Chiropractors/Acute sudden low back pain
I'm 66 and in excellent health. Daily runner (40 miles or so a week), life weights 3 times a week and swim a mile once a week. Bending over a couple of weeks ago I got a sudden acute excruciating pain in my lower back. It felt almost like a cramp or pinch/ As I tried to straighten out, the pain subsided and didn't recur that day. This sudden incident continued for the next few mornings...once the pain subsided I could run or swim without problems.....although I was careful throughout the day in regards to how I bent, sat, got up, etc. This only occurs in the morning shortly after I get up. Sometimes the pain is brief but excruciating. It almost feels like something is out of place and needs to be put back because as soon as it occurs and the pain passes, I almost feel normal. There is no pain or numbness in legs or any other symptoms. Any thoughts?
Nothing is out of place. This is a misconception that a lot of people and chiropractors perpetrate. You might experience joint dysfunction and fixation, but I can assure you that your back bones are right where they are supposed to be.
At the age of 66, it is very possible that you are experiencing some degenerative arthritis, or "wear and tear" in the lower back. This type of joint degradation will become more stiff with the immobility of rest and sleep, and then once you get up and start moving, the joints become more functional.
If you sought out the treatment of a chiropractic physician, he/she could help you to keep the joints mobilized and more functional. He could also help you by doing a good evaluation/x-ray, and then help you to know if my thoughts are accurate or not. He would then assist you with a treatment/management program to help you to remain active and comfortable for as long as possible.
I think that it is great that you are so active and healthy. Please understand, however, that no level of exercise will prevent degenerative joint disease, and in fact, some of the wear and tear resulting from the impact forces of running can accentuate it over time. Therefore, if you desire to remain active, you will have to confront the issue of degenerative joint disease, and finds ways of managing the pain and condition. I personally believe that you should try to remain as active as possible for as long as possible. Nothing will make you grow new joints. Some therapies might help you to slow the degenerative process, but ultimately, degenerative joint disease will win out.
So, in a nutshell, find a doctor that can take some x-rays of your lower back so that you can get a good idea of the overall health and structure. Get some conservative treatment with a good chiropractor, and then make it a part of your lifestyle as a form of wellness care. Don't wait for a crisis of symptoms before you act, and don't discontinue your treatment when you feel better.
Keith Biggs, DC