Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    What Triggers Your Pain?
    Chris_WebMD_Staff posted:
    Is your back pain more prominent when you sit, stand, or walk? What is the worst trigger for you? What can you do to avoid that trigger?
    Chrissy~ WebMD Staff

    Confucius Say;
    Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

    bj1208 responded:
    Hi Chrissy -

    Well, for me, standing/walking/sitting/bending/lifting/grocery shopping/riding/driving long distances or even laying down(in wrong positions) will trigger back pains. The worst thing I can do is house work (laundry, vacuuming, dusting etc.) doing this causes lots of low back pains and I will be in bed for the next couple of days recovering from this. Using a heat pad or ice packs will help a little - even my pain meds will not help - so I try to avoid doing this so my daughter will tale over - and this is hard for her as she works nites as a waitress - and I just recently hired a gal to come clean the house -

    I am so happy to have hired someone especially since my father-n-law's area (downstairs family room converted into his own living area) needs to be cleaned too as he has shoulder and leg problems so he has not been able to clean.

    This is a big step for me not having to worry about the house cleaning.

    just about anything can trigger my pains so if I know I will be doing/going somewhere where my pains will be worse then I try to be prepared making sure I can take an extra pain med and/or muscle relaxer (not going over the daily max allowed), taking breaks/resting so I won't be worn out.

    We have a swimming pool and hot tub - I love the summer time as I can get in the pool and lean over my air raft and let my legs dangle in the water - takes the weight off and most times I will do scissor exercises with my legs doing this very slow - if I go too fast then I cannot get out of the pool. Our hot tub is not enclosed yet, so if it is cold outside I have a hard time getting in as the slightest cold goes straight to my plate area causing bad pains. But the hot tub does feel good and I can direct the jets to hit the areas I need.

    Well, it sounds bad but really I try not to dwell on it and I use mind over matter and think of our wonderful grandkids (between hubby and I we have 6!!!) and that makes all the difference in helping me to keep a good attitude and not being depressed as I strongly believe this does help keep me in good spirits!

    Didn't mean to write a book! LOL but there are lots of things that can trigger pains and it's all in how you deal with it -

    take care - Joy
    davedsel57 responded:
    As I posted in the Pain Management Community:

    The first answer that popped into my head was "BREATHING"!

    My chronic pain is pretty constant. It is reduced somewhat by sitting in my recliner or sleeping in our sleep number bed. I do find that sometime moderate activity can reduce my pain levels a bit, such as a short walk in the neighborhood or activity in a pool.

    Joy, my wife and I are about ready to start looking to hire someone to help us keep our house clean. It's just too much for us right now. Hard to get to this point and admit we can't do it, but we can't keep living in the dust. lol.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


    dianer01 replied to davedsel57's response:
    For me, my pain is pretty much triggered by doing the same thing for too long. I do not sit for long periods well, nor do I stand in one place well. That said, my pain is pretty moderate compared to what I have had in the past.

    Activity is the best thing for me and I had a housekeeper when I started having problems with my back and about 6 months after my fusion, I got rid of her. For me, this was one of the best things I did. The first few months it took forever to clean the house and I was exhausted but in the long run, I believe I am stronger and more flexible because of it.

    I am over 6' tall and have adapted things in my life to meet my needs which helps tremendously. We have put long handles on some gardening equipment, found the legs of my walker fit perfectly on the ironing board and when we remodeled the kitchen raised the counter tops by 3". My grabber is my best friend in the laundry room. Some of these adaptations have helped me live my life with less pain.

    I will try anything but do not be surprised if you see me pacing in the back of the room.
    TRS1960_1 responded:
    Oer your signature.
    Walt Disney also said, "life is not about what you do when you get knocked down, it's about what you do when you get back up."
    TRS1960_1 replied to TRS1960_1's response:
    I've been thinking about this question for days and there's the obvious abuse like picking up heavy objects any sort of impact or shock to the body and spine.

    The more subtle pain triggers for me are stress, weather, cold (and I'm always cold). Something as simple as holding a coffee cup. The asymetrical load on my upper body will start to cause pain in my lef trapezius area. Could be referenced pain from the spine, could be deeper from the broken spinus process at T6-9 and associated muscles attachments to them?

    In the book (I know I sound like a broken record) The Art of Healing Back Pain Naturally, Dr. Brownstein describes how he uses such pain triggers to make life decisions. He describes how many of these pains start in the brain and trigger the injury as a result.

    My lower back (L4/5) hurt when I wake up and bending or lifting make that pain worse.

    Trying to figure out what causes pain is truly the $64k question for the ability to explain is to understand and communicate to your doctor. I once went to a pain specialist with detailed pictures of all of the back muscles. My X-rays and I had my friend use a sharpie to circle the hot spots of pain on my actual back. He scoffed at all of my data as if I was trying to be his peer! I told him I'm only trying to learn so I can tell you what hurts. That was the last time I saw that doctor.
    slg4159 responded:
    Mine is sleeping all night & trying to get up in the morning. The only thing that helps is to take a pain pill & sit on a heating pad.
    VFunk01 responded:
    My pain is triggered by enduring any one position for too long. If i sit for a period of time, I will get extremely uncomfortable and will switch to standing. After I stand for a while, I can neither sit nor stand, so I move on to the recliner, and repeat the cycle. I generally feel like tearing my skin off it becomes so nerve wracking. I'm still recovering from an l5-s1 fusion - almost two years out. I feel like I will spend the rest of my life recovering. All I dream about is a perceived normal life where I don't take 12 pills at bedtime and suffer from a drug hang over everyday. The hardest thing to do is maintain a positive attitude when all you can remember is one bad day after another.

    Pain is triggered by weather changes, heavy work, too much exercise, not enough exercise, prolonged time periods sitting,standing, laying down, driving. Weather is a severe trigger for me, living in Maryland doesn't help at all.
    zansue916 responded:
    The very worst thing for me is attempting to stand still - as in a line in a store, waiting on an elevator, etc. I suffer a great deal in the morning as well. If I get up and eat a bite, take some meds and use a heating pad, I can generally get the pain calmed down enough to function somewhat on most days. This being said, I long ago had to limit what housework I can do. I haven't ran the vacuum cleaner in years. My husband is great about knowing I just cannot do it. It hurts, but I am usually able to wash the few dishes that aren't able to go in the dishwasher - however, there is a lot of dancing involved in this activity and I am near tears at the end.
    rriverajr responded:
    When it started first, at my feet it felt like walking on a ball. Than it turn into great pain in toes ( small toes felt like they were about to blow up in pain!!!) and moved up to the arch of the foot = pain as a spike being driven in my foot. It just kept going up my body to fingers, hands, wrist, elbow and all the way into my head (lower right back area to the top. And if I make a quike movement more pain. I can't sit or stand for long, Yea when the accient first happen durning week my lower back around L5 -4 got very hot. Even with the meds that wear off durning my sleep hti me great pain in the morning, I would love to find something that hold back the pain for more than 4-6 hours. there is more
    lngstandingpain responded:
    Hi Chris,

    Housework and doing the laundry are what give me back pain the most. I am seriously thinking of hiring someone to do housework . I figured out if I split the task of doing the laundry in two days (with one day's rest in-between) the back pain is bearable and I do not end up with a fibro flare-up. I used to do it all in one day then spent the next day unable to move from my recliner (bad flare-up). I cannot stand for more than a few minutes without starting to feel extreme pain in my right hip. I have to sit down. It is very difficult to be sociable; when I go shopping and someone stops me to chat I have to cut it short.

    Walking seems to help but extreme fatigue is one of my main problem with fibro. I am supposed to exercise but it is very difficult in my situation. I have good days and bad days. On the good days I go shopping for an hour then come home and fall asleep for two-three hours. I had to retire 6 months ago because the pain was starting to be too much. Best decision I ever made!
    bj1208 responded:
    Hi Chrissy -

    I happened to think of another thing that really triggers my pains - and I think everyone can agree with this.

    Weather - I always will complain to my PA that I don't know if I hate winters or summers the worst. Reason - living anywhere where there is humidity, dew points and watching the barometric pressure too - these all have factors in chronic pains. My PA started asking this question to other patients and she realized what I was saying was true.

    when it rains, humidity etc will be on the rise and the cold dampness goes right to my hardware and just sets off the pains.

    Winter or Summer times living in the Mid-West doesn't help - when it's real cold our humidity is still pretty high and even in the summer it's worse. At least in the winter time I can put one of my heat patches on my back and that will help - but really can't wear them in the summer (wear a spaghetti strap shirt, back brace and another spaghetti strap shirt) so that heats me up too much.

    Just thought I'd add another trigger problem - take care - Joy
    muzzymu responded:
    Just standing for a minute is agony. Walking no better,
    sitting for 3 minutes, I start aching. Can only lay on my
    air mattress, on my left side in comfort. Sleeping is getting
    difficult, waking to pain at all hours.
    erlandsen responded:
    Standing and walking but also using my arms and hands to do kitchen like cutting up vegetables, slicing bread.

    Helpful Tips

    Ice works wonders More
    Was this Helpful?
    1 of 4 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center