View Full Version : Looking to reduce back pain

05-22-2011, 10:26 PM
This thread is not related to my topic, but I need a thread with enough people to get some feedback.

I have a severe curve (Lumbar 87, Thoracic 70) and am looking to manage pain by strengthening core muscles. I talked to trainer at the gym I go to and I would consider this were it not for the cost (about $60/session at about 2 sessions per week). So I've started searching for other ways to get training. A friend mentioned a DVD set called P90X. Although they offer a 90-day money-back guarantee, I hesitate because its purpose is more than what I need. I may still try this, but in the meantime I want to see what other suggestions are out there. DVDs sound good because it's something I'd have for life.

Thanks in advance for your input.

05-23-2011, 04:14 AM
The months prior to surgery, I set out to get fit. Mainly I walked (as fast as I could) and kayaked. I played a little tennis and had begun to run leading up to my surgery date. In the last few weeks I exercised 4-5 hours a day and was jumping out of my skin, feeling great. A most unexpected side-effect was the reduction in pain. I had hardly any pain at the time of surgery. I knew I would not be able to keep up that momentum and if I didn't, the pain would return so I was still happy to have surgery. I still fast-walk 3-5 times a week.

05-23-2011, 04:10 PM
Jennifer, thanks for getting back. That's a lot of exercise. I swim and walk and it helps some, but I'm a grocery checker and am on my feet 8 hours a day so my back gets sore. Another lady on this site mentioned pilates. I've heard of this and need to look into it.

Your surgery went well, is that right?

Surgery is most likely in my future too. My doctor said before age 60 preferrably so my body can heal.

05-23-2011, 05:55 PM

I've been doing Stott Pilates for about a year now and my core has greatly strengthened. I go to my gym and use the pilates machines there.

If you don't have access to that form. I also have used regular mat pilates and yoga. Both of those help to improve the core. I would say any form of pilates is the best though!


05-23-2011, 06:49 PM
Yes, my surgery went very well.

Prior to getting fit, I couldn't stand for more than 30 seconds before I was looking for something to lean on. I don't know how you stand for 8 hours a day with your curves. I hope you find something that helps with your pain. Best of luck!

05-24-2011, 02:38 PM

An 87 degree lumbar curve is pretty big. Was wondering how old you are?

Staying fit is important with scoliosis.


05-25-2011, 12:04 AM
Hi Ed, I'll be 50 in September this year. I've been walking and swimming for years. But I'm noticing increasing pain at work (I'm a cashier in grocery) and other activities too...even standing and low-impact stuff. I have an exercise ball that I haven't been using that comes with a VHS (yes, I've had it for some time). The P90X DVDs that I mentioned in my original post would be helpful but I'm not sure I can justify the $120 since I'm not sure that I need all that's included. For now I need to discipline myself to use the ball.

05-25-2011, 10:13 AM

I made it to age 49, and couldn’t do battle anymore...when the lower curves get large, herniations happen easily, and then the sciatica sets in.

I wish you luck in maintaining, be careful with the lifting. I used a ball for many years....


05-25-2011, 05:46 PM
i'm a pilates instructor and i will say that pilates is amazing for scoliosis! it really targets muscle imbalances and strengthens the core like no other -- and a strong core supports a healthy back. i'm actually 2 years post-op scoliosis surgery, and pilates has been wonderful at keeping me pain-free and strong and flexible since my surgery.

05-28-2011, 03:40 PM
Hi Kurt!

Staying in shape is so important for scoliosis! Do you have insurance? I would see if your doctor could send you to physical therapy. Explain that you financially can't afford a gym membership, and have them set you up with a good home program designed specifically for you and your scoliosis. It is important to work with it, not against it. A good PT will do just that. Trainers are good, but they may not have the knowledge or training for scoliosis. And yes, expensive- in addition to a membership!

And I must say, checking is one of the hardest things on your back. I am also 49 and work in a grocery store. I was on freight crew, ran frozen food, ran receiving, and later managed the bakery. I went up to manage the front end to get away from freight, and found that checking was worse on my back! Being confined to that one spot, and leaning forward and pulling groceries over the scanner for 8 hours is a killer! I did it for a year, and went back to bakery where throwing freight was the lesser of two evils! I don't know how you continue to do it with your curves...

Good luck and I hope you find some help!

05-28-2011, 03:54 PM
OOPS! Just reread your original post, and saw that you DO belong to a gym. Even better! Now you can have a program created for you and have the facilities to fully use it. Does your gym offer pilates or yoga? So many do now. That would also be great. I believe that doing more than just one thing only creates a more balanced strengthening routine. You may use muscles in one program that may not be used in another program, and makes for a more well-rounded routine. And don't forget flexibility-it is underrated. Loss of flexibility is what makes people feel old and stiff!