PRLog (Press Release) – Jul 02, 2010 – While 80% of the population will suffer a severe back pain episode at some point in our lives, most of us at any given time should be more concerned about preventing or aggravating back pain, rather than resolving a set-back. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are three important aspects to the prevention of back pain: keeping strong and flexible, avoiding mistakes during movements, and getting spinal evaluations regularly from your chiropractic physician.
Believe it or not, nothing is more beneficial to the spine than walking. Remember that your spine is your “core,” and the core is activated with fast-paced walking. Most of us don’t think of how the spine is affected with walking, instead focusing on the legs. Make walking part of your daily routine. Walk a few blocks or across town to run an errand, rather than getting into a car for these short trips. Park a few blocks away when you have to use the car, so that you can get in a few minutes of walking. Some of us spend five minutes circling in a parking lot just to get a space close to the front door or we get frustrated when we can’t find a space close to the gym! In contrast to sitting, which increases pressure on our discs, walking strengthens muscles and dissipates the pressure on our lower discs.
Keep the back flexible through slow stretching in all of the different ranges of motion. Tight muscles at the back of the thighs which are your hamstrings are often a neglected area that affects the lower spine tremendously. To stretch these muscles, stand upright and put one foot on the back of a chair or sofa. Slowly bend forward and hold this position for 30-40 seconds. It should cause a tight mild burning pain at the back of the leg. It should not cause a shooting pain down your leg, or increase pain in the lower spine. If it does, then see your chiropractor immediately. When the hamstrings are flexible, this allows the pelvis to rotate forward when you bend over. If the hamstrings are not flexible, then the lower spine will bend too much to accomplish any lifting task. This puts tremendous force through the lower back region putting you at severe risk for injury.
The second aspect to preventing back pain is avoiding mistakes, such as lifting with your back, instead of your legs. This is especially true if an object is very heavy. Sometimes the object is light, but we lift in an awkward position, standing with most of our weight on one leg, then bending and twisting, such as getting grocery bags from a back seat, or moving and positioning a child safety seat. Especially avoid twisting motions of the lower spine while bending over. Also, use one of your hands to help brace your spine, which will decrease the pressure on your discs.
Lastly, I cannot emphasize how important it is to see your chiropractor regularly for spinal “check-ups” or evaluations even when you are not injured. Your spinal column houses the most important system in your body – the nervous system. The nervous system controls and coordinates every cell, organ, and tissue in the body. It is the “electrical wiring” that conveys nerve impulses or messages throughout your entire body. Without routine spinal evaluations it is likely that degenerative arthritic changes will occur prematurely. We now know that lack of proper joint motion leads to accelerated degenerative changes in joint articulations. Improper joint motion leads to abnormal or faulty movement patterns that lead to injury. If muscles and joints are not working synergistically to perform active movements than abnormal stressors are directed through joints causing pain, discomfort, and eventually the proverbial “straw that breaks the camel’s back”. Getting regular spinal check-ups is analogous to going to your dentist every six months for routine oral exams and cleanings to prevent gum disease, cavities, and plaque build-up. These are preventive measures that should not be overlooked if you truly want to avoid back pain and live a remarkably health life. Contact your Back Pain Specialist, Dr. Anthony Rivano located in Florham Park, NJ at (973) 845-6282 or visit his website for new patient specials at http://www.ChiropractorFlorhamPark.Com. He’s Morris Counties Premier Chiropractic Sports Physician.