Severe spinal stenosis

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by revelation2012, Apr 28, 2021.

  1. revelation2012

    revelation2012 Tele-Meister

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    I've been suffering with severe spinal stenosis for about a month now. Most of my guitars give me pain now to play. Especially those on the heavier side. Since I've been off work for about 4 weeks now, I'm assembling a thinline which will be reduced weight. Should put it at about 5.5 lbs.

    What have you all who have suffered with spinal issues done for ergonomic straps and anything that kept you playing but having relief from pain?
     
  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My go to solution is a chair!

    All the suggestions for wider straps are from those who don't have our problems.
    Comfy straps are nice for shoulders but do nothing for spinal problems.

    I do have a thinline body in the queue and have actually drilled out the bodies of my heavier guitars, big 2" forstner bit for back hollowed thinline style, no cover over the holes since the back is not in front!
     
  3. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    The answer from my back surgeon is exercise.

    Cycling and pilates. You need to strengthen the muscles in your back, the stronger the muscles, the more they support the spine and help relieve the symptoms.

    I've not started pilates yet, but I've got back on the exercise bike and some basic back exercises. The level of pain has reduced.
     
  4. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    This always seemed like a really practical way to reduce weight. I am glad to hear that you did it successfully!
     
  5. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity

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    The pain usually doesn't stop for many people with this, but it will lower in intensity and with proper pain treatment you'll manage well.

    I've had this stuff since 2007 and had about 4 surgeries. Every body's body heals differently and in it's own timing. Don't strain it, take it easy and bear with it til it gets better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
  6. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Good luck with it. I’ve had it. Got surgery finally. Haven’t had much trouble since.
     
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  7. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My sympathies to you, man.....I don't have the kind of issues you have, but after gigging for years with heavy guitars, I wanted to build a "lightweight" solution. I built a Telecaster with a light Paulownia body, and was almost TOO successful.....it came out slightly over five pounds, and while I like it, I experience some annoying neck dive as a result. I have to use a wide, suede strap that "grips" my shoulder, and prevents the worst of the dive. Be prepared to deal with that......and good luck with your back issues.
     
  8. g-Paul

    g-Paul Tele-Holic

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    Same with my Dr. My last MRI result came back as "severe stenosis" - I was in constant pain at the time and had trouble even walking. For me the best exercise has been swimming - it has helped incredibly. I also walk for over an hour a day. Now the pain is manageable.
     
  9. stormsedge

    stormsedge Poster Extraordinaire

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    And use your existing strap to get the weight positioned comfortably.

    No real substitute for exercise. Bicycle, weight lifting and walking work best for me.

    Other things I've done over time to relieve back issues: changed shoes experimenting with heel height and support type (funny enough, plain cowboy/logger boots are the best for me); changed out my "easy" chair; severely cut the junk in my wallet and moved it to a front pocket; got a better belt and repositioned my pants from "old guy cool" to closer to my waist; changed gun leather and opted for a lighter EDC; and, consciously shortened my stride while trying to avoid heel strikes. Watch yourself in windows and mirrors--stand up straight. Good luck!
     
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  10. DjimiWrey

    DjimiWrey Tele-Holic

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    i immediately clicked on your post when i saw "spinal stenosis"
    because it has caused me progressive suffering for >15 years.

    in me career as a physical therapy provider i've also treated hundreds of patients that were also suffering to various degrees

    due to secondary complications and comorbidities i've gone through a surgery that provided relief for about 3 years and also an addiction to opoids that was quite difficult to transcend

    a lightweight guitar is a big help, which is why i too have a thinline


    i've also found significant amelioration of current symptoms and a slowed progression of the disease itself through yoga.

    not the kind of prana yama ding dong yoga with which most of us are familiar, but an easy, gentle, soft protocol yoga...

    i highly remmmend "yoga with adrienne" on youtube
    she is a great guide, especially for people with significant limitations and without the woowoo

    i hope you find relief somewhere
    it's not a death sentence but frequently a life sentence
    good luck
    btw i'm curious how old you are?

    addendum: i've also found meditation helpful in dealing with the pain effectively rather than being defined by it... there is a lot of power in that... just explore patiently with an open mind and you will find a path... without the woowoo
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
  11. revelation2012

    revelation2012 Tele-Meister

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    Yea the pain at first was agonizing. spasms and just sever pain. The feeling of a tourniquet around my right armpit and massive nerve pain down my right arm. I've lost feeling in my right index finger and some dexterity in grabbing things with my right hand. One injection so far that worked for about 24 hrs. I'm in the process of scheduling a second and getting authorization form Workers compensation for it. The only joy in the last month is playing guitar which I can only do for a little bit before pain sets in. If this next injection doesn't work it'll be surgery. the worst part is I make my living installing irrigation and repairs. it seems I'll be look for another way to make a living too.

    Thanks so much for the replies. its really helps especially when you hear that some of you have eventually found relief. It gives me hope that at some point I'll be pain free again.
     
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  12. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm really sorry that you are going through the stenosis pain. I hurt my back years ago (causing a disc herniation). The best treatment over the long run ( as others have suggested) was physical therapy, a professional trainer, going to the gym working on strengthening the muscles of the back, moderate aerobic exercise, and staying away from certain activities that strain the back. I hope the back gets better soon.
     
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  13. DjimiWrey

    DjimiWrey Tele-Holic

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    good advice and i'm also delighted to learn that my next build should be with Paulownia; ultra light weight (and resonance) has been my primary criteria for the next mastercaster i put together
     
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  14. revelation2012

    revelation2012 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for this. I'll look into yoga. I like the type you describe. I've seen people start yoga in the wrong type and end up with back problems because they tried something they did not build up to.

    I too worry about opioids. fornthe first three weeks it was the only way in could get to sleep. I've since found new ways to cope with the pain sans opioids. I have these long acting patches that at least provide a 8 hr distraction. I'm now getting about 5 hrs of sleep.

    I'll look for a good playing stool.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Are some here only dealing with stenosis, and have no other spinal problems?
    I assumed stenosis usually came with osteoarthritis?
    I have more osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease, with just bits of stenosis, but osteoarthritis is commonly going to narrow the canals eventually, and discs are also going to get bad as we basically use up parts originally built to work for 50-60 years.

    Of the many solutions I think we each have to find the solution set that fits our problem set.
    I love cycling but my neck and wrists don't love it any more.
    Neck being as damaged as lower spine puts numerous solutions off the list.
    Weight lifting for back problems is probably suited for few of us, since adding pressure to a damaged spine causes more damage or aggravates the problem.

    But again, I'm not familiar with stenosis alone without any arthritis or disc problems.
    I get a good amount of exercise and try to eat right, low carbs to keep excess weight off, some Yoga for spinal flexibility which is hugely important whatever method is employed to maintain flexible range and strengthen spinal and surrounding support muscles.

    Used to lift freeweights but elbows are bad and I manage those with gluco-chondro/MSM.
    Basically my list of good joints is shorter than my list of problem joints!
    Fish oil and curcumin/ black pepper supplements; Aleve and Tylenol.
    Have to be careful with liver and kidneys while dosing on the NSAIDS.
    Plenty of EVOO in my diet to support I think the liver, I forget what all does waht after researching and adding diet based support.
    No hard core pain killers.
     
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  16. g-Paul

    g-Paul Tele-Holic

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    I think this is good advice. I also don't sit in soft comfy chairs - I sit up straight on hard chairs and generally try to keep my spine as straight as possible.
     
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  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Neck dive does come into play on a really light Tele!
    I actually find the Strat body better suited to balance with a light guitar, but am considering some sort of balancing strap mount like the Steinberger bass uses, just a bracket to move the strat button closer to the headstock.
    Wide grippy straps still leave me feeling like my guitar has a plan that is not the same as MY plan.

    Other guitars????

    Nooooooooooooooooooooo!
     
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  18. TeleJ717

    TeleJ717 TDPRI Member

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    Ankylosing Spondylitis here. Diagnosed December, 2020. I have no idea how it compares to your issue, but the pain was so bad at first I couldn’t stand up. Exercise, chiropractor, pain meds have all alleviated the pain, but it’s a long battle I’ll lose in the end. Best wishes to those of you with back pain.
     
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  19. g-Paul

    g-Paul Tele-Holic

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    I have both osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease, plus "bone spurs" whatever they are - and severe stenosis - something like the total package, I guess.
     
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  20. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    Yoga/stretching and mobility exercises.
     
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