[at-l] backpacking with a bad back

Frank Looper nightwalker.at at gmail.com
Sun Jul 3 11:13:05 CDT 2011

I have similar problems with headaches. A week with a headache and I just
On Jul 3, 2011 12:09 PM, "Mark Hudson" <mvhudson at gmail.com> wrote:
> Fortunately I can't speak for dealing with a bad back myself...
> And while not quite the same problem, my sister broke her back in a fall
> years ago. She was in a back-brace for three months as I recall, and about
> another month to wean off of it.
> What was amazing was just how much the brace looked like a backpack frame.
> And when she did get back to hiking she was more comfortable with the pack
> than she was at home.
> (She did have to spring for a more cushy sleeping pad).
> Like you, she also found out that stretching and yoga helps, and if she
> doesn't do it regularly she pays for it. And every so often she needs to
> tweaked by the chiropractor.
> The catch is that what she was dealing with was basically a one-shot
> - in that it hasn't gotten worse. If your problems are degenerative that's
> whole different ball game.
> So, my only real suggestion is to transfer as much weight to your hips as
> possible. So if you're going lightweight that may actually require a pack
> with a sturdier frame.
> Say, wasn't Black Wolf dealing with back problems? Maybe he'll chime in...
> otherwise chase him down.
> skeeter
> <<
> I recently started having some new back / sacroiliac pain, and my
> chiro sent me for an x ray and then an MRI. I have five bulging disks
> - 3 lumbar, 1 thoracic, one cervical. 2 of the lumbar disks are torn.
> And the L5-S1 joint looks like two heads of cauliflower having an
> argument.
> I'm headed to a neurosurgeon on Friday to get professional advice, but
> I'd love to hear from anybody with similar issues about how, if at
> all, it has affected your backpacking. Do you have to carry a lighter
> pack? Sturdier pack frame? Do shorter miles? Avoid steep sections?
> Is it really horrible when you fall?
> The back pain I'm having isn't horrible, and in fact is not nearly as
> bad as it was ten years ago before I started doing yoga and a lot of
> walking. So I'm thinking I will be fine. I mean, I walked 1400 miles
> last year and most of this damage was probably already there. But I
> bet the neurosurgeon will tell me otherwise - everybody always tells
> me to stop doing the things I love when stuff goes wrong. I usually
> ignore them, which might be why I have five bad disks now
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