Browsing: Back Pain

The Physical Effects of Working at a Computer

Do you sit at a computer all day feeling the strain on your neck, back and shoulders? While it takes constant concentration and muscle strength, it is much better for your body to sit fully upright and erect. Your back should be straight, your shoulders should be roled out and level with each other and your neck should be straight from the crown of your head (the highest point), down your back. Keeping your spell straight can work wonders for those sore achy muscles. We have poor posture for a reason. It is just too demanding to hold our bodies up all day. It feels much better, at the time, to slouch. Regular exercise of your core muscles (the muscles surrounding and protecting your torso and neck) can help making sitting properly a whole lot less strenuous. Toning those muscles will give you the strength you need to sit in a proper position for your body and therefore eliminating your neck, back and shoulder pain.

Computer Work can be a Pain in the Neck

We all crane our necklaces somehow while working on the computer. We lean forward to read better, we lean back to read better, we look up or down depending upon where our screen is located. It really takes a toll on our neck muscles. We do not take the time needed to stretch properly during the day because of how busy we are. When your neck is stretched that way for a long period of time, your muscles accommodate the new position and begin to grow in places they do not need to grow. Then the places where those muscles used to be do not have the support they need.

Do you feel like you have a Monkey on your Back?

Almost nobody sets at a computer all day with good posture. Your body gets tired and you begin to slouch; even if you do not realize it. As with your neck pain, your back concentrates its muscle growth where the extra strength is needed to support your bad post. The point of the back muscles is to hold you upright and protect your spine from injury and the long term damaging effects of sitting incorrectly. When we are not sitting with good posture, our back muscles must compensate for the strain to other parts of our backs. This causes the unprotected parts of your spine to become sore.

Carrying the Weight of the World on Your Shoulder

The position we naturally want to bring our shoulders into is a slightly forward, tucked in position. This causes shoulder pain, neck pain, and back pain. We fold our shoulders in on ourselves and basically crumple up. Our bodies sitting hunched over like this causes long term damage to our muscles and skeleton. The pain we're in can be fixed by rolling our shoulders back and down. Do not lean forward to type, scoot your chair in instead.

Straining to See the Bright Side

Most people's eyes are bothering them by the end of the day if they work at a computer. It is strenuous to have to concentrate on a backlit screen for hours on end. Not only is the brightness of the screen affecting your eyes, but being too close or too far away will bother them too. They have to strain focus on the things you're reading and you're using them all day long. As with any other muscle, if you use it too long, it gets tired. Give your eyes a break once in awhile.

Common problems that coincide with working on a computer are neck aches, back problems, shoulder pain, and eye strain. Regular exercise of your core muscles can help a tremendous amount with all the pain. Add in a dose of resting your eyes multiple times per day and you're body will feel as good as new. Not everyone has a choice of whether they work on a computer or not, but they do not have the choice of whether or not they're in pain or discomfort while doing it.

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Chiropractors – Very Effective For Back Pain

According to Merriam-Webster, chiropractic is defined as, “a system of therapy which holds that disease results from a lack of normal nerve function and which employs manipulation and specific adjustment of body structures.” But what might sound complicated coming out of a dictionary, is a tried and true method, tested for centuries, that has been used to treat a variety of ailments. A brief history, according to the American Chiropractic Association or the ACA, chiropractics can be traced all the way back to ancient times. Manipulation of spinal to ease pain can be seen in writings dating all the way back to 2700 BC But the credit for modern American chiropractic can be given to Daniel David Palmer, who began the practice in 1895 in Davenport, Iowa. Since Mr. Palmer's time, doctors have been treating patients to alleviate symptoms like headaches, joint pain, and probably most popular the dreaded back pain. Research from the US National Library of Medicine states that back pain is one of the most common medical problems, in fact 8 out of 10 people will suffer from some sort of back pain. The frequency of back pain is probably the main reason why chiropractic has such a long history. But it has not been until recent times that the medical community has really given credit to how effective chiropractic is for treating back pain.

Many back pain sufferers are heading to the chiropractor instead of mainstream doctors for a variety of reasons. In a story done by Fox News, one of those reasons is to lessen the use of medication to treat pain. Chiropractors only use techniques of manipulation and adjustments. In addition, they focus on the body's self-healing proprieties to treatment pain; in turn no drugs are used. Traditionally, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle-relaxers, and narcotics have been prescribed to treat patients suffering from back pain. All of those drugs come with the risk of tolerance, which means increasing dosages after long periods of use and the risk of addiction. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 116 million people in the country are suffering from chronic pain, and of those people addiction rates to prescription drugs can be as high as 40%.

Another reason people are choosing the chiropractor treatment is that it is less invasive than surgery. Chiropractic is hands on, but there is no cutting of the body. When having surgery to treat back pain, one is risking major infection, scarring, blood loss, and even death. In addition, surgery does not give any guarantee to work; in some cases patients need multiple surgeries. Also, after surgery the pain may stay the same or worsen. At the most, a patient who uses chiropractic may experience muscle soreness comparable to the soreness felt after exercise. One major reason people are flocking to chiropractors is because it is cost effective. Currently, Americans are spending at least $ 50 billion dollars a year on back pain treatments. In one study done by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee over a two year period, when looking at the care of a patient given by a licensed chiropractor versus a medical doctor the cost was 20% lower. Researchers estimated that this type of care would save about $ 2.3 million dollars annually.

Lastly, if statistics and facts do not convince you that chiropractic is an effective means for back pain take my own testimony. When I was 20 I was in a mild traumatic car accident where my modest 1988 Honda Accord was T-boned. Although I did not sustain any life threatening injuries I did develop chronic lower back pain. For month I went around in pain. It even got so bad that my school and work were affected. Finally, after suffering through with only pain medication and my heating pad my father suggested I go to his chiropractor. At first I was skeptical and slightly afraid. All I could think about was that this doctor was going to popped one of my appendages out of place. At the end of my first appointment I was sore, but all body parts intact. To my surprise, after a few appointments I began to find some relief. I began this route of visiting my chiropractor twice a week for about 10 weeks. Although my car accident was years ago, I do still enjoy going to the chiropractor. Currently, I visit mine once a month. Chiropractic has progressed leaps and bonds over the century in the eyes of the medical community. Today about 20 million people are seeking out treatment for various pain ailments. By seeking help from a chiropractor one will receive quality care that is effective, less invasive, and fiscally responsible. As Hippocrates, the great Greek physician once declared, “Get knowledge of the spell, for this is the requisite for many diseases”.

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Cervical Disc Replacement – Risks and Benefits

Exactly what is a cervical disc replacement and what is it necessary? It is a device inserted between two cervical vertebrae to replace a surgically removed vertebral disc. What this basically means is that this disc will help to stabilize and maintain the motion of the neck after surgically removing a diseased disc in the neck. Disc replacement surgery is done to stop the symptoms of degenerative disc disease. Our discs wear out as a natural part of aging and from stress and strain on the neck. Occasionally, the disc collapses and implanting this device is a last resort option when non surgical treatments means have failed to improve the health of the patient. The benefit of the surgery is obviously to help treat the worn out part of a patient's aging neck. It is usually a strong metal structure, so eliminating most of the concern of whether or not the patient will require further replacements. The patient can recover quickly from the surgery and can be back to work within four to six week when following a strict recovery protocol. However, I believe that there are way too many risks and potential complications associated with this surgery.

When you stop and think about it for a moment, some things can go wrong with any implant. In the case of the disc replacement, sometimes the spine fuses itself, a process called spontaneous ankylosis. Loss of neck motion is the main side effect of this problem. Some patients are left with pain, numbness, and weakness. In addition, normal wear and tear over a prolonged period of time can cause debris to come off of the implant. The body may react to these tiny particles and cause pain, implant loosing, and implant failure. In rare cases, the artificial disc replacement can dislocate altogether and more complications will arise. Most surgical procedures require that some type of anesthesia be done before surgery. A very small number of patients have problems with anesthesia, however to avoid falling into that small percentage, consult your doctor. Thrombophlebitis is a fancy scientific term for blood clots, and they usually usually occur on the pelvis, hip or knee. When left untreated, they are life threatening. Infection following spine surgery is also rare but can be a very serious complication. Some infections may show up early and uninvited! Deep infections that spread into the bones and soft tissues of the spinal are much harder to deal with and may require additional surgery. Cervical disc replacement surgery also carries the risks associated with injuring the blood vessels that travel near the front of the spine. Boy, these risks are piling up mighty fast.

Could you imagine if the surgeon makes a mistake? Injury can occur from bumping or cutting the nerve tissue with a surgical instrument, from swapping around the nerve, or from the formation of scar tissue. Any of these will result in muscle weakness and a loss of sensation to the areas provided by the nerve. After doing some research, I believe that the potential for the voice box to be injured scares me the most. When doing this neck surgery, surgeons prefer to go through the left side of the neck, and coincidentally that's the closest path to the voice box. If the nerve gets injured in any way, shape or form, you can guarantee that you will have some hoarseness, voice fatigue, or difficulty making high tones. I love to talk; I could not imagine having that taken away from me “accidentally”. While rare, spinal surgery can result in stroke, heart attack, spinal cord or spinal nerve injury, pneumonia, or possibly death. I do not like the sound of any of those possibilities! These are the more dangerous complications one can deal with after the surgery if performed. After realizing how dangerous this surgery can be, I definitely will be taking better care of myself and my health to prevent this from happening to me. If this surgery can be avoided altogether, I'd rather take that route instead of the latter.

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Vitamins and Minerals That Can Reduce Lower Back Pain

Millions of Americans work at occupations that put them at risk for lower back pain. If your job involves being detained for extended periods of time, a heavy lifting, or several hours of driving every day, you should do all that you can to prevent pain in your lower back. Aside from proper exercise and diet, there are a few vitamins and minerals that can help you fend off that dreaded bad back:

Vitamin C , or ascorbic acid, is crucial for a strong immune system to fend off infection, and also helps the body better absorb calcium, a mineral that is essential for good bone health. Vitamin C is a major player in the body's repair process, which involves “maintenance” repair of tissues from daily wear and tear, as well as more major damage such as wounds, fractures and burns.

Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption, and the body can not repair bones without vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can result in softer bones, that can contribute to inflammation of the muscles in the lower back.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that combats free radicals, toxins that are released from infected tissue such as an aching lower back. Proper intake of Vitamin E can treat lower back pain.

Vitamin B complex vitamins are very important for anyone's general health and wellness. Three of them, B1, B6 and B12, are very valuable in lowering back pain. These three B vitamins help soothe inflamed nerves, easing back pain. These three vitamins can help nerves that have been inflamed, reducing overall pain.

Calcium is an important component of healthy bones, and lack of calcium results in osteoporosis, which involves weak, brittle bones that are prone to fractures. Women are especially susceptible to reduced bone density as they age.

Magnesium is a mineral that is needed for muscles to function properly. Nerves also need magnesium. Taking the required daily intake of magnesium can less the frequency of muscle spasms and back pain.

Taking these vitamins and minerals can not only help address back pain, but also improve general health and wellness. These vitamins and minerals can be taken in the form of a supplement, or in the form of one of the many healthy foods that contain one or more of these nutrients. Be sure to exercise regularly, get enough rest every night, observe proper posture and lifting technique, and you may find your back pain lowered to more manageable levels, or, hopefully, gone forever.

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Avoid Back Injuries From Lifting

Lifting heavy objects is one way that you can injure your back. Lifting with improper form is a very easy way to cause a slipped disc or herniated disc in your spell. Herniated discs are one of the common causes of back pain. Those who work at jobs which involve heavy lifting are at risk of developing a slipped disc. Housewives, athletes, and people who are fond of DIY projects around their house also run an increased risk of a slipped disc.

Injuring your back via lifting is easily preventable though, as long as you follow certain guidelines. Below are some pieces of advice to avoid causing injury to your back:

Make sure you have a plan on what to do with an object after picking it up. If possible, you should know exactly where you will be putting the item before you begin to lift it. Make sure that your path is clear; if there are any obstacles or items on the floor that you might trip or slip on, you could be in for some serious injury.

Know your limits. If something is too heavy, try to find alternative ways of moving it. If a large or heavy item can be disassembled, try moving it piece by piece. If this is not possible, try finding someone who can help. Read: do not be a show-off.

Observe correct lifting technique. Bend your knees, not your back, which should remain straight. If you're doing it right, your legs should be doing most of the lifting. It's a good idea to try the movement out with a light object just to understand what lifting with proper form feels like.

Do not bend your back or stoop while carrying the object. If you have to rest your arms, put it down in the proper way: the reverse of the picking up movement, with legs slowly bending until the object rests on the floor. At no time should your lower back be doing the bending.

If you suddenly feel a sharp pain in your back while carrying an object, put it down immediately. Do not try to “power through” the pain. A few additional seconds of strain can mean the difference between a minor sprain and a serious back injury.

Do not underestimate objects to be lifted. Even a stack of papers or folders can be heavy enough to cause a back injury.

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Home Treatments For Back Pain

Almost everyone experiences back pain at some point in their lives. For some, the pain goes away quickly, but many experience pain that recurs or becomes chronic. Back pain can get in the way of home, work and social life. It is important to be proactive.

Knowing just what to do for your back can be difficult. 85% of back pain cases are diagnosed as nonspecific, meaning that a cause is not found. It is safe to say that much of the back pain people feel today can be attributed to muscular causes; only a minority of people have spinal degenerative problems that cause pain. For regular sore, aching, nagging back pain, there are things you can do from home to help the pain go away for good.

Stretching

The first and most important step to ridding back pain is to get active. A sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to your body. Muscles that are held in one position for a prolonged period of time become rigid. Chronic muscle tension is a common result of a sedentary lifestyle. It is important to stretch regularly, giving your body a break from the position it holds while you work, watch TV or travel. When stretching for back pain, focus not only on the back muscles but on the hamstrings, hip flexors and gluteal muscles as well.

Strengthening

Muscle weakness is another common problem that causes back pain, mainly because it causes postural dysfunction. Modern conveniences like cushy chairs and couches have encouraged us to grow soft. Without core muscle engagement, our spines are not elongated and postures sufferers.

The core consists of muscles in the stomach, lower back, hips and buttocks. These work together to promote pelvic and spinal stability and to assist the spine in holding the upper body upright. It is important to develop core muscles that are not only strong but balanced; an imbalance in the area can pull the pelvis out of alignment and distort posture.

For a helpful series of stretches, see http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/stretching-back-pain-relief . To learn exercises that develop a strong and balanced core, see http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/core-strength/SM00047 .

Posture

The modern era, with its emphasis on working and playing from chairs, has given birth to a poor post epidemic. It is common to slip down when you are working at a desk, allowing your lower back to round out and your shoulders to slip forward. Forward head posture is very common among people who use computers, iPhones and other electronic devices regularly.

Stretching and strengthening will help you achieve proper posture, but you must also practice post awareness. It is easy to sink back into poor habits the minute you sit at your computer desk or pull out your phone. Change the way you do these activities. Adjust the height and angle of your computer chair and monitor to encourage your head to stay properly aligned. Hold your electronic devices to eye-level rather than craning your head down to get closer to them. These may seem like small changes, but when you add up the amount of time you spend with your technology through the day, the change adds up for your back and neck as well.

Sleep Factors

How you sleep and what you do it on can play a big role in back pain. Remember, most people spend a quarter to a third of every day in bed. Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended; this allows the lower back arch to increase and can cause muscle tension. If you sleep on your side, put a pillow between your knees to promote proper hip alignment. If you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees; this promotes a neutral pelvic position.

If you have been sleeping on a lumpy, sagging mattress, it is time for a new setup. Most people with back problems benefit from firm matters that keep the spinal and pelvis aligned. Platform beds are excellent supports for a mattress. Memory foam can be placed on top of platform stands to create a firm, uniform bed. If you can not afford a new bed, you might even benefit from sleeping on the floor in the meanime. Many with back pain report beneficial results from the floor versus an old mattress.

Four main prongs of back pain home treatment are stretching, strengthening, postware awareness and sleep adjustment. For the average case of back pain, these changes may be enough to bring relief.

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Five Natural Remedies That Can Help Fight Back Pain

About eight out of every ten people suffer from some form of back pain at some point. It is the second most common reason for missed work, and the second most common reason for seeing a doctor; left unchecked, it can flare out of control, interfering with the day to day activities of the sufferer.

Because of the debilitating nature of back pain, many have searched for alternative methods of treatment. Some are effective, some, not so much, and some have received mixed results. Outlined here are five of the more common alternative treatments taken out by back pain sufferers.

Acupuncture

A UK study conducted over a period of two years reported that acupuncture performed once a week had the effect of reducing not only their pain, but the psychological stress brought about by their concern about their pain. Acupuncture patients reaped significantly more progress than a parallel group who received painkillers and other more conventional methods of treatment.

Chili Peppers

The active ingredient in chili peppers, Capsaicin, acts as a painkiller when applied to the skin. Research has shown the application of capsaicin in cream form over a period of three weeks resolved in 42% decrease in pain. Eating chili peppers may not have the same potency of effect if consumed orally, but if you love eating spicy food, it can not hurt to try!

Listen to Music

Many studies have shown that listening to music had a positive effect in reducing pain in many sufferers of chronic and acute pain. Back pain is no different. Music reduces stress and anxiety, and creates a positive atmosphere that was less sooner to pain. If you listen to music, try listening to soothing, calming music that helps you relax.

Spinal Decompression

Spinal decompression is a treatment method that involves taking off the pressure on the disks between the spinal bones, with the aim of decreasing pressure on the surrounding tissues and nerves. Thousand of back pain sufferers have found that spinal decompression had a reductive effect on their back pain. Spinal decompression can be performed by a chiropractor trained in spinal manipulation.

Exercise

Back pain sufferers have a tendency to avoid physical activity (and who can blame them). But research has shown that moderate levels of physical activity are essential to decrease back pain. Strengthening the muscles and supporting tissue around the spine contributions to spinal stability and improvements posture, which can help prevent pain.

IMPORTANT: Too much exercise or physical activity that is too strenuous can be very damaging for your back if you suffer from a spine-related condition. If a physical activity causes sharp pain in your back, stop performing the activity immediately.

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Dietary Supplements For Back Pain

There are many different forms of dietary supplements on the market these days that claim to be able to help with back problems. With the number of people suffering from back pain growing every year, this is definitely a market that is expanding. There are many different forms of dietary supplements for back pain, including vitamins, herbs, and minerals.

In most cases, dietary supplements for back pain come in the form of tablets or capsules, but some can be powders or liquids too, it all comes down to your preference. Such is the growth in availability that you can find them in most supermarkets and there are certainly many websites out there providing them as well. Here are some of the most common dietary supplements:

Willow Bark

A popular supplement for many years, Willow bark has been known to be very good in dealing with back muscle inflammation and pain. With many back conditions involving inflammation of muscles or nerves, this can be a very useful treatment.

Vitamin D

One of the most common dietary supplements for back pain is Vitamin D. It can be taken to help reduce back problem as well as improving the functioning of our immune system and helping to reduce blood pressure.

Devil's Claw

Not only is Devil's claw effective for back problems, but can be useful for arthritis, tendinitis and anti-inflammatory.

Cayenne

Apart from being the hot spice used in food, cayenne is also sold as a cream that can be very useful as a treatment.

Omega-3

Omega-3 mainly comes from fish oils and are very good form of treatment for muscle inflammation, a common cause of by back pain.

Glucosamine

Use as a treatment for arthritic pain, Glucosamine is also taken for lower back pain and has been successful for many people.

Turmeric

A healthy diet supplement for back pain throughout hundreds of years over, Turmeric works by reducing inflammation.

Now you know what supplements are available, here is some simple advice before you take any:
• Food is the best source of natural minerals and vitamins. If you are unable to get the required vitamin or mineral, then you should look into taking this.
• Dietary supplements can be very beneficial for many back problems but they are not a cure, be aware of what you are taking and your expectations.
• Risks versus cost. If its low risk and low cost, then it's worth trying. On the other end of the scale, high risk expensive supplements probably should be avoided.
• This should come with a label and instructions, read them fully before taking anything. If you are already on medication, consult your doctor first.

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Chiropractors – One of the Best Solutions for Back Pain

Treating low back pain is tougher than one would like to believe. Most people have suffered from this at some point in time in their lives. Chiropractic is one of the most effective, natural and safe solutions for treating this disorder. According to clinical studies, chiropractic is also one of the most cost-effective ways to cure the patient and relief is very quickly with this mode of therapy. Chiropractors usually use their hands to manipulate the spinal and other painful joints to rectify alignment problems and bring back normal functioning of the body. This mode of treatment is often recommended prior to resorting to more invasive forms of treatment like drugs and surgery.

When someone misses going for work, chances are that the reason is low back pain. It is the second common reason for people to visit their doctors, after upper respiratory infections. There are several causes for back pain. The back is a complex anatomical structure made up of ligaments, muscles, nerve endings, bones and joints. Injury in any of these places could result in back pain. Such injuries include muscle sprain, bulging disc or pinching of nerve and many more.

Back injury is also caused by trauma or accidents like auto mishap or a fall. Poor sitting posture or inferior ergonomics can also result in pain in the back. Such poor habits could result in gradual decay and degeneration of the strain stretching over a long time. When the spine is damaged, simple activities like picking up a pen could mean a painful back.

Such anatomical degeneration does not happen overnight; it could be over a long time. Back pain is caused by obesity as well as mental stress. Abdominal obesity exerts extra pressure on the spinal and can affect the anatomy of the back. Since use of tobacco is associated with lessening of blood circulation to the back, this can also add to back pain. Other causes for back pain might include certain ailments affecting the internal organs.

One of the benefits of chiropractic is that it brings quick relief. Strategic manipulation of the joints has proved its effectiveness in pain relief. Such stimulation can be done in chiropractic methods by using ice, electricity or cold laser treatment. These therapies work on the soft tissues in the lower back and help in healing the damage. Instructions included in chiropractic therapy also recommend maintaining proper ergonomics, correct postures and modification of daily activities in order to prevent further injury. There are several types of exercises and stretches that are recommended in chiropractic.

Chiropractors view the body in totality and not just the damaged joint or area where symptoms are present. This is an important aspect of the therapy since pain in one area may quickly affect other areas of the body. This is known as the domino effect. For instance a pain in the foot or knee could change your walking posture, which in turn could affect other joints of the body resulting in low back pain. Back pain treatment by chiropractors has been in use for over a century. With time, this is gradually getting acknowledged as an essential and effective form of healthcare.

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3 Common Myths About Sciatica

While sciatica is an extremely common pain felt by people all over the world, it is often misunderstood.

There are many myths about sciatica, often spread by the people who have never experienced the pain themselves.

In this post, you will learn:
– A few of the more common myths about sciatica.
– Why these myths are so commonly spread.
– The truth behind these misconceptions.

Here we go …

Myth # 1: Sciatica is an Actual Disease

I decided to place this one first because it is extremely common, and it causes people to misunderstand what sciatica is alike.

Sciatica is a group of symptoms, stemming from a different, and often more serious problem. For example, sciatica is often caused by a herniated disk in the lumbar spine (lower back).

So, the complications caused by sciatica are symptoms of a larger problem; sciatica itself is not a disease.

This can become quite a problem when people try their best to treat the symptoms of sciatica, rather than finding the underlying problem. Then, the revolving door effect takes place, and initial positive results experienced from treatment are only temporary.

Find the underlying problem and fix that; do not simply treat the symptoms. This is the best approach for long-term success.

Myth # 2: Surgery is the Only Cure

I hear this one a lot, and while surgery can be required in some situations, it is not always necessary. I've seen many people consider surgery before even trying any of the variety of treatment options out there.

There are several problem with surgery:
– It's very expensive.
– It can be risky, and any problem could lead to more surgery down the road.
– The recovery from surgery can be worse than the problem itself.

Now, I want you to understand that I'm not completely against surgery as an option.

The problem I have is when people jump to conclusions, and go under the knife before exploring their options.

A proper exercise program, a stretching routine, soft tissue therapy, a diet adjustment, and positive lifestyle changes can lead to complete relief of sciatica without having to be cut open.

That being said, the choice is yours.

Just a quick reminder; read the Medical Disclaimer, and be sure to not disregard advice of medical professionals. They have your best interest at heart, I am just giving you information so that you can make an intelligent decision regarding your sciatica.

Moving on …

Myth # 3: Complete Bed Rest is Always a Necessary Treatment

The truth is, bed rest should only be required when it is required (huh?). What I mean by that is, if the pain is excruciating and you can not even get out of bed, then bed rest may be an option.

However, many people take this too far. They fail to understand that completeactivity is a recipe for a host of different problems, such as excess weight gain, increased lower back pain, and just overall laziness.

Inactivity is also a major cause of sciatica symptoms. Since this is the case, why would you want to be inactive for a long period of time?

So, if bed rest is absolutely necessary in your situation, just make sure you do not draw it out any longer than you need to because of the problems that can occur.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading, and I hope you are more educated and aware of the common myths being spread about sciatica.

Now, if someone starts babbling on about one of these myths, you may drop some knowledge bombs on them.

Feel free to drop a comment with your thoughts and opinions, as well as adding more myths you hear about sciatica.

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An Easy And Practical Guide To Choosing A Competent Chiropractor

Back pains are fairly common to most people. Even those who are still quite young experience these. Some types of pain are bearable enough and can be immediately soothed by taking painkillers. But others are more painful and prolonged. That's why it is recommended to consult with your doctor when you feel like the pain has been going on for much longer than necessary. It's not encouraged to keep on taking painkillers to give you relief. You can never tell when it may just be a symptom for a more serious medical condition.

In a lot of cases, those who suffer back pains are urged to see professional chiropractors. Chiropractors sometimes bring pain relief that traditional medications can not. What these medical practitioners usually do is to manipulate the spinal in order to treat the patient from the discomfort. However, it goes without saying that you have to choose a competent one. Keep in mind that there are various chiropractic methods which may be used depending on the patient's condition. An experienced practitioner will be able to utilize the method which is most appropriate to the patient's needs. Here are some key points to remember when you choose your chiropractor.

First, you have to ascertain that he is a licensed one. There are some who practice the methods but they're not actually licensed in this particular medical field. For example, some physical therapists are also knowledgeable about chiropractic methods. However, because this is not their field of expertise, that means they lack the necessary education and training. On the other hand, those who are licensed have received the proper education and training in this specific area. This gives you the highest assurance that the professional knows exactly what he is doing for your treatment. Second, look into the length of work experience of the chiropractor.

How long has it been in practice? What medical establishments has he worked for before he switched to his private clinic? Third, also investigate the feedback and other reviews given to him by his past and present patients. Did they have satisfactory results from their treatments? Was the professional accommodating and answered their needs accordingly? Fourth and last, inquire about the fees you will be paying for the treatments. See if the clinic offers a payment plan for specific procedures. Do not forget to check if the clinic can take the insurance policy you're currently covered under. Some clinics even offer family discounts and other reduced fees for particular treatments.

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Avoid Back Pain By The Help Of Exercises

The most important thing about exercises is that they help you to remain physically fit. By doing exercises you can also get relief from different types of pain. In the present day scenario most people suffer from back pains. This can result due to many factors like sitting in front of the computer for long hours and so on. Going for a proper workout session and doing certain exercises can be the best way to get relief from back pain.

Some useful tips and exercises to get relief from back pain are discussed below:

  • There is a posture that can help you to get immediate relief from back pain. To do this you need to lie down on your back and you should keep pillows under your knees. While keeping the knees and hips bent you need to place the feet in a bit higher position so that you can place your feet on a chair. This will help to take the pressure off from your back and will give you immediate relief from pain.
  • Stretching is one of the basic exercises that you can do to avoid back pain. If you practice stretching on a daily basis you will definitely get positive results. To do this exercise you are not required to devote a lot of time. Doing it for only 15 minutes will be good for your back.
  • Leaning forward while stretching and keeping your neck and head relaxed in the process is another exercise that would help you get relief from back pain. You should remain in the stretched position for 10 to 20 seconds and then you can let go slowly while pushing yourself upright again.
  • Cat stretch is another exercise that would help you when you experience back pain. For this you will have to go down on your knees and hands and then arch the upper back upwards. In this position, if you try to contract the stomach muscles by dropping your head, the effects will be really good.
  • Lying flat with the legs stretched out and then placing the hands on the left knee and bringing it close to the chest will also give you relief from the back pain. This is one of the easiest exercises apart from the stretching exercise.
  • Whenever you are performing any exercise for your back, make sure you do not bounce as it will be really harmful.

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Acute Vs. Chronic Back Pain (And What To Do About It)

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding the best way to treat back pain. This health issue is a very common problem affecting an estimated 20 million Americans every year. It's so common in fact that the current scientific literature says more than 80% of us will suffer severe back pain problems at least once during our lives. So what should we do about it when it happens? What's the best course of action?

The first thing we need to discuss is whether the problem is acute or chronic. What do these terms (acute and chronic) mean? Acute means it's a new problem, typically having occurred within the past three weeks. Chronic means it's an old problem, typically going on for more than three weeks. Whether the spinal pain issue is acute or chronic will determine which treatments are appropriate. Believe it or not, the problems are managed very differently.

Before I present the ideal treatments for acute and chronic back pain problems, I want to bring up another variable. That is the issue of intermittent pain. Intermittent means the pain comes and goes. In other words, the person does not have pain all the time. Perhaps they feel okay during the morning. But as time goes on during the day their back starts feeling worse and worse. Or because they wake up from their sleep and their back is troubling them with pain and stiffness – but by mid day the problems seem to ease up.

Acute back pain involves back pain that has been occurring for three weeks or less. Common causes of acute back pain include overdoing it with sports, slips and falls, and minor sprain / strain injuries. To treat this problem, many people will take pain medications (such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen) ice, compress and rest the affected area. These treatment approaches (medications, ice, compressions and rest) are often appropriate as these types of problems are self-limiting anyway (meaning that they will go away on their own in most cases).

Chronic back pain involves back pain that's been going on for more than three weeks. The causes of chronic back pain may include more severe injuries (such as an automobile injury involving whiplash), degenerative changes (such as arthritis, degenerative or herniated disc), repetitive stress injuries (carpal tunnel syndrome), peripheral nerve problems (sciatica) structural problems (forward head post, scoliosis, etc.), and strength problems (deconditioning, core weakness & core instability). These problems are not self-limiting (meaning that they will not go away on their own). They also do not respond well to drug therapies (mean over the counter and / or prescription strength pharmacies will not cure the problem). Rather than a palliative (symptom relief only) approach, I believe a corrective approach works best. For these problems – as well as intermittent (comes and goes) back pain, I recommend a physical medicine method.

The best physical medicine approach involves a program of care which serves to restore motion (to the joints and muscles), re-aligns the spinal and pelvis and then strengthens and stabilizes all of the supporting structures. This approach is what I refer to as “MAS Correction”. MAS is an acronym which stands for Motion-Alignment-Strength. By restoring motion, alignment and strength, you have the best chance of achieving long-lasting relief from even the most stubborn chronic pain syndromes. Restoring motion to the joints as well as re-aligning the spinal and pelvis is most effectively accomplished through chiropractic adjustments. Improving muscle function and movement is accomplished through a combination of stretching and manual therapies (such as muscle stripping, cross friction massage and manual compression techniques). Strength & stability enhancements come from exercises which target the specific muscle groups that have limited strength and function. This can not be accomplished by way of a generalized, one-size-fits all work out. Instead, the individual must undergo specific functional tests to ascertain which muscles are weak. And then specific exercises are prescribed to target weak and dysfunctional regions.

By restoring motion, alignment and strength, the back pain suffer has the best chance of getting out of pain and staying out of pain.

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Causes of Sharp Lower Back Pain

Over 80 million Americans suffer from lower back pain each year. Whether it is caused by car accidents, sports injuries or simply from overuse, the effects of this type of pain can be debilitating to even the most athletic person. In order to achieve the fastest healing time possible from your back injury, it's vital to understand what sort of events cause sharp lower back pain versus the more chronic type of dull pain.

Sharp lower back pain is typically caused by a sudden event, such as a car accident, or even from a simple event like lifting an object that is heavier than you can manage by yourself. The sharp pain that occurs during situations like these is due to damage to one or more body tissues surrounding the spinal bones. The most common tissues damaged in these types of injuries, in order, are the muscles, tendons and ligaments, bones, and the nerves.

Muscles are the most easily traumatized tissues in the spinal column. They are responsible for maintaining spinal balance and movement. However, when spinal muscles are panned beyond their normal physiological capacity, firing of the muscle fibers occurs. Microtearing is what happens during sprains and typically does not leave any visible signals other than pain. Macotearing often results in bruising around the site of injury due to blood leakage from torn muscle tissue.

Ligaments and tendons are also sources of sharp lower back pain. Some traumatic events cause such force to be applied to the tissues that the ligaments can also tear or rip from their attachment points on the bones. This is a much more serious injury and can often require surgery to correct the problem. Both ligament and tendon injuries as well as muscle injuries can often be diagnosed with simple orthopedic tests.

Damaged bones can also be a source of sudden sharp back pain. Compression fractures in the elderly and in those individuals with osteoporosis are the usual targets of this type of damage. Bones without an adequate matrix of calcium trabeculae are brittle and weak, and can fail relatively easily with a simple fall or even moderate lifting. An x-ray, CT scan or bone scan can identify the exact area of ​​fracture. Depending on its severity, the fraction may be left alone to heal on its own or may require interventions to try and stabilize the spinal bone height and prevent future fracturing.

Nerve damage causing sharp lower back pain requires immediate medical attention. The muscles, ligaments and bones are all designed to protect the nerves, so when they fail and the nerves became damaged, time is of the essence in stabilizing the injury to obtain the best outcome. Signs of nerve damage would include muscle weakness or paralysis, numbness and tingling in the legs or feet, or even loss of bowel or bladder function. If this occurs, seek emergency medical help immediately.

See your doctor immediately if you've suffered a recent low back injury. Sharp lower back pain has many causes, but with the right diagnosis, relief and healing are just around the corner.

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Falling On Ice: Injury Care And Prevention

It is important to be aware of the fact that winter weather brings with it the risk of falls. People can injure their hips and backs by falling on ice. Injuries range from dropped muscles to structural problems like herniated disks and joint misplacement. Learn how to care for fall-related injuries and how to prevent them in the future.

Fall-Related Injuries

You've just slipped on the ice and you feel sudden muscular pain. Even if you caught yourself mid-slip, you may still have dropped a muscle. Muscles surrounding your spine work to stabilize it by engaging before we move. When you make a sudden movement, such as when falling, the muscles do not have time to preemptively engage. They tend to suddenly, and this knee-jerk action can result in strain. It is also possible to injure hip and gluteal muscles, particularly if you fall on your bottom. Muscle strain causes sharp pain that is exacerbated when you move or use the muscle. The affected muscle will likely be tender to the touch as well.

Falls are the main cause of tailbone injuries. It is possible to fracture, bruise or dislocate this bone at the base of your spine by falling on it. Tailbone injuries cause severe pain at the tailbone, pain when sitting and pain when having a bowel movement.

Another possible site of injury when falling is one or both sacroiliac (SI) joints. These joints are located where the large hip bones (ilia) connect to the sacrum at the base of the spine on each side of the body. These joints typically allow for very little movement. A fall can jar the joint or joints out of place, either causing them to lock up or to dislodge and become hypermobile. If you injure this area, you will likely feel sharp pain at the joint / s and exacerbated pain when you put weight on the leg on the affected joint's side. Moving the leg laterally can also be particularly painful. Pain may radiate down the buttocks and thigh, especially if inflammation surrounding the joint is irritating the sciatic nerve that runs nearby.

It is also possible that a hard fall can jar the spine to the point of causing disc damage or spinal joint dislocation. This is particularly of concern for people who already have structural problems in the spine.

Care

The typical care approach for muscle strain is ice, rest and gentle stretching. Depending on the severity of the strain, muscles may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to heal.

Tailbone injuries also require icing to reduce inflammation. Ice for 20 minutes at a time up to 4 times a day. Avoid sitting when possible; when you must sit, alternate your weight from one buttock cheek to the other and lean forward slightly (at the hips, not the back) to take pressure off the tailbone. Taking over-the-counter medication as directed to manage pain and inflammation is often helpful. Generally, tailbone injuries heal within a few weeks. Rarely, chronic pain results and surgery is required.

Icing the sacroiliac joint to limit inflammation after a traumatic injury can help relieve pain. It is important to modify activities so you do not overload the joint as it heals, but also to keep active. Prolonged rest can cause the joint to become stiff and the surrounding muscles and ligaments to grow weak. If pain persists beyond a few weeks, it is a good idea to see a chiropractor, osteopath and / or physical therapist. A chiropractor or osteopath can be helpful if the joint needs realigning. A physical therapist can help you strengthen the area surrounding the joint, providing it with support.

While disc injuries sometimes heal on their own, a misaligned vertebra will likely require chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation combined with exercise therapy. If pain persists more than a few weeks after a fall, consider the possibility that you have a spinal problem.

Prevention

The best way to prevent falls on ice is to increase the amount of transaction you have on it. While good quality snow boots have some traction built into them, the best way to prevent falls is to invest in a pair of ice cleats that attach to your normal footwear. These are available in many forms. Yaktrax are sometimes the most popular brand, featuring an elastic net coiled with wire that stretches across the bottom of your footwear. Other designs feature a varied number of studies or spikes across the bottom that attach to the boot like Yaktrax. Some brands feature a velcro strap or two to secure the device to your shoe. Prices for cleats range from $ 10.00 to $ 80.00. Read customer reviews on sites like Amazon.com to help you decide what type of cleat is right for you.

Falling on ice can cause an array of injuries. Care for your body by preventing falls this winter.

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