Back Pain Prevention – Stretching and Strength
Back pain is the second most common reason for adults to visit their primary care physician. This is why back surgery is so common across the country. Conditions like Spinal Stenosis wreak havoc on the wellbeing of so many adults. Over 31 million Americans experience back pain, and 50% of all working Americans will have symptoms of back pain at least once every year. Back problems are the single, greatest reason for adults to call in sick to work, give up hours and money on their paycheck, and ultimately spend more at the physician.
While back pain can significantly affect your life, the key to limiting the effects of it is to prevent back pain from ever occurring. As the patient of a concierge physician, things that might trigger back pain such as stress, overuse, weakness in certain muscles, and flexibility will be covered in yearly executive physicals and managed.
Back problems can have such an effect on your everyday, from career to play, because of how complicated the factions of the back are. The spine consists of so many integral parts, some fragile, some flexible, others strong and sturdy, all with the purpose of keeping your body in motion. The spine is responsible for so much movement within that body that if one thing goes wrong, it affects absolutely everything.
Understanding back pain involves understanding the anatomy of the spine. There are for major regions of your back; the cervical spine, the thoracic spine, the lumbar spine, and the sacral region of the spine. Basically, that’s top of the neck to the back part of the pelvis.
The cervical spine supports the weight of the head and protects the nerves that connect the brain to the rest of the body through the spinal column. This area of the spine can be affect by injury, car accidents that cause whiplash, or a straining of the neck. Prevention of injury in this area can mean strengthening of the neck, upper back and shoulder muscles to provide extra support.
The thoracic spine is connected to the rib cage, and provides stability and structural support to the upper back. Its motion is limited as its ultimate purpose is to protect the vital organs of the heart and lungs. Since it’s not designed for much motion, the thoracic spine is not often a site of many strains or injuries. However, according to Spine-Health, irritation of the large back and shoulder muscles or joint dysfunction in the upper back can produce very noticeable back pain.
The lumbar spine is the lower portion of the back, and the portion that consists of the most motion and thus the most injuries. It carries the weight of the torso, and thus many lifting injuries occur in this area. The lumbar spine is also the most common area to break down from years of wear and tear from heavy lifting or improper use of back muscles.
The best way to prevent injury of the lumbar spine is to learn proper lifting techniques and strengthening the muscles of the lower back, legs, and even stomach. Proper lifting technique to avoid lower back injury includes bending your knees and keeping your back straight as you pick the object up, then tightening your stomach muscles and lifting the objects with your legs. If you have to bend your back to lift the object, it might be to heavy or awkward and to prevent injury your best option is to seek some help. Doing a quick search into something as simple as lower back pain chiropractor should hopefully get you on the right track when it comes to getting the help you need. It’s best that you don’t brush off this pain, as it can get worse and that’s not what you want, especially as your health should be your top priority.
If your career involves repetitive lifting, any concierge physician will tell you to wear a belt for back support.
Lastly, the sacral region of the back is the very bottom of the spine; the back part of the pelvis. This area of the back is subjected to a large amount of stress for the same reasons as the lumbar spine. Twisting during certain activities and heavy lifting can create problems over time. Much like the lumbar region, to prevent back injury in this area of the spine stretching and muscle strengthening is suggested.
Every region of the back is subject to injury. Prevention is the best option to avoiding pain, missed work and increased medical expenses. All regions of the back depend on each other, so daily stretches to increase flexibility as well as strength training to provide support will help to prevent back problems.