covered 100k. The event that day was due to improper preparation.

Skogging seem to be impossible. I have an exercise block and do 100 step up pushes on each leg every day and have to problem stepping forward and back to change pushing foot but, put me on a board and ALL my balance goes as soon as I try.
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby controverialmike » Fri May 22, 2015 10:18 am

parker_knoll wrote:do you have huge wheels? reduce wheel size

are you pushing on the road? get softer ones

i had terrible pain from pushing and reducing wheel size helped. also, it was just muscles working that hadn't been working like that for a long time and it did get better as they built up.


Oh really??? I'm just waiting for delivery of 3 sets of Abec11 Flywheels.... 97mm. Soft as you like but HUGE! Do you think it was due to weight?
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby parker_knoll » Fri May 22, 2015 2:53 pm

well, with huge wheels your legs are doing more work. your pushing leg has further to go to hit the ground and your squatting leg has further to squat, so ironically it can be more tiring than pushing with smaller wheels.

if you're on a longboard, however, it's a bit different as the deck is usually sunk between the wheels close to the ground
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby Piers C » Fri May 22, 2015 3:00 pm

controverialmike wrote:
parker_knoll wrote:do you have huge wheels? reduce wheel size

are you pushing on the road? get softer ones

i had terrible pain from pushing and reducing wheel size helped. also, it was just muscles working that hadn't been working like that for a long time and it did get better as they built up.


Oh really??? I'm just waiting for delivery of 3 sets of Abec11 Flywheels.... 97mm. Soft as you like but HUGE! Do you think it was due to weight?


97a is not that soft if you're skating on all different types of terrain. I would suspect he vibrations alone are going to cause you grief even after a few miles, I would say you need 'proper' soft wheels - 78a and maybe old style wider wheels like Kryptonics or Sims Pure Juice. These will go over anything including little stones and you won't have to push so much either.
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby parker_knoll » Fri May 22, 2015 3:16 pm

mjlally wrote:just saw this

http://skogging.com/pedidexterity/

and wondered whether your problem might be down to the imbalance of pushing on one side for long periods? Assuming you are doing that..


well, he may have branded it but this looks absolutely shit. dude is pretty inelegant as well.
Last edited by parker_knoll on Fri May 22, 2015 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby parker_knoll » Fri May 22, 2015 3:18 pm

Piers C wrote:
controverialmike wrote:
parker_knoll wrote:do you have huge wheels? reduce wheel size

are you pushing on the road? get softer ones

i had terrible pain from pushing and reducing wheel size helped. also, it was just muscles working that hadn't been working like that for a long time and it did get better as they built up.


Oh really??? I'm just waiting for delivery of 3 sets of Abec11 Flywheels.... 97mm. Soft as you like but HUGE! Do you think it was due to weight?


97a is not that soft if you're skating on all different types of terrain. I would suspect he vibrations alone are going to cause you grief even after a few miles, I would say you need 'proper' soft wheels - 78a and maybe old style wider wheels like Kryptonics or Sims Pure Juice. These will go over anything including little stones and you won't have to push so much either.


97MM not 97a, mate
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby Piers C » Fri May 22, 2015 4:13 pm

Ha,ha Oh yea :oops:
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby tom.hoffman » Fri May 22, 2015 6:16 pm

Piers C wrote:
controverialmike wrote:
Oh really??? I'm just waiting for delivery of 3 sets of Abec11 Flywheels.... 97mm. Soft as you like but HUGE! Do you think it was due to weight?


97a is not that soft if you're skating on all different types of terrain.


That's 97mm in height not 97A in hardness. ;-)

If your pushing platform is high, that puts more stress on your hips, quads, back, etc. I wouldn't want to try something like this without being proficient at both skogging (which I actually used to do to get myself to the skatepark and back) and long distance pumping to maximize my body positions and spread out the stress. Probably a little late to learn those things now though...
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby controverialmike » Mon May 25, 2015 12:51 am

Thanks for all the advise people!

Good news is I'm feeling hardly any pain at all now. I'm beginning to think the leg pain is due to the sofa I was sat on for a week recovering. Exercises are still going strong every day along with y stretches (boy, I feel it if I dont).

I've been skating a downhill event in London all weekend and walked away feeling even better. Last weekend was a completely different story! So I've decided I'm ready to take this on. 6 days and counting.

I'm going to try and learn pushing switch on the road but it's a little dangerous with a fragile back and an 18lb pack. I literally have zero balance skating regular so I'll focus on mongo maybe. I also plan to walk a fair amount to balance out (pretty sure I wont have any choice there anyway).

Yeah, the Flywheels turned up and, fortunately, they were 90mm instead of the 97s. Still HUGE though and pretty heavy but they roll over everything! A little extra weight is worth saving a few falls here and there and the extra confidence. The weight also means, once they get going, they just keep on going! Energy in = momentum out I'm guessing but I haven't worked out which one of those I should be chasing. They are 75a, not mega soft but just right. I've been riding some 75mm 75a's for months now and the extra size on these wheels means I can now skate more of the local terrain, opening up paths that were previously unskatable... and I've got 200km of pine forest to skate through in Brittany! Twigsville!

The board set-up is now a Landyachtz Evo. Top mount but with plenty of drop. I can feel the difference in the rise with the new wheels (7.5mm) but I've adjusted this by sourcing some Indy 215's with a traditional king pin. These ride a lot lower and are actually pretty light compared to your average. I've gained an 8mm drop with this. I'm also routing out the bottom 2 plys tomorrow so they Indy's sit flush... another -3mm. I'd like another 4mm but that'd involve dropping through the Evo, something I've been advised against due to stability (or something).

This all sounds very technical but tbh, I'm just regurgitating the advise I've been given. I'm no expert and I'm doing this trip on a shoestring budget as well (can't even afford a campsite every night so I'm going to be "hedging it" 5 nights a week). The kit has either been scrounged or donated by sponsors.

Plan is to head out next week on a long pre push, fully loaded, maybe even overnight if the weather is good. Step up the exercises, be careful and keep my fingers crossed.

My site will have a live GPS tracker so you can stop by and see how i'm getting on. I'm not sure if i'll make it but I'll be pissed if I don't give it a try!
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby Bleary » Mon May 25, 2015 5:55 pm

The evo is a good choice but if you're modding it you might want to think about flattening the rear concave a tad - because it narrows to the rear the sharp dh edges will become a pain in if you're pushing a distance
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby controverialmike » Mon May 25, 2015 10:35 pm

Oh, that's interesting you say that! It's also a pain in the arse when carrying. I'll be purchasing a leatherman (style) as soon as I hit French soil (can't take one across on the ferry) so I'll be able to make that adjustment if I experience the same thing.

Great to finally hear from someone that has pushed these boards a distance though ;)
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby controverialmike » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:58 am

Bonjour old timers,

Just thought I'd update you all on my progress.

Well, "an epic skateboard journey" has actually turned into a seriously miss planned adventures by an even more seriously misguided individual. The first 6 days were spent very ill, couldn't eat and anything I managed to consume rapidly left me with a loud bang. I was running in about 500 calories a day, not really fuel for my 50kmpd target. The nights are sooo cold but I'm getting used to 4hrs kip on an evening. Not being able to afford to coop myself up in a hotel on a €14pd day budget in order to get my health back, I decided it was best to hop a couple of trains to make headway. 11 days in now, about 600km completeled, only 250ish on the board. I'm now back to full health and making serous progress as planned - 62km yesterday.

The road in northern France are not as advertised. Their "rural" d road are often 90kmph dual carriage ways. Safety a concern even more than health. Police telling me I can't skate if there's no pavement. Skating with. 20lb pack makes and incline a real challenge and saps the fun of all downhills. 0-20kmph is a matter of seconds due to the pack. I'm happy at 25mph normally but I stacked on day one at 15mph, foot breaking is double the strain with the extra load an I've done my left shoe sole already.
2000ish km to go but I'm ahead of schedule due to the transport and now safe on the eurovelo cycle path for the next 1700km :)
The back pain has gone and the sciatica only readers it's head if I rest in the wrong position. I'm camping very very wild. Hobo style. This is actually pretty good for the back it seems. My physio went mental when I told her I'm going ahead with the trip only 15 days after complete immobilisation but, so far, I'm doing a good job of proving her wrong.

Woke on Pornic beach this morning at 5am and am having a rest day to recharge devices, update blogs and hopefully find my first shower in 5 days. I smell like death!!!
The blog is getting some really good feedback and I hope you get a moment to browse but I warn you, I'm having quite a personal revelation and it's getting a little poetic. I've given up all and it's changing me rapidly.
I'm tired, hungry, smelly, alone... and happier than I've been in as long as I can remember.
Wish me luck ;)
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby controverialmike » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:06 pm

Well that didn't do me much good!
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby controverialmike » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:29 pm

So much for the dodgy sofa theory.
The leg pain I was getting was sciatica. This was being caused by bulging discs in the lumber region. By the time I finished the trip, I was goosed. Well, I got there fine and made it to the parties but, by the time I reached stanstead airport, I was crawling on all fours. Made it into an MRI machine pretty rapid and I was still confident it was just muscle strain...

3 herniated discs L3/L4, L4/L5 & L5/S1. All ruptured inwards into the spinal canal, one pressing on my spinal chord and sending phantom pains to my brain (slowly breaking femur, boiling water burns... it was horrific). There really wasn't much choice but to take their advise and go straight in for a lumber microdiscectomy. I didn't have any funds for physiotherapy and couldn't lift myself to my feet for a few weeks anyway. I was so broke I had to get the bus home from surgery. Real tough times but i'm on the mend.

It's been 4 months now and I'm walking and even back on my board but going easy. Still a lot of repairing to go and can't afford a fall.

Build the core everyone!.. I wish I had!!
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Re: Pushing leg lower back pain

Postby duck » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:39 pm

Wow dude, really glad to hear you're on the mend. I almost didn't read this because the title of the thread does not convey what's inside! you should change the topic to something like "epic 2400k skate ends in spinal operation", then a few more people might read it!

Get well soon mate, sounds like you had a life changing experience in many ways.
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