BHM tips for back pain?

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Starling

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My husband’s put on a bit of weight over the past couple months, and has been dealing with back pain of late. He suspects it’s related to his new bigger body. I’m curious if any of the gentlemen here have had a similar problem, and how you were able to take care of it?

Any kind of exercise, pills, cold compress, or support garment suggestions are welcome! I know they make nice supportive wraps/braces for pregnant women to help with back pain, but I’m hesitant to suggest this to my guy for obvious reasons.

I’m thrilled with his new look but it’s more important to both of us that he feels comfortable. And since he has been very anxious about his body as long as I’ve known him, I want to make sure he feels good in his own skin, no matter his weight.
 

Xyantha Reborn

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My husband’s put on a bit of weight over the past couple months, and has been dealing with back pain of late. He suspects it’s related to his new bigger body. I’m curious if any of the gentlemen here have had a similar problem, and how you were able to take care of it?

Any kind of exercise, pills, cold compress, or support garment suggestions are welcome! I know they make nice supportive wraps/braces for pregnant women to help with back pain, but I’m hesitant to suggest this to my guy for obvious reasons.

I’m thrilled with his new look but it’s more important to both of us that he feels comfortable. And since he has been very anxious about his body as long as I’ve known him, I want to make sure he feels good in his own skin, no matter his weight.
Is the pain worse after sitting, or standing? My hubby gets a sore back from sitting...a combo of pressure on his legs and his belly. We got an ergonomic chair and it helped a lot.
 

loopytheone

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My other half gets back pains when standing/walking. I think part of it is just the crappy design of the human spine, we all end up with backache sooner or later. I'm not sure about any solutions though, other than general exercises to increase back strength.
 

LarryTheNoodleGuy

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I hate to say the dreaded "E" word, but he needs to build up those lower back muscles so they can take the weight. (I'm talking about "Exercise.") :) My doc told me the exact same thing when I complained of lower back pain, she said "Well, you do realize that you are 47 pounds bigger than when you first came to see me three years ago, right? All that weight up front is pulling on your spine." ( I resisted the urge to say "No, I hadn't noticed! I thought all my clothes shrank in the wash.")

So! Back extensions at the gym, "deadlifts," the right shoes (No cowboy boots, heels strain your lower back) walking 20-30 minutes a day followed by cold (not hot) shower, taking muscle relaxants, getting massaged from time to time by a pro (not one o'them "happy endings" places!) being proactive about it, and, yes, accepting that being "overweight" carries some seemingly unavoidable health consequences, or puts one at more risk of them, I should say, which includes but is not limited to back pain, joint pain, shortness of breath, sleep issues and we'll leave the heart, liver, pancreas and such out of this for the moment, and there y'go. Good luck to him, and you, and don't forget to deliver plenty of belly pats!
 
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AmyJo1976

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My man says putting a small pillow between his lower back and the driver's seat helps him the most for lower back pain. Also, he prefers a firm mattress. Good luck, definitely don't want our BHM to be in pain :(
 

Dr. Feelgood

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I'm with Loopy and Larry: anything you can do to strengthen your lower back muscles will help reduce/correct pain in the long run. Meanwhile, when you need relief NOW, I've found that alternating heat and cold treatments can do a lot. Put a heating pad on the back for 15-20 min, wait at least half an hour, and put an ice pack on the back for 15-20 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a day. It might be a good idea to start looking for a really good chiropractor, too, since (as Loopy points out) the trouble may lie more with the articulation of the spine than with the muscles. Try to find someone who practices micro-chiropractic, if you can; my guy has made a huge difference in my life and health.
 

LeoGibson

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As a BHM with these issues, I have to say that the only thing that alleviates my back/sciatica pain is weight loss. When I was 400 lbs. it was constant. As I dropped less so. I’m at 320 lbs. now and it is occasional and I bet that when I get down to around 275 it will be virtually nonexistent as it once was. That being said, as a power lifter and strongman competitor I’m pretty hard on my body and while I do have strong back muscles I at times push to the extreme so take that for what it’s worth too.
 

Starling

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Thank you all for your excellent insights! He does enjoy working out, so I wouldn’t mind suggesting that he looks into more ways to strengthen his back. I suspect this will be the most helpful since he’s not all that big in the FFA/BHM world (270 at just around 6’) but it’s a rapid change from the usual 230-240 he was at for most of our relationship.

Ice packs, chiropractors, and back pillows are all excellent ideas as well! He is pretty active in his job, so it could be a matter of getting the right footwear too. From what you’ve all shared, it sounds mostly like his body just needs to get used to carrying a bit of extra weight - especially since it does tend to go to his belly first, which might throw off his center of gravity and put more strain in his spine.

And no worries, I’m here for all his belly and back massage needs ;).
 

LarryTheNoodleGuy

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From what you’ve all shared, it sounds mostly like his body just needs to get used to carrying a bit of extra weight. ;).
That, too. I know a young woman who gained a little over 90 pounds in two years and she said she had to wait a bit for her body to really adjust to it re: logistics, though she said her back never hurt. She just didn't like mopping the floor any more, or stuff where she had to bend over or get down on the floor. She did add "My thighs are way strong now!" She was proud of her strength.
 
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Tad

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Look up the "mcgill big three back exercises" as a good place to start on strengthening the core. Thry are exercises you can do at home in not too much time each day.
 

fat hiker

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Thank you all for your excellent insights! He does enjoy working out, so I wouldn’t mind suggesting that he looks into more ways to strengthen his back. I suspect this will be the most helpful since he’s not all that big in the FFA/BHM world (270 at just around 6’) but it’s a rapid change from the usual 230-240 he was at for most of our relationship.

Ice packs, chiropractors, and back pillows are all excellent ideas as well! He is pretty active in his job, so it could be a matter of getting the right footwear too. From what you’ve all shared, it sounds mostly like his body just needs to get used to carrying a bit of extra weight - especially since it does tend to go to his belly first, which might throw off his center of gravity and put more strain in his spine.

And no worries, I’m here for all his belly and back massage needs ;).
As well as strengthening the back, don't forget to strengthen the front - the last time I was having back pain, my massage therapist/physiotherapist noted that my back muscles were good, but my abdominals were not... and yes, I pointed out that I am rather rotund, and she said that was an even more important reason to balance out strong back muscles with stronger front muscles.

But, it's not like she was expecting me to do situps or crunchs by the dozen (though I once knew a very obese football lineman who could do a hundred crunches at a time), but there are some excellent exercises that will strengthen those muscles in the front, to balance the one in the back. The easiest one, and a good one to start with, is when, lying down, you tense the abdominal muscles just enough to be about to start to lift your upper body- then hold for five seconds, then relax, then repeat.
 

Bartholomew

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My husband’s put on a bit of weight over the past couple months, and has been dealing with back pain of late. He suspects it’s related to his new bigger body. I’m curious if any of the gentlemen here have had a similar problem, and how you were able to take care of it?

Any kind of exercise, pills, cold compress, or support garment suggestions are welcome! I know they make nice supportive wraps/braces for pregnant women to help with back pain, but I’m hesitant to suggest this to my guy for obvious reasons.

I’m thrilled with his new look but it’s more important to both of us that he feels comfortable. And since he has been very anxious about his body as long as I’ve known him, I want to make sure he feels good in his own skin, no matter his weight.
A foam roller is a must also plus lacrosse balls are helpful. Put them under his back in bed on the sore spots. Should help ease pressure
 

bubba350

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If he has physical job and this is chronic issue. He is going to need a through exam by an orthopedics doctor. X rays and maybe an MRI. I too suffered with back pain weight loss helps some down about 50 lbs.
But the MRI is the teller.
My news was not great .
A nerve block shot in the spine can help a great deal and can last for months.
So insist he gets a proper exam.
 

ChocolateBear

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TENS therapy helped me immensely. Heat worked well, but I found that sometimes it's the nerves that need to be tinkered with to relieve the sensation and tell the body not to hurt.

What others have said are all fantastic suggestions. Good luck to him!
 

LarryTheNoodleGuy

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In my ideal world, it would go like this:

Excess body fat is tremendously beneficial to all parts of the human body - the joints, the blood, the heart, the organs. One reaches adulthood and is advised to eat as one pleases, however much one pleases. A belly that grows tremedously large and wide and hangs down is conducive to long life and health, ditto a huge behind, "thunder thighs" and so on. Cellulite and stretch marks are signs of vitality and beauty, and lucky is the person who gains weight easily. The fatter your face is, the more attractive you are seen to be, and rolls and folds displayed in public are a sign of success, health and happiness. The bigger you get, the more people want to be your friend and/or sleep with you. You would dress mostly in bright, flattering colors to accentuate your fat, and the answer to most medical issues would be to "eat more high-calorie foods" and doctors, no matter what you went to their office for, would likely say "I'd like to see you put on 20 more pounds."
 

Shotha

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I think that it is important to maintain a good posture for carry weight, including when the weight is part of your own body. We are taught to lift heaving weights by stooping to pick them up, so that we keep our back straight, rather than bending and letting our back take all of the strain. With some tasks it can be rather more difficult to maintain a good posture for our backs than with other tasks.

For example, on my street we used to have to take our wheelie bins (trash cans with wheels) to a collection point on our street on collection days. Now we have to push the to the end of the street, over a bridge and into the next street. This is a much greater difference. I found it very hard on my back, because of the height at which the handle for pushing the bin was located. It meant that I had to maintain a bent over position the whole way to the collection point. My doctor suggested that I should request a large bin from the city council. The larger bin is much heavier but I don't get back pain from pushing it, because it is taller and I can stand erect. This means that much of the weight of my rather large belly gets distributed across my legs and pelvis rather than letting my back support all the weight.

Washing up can be a problem for someone with a big belly, because it can impede our access to the kitchen sink. We have to lean forward and the back has to take all of the weight of the belly. I find that it helps to wash up after every meal rather than leaving it until you have to wash up, because there are no more utensils to use or the sink is full. Washing up after every meal minimizes the strain that we are putting on our back, which only have to take the strain for a short time. If you have a big belly and find yourself in a situation where there is a lot of washing up to do and some has to wash and someone has to wipe, taking the wiping before anyone else gets a chance to take it. It avoids being bent over the sink for a long time. And if you don't have someone to share the task with, do it a bit at a time and take breaks. Let your belly be your pride and joy and not your pain in the back.

Posture is everything. Stand straight and sit straight. Once this is a habit, you'll soon work out how to work with an erect spine. (Thank you to my long deceased music teacher for his advice on posture, posture, POSTURE! I bet he never thought that I'd use it for this.)
 
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