Lower back pain can be caused by many reasons from muscle strain to emotional trauma. I get feedback from one patient who told me she experience just bearable pain, my lower back is feeling sore & “warm”. This is a form of inflammation that contributes to the pain. The most effective prevention is to take care as to how you lift heavy objects. Do not try to lift any significant weight by bending over the object without keeping your back straight.
You should bend your knees and then lift with your legs. Avoid twisting your body while lifting. When moving heavy objects, pushing is less stressful than pulling. Routine activities, such as housework or gardening, can cause back pain. Avoid standing flat-footed while bent over.
Regular exercise will improve the flexibility and strength of the muscles which support your lower back. On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle will contribute to back problems. These include the abdominal muscles, as well as those in the legs and back. A simple exercise routine can help prevent back pain throughout your life. Obesity is a common cause of back pain. Aerobic exercise can help manage weight concerns. Swimming, jogging or even walking are all activities that will help you lose weight and feel better.
In addition to exercise, a proper diet is essential in managing your weight. However, there are also two nutrients, calcium and vitamin D, that help build healthy and strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, which can cause bone fractures that lead to back pain. I believe today people take too much calcium due to what they hear in the media and forget other bone balancing nutrient such as magnesium and boron.
Many people whose jobs involve sitting for long periods of time experience back pain. It is important to get up and move around regularly. If driving for long periods of time, take the time to stop and get out of your vehicle. Stretching your muscles and improving blood flow to your lower body will help prevent back pain, as well as help keep you alert for the rest of your trip.
Changing the position in which you sleep can also help prevent back pain. The best positions are either to sleep lying on your side with your legs bent, or lying on your back with a pillow under your knees. A firm mattress is usually the best bet. A sheet of plywood can be placed between the box spring and the mattress in order to increase the firmness of your bed. This solution is great if you don’t plan to upgrade to a firmer bed. We recommend latex first, followed by spring beds and lastly foam beds for various reasons. Unless you are allergic to latex, latex beds are naturally made of rubber without emitting any chemical such as foam type beds.
Is there a way to stop the nagging back pain through exercise. Now you may wonder whether there are any exercise regimes for an aching back? Some feel that a good bed rest may solve the problem, but if you have a weaken or imbalance muscle too much lying down or rest actually aggravate the situation badly. I call this the deconditioning syndrome or “back pain vicious cycle”.
What is a Decondition Syndrome or back pain vicious cycle? When you experience back or neck which do you do? More rest or more exercise? Many have asked this question. Most people when they experience an episode of pain will adopt a protective posture to either rest or not move the are of pain for fear of aggravating the pain condition. But what happens to muscle that stops working over time? Yes, muscle not in use begin to atrophy. Atrophy means you get weaker and the muscle that is suppose to stabilize the bones they are attached to are now even more imbalanced! Now you not only have weak muscles but also structural (skeletal) instability. Structural instability of your spine means you cannot hold good posture when you sit or walk which leads to more imbalance of the musculature leading to more pain in the back or neck. This pain may not go away last for weeks to months leading to chronic back or neck pain. If you further let this go and continue not to mobilize your body, your condition may keep getting worse. Hence, I call this the “back pain vicious cycle.”
So how do we break out of this deconditioning vicious cycle? Dr Timothy Lim will do a postural analysis recommend specific exercises you can do to eliminate pain. Strengthening weaker muslces helps with the muscles imbalancing leading to better posture. Better structural balance leads to a more pain free back.
So when can you rest your back or neck to increase recovery rate? Rest one to three days following physical activities and workouts. Resting after a good back pain workout program may help the nutrients of the body to circulate better to all parts simultaneously such as spinal cord, muscular parts,ligaments, and other joints of the body. If you have back pain, and want an exercise regiem, we recommend you come for a consult before you start a proper exercise course. Our doctor of Chiropractic will design a custom back or neck pain exercise for your condition.
Desk bound jobs are increasing and so are the back pain cases. According to the research done, it has been visualized that around 80% of of the population will suffer some form of back pain. If you have back pain, then doing light exercises can help to stabilize your spine.
Do exercises that correct muscle imbalance and leads to strengthening of weak muscles. The imbalances caused by these muscles causes back pain. Pain occurs due to following reasons:
1. Sitting or Standing for long time
2. Running for long distance
3. Vertebral Column sways back
4. Improper exercise of strength training While doing any exercise related to strength training, deep breathing proves to be very effective. While pressing the leg toe,inhale deeply during bending and exhale during pressing. This proves to be very much helpful to increase length of spine and effectively utilizing the diaphragm muscles for supporting the spine.
The following Exercises may be practiced to reduce back pain. Please consult your chiropractor to prescribe the correct exercise for your particular condition.
1) The Tummy Tuck It is a simple pelvic move that brings the abdominal muscles up and away from floor. Relax for some time by keeping the face down on the floor and squeeze your buttocks to strengthen your spine. Reach your tail bone down towards the heels. Perform alternately for two sets each with twelve counts.
2) The Bridge Lift This exercise is done by placing your feet on floor or a bench and scooping your pelvis in an upward motion. Your ribs should remain in a lower position to reduce pull on your spinal muscles. Focus completely on muscle contraction.
3) The Lumbar Side Stretch This is done in standing and sitting position. While bending your knees, widen up your legs as much as possible. Now, put your one hand behind your head and bring the other hand down towards your feet on the inner side of thighs.
4) The Hip Flexor Stretch This is performed by bringing one foot ahead in an angle of 90 degree. The other leg is behind on floor with your foot pointed upwards. This exercise helps to stretch muscles of the psoas on the opposide side. You can squeeze your buttocks to feel stretch more. Stretching sensation must be experienced in back leg, front thigh and hamstrings of front leg.
5) The Calf Stretch This is intended to help strengthen the Achilles tendon. Put anobject below your feet and lean whole weight of your body in aforward direction. Hold these stretches for 30 seconds and release.You will begin to feel a stretch on the back on the knee and shin area.
Exercising is of great benefit both to someone suffering from back pain and for anyone hoping to avoid it in the future. If you are suffering from acute back pain, exercising may not be possible or even a good idea. However, for chronic back pain, a regular exercise program will probably be recommended by your doctor.
Either your physician or a therapist can help you in developing an exercise plan that is suitable for you and your condition. You will want to include the following types of exercises. Stretching exercises are designed to improve the extension of the muscles and soft tissues. This can reduce stiffness and increase range of motion.
Typical stretching exercises for the back include lying on your back and raising each leg to your chest, as well as bridges and hamstring stretches. The purposes of flexion exercises, which are exercises in which you bend forward, are to widen the spaces between the vertebrae. This relieves pressure on the nerves, and stretches the muscles of the back and hips. They will also strengthen the muscles that support the spine, those of the back, abdomen and legs.
With extension exercises, you bend backward. They open up the spinal canal in places and develop muscles that support the spine. Extension exercises may minimize radicular pain, which is pain that radiates to other parts of the body besides the back, especially the legs and lower extremities. Extension exercises include leg lifts and trunk raises.
Aerobic exercise is the type that gets your heart rate elevated fora period of time. It is also known as cardiovascular exercise. It is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. Aerobic exercises are good for working the large muscles of the back and core. For those with back problems,walking, jogging and swimming may be suitable aerobic activities.
For back problems, you should avoid exercise that requires twisting or vigorous bending, like aerobics and rowing, as well as contact sports like football or hockey, because these activities may cause more damage to your back. Especially avoid high-impact activities if you have any sort of disc disease. If your back pain or fitness level makes it impossible to exercise 30 minutes at a time, try three 10-minute sessions to start with and work up to your goal.
Obesity is another cause of back pain. The strain of carrying excess weight can contribute greatly to back pain. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help control obesity, and reduce the frequency of back pain episodes. Aerobic exercise can help manage weight concerns. Swimming, jogging or even walking are all activities that will help you lose weight and feel better.
If you suffer from back pain, it is important to make sure that you are doing the right exercises and that you are doing them properly. As chiropractors we can help you develop proper techniques so that you can derive the maximum benefit for your exercise and avoid injuring yourself further.