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Old cars and bad backs.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by talisman, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Junkyard Jan
    Joined: Jan 7, 2005
    Posts: 739

    Junkyard Jan
    Member Emeritus

    I have osteoarthritis and and a couple of other physical problems which has caused me intense pain for about 10 years. They came on gradually from the time that I was in my late 20s. When the problem became too much to bear, I basically quit doing anything physical. This includes building and racing stock cars which had been my life. As Roddington mentioned, I became depressed as hell. Finally, someone close to me kicked me in the butt to find a family doctor and actively pursue treatment. After doing physical therapy for 2 years which didn't help, my doc decided that pain meds were the best alternative along with an anti-depressant. No, I'm not some damn junkie, don't walk around high, but the pain is much more bearable. I also went back to racing. Yeah, it hurts like hell climbing through the window of my dirt cars and after racing I'm generally parked for a day. But the satisfaction of coming back to what I love is worth it!

    Here are a few tips which might help:

    1. Work with a doctor to find the source of your pain. Don't take "Live with it" for an answer...find another doc instead. There is a treatment out there to lessen your pain!

    2. Work on the Chevy at your own pace. There are days when I work for 15 minutes, then take a 10 minute sit-down break. Others I might work for an hour. Granted, it takes me longer to get stuff done than many folks, but who cares? I'm still doing what I want.

    3. Find the most comfortable seat possible for the '57. The junkyards are full of possibilities.

    4. Don't continue to be so down on yourself. Yeah, it's likely that you'll always have some pain, but don't let it rule your life! If you really are having a bad pain day, read some rod books and work your mind. If the doc thinks that an anti-depressant might help, follow his advice. Things have been rough around here for over a year due to my roomate developing her own physical problems, so I'm seeing a counsellor to learn to better cope. But I'll NEVER give up and hope that you don't either.

    The best of luck, my friend....:)

  2. shook
    Joined: Mar 19, 2006
    Posts: 137

    from austin, tx

    I'm with the folks saying you don't have to live like this.

    My wife is a personal trainer and physical therapist who works closely with a chiropractor and sports medicine doc within her GYM. A good doc CAN help. It's not going to go away in a few trips, it's going to take work and you will probably have to take care of it for the rest of your life.
  3. <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100&#37;" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" width="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">Maybe a trade with someone who has a late fifties Cad or maybe one of those big old Chryslers of the sixties, much cushier, give that a try. Rags
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  4. Check into a TENS unit. Do a google search. It blocks the pain signals with electricity. Do what you can to keep the car, otherwise your life won't have as much meaning.

  5. I've driven a friends 57 a lot,and my back has me in pain all the time,i found it very difficult to drive this beautiful car.Then he installed power steering,and a tilt column.Now it doesn't hurt so much to steer,and the ability to change steering wheel position is a big bonus too.Supportive seating,and ability to change positions,sure help keep the pain away.But good medical and theraputic help are the most important 1rst step.I had great success with acupuncture and massage therapy to manage the pain.Remember acupuncture has been around thousands of years,so called "modern medicine" is still called a "practice".;) Listen to Junkyard Jan,letting it depress you will make it worse,there is no shame in talking to your Doc about this."Get Help" or you won't be able to enjoy life.How do i know,13 motor vehicle accidents, rearended 12 times and one head on.1rst accident i was hit so hard i ended up in the r/rear seat and my seat belt was still done up in the drivers seat(damned drunk driver).:mad:
  6. The seat does make a difference. I strained my back some as a kid - when you're 13 you think two guys can lift a straight-eight buick block out of the car by hand - so maybe I'm more sensitive than some.

    But on trips with my dad we rented a 96 Grand Am one year and a 98 Olds Alero the next time. You'd think being more or less the same car they'd both be fine, but the Olds had seats that felt like sitting on race track grandstands, they were hard as a rock, and after a couple hours it made my back hurt like hell just to sit in the damn thing. I don't even want to think about what that would be like if I had real issues with my back.
  7. bcarlson
    Joined: Jul 21, 2005
    Posts: 935


    Awesome for him! I had the exact opposite results... the docs say had I come to them first, I wouldn't have needed surgery, but the chiro made it feel ok, so I kept working with it messed up. Oh well... like bob said do your homework, and good luck!! :)

  8. Feel for ya' bro!

    Had problems since my teens. January of '86 I was diagnosed with herniated disks. For the second time. But this time it was three of them! Saved a copy of the MRI - no wonder my back hurt.

    My advice: if you love the car, keep it. You can change the seats/steering/suspension. Do whatever it takes to fix your back. If it means changing jobs, etc.... do it. Talk to a number of doctors, even if it's expensive, until you get the right combo.

    For myself, I found my '49 Plymouth to have one of the more comfortable seating positions; try shimming your seat or moving it to see what helps.

  9. Sawracer
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,315

    from socal

    Had a fusion in my neck, still f'd up and now out of work. They don't like the idea of me taking vicodin and working hi voltage. Now the new Doc says they fused the wrong disc? Don't stop living. Go see a pain management specialist. The vicodin allows me to enjoy my life, be a husband, and a father. If I had to suffer without help I would probably do what comes with the worst depression. If you can't enjoy your life, There is no harm in a painkiller here and there. You have to be militant about taking as little as possible, Because addiction is always a possibility. Stay on the doctors and hang in there, you are not alone and if you need anything let me know.
  10. MIKE-3137
    Joined: Feb 19, 2003
    Posts: 1,578


    I was told I needed surgery 5 years ago for two ruptured disks, got an epidural instead and had good results for a while, but the pain seems to be coming back.

    Back surgery is so hit and miss, one friend said he should have done it 10 years earlier. But, one of my own doctors says to avoid it if at all possible. so what do you do?

    On my roadster I spent hours positioning the seat with just the right tilt, add some lumbar support too, little changes can make a big difference. Good luck
  11. Fredo
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 97

    from So Cal

    Back in 1977 I was working for southern Pacific RR. While doing some in yard work I fell off a moving train and phucked my back up good and for good. Doctors wanted to cut me open and "try" to fix it. I found a GOOD chiropractor and went on a maint schedule. About every 6 months I go the back whacker and I'm good. Add in a few streaches every morning and I'm able to ride my rigid shvl and ride in crapy cars, trucks etc.
    Doctors SUCK all they want to do is hand you drugs and or cut ya up. Go See a Chiropractor.

    This is all in my opinion and worth every penny you paid me for it.
  12. talisman
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 404

    from Texas

    Guys, thanks for the advice.

    First thing, I quit putting my wallet in my back pocket when I was a teenager and found out it could mess up your back. :p That was the easy part to answer.

    I've been to the Doctor, and had physical therapy. Pain killers help out a decent amount, but I'm not a big fan of being zonked out on them just to get some work done. I'm going to start dieting since I seemed to have packed on some weight in the last 2 years, (got married, doh!) and that should help it out some. I'm a little wary of any surgery back there. From everything I've seen in my life, its pretty much a flip of the coin.

    The seat. Yeah, the seat is pretty worn out in the 57. I want the original bench in there, but it does need to be redone. One of my biggest problems I'm worried about is sinking a ton of more money into this car only to arrive at the same result. Of course I haven't really looked into the cost of getting it redone yet... The suspension has 3 inch drop blocks in the rear and 2 inch drop springs with a coil cut off in the front. It doesn't SEEM incredibly rough when you're driving it, but you can tell a few hours later. Bushings are pretty worn out. Leaf springs are probably the originals.

  13. chevnut
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 978

    from Corona, Ca

    A problem I know too well.

    Coming home from work one day traveling north, I got side swiped by a lifted truck who decided to change lanes as I was slowly passing.
    Long story short, I ended up upside down in the south bound lane rolling my car not once but twice. Got one full revolution in the air only to land on the driverside, with left shoulder hitting hard. It was miserable back/neck pain since then. walked off that one thanks to the man upstairs. No not you Ryan:)

    Vicodin dont work, Ice helps at night to sleep and Chiropractor relieves it for a few hours. New mattress would not hurt either. I can tell you that dropping a couple of pounds, lots of water, and stretching before and after bed helps.

    Pls. keep the 57, get airride or custom make a gel seat, in tuck and roll of course:D . If you already think you will regret selling then the answer is not to sell.
  14. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    If you're married to the original seat, sell that car now.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but the advice in this thread has been pretty consistent. Modern seats work by distributing the force thru exaggerated contours and additional adjustability to suit different body types, you're just not gonna get that with an original seat in any condition.

    Hope you beat this thing. Good luck.
  15. Sawracer
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,315

    from socal

    Back when I had money, pre disability, I had a cts v with heated seats. The heat and infinite adjustability was SWEET on the lumbar. Old bench seats suck rhino meat, period.
  16. mtkawboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,213


    I did linework taking pain pills long enough to fuse 4 discs while working. I now have an implanted morphine pain pump, 2 surguries, a crooked spine, 2 herniated discs and still have to take a few pills. I cant work and I had no choice but to sell my 31 Model A 3/4 finished. Now I live vicariously thru the adventures of you guys. I just paid a guy $675 to spend 3 months fixing a truck that I could fix in a weekend. Life sucks but theres always someone worse off. Youre complaining about not being able to drive your 57 while plane loads of kids that will never walk again are coming from Iraq. Not to be on your case but theres always someone worse off. If not driving your 57 is the biggest problem you ever have youll be in good shape. I live pain all day every day, thats just life and its very frustrating. Best of luck to you.
  17. I see why you hate to sell the 57.Very good looking ride.
  18. i used to drive forklifts and gravel pit equipment and see the chiropractor on a regular basis. thank my lucky stars never had my back carved on. when i was doing my post cancer follow-ups at the hospital i ran into a former co-worker and bad backs came up this dude was usually doped up to be able to work(we were pulling veneer off the dryer at a plywood mill at the time) found a doctor that told him to lose 30#'s and he ended up losing 40+ and has never been better. any extra weight unbalances you and the drugs (pain killers) stop up your system causing discomfort.
  19. Abomb
    Joined: Oct 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,659


    First things first, get an MRI. You need to really know what is wrong. I went to a chiropractor first, it was all I could think to do, I wasn't working, couldn't even dress myself and could barely walk at all, and it never crossed my mind to go to a hospital, because there was no way to pay for it. The doctor said I could make payments, and he took an xray and flat out told me he could help, but it was the sort of injury that calls for surgery. I don't think chiropractors are quacks, but if your injury is bad enough, all they can do is manage and maintain the situation, they'll never reduce or repair permanent damage. I had my surgery when I was 25 years old, the surgeon told me that he expected to work on me again within 10 years. It's been 13 years next week, and I've gotten along pretty well, I've had my flareups, usually about once every year. I'm partially disabled (11&#37; in insurance terms), not supposed to ever lift more than 20 pounds, or even 10 pounds repetively. I get by pretty well. I don't follow those rules very closely, I have a 3 year old and a wife, a full time job which all combine to make the lifting rules a joke. I am usually very careful about what I do now, but it doen't stop me from doing what I want. See, we all tend to ramble on about these things. My main point is that you find out what's really wrong, get it fixed as much as possible, and go on with your life. You may have to change the way you do things, but you don't have to give up everything.......FIX YOUR BACK, ADJUST YOUR CAR AND KEEP ON LIVING.
  20. Rich Rogers
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 2,018

    Rich Rogers

    I drive tractor trailers for a living and also live with paiin every day. Chiropractor once a week to keep me going. Knowing how bouncy a tri5 seat is , I would ditch the seat and find later model buckets for maybe even a T-Bird seat that might work for you. You can also sell the front seat for a good buck. I wouldn't even consider putting the stock front seat back in my 55 just because of comfort and back issues
  21. MikeRose
    Joined: Oct 7, 2004
    Posts: 1,577

    from Yuma, AZ

    I've always had back pain. I have a some what mild case of scoliosis. About a year or 2 ago I woke up and realized I was numb in my lower body. I spent a month seeing a chiropractor who swore it was a pinched nerve and that he could fix it. Well, that didn't help at all.

    Eventually I saw my doctor who sent me for an MRI. I had a badly ruptured disc at L1 S2 (i think). I had that operated on and saw little if any improvement.

    I was having pain in my legs as well as back, numbness in my lower body still. It would seem to improve a little then get worse. I couldn't work on my cars anymore. If I was bent over adjusting or fixing something even for a few minutes, I'd be in pain for days. I sold my 22 T, 58 cadillac, and 68 daily driver chevelle. I bought a new silverado.

    Well... later my legs pretty much completely gave out on me one night. I could barely walk. They later admitted me and ran lots of tests. They now assume the disc was never the real problem and I had been living with that disc for a long time. I have something else wrong with my nervous system that they really cant pinpoint. Its not a virus or infection, and most of my test came back normal. They tell me its stress related but I dont really buy that.

    Anyways... I've been on some meds for nerve pain, as well as making sure my B and C vitamin levels are good. It's helped alot. I have almost NO back pain anymore and the numbness is alot better. Still not 100&#37; but a nice improvement.

    Now I can work on stuff again to a point. Thats why I bought the T from Alex. I regretted selling all of them and needed a project.
  22. LargeB
    Joined: Sep 22, 2007
    Posts: 38


    I've had a bad back for 20+ years. I've been seeing a chiropractor off and on for those 20+ years. When I go regularly, my back is good, I can work on my car (for shorter periods of time than I use to) and even golf once in a while. Some great suggestions offered up about your car so I won't repeat them but I will repeat what you said. Lose some weight and try doing some stomach crunches. Obviously start really slow but if you strengthen your gut muscles, your back muscles get stronger too. It's done wonders for me. Don't sell the car too quick, exhaust all other options first.
  23. talisman
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 404

    from Texas

    Geez, man, I'm a glass is half full kind of guy and really not trying to compare myself to anyone coming home wounded from a war. That's a little out of left field.
  24. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,114


    I didn't read everything so I'm not sure what everybody has said.

    Each back problem is different!!

    I've got a blown disc ...L3/4

    Funny thing is cushy seats like a couch do me no good. I actually pefer a stiff seat back. The ride doesn't matter as much as how the seat suports my back. Some of my rides have had metal backs with no cushion and have suported my back just fine on long trips...1,200 miles.

    You have to make the car work for you!
  25. Shit, that's fucked up. I tweaked my back pretty good a couple yrs ago too. But, my chopped/channeled 32 gives me reasonable discomfort after a longer drive. Not something as big and spacious as a 57 Chevy!
  26. jj mack
    Joined: Mar 22, 2007
    Posts: 735

    jj mack

    What do you drive normally?

    Do all cars hurt you back or just your? Try something simple first, get a back support or lumbar support, put it in the seat and try that before you sell it. If it works..upgrade the front seats.

    Ive got friends with bad backs that wear weight lifting belts when they ride their Harleys...try that.
  27. Gator
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,016


    Working as a firefighter I fell through a roof and broke L 3-4-5 vertabrae back in 2000. The Doctors misdiagnosed it for 2 years, now I have over a dozen titainium screws, rods, synthetic bone, and cages in my back, and a morphine pump in my belly due to permanent nerve damage and chronic pain. The only time it doesn't hurt is when I'm in the Hot Tub.

    I'm 43 and I'm suppossed to use a cane all the time. I argue nonstop with my wife that it hurts regardless, I may as well try and enjoy life. Not bitching, just the way it is. Others have it much much worse - I've come to terms with my deal.

    If there's any option other than surgery try it first. A GOOD physical therapist is your best bet. Feel free to PM me if my deal sounds like something you want to discuss.
  28. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,114


    What Gator said is wanted me to get operated on. I did not. When I came to terms with the operation I found the best doctor and was prepared to get the operation. Doctor told me he didn't want to operate on me. He said as long as I could deal with the pain...don't get the operation. I have good days and bad days...the good are starting to out number the bad.
  29. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    My GF is a message therepist and holistic health person. Some meds are good but mostly good for the drug companies. Go see a good therepist/kineseologist and get on a regime.
  30. roddinron
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,677


    That is pretty harsh man, are we all supposed to accept our problems and just get used to it because others have it worse? That's just nuts. When I broke my back in a quad accident, I laid on a hill unable to move my legs, I was never so scared in my life, then I tried to pull myself up the hill and my legs slid down and the pain hit me, and I curled up, then I realized I could move again, I was never so thankful in my life, even with the pain. To make matters worse, I was with my young son and he didn't know the area and was very flustered and didn't know the way out, so I had to get back on the quad with a broken back and ride out in excruciating pain. Now, I too live with pain all the time, but I'm thankful that I'm able to walk, should that be enough? Hell no, I want to do the things that made life fun again, not just exist. I think that's what we all want.
    As far as the guys coming back from Iraq, I am a Viet Nam era medic, I know what comes back from war, God bless everyone of them living and dead, but to bring that into this when all this guy wants is to drive his car again, is a little off the wall!

    willowbilly3 maybe you're right, maybe all I need is a good massage, please send picture of your girlfriend!!;)

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