Author Topic: Back pain from using prosthetic legs  (Read 5552 times)

Offline Steve C

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Back pain from using prosthetic legs
« on: November 20, 2012, 08:01:21 AM »
When I first had my amputation back in 2000, one of the things I heard was the possibility of future back pain. This being caused by the leg maybe not being exactly the right length or possibility that the leg not working the same as the real leg, the added shock being transferred up the spine etc etc

I'm sure as everyone is different with different backs, prosthetic legs, musculature and strength in their backs, and different strains/injuries their backs have been through that any back pain may be unique to the individual amputee. That said, do any of you have back pain that you think was caused by your prosthetic legs?

The reason I ask is I have some myself. The lingering spot is a bit higher than the bottom of my ribs (nearly the middle of my back), there is also a spot on the lower back just above the hips. I went to the GP and he had me go for xrays but they came back fine so I have to guess its muscles etc.
With some of the work I do, stone masonry (wall building using sometimes large heavy stones), ditch digging on my property etc, I tend to think I'm a prime candidate for back pain even with two good legs but I wondered if the prosthetics might have a hand in it.

If so, is there anything I can do for it?
Where ever I go, I'll always have one foot in Ireland   /   I'm not a complete fool. Some parts are missing.

Offline ann

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Re: Back pain from using prosthetic legs
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 01:03:33 PM »

Wish I knew Steve...mine, lower back.  I know my prosthesis is too long....guy keeps telling me well, it looks OK....BUT I know its too long.  I think that is what is aggravating my back.  Got an appt. next week...and by golly he is going to lower it.  Getting old   >:(   and mean!!

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: Back pain from using prosthetic legs
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 06:20:28 PM »
Steve, i get it from time to time and it usually mean one leg or the  other is either to short or on is to long.
Here is a test that i do my self, i have  some 1/4 inch plywood squares and i lay one on the floor and then place one of my prosthetics on it and stand up right on it and it will tell you which leg is causing the pain in my back

This may work for you and it may not, for i am not a doctor nor do i claim to be one.

Also just by adding a sock or two will also do the trick.
you-all have a great day.

Offline pin-hi

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Re: Back pain from using prosthetic legs
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 02:22:28 AM »
I think it may be more likely for prosthesis wearing amputees to have mid and lower back pain than for folks without amputations. No matter how perfect the fit of our leg or legs, there will be some unusual strain on our backs due to varied gait patterns attributed to wearing prosthesis.
 I take an extra strength Advil if my back gets sore and it relieves the pain. I suppose one could go for massage therapy or even seek a consult with a chiropractor if the pain gets to be too much.

I too must add the disclaimer that I am not a doctor nor do I have any expertise in diagnosing back pain. Just an opinion and some sympathy Steve!
pin-hi

Offline Steve C

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Re: Back pain from using prosthetic legs
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 08:34:27 AM »
I agree with you all. Just the mere fact of wearing something strapped to your leg all day may overwork muscles, throw off a gait or alignment in the back etc. Even though a prosthetic leg weighs less than an actual leg (or so I was told) it feels like it weighs more and can probably throw things off as well and thats if the height and alignment is perfect.

What I will end up doing most likely is getting some sort of hot/cold spray, maybe some sort of muscle cream and see how I get on. Maybe try and get some good stretching in too.

The 'I am not a doctor' disclaimers made me smile a little. In these days where people sue for a sideways glance, giving what could be construed as medical advice can be risky I guess. This sort of thing has gotten so bad that back when I was dating a fully qualified medical doctor she mentioned once that even she would be weary of helping some random person on the road needing help in the fear of being sued. I'm not sure, but it could be by law that she may be required to help (I'm sure she would anyhow) but she would still risk being sued if any complications arose. Even with all her training, her safest bet would probably be to simply call an ambulance.
Where ever I go, I'll always have one foot in Ireland   /   I'm not a complete fool. Some parts are missing.

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: Back pain from using prosthetic legs
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 06:10:46 PM »
I dont know about IRELAND, but have heard about doc's getting sued for helping some one in need and not call 911 for them, most doc's here in the states will usually back off and wait for the paramedics to get there and then with them as witness's will treat a person and then only to help get that person ready for transporting to hospital.
you-all have a great day.

Offline Steve C

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Re: Back pain from using prosthetic legs
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 06:42:47 PM »
Its sad times we live in when the fear of being sued is so common.
Where ever I go, I'll always have one foot in Ireland   /   I'm not a complete fool. Some parts are missing.

Offline ann

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Re: Back pain from using prosthetic legs
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012, 10:38:46 AM »

Did any of U ever think we would wish for the Olden Times!  Now right up front though U can't take my car - electric- heat- water- inside bathrooms.   ;) 

Everyone have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING {if U celebrate it}

Offline Steve C

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Re: Back pain from using prosthetic legs
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2012, 05:21:02 PM »
I'm not actually sure when this litigation frenzy first started. I'm sure there are proper reasons to sue but it seems that people want to blame others for their own mistakes and make a few quid while they're at it.
I won't but I am sometimes tempted to hook up a horse to a cart for the quick trips to the shop. I usually feel that way after topping off the tank on the defender (around 50euro / $65). I will keep my under sheet warmer, mobile phone, laptop etc though...
Where ever I go, I'll always have one foot in Ireland   /   I'm not a complete fool. Some parts are missing.

Offline Dolphin

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Re: Back pain from using prosthetic legs
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 08:39:55 PM »
Hi,
I know of amputees back pain went away after the prosthesis length was corrected or the alignment might have been off also.  It may take you practitioner time to figure it out but they should be able to. As far as your prosthesis length I would not suggest adding socks it may just push you out of the socket and could cause other issue. If you think your prosthesis is to tall you can take the insert out of you shoe on the prosthetic side and that will lower you slightly and you could feel it. On the other hand if to short you could try a insert in that foot and try that and report back to your practitioner. With the pylons the way the are there is usually some wiggle room for adjustment. I wish the best because I know when I am to short or to long it can kill my back.
All the  ;)best.