Back Problem(s)

I’ve got a dodgy back at the best of times (from bad posture, couple of falling/car accidents etc.) but the discomfort is always short and will ease after rest.

For the last 3-4 weeks I’ve had this dull sort of ache in one specific location on my mid-lower spine that I’ve never experienced before. It’s there all the time. I’m not in any pain but every time I slightly over arch backwards or forwards it feels like one or maybe two vertebrae are getting compressed.

I was hoping it would chill out and sort itself out but it hasn’t. If anything it’s getting worse as I’m now getting these short flurries of pins and needles/numbness in my leg which I think are releated as I’ve never had these before either. I’m thinking possibly I’ve trapped a nerve.

I try to avoid going to the doctor unless absolutely necessary but it’s looking more and more like I need to get this checked out.

Has anyone else expericed anything like this? Any advise would be grand.

Thread open to all other back problem chat.

Don’t fuck about with your back, m9. Get thee to a doctor!


I don’t have any specific advice for you I’m afraid, except go see a doc, but I suspect you already knew that…

Now I’ve turned 30 I always notice people talking about how their backs turned to shit once they hit that age, and you can no longer assume everything will just be fine there. I woke up last week with a pain under my left shoulder blade, I think it was just from sleeping on it funny, but I spent the whole day shambling about, aching whenever I moved, thinking “fuck, this is it, my back’s gone”.

One of my favourite writers, Drew Magary, has written extensively about his back problems:


Sounds like it could be sciatica. I suffer with it on and off cause of my scoliosis and kyphosis affecting the rest of my back. Aches across the lower back are one sign, and the nerve runs all down the leg so it can cause a lot of pain or as you said, pins and needles etc. The GP recommended sports physio for me, so may well do the same, but it really does need to be checked out sooner rather than later, trust me!

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I had a similar thing. My right leg would get hot and cold and I’d get pins and needles all the way down.

@mouth_breather: Definitely go to see your GP. It may be a quick pain relief treatment, but they should also set you on a path of long-term prevention that will really help as you get older. It might be pilates, or a referral to a physiotherapist for some strengthening exercises, or something as simple as adjusting your desk and monitors at work, but it’s better to get a proper diagnosis.

Since running more regularly and taken up swimming again, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my posture and my back issues as I’ve lost fat around the midriff and strengthened my core. It’s made my life so much easier.

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Sorry to hear about this. If you want i can send you my old copies of Chiropractor’s Weekly. I have a lot of back issues.


Cheers for the responses folks. Going to make an appointment to get it checked out


Would maybe swerve the GP if you can afford to and go see a back specialist - chiropractor, osteopath, physio etc. My experience of GPs and backs is that they don’t really know much and tend to refer you there anyway. The waiting list for NHS is likely to be lengthy which doesn’t help. Going ‘private’ is pricey - round my area you’d probably pay about £40 for an initial appointment and £30 for subsequent ones - but if it is something that can get sorted within 3 or 4 visits it might be worth the investment

I’d suggest the opposite - chiropractors and osteopaths are quacks to differing degrees. It’s much better to get a proper NHS referral for a physio, who are properly qualified.

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So much this.
Every morning for the past year I have been doing a few stretches - hamstrings, glutes - followed by some ab strengthening. It has made a major difference to my back and also my ability to play sport (esp badminton) without getting niggly injuries.

Osteopaths sorted my problems, physios did nothing for me :woman_shrugging:

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Own experience suggests that it is quite an individual thing. Agree that there is a certain amount of quackery in this area but a decent (recommended) chiropractor or osteopath can be a good choice. Last couple of times I have been to a sports physio and found them to be very good

Edit: as proven by @laelfy 's comment above!

Starting to realise as I get older that I’m going to need to do a lot of Pilates/core strengthening if I don’t want my body to completely fall apart. Should probably get that started soon…

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Have had back problems on and off forever.
Used to be from playing rugby and cricket and being really tall. Now it’s just from sitting badly at my desk and carrying kids. I would say go to your dr, for sure, but they won’t do much. Probably put you on a waiting list for physio and give you painkillers. You might as well book in some physio now, if you can afford to.

Have tried various painkillers. Naproxen, diazepam, codeine, amitriptyline (for lack of sleep), various others. All pretty useless and a hot bath did as much good.
My back at the moment is fine, and every time it is I’m all “I’m gonna look after you so good, treat you so right” and then I’ll push myself and fuck it up again.

There’s something to be said for the psychological affects of chronic pain, and it is “aaarrrrggggghhhhhh”. Months and months or years of pain really sucks. People that have that have my sympathies


Do it. It is worth the time investment. 10 mins in the morning has worked wonders for me

Maybe. But there’s a much higher risk of chiropractors and osteopaths doing long term damage through their interventions.

Sports physios are physios.

The problem I had is that the physios did nothing. Just printed off some exercises for me to take away. The osteopaths did deep tissue massage (I had an IT band issue), did some pelvic realignment and actually forced me to do stuff.

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Also @mouth_breather, have you considered whether you need a new mattress? Can make the world of difference