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back still sore

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  • Brian Lewis
    I m still getting a crick in the middle of my back, and am groping for solutions. I suppose one might be to improve the musculature of my back through
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 22, 2006
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      I'm still getting a crick in the middle of my back, and am groping for
      solutions. I suppose one might be to improve the musculature of my
      back through exercise ...

      Meanwhile, here on planet earth <grin>, I was thinking of cutting up
      about 30" of close celled foam (ccf) into a 6" strip, a 4" strip, and
      a 2" strip. Superglue the 4" strip onto the 6", then the 2" strip
      onto the 4", so I end up with a 30" long ccf ~triangle. Put that
      centered ("point" side down) under my foam pad from tailbone to
      base-of-the-neck, to reduce the amount of curvature I'm getting, i.e.,
      to make me sleep flatter *laterally*.

      I would carry this 30" thing just as-is (not rolled) in my backpack,
      and then a problem is to get it to stay in the right place relative to
      (underneath) my main ccf pad. I'm afraid that glued velcro strips
      might just un-glue when trying to separate the pieces (?). Maybe I
      could use a metal clip of some type at one end and then just remove
      the clip once I'm settled in. Or ... ?

      I'd appreciate hearing any thoughts on this scheme, either in terms of
      easily connecting and dis-connecting to the main foam pad, or just the
      overall adviseability of this approach.

      I can't believe I'm the only one that's had this problem, and would
      just as soon not try to figure it out by myself. Maybe it's related
      to some physical therapy exercises that I've been doing (some of which
      involve related muscles) ...



      Brian


      P.S. I drove as high as I could get in the cascades last night until
      snow on the forest service road stopped me. Slept at 4650', temp got
      down to 39 degrees and I was toasty warm in my HH with the undercover,
      underpad & space blanket between the undercover and hammock, and a ccf
      pad on the inside. Maybe all of that is overkill (?), but it's hard
      to predict just how cold it can get in the mountains ...
    • Jeff
      I can t get as flat in my HH as I can in Speer-types. In the past, I ve put a camp pillow under the pad to do just what you re doing (but only when car camping
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 22, 2006
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        I can't get as flat in my HH as I can in Speer-types.

        In the past, I've put a camp pillow under the pad to do just what
        you're doing (but only when car camping or sleeping at home - I don't
        backpack with it). It helped, so I think your gizmo will help with
        your problem - but you might try putting extra clothes or something
        under there first. Might as well use something you're already
        carrying instead of adding to your pack.

        Or if you're not carrying enough extra stuff, consider what else you
        could carry that would be multi-use instead of making a single-use
        item like that. Maybe a down jacket in a stuff sack, or just a
        24"x24" CCF sit pad rolled into a tube or something.

        But anyway, I think your idea will help your problem.

        Jeff
      • Bill in Houston
        Are you sleeping on your back or your side? If on your back, consider putting something under your knees. If on your side, switch from side to side during the
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 22, 2006
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          Are you sleeping on your back or your side?

          If on your back, consider putting something under your knees.

          If on your side, switch from side to side during the night.

          Bill in Houston

          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Lewis" <brianle@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > I'm still getting a crick in the middle of my back, and am groping
          for
          > solutions.
        • Aris Dennis
          I m studying to be a personal trainer at the moment, and was wondering whether you might have a muscular imbalance? ie. either weak erector spinae (back) in
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 23, 2006
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            I'm studying to be a personal trainer at the moment,
            and was wondering whether you might have a muscular
            imbalance? ie. either weak erector spinae (back) in
            comparison to your abdominals, which might cause you
            discomfort or postural issues. What therapy exercises
            were you doing?
            Aris

            --- Brian Lewis <brianle@...> wrote:

            > I'm still getting a crick in the middle of my back,
            > and am groping for
            > solutions. I suppose one might be to improve the
            > musculature of my
            > back through exercise ...
            >
            > Meanwhile, here on planet earth <grin>, I was
            > thinking of cutting up
            > about 30" of close celled foam (ccf) into a 6"
            > strip, a 4" strip, and
            > a 2" strip. Superglue the 4" strip onto the 6",
            > then the 2" strip
            > onto the 4", so I end up with a 30" long ccf
            > ~triangle. Put that
            > centered ("point" side down) under my foam pad from
            > tailbone to
            > base-of-the-neck, to reduce the amount of curvature
            > I'm getting, i.e.,
            > to make me sleep flatter *laterally*.
            >
            > I would carry this 30" thing just as-is (not rolled)
            > in my backpack,
            > and then a problem is to get it to stay in the right
            > place relative to
            > (underneath) my main ccf pad. I'm afraid that
            > glued velcro strips
            > might just un-glue when trying to separate the
            > pieces (?). Maybe I
            > could use a metal clip of some type at one end and
            > then just remove
            > the clip once I'm settled in. Or ... ?
            >
            > I'd appreciate hearing any thoughts on this scheme,
            > either in terms of
            > easily connecting and dis-connecting to the main
            > foam pad, or just the
            > overall adviseability of this approach.
            >
            > I can't believe I'm the only one that's had this
            > problem, and would
            > just as soon not try to figure it out by myself.
            > Maybe it's related
            > to some physical therapy exercises that I've been
            > doing (some of which
            > involve related muscles) ...
            >
            >
            >
            > Brian
            >
            >
            > P.S. I drove as high as I could get in the cascades
            > last night until
            > snow on the forest service road stopped me. Slept at
            > 4650', temp got
            > down to 39 degrees and I was toasty warm in my HH
            > with the undercover,
            > underpad & space blanket between the undercover and
            > hammock, and a ccf
            > pad on the inside. Maybe all of that is overkill
            > (?), but it's hard
            > to predict just how cold it can get in the mountains
            > ...
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >


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          • Scott Schroeder
            Brian, I ll give you a quick comment. I have back issues (ruptured the same disc twice), so I am very aware of back problems. The middle of your back is an
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 23, 2006
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              Brian,
              I'll give you a quick comment. I have back issues (ruptured the same
              disc twice), so I am very aware of back problems.
              The middle of your back is an interesting place to have an issue from
              sleeping. Usually there is a a gap where the lower back should be
              hitting the sleeping surface. The pelvis and mid back hit the surface
              but the low back doesn't. During sleeping, this gap 'sags' if
              unsupported and causes backpain. the beauty of a hammock is your back
              follows the material, thus mostly eliminating these issues.
              If it's mid-back, I'm having a hard time seeing how it's your hammock.
              If it's not a disc issue (you could have a bulge) then it could just
              be muscle relating and yes the exercises might have causes them. If
              it's a bulging disc, they come in many different forms and can cause
              discomfort in a variety of ways. Sometimes sitting, standing, and
              walking are fine but laying down moves the disc in such a way to cause
              pain.
              Anyway, just throwing some food for thought out there.
              I had this website forwarded to me the other day http://chirogeek.com/
              There is some useful info there.
              Good luck and hope your back is better.
              Scott


              On 6/22/06, Brian Lewis <brianle@...> wrote:
              > I'm still getting a crick in the middle of my back, and am groping for
              > solutions. I suppose one might be to improve the musculature of my
              > back through exercise ...
              >
              > Meanwhile, here on planet earth <grin>, I was thinking of cutting up
              > about 30" of close celled foam (ccf) into a 6" strip, a 4" strip, and
              > a 2" strip. Superglue the 4" strip onto the 6", then the 2" strip
              > onto the 4", so I end up with a 30" long ccf ~triangle. Put that
              > centered ("point" side down) under my foam pad from tailbone to
              > base-of-the-neck, to reduce the amount of curvature I'm getting, i.e.,
              > to make me sleep flatter *laterally*.
              >
              > I would carry this 30" thing just as-is (not rolled) in my backpack,
              > and then a problem is to get it to stay in the right place relative to
              > (underneath) my main ccf pad. I'm afraid that glued velcro strips
              > might just un-glue when trying to separate the pieces (?). Maybe I
              > could use a metal clip of some type at one end and then just remove
              > the clip once I'm settled in. Or ... ?
              >
              > I'd appreciate hearing any thoughts on this scheme, either in terms of
              > easily connecting and dis-connecting to the main foam pad, or just the
              > overall adviseability of this approach.
              >
              > I can't believe I'm the only one that's had this problem, and would
              > just as soon not try to figure it out by myself. Maybe it's related
              > to some physical therapy exercises that I've been doing (some of which
              > involve related muscles) ...
              >
              >
              >
              > Brian
              >
              >
              > P.S. I drove as high as I could get in the cascades last night until
              > snow on the forest service road stopped me. Slept at 4650', temp got
              > down to 39 degrees and I was toasty warm in my HH with the undercover,
              > underpad & space blanket between the undercover and hammock, and a ccf
              > pad on the inside. Maybe all of that is overkill (?), but it's hard
              > to predict just how cold it can get in the mountains ...
            • Rob
              How tight do you have your hammock? I like mine fairly tight so it lays flatter. http://360.yahoo.com/snaresman ... From: Brian Lewis
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 23, 2006
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                How tight do you have your hammock? I like mine fairly tight so it lays
                flatter.

                http://360.yahoo.com/snaresman

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Brian Lewis" <brianle@...>


                > I'm still getting a crick in the middle of my back, and am groping for
                > solutions. I suppose one might be to improve the musculature of my
                > back through exercise ...
                >
                > Meanwhile, here on planet earth <grin>, I was thinking of cutting up
                > about 30" of close celled foam (ccf) into a 6" strip, a 4" strip, and
                > a 2" strip. Superglue the 4" strip onto the 6", then the 2" strip
                > onto the 4", so I end up with a 30" long ccf ~triangle. Put that
                > centered ("point" side down) under my foam pad from tailbone to
                > base-of-the-neck, to reduce the amount of curvature I'm getting, i.e.,
                > to make me sleep flatter *laterally*.
              • Amy
                ... I have also found that for me, very inflexible hip flexors are to blame. Ie, when I try to toes at the moment, my palms reach my knees; used to be much
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 23, 2006
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                  > I'm studying to be a personal trainer at the moment,
                  > and was wondering whether you might have a muscular
                  > imbalance? ie. either weak erector spinae (back) in
                  > comparison to your abdominals, which might cause you
                  > discomfort or postural issues. What therapy exercises
                  > were you doing?


                  I have also found that for me, very inflexible hip flexors are to
                  blame. Ie, when I try to toes at the moment, my palms reach my knees;
                  used to be much better back in college, and no back problems. Too
                  much desk work later... Anyway, as I've been building strength and
                  stretching the quads etc. it has been improving. Might be worth a try
                  anyway.
                • Brian Lewis
                  I really appreciate all the feedback on this. Aris said: I m studying to be a personal trainer at the moment, and was wondering whether you might have a
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jun 23, 2006
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                    I really appreciate all the feedback on this.

                    Aris said:
                    "I'm studying to be a personal trainer at the moment,
                    and was wondering whether you might have a muscular
                    imbalance? ie. either weak erector spinae (back) in
                    comparison to your abdominals, which might cause you
                    discomfort or postural issues. What therapy exercises
                    were you doing?"

                    I think it's hard to diagnose these things via just text, but here goes!
                    I have a right shoulder rotator cuff problem, specifically,
                    impingement of the supraspinatus.
                    Among the exercises I'm doing includes one where I lay face down on a
                    table and sort of hunch my shoulders upwards while holding weights ---
                    that gets right to the same part of the back I'm sore in from the
                    hammock --- but I wouldn't jump to assume causality there (I just
                    don't know). I also (standing) lean with my back against a wall in
                    another exercise and push off with my hands and again "hunch" at the
                    shoulders to push farther off from the wall, hitting that same area.
                    And in yet another (standing) exercise I use a giant rubber band to
                    resist while my bent-at-90-degrees right arm rotates outwards, which
                    affects this somewhat too.

                    Maybe there is some muscular imbalance; I sure wish I had gotten the
                    more complete owners manual when I got this body ... it's held up well
                    so far, but I'm thinking maybe it's time for a trade-in or something
                    (or at least a 50,000 mile service) ...

                    To Bill: While I sleep on my side sometimes, I just can't do that
                    comfortably all night. It's sleeping on my back that causes this. I
                    don't see how putting something under my knees would help --- my sense
                    is that would effect the lower back, but it's right between the
                    shoulder blades that I'm sore.

                    To Jeff: Thanks very much for your idea --- a real forehead slapper
                    for me. Of *course* I should try rolling up a rain jacket or
                    something like that before cutting up ccf and adding gear! Next time
                    I'm out I'll try this.

                    To Amy: Being fairly clueless when it comes to medical stuff I'm not
                    seeing how hip flexors would impact this, but I don't think mine are
                    inflexible; from a standing position I can put the palms of my hands
                    on the floor with my knees locked (mind you, I'm relatively long in
                    the upper body and short-legged).

                    To Scott: I think the key issue for me is to focus not on the
                    longitudinal hammock sag, but on the latteral (side-by-side)
                    constriction of the shoulders, i.e., my shoulders are forced to round
                    forward over a long period of time when lying on my back in the
                    hammock. I appreciate the chirogeek web pointer; that's a scary site!
                    I guess I could try chiropractic and acupuncture and qi gong and a
                    lot of other options at some point as indeed my physical therapist's
                    approach doesn't even seem to be helping my shoulder (much less my
                    middle back).

                    Again, I really appreciate the inputs, and apologies to those that
                    aren't interested in mid-back pain details.



                    Brian
                  • Bill in Houston
                    Wow, that is up really high on your back. I was imagining it being lower, where mine hurts when I sleep on the ground. :-) You know, you might actually
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jun 23, 2006
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                      Wow, that is up really high on your back. I was imagining it being
                      lower, where mine hurts when I sleep on the ground. :-)

                      You know, you might actually benefit from something like a spreader
                      bar, so that you can lie on your back with very little squeeze on your
                      shoulders. Or a stiff pad, maybe a ccf pad reinforced with thin
                      fiberglass rods or something like that. Or depending on the size,
                      shape, and stiffness of your pack, you might be able to use it to lie
                      on and spread things out?

                      For something to stuff under you like Jeff said, if you already carry a
                      large platy or the bag from a wine box, that might work when blown up
                      with air.

                      Bill in Houston

                      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Lewis" <brianle@...>
                      wrote:
                      > Among the exercises I'm doing includes one where I lay face down on a
                      > table and sort of hunch my shoulders upwards while holding weights ---
                      > that gets right to the same part of the back I'm sore in from the
                      > hammock --- but I wouldn't jump to assume causality there (I just
                      >
                      > To Bill: While I sleep on my side sometimes, I just can't do that
                      > comfortably all night. It's sleeping on my back that causes this. I
                      > don't see how putting something under my knees would help --- my sense
                      > is that would effect the lower back, but it's right between the
                      > shoulder blades that I'm sore.
                    • Rat
                      Brian, sounds to me like shoulder pinch is your primary problem. I don t thing putting something *under* you will help all that much. You need to stretch the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jun 23, 2006
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                        Brian, sounds to me like shoulder pinch is your primary problem. I
                        don't thing putting something *under* you will help all that much.
                        You need to stretch the hammock away from your shoulders.

                        One way would be to get an extra stiff CCF pad that is wider than
                        your shoulders and use it as a kinda spreader platform to keep the
                        hammock from scrunching your shoulders up.

                        Also, as you mentioned, your upper body may be a little longer
                        causing your center of gravity to be different than ours. I'm not
                        really sure how this would relate to your upper/middle back but it
                        may. Try hanging the hammock at different angles (foot end
                        higher/lower) to see if it changes anything.

                        I built my summer hammock 11 feet long and this really helped end
                        the shoulder pinch. I can have a lot more sag and not have my feet
                        falling off the end. I lie more on the diagonal and that allows more
                        room for my shoulders. The difference is so good I may build all of
                        my hammocks this length. The only drawback is the extra weight,
                        which is why I tried it with my summer hammock first. The winter
                        hammock doesn't have as much pinch due to the CCF pads I use, but it
                        is still more than the new summer hammock.

                        Try a small pillow, or stuff sack filled with clothes. I use a small
                        travel pillow cut in half, about the size of a paperback book. If I
                        don't I get a small pain between my shoulder blades but up high,
                        kinda between my lower neck and the middle of my shoulder blades.
                        The pillow makes it go away.

                        Just a couple of things I noticed when I first started building
                        hammocks. I get more shoulder pinch when I pull the sides during
                        whipping, I leave 'em slack now. Mor sag is better, to a point, and
                        my non-ridgeline hammocks seem to be more comfy than my ridgeline
                        equipped ones, just not as easy to set up. Longer is more comfy than
                        shorter. I also like the *W* fold better than the other one.

                        Rat

                        To Amy: Being fairly clueless when it comes to medical stuff I'm not
                        > seeing how hip flexors would impact this, but I don't think mine
                        are
                        > inflexible; from a standing position I can put the palms of my
                        hands
                        > on the floor with my knees locked (mind you, I'm relatively long in
                        > the upper body and short-legged).

                        > To Scott: I think the key issue for me is to focus not on the
                        > longitudinal hammock sag, but on the latteral (side-by-side)
                        > constriction of the shoulders, i.e., my shoulders are forced to
                        round
                        > forward over a long period of time when lying on my back in the
                        > hammock.

                        > Again, I really appreciate the inputs, and apologies to those that
                        > aren't interested in mid-back pain details.

                        Brian
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