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  1. #1
    Senior Member RockStar's Avatar
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    Question about Back and hammocks.

    My back hasn't been giving me much trouble. Overall I have a weak lower back. It takes some fine tuned exercises to get it going in a stronger direction and not much to put it out of wack again. Which leads to me throwing my hands up in frustration.

    My question is...if my back is just weak and my main problem hiking was losing sleep b/c of spasms...do you think sleeping in the hammock will help me get some sleep and reduce the spasms? And over time my back will strengthen?

    Most of the time once I got up and got going my back would warm up and be okay. A little tight on the uphill but, no spasms. After DAYS of losing sleep though, it begins to cause my shoulders to fatigue and so then my back AND shoulders start to tense up as I hike.

    Basically I am sick of lolli gagging and doing Mickey Mouse exercises. I want to tough it out. Its just "weak muscles". Not a pull or slipped disk or anything like that. I know of a lot of ppl that hike with WORSE health problems. Maybe I'm just being a woman!?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ShakeyLeggs's Avatar
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    On Tuesday night I was at the Ed Garvey shelter and the spring was .4 miles down a steep trail. On the way back up my lower back was spasming. I layed down in my hammock and after a few minutes all was right with the world and my back. i don't have a bad back but just laying in the hammock allowed my back to relax and feel better.
    A Bad Day On The Trail Is Better Than A Great Day At Work!!!


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  3. #3
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    Well as someone who has a bigger problem than you, I say that those minney mouse excerises are the best thing for you. I stretch 2 times a day. On the trail it even more important. I would keep doing all of those and more if you can.

    I think sleeping in a hammock will help. You go from only a couple pressure points to your whole body. I feel a lot better in a hammock than on the ground.

    Also make sure your pack is light and loaded evenly. It is important too to have it adjusted correctly. I have shoulder pain when it is not sitting right on my shoulders. This is usually done with the load lifting and loosening the shoulder straps.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  4. #4
    Senior Member RockStar's Avatar
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    When I tried to Flip FLop b/c of my back...I ended up at that shelter. I made it to the water, which seemed to be located in trail purgatory, without spasms. I had muscle relaxers from my Doctor...woke up int he wee hrs to spasms...took 1. WOke up half hr or so later still spasming...took another...woke up not much longer than the first time to the same thing...took another...never did get to sleep and the spasms never stopped. I tried to hike out and made it to Gathland St. park in 4 hrs. My back AND shoulder were killing me. So i came home to Alabamy with my pride in my back pocket.

    I know I feel a relif laying in the hammock but, wondered if it was mostly mental. I slept on the ground in a tent on an overnight camping trip over a week ago- my back was in hell and my HIP is still hurting when I stand on it straight on without letting it warm up.

    So thank you for confirming what I suspected.

    The stretches are fine and do help. However the "strengthening" exercises are lame. I would rather suffer through the pain of using weight training by doing stretches before and after than to do their stupid "strength training". They are getting paid to lolli gag.
    Last edited by RockStar; 05-10-2007 at 22:02.

  5. #5
    Jazilla's Avatar
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    Rockstar do you do to a gym. There are a some good exercises you can do to strengthen those muscles in your lower back and shoulders area. I mix weights and cardio and although I still have a spare tire I can't get rid of, I feel great.
    Yosemite Sam: Are you trying to make me look a fool?
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  6. #6
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    I herniated a disc in my back several years ago. along with back spams I couldn't walk straight for nearly a year.

    In fact I had given up on hiking and was going to take up bicycle touring on recumbent bikes. But since I've got a good hammock sleep system, and starting to use ultralight techniques and trekking poles, I think I can get back on the trail without worrying about my back.

    I can say, that hammock truly help you relax. But sure to get the right size. Too small a hammock is about as bad as the ground.
    Last edited by funbun; 05-11-2007 at 12:19.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    RockStar, I'm surprised. You're the one that got me thinking about hammocks over on WB.

    I too have a lower back problem. After chatting with you about it I went to talk to my Chiropractor and asked him about it. He actually laughed at me and said he couldn't believe he didn't think about it sooner. He is a major outdoors guy and said that the hammock is MUCH better for back problems than the ground. His only problem is he's worried if too many people find out, his wife might make him get a 2nd job! I ordered my "test" hammock that night.

  8. #8
    Senior Member blackie's Avatar
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    hammocks seem to help many people with lower back pain...have yo uthough of exercising in water..i know th college in enterprise has offered it in the past..great for toughing up weak muscles ..with out the danger of falling..hope you get better i am looking forward to reading your journals of the at...safe journey..

  9. #9
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    Im use to waking up from tent camping with a temporary stiff back ( i expect something after turning 40 ). Since i started using a hammock and now a Hennessy I havn't experienced any problems what so ever. The nice thing about the asym hammocks is you can lay slightly arched at the center line, or lay fairly flat laying slightly angled in the hammock.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RockStar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazilla View Post
    Rockstar do you do to a gym. There are a some good exercises you can do to strengthen those muscles in your lower back and shoulders area. I mix weights and cardio and although I still have a spare tire I can't get rid of, I feel great.
    I don't go to the gym right now b/c I was hoping to get soem hiking and camping in during the summer. I prefer going to the gym in colder months.

    Quote Originally Posted by funbun View Post
    I herniated a disc in my back several years ago. along with back spams I couldn't walk straight for nearly a year.

    In fact I had given up on hiking and was going to take up bicycle touring on recumbent bikes. But since I've got a good hammock sleep system, and starting to use ultralight techniques and trekking poles, I think I can get back on the trail without worrying about my back.

    I can say, that hammock truly help you relax. But sure to get the right size. Too small a hammock is about as bad as the ground.
    Good info, THANKS!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    RockStar, I'm surprised. You're the one that got me thinking about hammocks over on WB.

    I too have a lower back problem. After chatting with you about it I went to talk to my Chiropractor and asked him about it. He actually laughed at me and said he couldn't believe he didn't think about it sooner. He is a major outdoors guy and said that the hammock is MUCH better for back problems than the ground. His only problem is he's worried if too many people find out, his wife might make him get a 2nd job! I ordered my "test" hammock that night.
    Don't be surprised. Mainly I wanted to know what kind of back problems others experienced and the degree to which the hammock helps. Any help was worth the switch in my book! I am excited you ordered your test hammock!

    Quote Originally Posted by blackie View Post
    hammocks seem to help many people with lower back pain...have yo uthough of exercising in water..i know th college in enterprise has offered it in the past..great for toughing up weak muscles ..with out the danger of falling..hope you get better i am looking forward to reading your journals of the at...safe journey..
    I would love to do water exercises! Maybe when we go out to L&L the fishing will strengthen my back! I am excited about my next attempt as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by jpringlemn View Post
    Im use to waking up from tent camping with a temporary stiff back ( i expect something after turning 40 ). Since i started using a hammock and now a Hennessy I havn't experienced any problems what so ever. The nice thing about the asym hammocks is you can lay slightly arched at the center line, or lay fairly flat laying slightly angled in the hammock.
    I like that I can lay flat or angled mostly b/c I love OPTIONS! Hammocks just have so many more options than tents!

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