Ralf came into the office this morning. He was complaining of low back pain after Ironman this weekend. Before you congratulate Ralf on his accomplishment, I should clarify that he was volunteering at Ironman. He was working a water station for 6 hours. After a few hours he noticed pain that was increasing in his low back. He could feel increasing muscle tightness and soreness.
By the end of the 6 hours he was having difficulty bending over or turning. He spent 6 hours standing on concrete, bending, twisting, and reaching to hand out water. It was a great thing he was doing supporting other athletes, but his back didn't like it. He knew he couldn't complain because the athletes had just swum a mile, rode a bike for over a hundred miles, and were now running a marathon. He couldn't complain about a sore back from standing under those circumstances.
His back was not used to standing for that amount of time. It definitely was not used to all the turning and reaching he was doing. His day job involves sitting at a desk. The facet joints in his low back became irritated and injured. Throughout the course of the day he was experiencing more pain and discomfort producing low back pain.
Treatment was very simple. Ice and electric was performed to reduce some of the pain and muscle spasms. Cold laser was utilized to decrease the inflammation. he prefers manual manipulation, so we performed that because he was able to tolerate being rolled up on his side without too much discomfort. he felt a considerable relief during the manual adjustment. then we performed a little flexion and distraction therapy to open up the lumbar facet joints. next he spent 15 minutes on the roller table to increase the joint pain free range of motion.
Ralf felt much better after the treatment. Who knew standing could be so painful?
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