8 years of lower back pain

I decided to share my back pain experience so that it might help someone else.

I am 49 years old and have lower back pain since I was 42 years old. After playing golf I got back spasms in my lower back and now I have pain for at least 60% of my day every day. I am OK sleeping for most nights and laying on the floor on my stomach is a pain reliever. I am 5 foot 10 inches tall and a 195 pounds. More muscular on top than on the bottom half of my body. I am active even through the back pain years. I use wood to heat my house and get the wood myself.  I am avid in the gym and when I am not as avid I hurt more. I am a former Marine and have been involved in sports my whole life. I have a desk job which equals a lot of sitting. The specific problem changes. Standing and sitting for prolonged periods are when it gets bad. Driving is bad. My feet hurt, I have shooting pain in my thigh but mostly its my lower back right in the area of S1. When it gets to the point of antalgic lean (back spams) I am off my feet for two weeks and can expect severe pain for a few months. It is during this time that pain is bad in my SI joints. I get the most relieve when I lay on my stomach and I can hear a  clunk from the area of my S1 vertebrae. I would describe this as instability. I am not sure if this is spine or other joints.

Here is what you all need to know.

I have tried everything except acupuncture (and that's probably next). This includes all kinds of chiropractors, physical therapists, surgeons ortho. osteo and neuro, Xrays and MRI's (several) fitness and diets(anti inflammatory), medication, vitamins, inversion tables, padded shoes, standing desks, posture changes, checked for arthritis and allergies, Read books to include books on pain being in your head (DR SARNO), injections to SI, facet and epidurals and I did all of this to rule things out as being the problem.

From all the different types of providers I saw the astonishing thing was that the surgeons all said they did not see a problem to operate and the chiros and physical therapists all had a different method to treat the problem. None of them were successful to any degree. I am the same now as I was in 2012. No change.

I still don't have any answers.

Every provider has its place because everyone is different but from my experience only the obvious problems get solved. Even the important people don't necessarily get their problems solved. See Peyton Manning and Tiger woods. Both had multiple surgeries before they could play sports again. Neither were sure of there outcome and both had doubts about there ability to come back. Lucky they had the worlds best to solve their problem.

My recommendation:

I have settled on the fact that I will have back pain for ever. What I am trying to do is avoid the bad back spasms which usually occur once a year and really bother me for two to three months. To do that I am required to keep my core strength strong. The problem with that is motivation to get to the gym every day but I have found no other way. My lower half is starting to get stronger and more muscular and my strength is becoming more in line with a training athlete. I keep my weight down. My body likes to be 210 but I can control back pain best at 180 pounds. I am currently at 195 but working back down.

Most in my position would probably go on disability, quit their job and lay around for the rest of their life. I say suck it up, get to the gym, stay in shape, keep you weight down, diet matters and continue to try different things.

Good luck



  • Steve - I got myself back to the gym today because of your post... thank you for sharing your story and advice.

  • UPDATE: I went to an Osteopath last month and for the first time I actually had a DR tell me he knew what the problem was. This is after going to see several specialists, chiropractors and physical therapists over the last 8 years.

    He told me there is nothing wrong with my spine based on MRI's he reviewed which is what the others specialists have told me over the years but they never told me what this DR told me.

    I have a posterior pelvic tilt and it was very obvious to him. After researching this on my own it was very obvious to me as well. The reasons for this all starts with my posture. I tilt back in my office chair because its the only comfortable position I can get into. I do the same when driving and I drive a lot. I have also been told to do forward presses to guard against what the previous physical therapists have  guessed was a bulging disk. I don't have a bulging disk so that bad information led to me working against myself for the past 8 years. Lastly I have a larger upper body and a smaller lower body so anatomically speaking I am prepositioned to have this problem.

    The short is I need a bigger stronger butt. I also need to stretch my glutes and hamstrings. Something I have been doing but what I found out after hiring a physical trainer is that I did not know what true stretching is all about.

    I won't lie to anyone, it is pure agony but it gets better.

    I still don't know if this is going to cure back pain but I am all in at the gym 7 days a week focusing on core and leg strength with a focus on glutes. I am also doing yoga every week and everyday I stretch my glutes and hamstrings several times. I have also corrected my posture and it is also agony.

    So far I am trending better every day.

    For you all that can't seem to find any underlining reasons after MRI's as to what your issue is, try your posture, flexibility and core strength. I will post another update in a few months to hopefully tell you all I have no more back pain.

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,464


    Thank you for the update. This is really a very good example of never giving up and pushing through, being your own advocate and taking over. 

    We look forward to getting another update, hopefully with no pain involved.


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