Posts Tagged ‘Lower Back Pain’

Lower Back Pain Relief Tips While Sitting

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Sitting is an essential daily function that plays a major role in back pain relief.  For most people, their sitting position as, it relates to the lower back pain never crosses their mind.  It is essential that you gain a better understanding how your habitual sitting positions are can contribute to lower back pain relief.           

Sitting in the wrong type of position, wrong type of surface or for too long may be the reason why you are experiencing lower back pain.  Sitting with your feet dangling, back reclined too far, too much lumbar support, not enough lumbar support, chair too low are many reasons why people have lower back pain.  If your job requires you to sit for many hours, choosing the right chair and position you will be in is vital to your lower back health.

Choosing the type of surface you are going to sit on is important.  If you are going to sit for hours watching a movie, paying bills or even reading a book, sitting on a low couch with little support is disaster waiting to happen.  If you are going to be sitting somewhere for hours at a time, make sure you have adequate support for your lower back and legs.

The amount of time you spend sitting each day may be the main reason why you experience or continue to experience lower back pain.  Every 60-90 minutes, you should be getting up from your chair, moving around and stretching to ensure that your leg muscles are not shortening and creating undue stress on the lower back.  Simple 40 second stretches for the lower legs and getting up every 60 minutes will help to reduce and possible eliminate all of your lower back symptoms.

Strengthening Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

I get asked all the time how exercises improve lower back pain. When the correct exercises are chosen for the given lower back problem, those muscles that are exercised can create and enhance stability to the spine. The correct exercises can strengthen the muscles that surround the spine. Muscles need strength, endurance and flexibility.
Lower back pain can come from weakness of muscles, lack of endurance of a muscle or because a muscle group is too tight. When those muscles that support the spine are weak, like the glut medius, they begin to pull on the back and pelvis area initiating lower back pain. Another example would be if the abdominals does not provide sufficient support and endurance for the spine, lower back pain usually occurs.

The spine is like a pulley system. When there is not a balance between the muscles on either side of the spine, pain and weakness occurs. That is why it is essential to know what muscle groups you are strengthening.

Caution should be used while performing strengthening exercises.  If you fail to perform the correct strengthening exercises to relieve your lower back pain, is possible you may be making your situation worse.

My Back Pain Incident Confessions of a Physical Therapist

Friday, May 21st, 2010

It happened to me. As a physical therapist I treat people daily for their aches and pains. Many of my patients think that we as PT’s never get hurt. That is the farthest thing from the truth.

About 3 months ago upon returning from a 5 hour car ride, I was unloading the baby gifts from our baby shower. Just as I brought in the last box of Pampers, I went to bend down and place the box on the side of the crib. What I could not see was a deflated balloon lying on the ground next to the crib. As I bend down my right foot slipped on the balloon sending my right foot into a “splits” position. Immediately I felt a sharp lower back pain that kept me hunched over for 10 minutes. All of the sudden I had to think of the advice I would give a patient of mine.
I asked my wife to get me an ice pack and I layed face down with the ice pack on my lower back for ten minutes. I followed that with some over the counter pain medication. I started icing my back 10 minutes every hour. I had to completely limit all activities.

The next day I took a warm shower and started stretching my gluts, quads and hamstrings. I would then follow that with ice for 10 minutes. I repeated this procedure for the next day and a half. By the 3rd day after the incident I was back at work at 70%. Even at work I continued to stretch and ice. At the end of the 5th day I had not pain and all of the tightness was gone. What could have set me out of work for more than a week, I was able to practice what I preached and returned to work on three days. That was a really great learning lesson.

Importance of Stretching

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Many people wonder why stretching is so important. Stretching helps muscles return to their neutral state rather than allowing the muscle to stay in a contracted or shortened state. With that being said, stretching should be a major part of everyone’s exercise routine. By incorporating a daily stretching routine, exercising could be made easier to tolerate and relieve pain that people experience for up to 3 days after exercising. Look at stretching as a reward for the hard work that muscles do everyday and with our exercise routines.

Stretching should be performed at a light to medium intensity setting. If you push your stretching routine to a strong stretch, most of the time muscles respond poorly and tighten right back up. Lighter more controlled stretches tend to yield better results. Duration is another key entity in stretching. You should hold your stretches for 40-50 seconds at a time. If you only hold for 5-10 seconds, you will not give the muscle groups sufficient time to elongate.

If you are taught correctly, stretching can be done anywhere, anytime without any special piece of equipment. As long as you perform the stretch in the right position and with the correct intensity, stretching should be the easiest thing you do.