Browsing: Back Pain

A Trapped Sciatic Nerve

One of the most painful things that many of us will ever experience is putting our backs out. What happens here is that we bend over to pick something up, or we try to move something like a sofa, only for our back to suddenly have a back spasm and create the most overwhelming pain. At this point every single movement can become agony which can result in us limping around or even rolling around the floor unable to move. What's going on? And what can you do about it?

Well most likely what you're experiencing here is simply a trapped sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve s the nerve which runs from the bottom of your right right up to your brain, and which branches off at the limbs and muscles along the way. In short, this nerve carries the information from all the way in your right toe up to your brain, and so it's very painful if something should happen to it as it affects every single move you make.

Unfortunately what tends to happen relatively commonly is that you trap the nerve in your spinal column down the bottom or other damage it which results in the intense pain you're feeling now. Often this will simply be a matter of moving in the wrong way which can cause the nerve to then become trapped in the spinal column, but in other cases it can be a result of sliding in the area pressing against the nerve, or of a trauma Egypt broise.

Sometimes avoiding this situation is impossible, however there are still certain things you can do to reduce the likelihood of suffering from a trapped sciatic nerve. For one it's important to avoid making sudden movements with the back and to generally avoid bending when it's possible – instead bending at the knees or getting onto all fours – particularly as you get older. This is also especially important first thing in the morning, at which point the spine will be at its most supple and fragile making a trapped nerve and back spasm relatively likely to occur.

If you do suffer from a trapped nerve and associated back spasm, then it's important to rest it and give it time to recover. You will generally find that you return to normal within a week or so – but if you do not then you should seek medical attention in case the problem is caused by a slipped disk.

In the meantime pain can be managed with analgesics and with a hot or cool compress. You might also benefit from the use of a tens machine which will send small electric shocks into the area to cause the surrounding nerves to fire that 'mixing up' the pain signal to the brain.

You may also get some relief from stretches and exercises designed to stretch out the spine. Try lying on your back with your feet up on a chair at right angles, or arching and lowering your back like a cat. Imagine your spice squeezing the nerve and basically move in ways that would give it more space.

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Can Pilates Help To Prevent Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain often occurs when you least expect it. When it hits you just got to slow down and learn some pain relief techniques to treat the pain. It may be instantaneous such as after a sudden twist or movement at the pelvic area, or it may stew over a period of time until you just realize that you can no longer move your lower back.

The good news is lower back pain is preventable. The area where the pain persists is surrounded by what is called the core muscles – the abdominal and oblique muscles. This section is also where most of our body weight, around 60% of it, is concentrated. The sad truth is most sufferers have either weak core muscles or are overweight, or both.

Imagine your body as a long wooden bench, if most of the weight is placed in the middle where it is weakest, the region will bend, crack and abruptly snap. A mid-section that is reinforced by exercises will be better equipped to handle weight stress. Understanding this simple principle will bring you closer to pain free life style

Weak Back Remedy – Pilates

The secret to lower back pain prevention and rehabilitation is strengthening the core muscles through exercises. This will give it the power and flexibility to protect the back from sudden movements or to withstand the pressure of one's body weight. Perhaps the best program to achieve this is Pilates back pain exercises.

Pilates is an exercise developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s. It involves muscle stretching and conditioning along with emphasis on proper posture and structural alignment of the bones. Pilates exercises are designed around the 8 principles of concentration, control, precision and coordination, isolation and integration, centering, flowing movement, breathing and routine. These principals also govern most modern exercise programs.

Pilates Exercises for Weak Back

Some of the best Pilates exercises for weak back are called the dart, the swan and the swimming.

Dart

1. Lie on your stomach with legs together and arms on the sides.

2. Slowly lift abdominal muscles from the mat. Inhale as you do this.

3. Channel energy through the spine and out the top of the head, slightly lifting upper body from the mat.

4. Reach back your arms, make sure to anchor the pubic bone to protect lower back. The spine should be aligned to the head and eyes should gaze downwards.

5. Maintain position and inhale; exhale as you lengthen and lower your body to the floor.

6. Do the routine 3-5 times.

Swan

1 Lie on the mat face down with your arms close to the body, elbows bent with hands placed under the shoulders, legs should be together.

2. Lift up abdominal muscles from the mat.

3. Inhale as you lengthen your spell. Press forearms and hands into the mat as your upper body form a long upward arc.

4. Exhale, keep your abdominal muscles lifted as the spine is lengthened, return torso to the mat in sequential motion. Repeat 3-5 times.

Swimming

1. Lie on your stomach with legs straight and together, face down on the mat.

2. Slowly stretch your arms overhead, with shoulder blades rolled back so that the shoulders are away from the ears.

3. Concentrate on pulling your abdominal muscles up so that your navel lifts off the mat.

4. Reaching from the core, extend both arms and legs so far in opposite directions so that they come off the floor.

5. Alternate between pumping right arm and left leg, then left arm and right leg. Breathe in at a count of 5 pumps, then breathe out after another 5. Do 3-5 cycles

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Can a Chiropractor Help With My Sciatica?

Once you know your leg and back pain are actually caused by sciatica, you may wonder if you can see a chiropractor for some relief. You know that a chiropractor can help with other back pain, why not sciatica? First off, you must know if your condition is acute, or chronic. The chromic form lasts for more than six weeks, and is causing other symptoms as a result of your leg pain or back pain, you should consult a doctor to make certain you do not have any serious conditions that are creating your nerve pain. However, short term, or the acute form, which lasts for less than six weeks, can usually be targeted effectively with some form of chiropractic manipulations.

Spinal manipulation for acute pain has been shown to be quite effective at relieving the painful symptoms of sciatica, provided the diagnosis is for the short term, or acute condition. Your chiropractor may recommend a combination of his or her spinal articulations on your synovial joints in the office, as well as outlining some exercises that may be done at home. The adjustments given in a chiropractic office can help with the acute pain caused by your condition, along with the exercise you should be giving your body to stretch out your muscles and train your joints to move again. You should always talk to your general practitioner before you start on any form of therapy or exercise routine, to make sure it is safe for you to do so.

Seeing a chiropractor after you have been diagnosed with the acute form of this condition can ensure that you are getting a drug-free form of treatment, though if your pain is sufficient, you can ask your general practitioner what options there are for over the counter or prescription drugs. However, seeing a chiropractor for spinal manipulations is a good alternative if you can not take strong painkillers due to work or for other reasons. A good chiropractor can usually be found in your vicinity, can be recommended by friends and family. Make sure you do your research, and ask if they have had any experience with patients that are experiencing acute sciatica. The recommendation of friends or family that have seen a chiropractor for their own sciatica are usually the ones to most closely heed; they can tell you who they have seen and if the treatments helped. Seeing a chiropractor may give you the relief you are looking for.

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How To Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain

What Is Sciatica?

If you are feeling pain running from your lower back down to your buttocks and to your legs, you may already have a condition that is called sciatic nerve pain, or pinched nerve in the lower spine, or simply sciatica.

The sciatic nerve is the body's largest nerve. It extends from the spinal cord down to the back of the legs and ending at the foot. This explains why if it gets pinched or irritated, pain shoots all over the back and lower extremities. Some experience numbness in the affected parts which may become extremely painful when directed to sudden movement, while others report excruciating pain that leave them practically immobile for days.

What Causes Sciatica?

To treat this condition, it is important to understand the causes of it. Some of the common causes of sciatic nerve pain are herniated disc, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease.

Herniated disc or slipped disc usually occurs when one makes a sudden twisting motion or when the back is subordinated to a forceful blow or impact, as in the case of vehicular accidents. Sciatic nerve pain is the most common symptom of a slipped disc and may need serious attention.

Another cause of sciatic nerve pain is spinal stenosis or the narrowing of the spinal canal which restricts the spinal cord. People aged 60 and above are sooner to getting this condition. Another age-related cause of sciatic nerve pain is degenerative disc disease. This occurs when a weakened disc along the spinal cord results in excessive minute movements that expose inflammatory proteins that irritate the sciatic nerve roots.

Pain Relief for Sciatica

Pilates Exercises

A gentle exercise such as Pilates warms up and strengthens the back and abdominal muscles that support the spinal cord. Pilates targeted towards these muscle groups prevents tightening which contribute to pinched sciatic nerve. Regular Pilates helps you recover more quickly and may prevent future sciatic episodes from flaring up.

Rest

Rest in this case means minimizing movements and avoiding carrying heavy objects. Lying on the bed, unless it is flat and hard, is a no-no because the cushion only aggravates the pinched nerve. Complete bed rest is not recommended. If you have to sit, use a chair with a well supported back. Remember to take everything slowly and carefully, and do not do anything – sitting, standing, or walking for too long.

Use Heat Pad Or Take Warm Shower

Applying heat is a great sciatic nerve pain relief. Adjust your heating pad to low or medium heat then use on affected part for 15 to 20 minutes every 3 hours. You may take a warm shower as an alternative to a cycle of the heat pad.

If the sciatic nerve pain lasts more than a month and if the pain has become intolerable, you may have to see a pain relief specialist who is well versed in anatomy of the body and can perform a combination of myofascial release as well as Pilates exercises that can provide pain relief.

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Effective Lower Back Pain Treatments For You To Try

With so many lower back pain treatments available to you these days, it can be very hard to decide which one is best for you. The treatments options you decide to go for will vary depending on several factors such as, what's causing your pain, the amount of pain you have and if the lower back pain you are suffering is acute or chronic.

Lower back pain treatment will consist of prescribed medicine from your doctor and over the counter medicine, spinal manipulation and for some people even acupuncture can be a very effective treatment. In years gone by traction was used as a form of lower back pain treatment, however this has since proved to not be a good option.

If you're interested in other forms of treatment then our website will help you get some ideas, but for now we have listed below a few of the options open to you. It's advised that you go and see your doctor before trying any kind of treatment for lower back pain.

Get some rest.

One option is to try and rest. Try and strain from doing too much standing around for a few days until you feel that the pain has eased. A good method of resting is to lie down on your back and have a pillow placed under your knees, this will help in reducing the pain, and it can also help to lie on your side. If you decide to lie on your back it's advised to lie on a hard surface such as the floor. We also advise that you have a brief walk around the house every 1 to 2 hours. Do not remain in bed for more than a couple of days as you do not want to weaker your lower back muscles and therefore increase the risk of more pain.

Cold and Heat

Using cold and heat treatments will work for some individuals. Try taking a warm shower or apply a heat pack the affected area every couple of hours. Some people will prefer to try a cold ice pack or even switch between the two every few hours. Do not use these methods for more than 15 minutes at any given time.

Medication it's a good idea to also try ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen to alleviate the pain.

Exercising

It may sound like a stupid idea but exercising can be very effective in reducing the pain. Ask a professional which exercises are good for lower back muscles and your abdominals.

Other treatments

Acupuncture, therapeutic massage and manipulation by a qualified chiropractor can also help reduce lower back pain. You will want to do any of the above on a regular basis to make sure you get the full benefits.

So we have now given you some simple lower back pain treatment options. It's a good idea to try each of these treatments and find the ones that work best for yourself as some will work for you but not others.

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Memory Foam Vs Regular Coil Sprung Mattresses

When picking out a mattress, usually consumers look for high quality, firm, supporting mattresses. If you are in need of a new mattress and currently have a regular coil mattress, give yourself a treat and try a memory foam mattress. You will most certainly notice a huge difference right on the very first night and every single night thereafter.

Memory foam has been around since 1966 and was primarily used in medical settings. It assisted patients who required large amounts of time off of their feet in the prevention of bed sores and possible gangrene when blood flow was decreased due to lying in bed. Also, memory foam contains heat retaining properties making it an extremely excellent choice for patients. There are other foam mattresses on the market today, but none rival memory foam as it is a more lean foam. Besides improving the quality of your sleep, a memory foam mattress can help boost circulation and alleviate joint and back pain. As far as mattresses go, a memory foam mattress does a much better job of keeping the spine in alignment. It has also been proven to help those with sleep apnea.

Coil or spring mattresses are the most widely used mattresses and still are considered the standard in bedding. It is reported that a spring mattress loses about 16% of its firmness after one year. They usually come with a five to ten year warranty. It is impossible for a spring mattress to spread the weight of the body proportionately because each spring pushes back with the same force. There are major quality differences with a spring mattress caused by how many coils are actually used in the production of the mattress. It is that density of the coils which determines firmness and support in spring mattresses. Spring mattresses sincerely push back on the body while memory form mattresses conform to the contour of the body.

There are many memory foam mattresses on the market today. The quality and density of the foam varies by supplier. The elastic structure of memory foam makes it impossible for dust mites to penetrate the foam. Dust mites are one of the major causes of allergies in homes today.

Remember, we spend a good portion of our lives sleeping on a mattress. It makes sense to purchase the best mattress available for overall general health. Sleep is an essential component in how we feel from day to day. A well rested body is of the utmost importance if you want to be the best you can be.

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Look For Uneven Pelvis As The Root Cause Of Chronic Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is an incredibly common problem which affects tens of millions of Americans each year. A very high percentage of hospital emergency department as well as primary care physician office visits are due of chronic lower back pain. Lower back pain affects all races, all genders and people of all ages. Sedentary and overweight people are at a higher risk of suffering with this problem.

Regardless billions of dollars being spent on the problem, there is not any decrease in the incidence or probability of this troubling medical epidemic. One plausible reason for this is because we have not been utilizing the correct remedy. The most common treatment for chronic back pain is medications, massage therapy & physical therapy. Ask any chronic back pain suffer about the effectiveness of these treatments and you will hear a range of comments from “it helped, but after a while the pain came back”. You may also hear “I did not get much of any relief at all”. Why is this? Why do so many people continue to suffer day in and day out?

One of the primary causes of chronic lower back pain is an uneven, imbalanced pelvis. The pelvis is composed of two large bones (the innominate), and a triangularly shaped bone in the center (the sacrum). There is very little movement that occurs between the innominate bones and the sacrum (the sacroiliac joint, or “the SI joint”). The SI joint has very little motion. An athletic, younger person may have as much as one to one and a half degrees of total joint motion. Rather than independent movement between these three bones, the pelvis instead moves as a solid block. It can tilt side to side and front to back. The pelvis can also rotate right and left.

The problem occurs when the pelvis tilts or rotates in a certain way and then stays fixed in that location. When this occurs, the muscles, ligaments and other supportive connective tissues themselves become shortened or lengthened and serve to hold the pelvis in that position indefinitely. When the pelvis becomes chronically misaligned like this, it sets the stage for chronic SI joint pain as well as lumbar spinal pain.

The lumbar spine is positioned on top of the sacrum. When the pelvic / sacral block is tilting or is rotated, it creates biomechanical stress on the rest of the spine. In particular, there is a shearing or twisting effect on the lumbar spine (the lower back). This problem can be so pronounced that on x-ray, the spine appears to have a scoliosis.

What can be done to fix an imbalanced pelvis? Certainly taking drugs (NSAIDs, muscle relaxers, etc) will not resolve the problem. Exercise does not realign the spell. In fact, exercising on an uneven pelvis may cause more harm than good. It would be the equivalent of continuing to hammer on a bent nail. The most effective thing you can do for an imbalanced pelvis is to get it balanced. You must realign the spinal, sacrum & pelvis in order to minimize biomechanical stress on the joints, ligaments, tendons and other supportive soft tissues. The chiropractic adjustment is a time tested therapy for realigning the spine. In my clinic, I utilize chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy modalities, stretching, rehabilitative exercise and soft tissue therapies. And without question, the number one most effective treatment for balancing the pelvis is the chiropractic adjustment. If you have chronic lower back pain, you need to have your pelvis checked for imbalancing. Getting your pelvis balanced will offer amazing, long lasting relief.

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Back Pain Clinic

Back pain clinics can be useful for patients with problems such as:

  • Acute / chronic lower pain
  • Whiplash
  • Neck pain
  • Sciatica

The idea of ​​the clinics is to develop unique combinations which help offer lasting solutions by diagnosing and treating the underlying causes of pain and other common health problems which are causing the individual long term health problems.

Other treatments:

Treatments vary depending on how long you have had and how severe the pain is, each individual has a different tolerance and each problem can be different.

Long term:

For back pain which has been uploaded for more than six weeks (chronic) it could have an idea to look into the following treatments:

  • Exercise programs: These classes will typically include exercises to help strengthen your muscles and improve your post, as well as aerobic and stretching exercises.
  • Manual therapy: There are several types of manual therapy, including manipulation and massage. These are usually performed by chiropractors and physiotherapists over a period of 12 weeks.
  • Acupuncture: Involves inserting fine, solid needles into different points of the body. It has been proven to lower back pain over the period of several weeks.

If these treatments fail to make much impact of reliving the symptoms then there are other treatments available. These treatments are often more effective for people condition is seriously affecting their ability to carry out everyday tasks and feel distracted.

– Antidepressants: If the painkillers do not have much of an effect on the problem then you may be put on tricyclic antidepressants (TCA's.) These tablets were originally developed for depression but they have also been proven to be effective in reliving cases of persistent pain . They can be helpful for coping with physically and emotional with the on going effects.

– Counseling: If none of the above treatments seem to having much effect on the severity you may be offered counseling to help you work on managing your back pain by changing the way you think about your condition.

– Surgery: Surgery is usually only recommended as a form of treatment if everything else has failed. The most common procedure involves fusing the joint which is causing pain so it no longer moves to help reduce the pressure and movement when carrying out day to day tasks.

It is recommended to visit a back pain clinic to help get better or closer diagnosis on the most preferred treatments to help soothe pain or even begin the healing process.

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Selecting the Right Chiropractor

Many people when needing to find a chiropractor seemly open the Yellow Pages and select one that looks good and is close to them.

Not an extremely bad idea but one that fits the model of “you get what you ask for”.

Selecting a chiropractor that is going to fit your needs is really a bit more complex than pointing to a listing in the Yellow Pages and calling them up.

Like your doctor or auto mechanic, this is someone you will probably be visiting many times over several years.

All chiropractors do not fit into the same mold. All of them have their own philosophies and techniques on how they are going to treat you.

That is why you should always take the time to select the right chiropractor for you.

There are a few things that you can do to narrow your search and point you in the right direction in your selection.

One of the first things you can do is ask your doctor if they can recommend a good chiropractor for you. You can also ask family or friends if they know of a good local chiropractor.

Did you know that you can and should interview a potential chiropractor before undergoing treatment? It is very easy. Call one who is on your list and set up a consultation.

It is there that you can ask them about their philosophy and techniques for chiropractic care. Tell them about your ailments and ask specifically how they plan to treat you.

It is also during the interview that you can get a feel of how well you connect with them. If they are short with you, do not want to take the time, or have standard practices for all ailments, then it might be time to move on to your next candidate.

During the interview you will also want to ask about costs. Some require an initial examination that is a separate charge. They may require X-Rays and some other tests. Ask why these are necessary.

Be sure to ask if they accept your insurance if you have it. If you do not have insurance, ask if they have a discount if paying out of pocket. Most do but will not give it to you without you ask.

The interview will give you a good idea if you want to set up an appointment to start treatment. Like any job interview it does not guarantee success but it does help give a good idea or let you know that you need to continue your search.

Good luck!

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What Causes Sciatica – Most Common Reasons Behind The Problem

Sciatica, which is also commonly referred to as severe back pain, is a condition that is caused by an irritated sciatic nerve. When the nerve is irritated, the person feels pain that can be little or much dependent on the severity of the condition.

There are generally two types of sciatica. The first one is the acute sciatica which only lasts for a certain period of time. This type is not a very bothersome one and it does not usually require any medical attention. Normally, the acute type can be cured using anti-inflammatory medications or pain killers, as well as exercise and hot compress. The second type of sciatica is the chronic sciatica. This type can last for a very long time especially if not treated immediately. This condition is more severe there before it requires the help of chiropractors or physical therapist. It can still be treated by exercise however surgery can also be a resort for very severe conditions.

Before we go to the causes of sciatica, let us first discuss the column column a little.

You should know that the detailed column of human beings consists of three important parts. The first part is the vertebrae or the bones that protect the nerves from being damaged or irritated. The second part consists of the nerves which transmit signals to and from the brain. The third part consists of the disks that allow the vertebrae to move in a flexible manner as they function as cushions between each vertebrae bone.

Herniated disc is probably the most common cause of sciatica. It happens when a disc becomes dislocated and is pushed out. When this happens, the sciatic nerve becomes irritated as the pressure builds up from the dislocated disc. This condition normally occurs when a person experiences car accidents or other accidents that may cause the discs to bulge.

Piriformis syndrome is another common cause of sciatica. It happens when the piriformis muscle causes the sciatic nerve to be compressed or when it causes pressure. This usually happens when a person is experiencing imbalance. Imbalance can cause the joint muscles to pull the sciatic nerve.

Spinal stenosis is the next cause that we are going to discuss. This happens when the distance between each vertebra becomes less which causes the bones to sometimes hit each other. This can bring a lot of pressure to the nerves especially the nerve connected to sciatica.

Isthmic spondylolisthesis is the last common cause that we are going to discuss in this article. This particular condition happens when a vertebra, not a disc, is pushed out a little or slips a little from its original position. When this happens, the sciatic nerve is often rolled or aggravated which causes a person to experience sciatic pain.

Sciatica is not a threat to your life however it can bring great discomfort especially when you need to deal with the pain most of the time. In order to treat it, you need to first go to your doctor and confirm what causes it.

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Can Food Allergies Be The Cause Of Your Chronic Muscle And Joint Pain?

When it comes to back pain, there are dozens of causes. Your chances of getting an accurate diagnosis increase when you are informed of all possible causes. One often-overlooked cause of chronic muscle and joint pain is diet.

Allergies and Pain

A food allergy is present when your immune system perceives a component of the food, usually the protein, as a threat and attacks it with the inflammatory response. Allergies differ from intolerances, which are digestive rather than immunological reactions.

Histamine is an inflammatory substance released during an allergic reaction. The inflammatory response attempts to block off threats from the rest of the body, kill the threat and promote healing. In the case of an allergic reaction, however, the infection caused by histamine is excessive and attacks the body itself. Any of the body's muscles and joints can become inflamed during an allergic reaction, resulting in pain and soreness.

If you have a food allergy you're unaware of, you may be in a state of chronic reaction. This can be the source of your chronic muscle and / or joint pain.

How To Identify And Rule Out Allergies

Of course, there are many other causes of muscle and joint pain. If you have chronic muscle or joint soreness that is not attributable to repetitive use, overexertion or poor posture, diet could be a factor.

Arthritis is a main cause of joint pain, and many forms of arthritis involve joint inflammation. Diet may not be the sole cause of arthritic joint pain, but identifying any food source that may increase inflammation in your body can help relieve pain.

One simple way to identify if you have a food allergy is to participate in the “elimination diet,” which requires removing the suspected food from your diet for a week. If symptoms survive, you likely found the food you're allergic to. This can be confirmed by reintroducing the food back into your diet and seeing if symptoms reappear. Keeping a diary diary is a great way to help you identify food allergies. Keep track of what you eat and the presence and severity of your pain.

Knowing the most common food allergens will help to narrow down your experiment. The most common are milk, egg, soy, wheat, shellfish, seafood, tree nut and peanut allergies. First, identify which of these allergens features prominently in your diet. Check food labels, as many store-bought foods contain soy, tree nuts, wheat and dairy.

Blood tests can be done to identify allergy-related immune substances in your blood. A blood sample is taken and different foods are used to test its reaction in a lab. Blood tests are not always accurate when looking for food allergies, however. Making dietary changes and monitoring their effects are your best diagnostic tools.

Dietary changes may be the answer to resolving your chronic back pain. Eliminating common allergens from your diet can help resolve inflammation in both muscles and joints.

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5 Tips To Relieve Upper Back Pain

Living with back pain can be difficult and cause for a strenuous daily life. Although, there are many things that a person can do to help live life in comfort and feel better. Follow these easy tips to live life pain free.

Immediately after a back injury, the best thing to do is place an ice pack on the area. This will help to numb the pain. This can be done for about 48 hours after the initial injury. Once that time has passed, you should begin to apply heat. The best type is moist heat in 20 minutes sessions. Taking a hot shower, using a hot water bottle or a heat pack is best. After the heat has been applied, you can feel that your muscles have loosened. This is a great time to stretch out those muscles carefully.

One of the best solutions to relive back pain is to receive massages regularly. There are two massages that are great to relive pain. The first is a Swedish massage. Swedish massage will help to loosen muscles or break up muscle “knots” that form with tension or injury. This is ideal for those that are not used to massages or have never had one before. The second type of massage is deep tissue massage. This massage will have more pressure and help to relieve the muscle tightness and help with removal of toxins from the body. Massage of any sort can help with better circulation. The more oxygen, nutrients, and blood your muscles get, the better they can function. Massage can also help to alleviate tension. This helps with flexibility, reduce pain and even increase sleep. Finally, massages can help with the production of endorphins which can help you feel better and reduce stress levels.

Reducing stress is another way to help tie back pain. Stress can lead to tight muscles and make for a very uncomfortable daily feeling. Easing stress can be as simple as journaling your thoughts and feelings or meditating. However, anything that makes you experience calm and ease is a great thing to do for yourself and your body. Reading, listening to music, playing a game or walking your dog can give you a clear outlook on life. Stress can hinder your ability to loosen up your muscles. Most people carry the stress in their upper backs and shoulders. This is a leading cause to back pain.

While relaxing, you can also take time out from the daily grind at work. Sitting at a computer or desk for long periods of time can create tightness in back muscles. Talking with the phone cradled between your ear and shoulder instead of using a headset can even cause injury to your back. Our daily work routine can create many back injuries. If you are lifting, be sure to wear a safety belt and lift with your legs, not your back. This will help to avoid injury.

To prevent any further injury or even to help alleviate some pain, you can build up you back muscles to help battle back pain. Keeping your muscles limber and flexible will make injury more difficult. Make sure that you are using muscles correctly and not just compensating for weaker muscles.

Finally, you may need to look at the furniture that you are using both at home and at work. Posturepedic chairs and mattresses can help with back pain. Uncomfortable chairs at work can lead to a bad post which creates a great strain on muscles. All in all, taking precautions to help alleviate back pain can help lead to pain free living.

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Non-Invasive Lower Back Pain Treatment Methods

Lower back pain is a painful condition that almost everyone, regardless of health level, will experience at least once in a lifetime. You might have already had one when you felt instantaneous pain shoot up from your lower back as you made an awkward twist to lift your baby from his crib, or the pain may have gradually developed as you spent countless hours hunched over in your office chair. Whatever the cause is, most conditions go away after being treated at home using simple non-invasive remedies such as exercise, medication and rest.

Pilates Exercises For Pain Relief

If you have experienced the numbness and stiffness that lower back painrings, you may think that exercise is the last thing that you will need to treat it. But according to experts, exercises that gently stretches the muscles such as Pilates is the most effective treatment method.

Pilates targets the abdominal and lower back muscles which support the spine, so it is ideal not only for pain relief, but in preventing it from coming back. You may also use the Pilates reformer, an apparatus that is built like a table, with movable seat and several straps, to give you a better and more precise stretch while ensuring proper posture and alignment.

Rolling on Exercise Ball

Anything round will roll for sure. The exercise ball uses the body's natural reaction to an unstable object to strengthen core muscles. A simple exercise ball routine called the Rock Back-and-Forth, which calls for slow back and forth tilting of the pelvic contracts the stomach muscles and flattens the small of the back. Other exercise ball routines are the Rock side-to-side and the Circles.

Foam Roller to Stretch

The foam roller exercise is also called self-myofascial release. A foam roller is a firm piece of rubber that looks like a log, with a diameter of six inches. You simply place it on a matted floor then you roll over it with your lower back, pushing the sore spot in contact with the foam roller for 1 minute before releasing. Repeat the exercises for about 15 minutes and you will feel instant lower back pain relief.

Medication Also Known As Pain Killer

Taking over-the-counter (OTC) medication merely masks the pain but does not treat the condition. But it does give you a few hours of respite from the pain. Medication for lower back pain should be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID. Some NSAID drugs available are aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen. Taken with back exercises, these drugs will help you recover faster than your condition.

Rest

Because your condition may be caused by over exertion and even stress, rest is one of the best non-invasive treatments for it. But when we say rest, we mean you step back a bit and slow down a notch from your normal activities. It does not mean shutting yourself down in your bed, or planting yourself sideways on the couch – these things will aggravate the pain. Instead, alternate between sitting on a comfortable chair with a firm backrest and walking around the house slowly and delicately. You may also do chores that you enjoy like baking or cleaning the closet. Just make sure not to make any sudden movement or lift anything heavy.

With a combination of non-invasive treatments such as exercise, medication and rest, you will definitely recover from your pain. To prevent relapse, consider taking up Pilates as a way to strengthen your core muscles so that they are strong enough to support your spell.

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Sciaitca – Causes and How to Get Rid of It

Sciatica is nerve irritation of the sciatic nerve in the low back, causing pain or numbness into one or both legs. It can come from many different origins, but the most common are: mis-aligned vertebra, herniated disc, compressed disc, fractured vertebra, damaged nerve, swollen ligament or tendon, missing muscle, etc …

Most sciatica problems can be treated and resolved without surgery, if treated immediately. The main symptoms that are serious and should be looked at by your health care provider are inability to urinate or have a bowel movement and foot drop (unable to lift foot). Pain on coughing and sneezing are also serious and should be checked by your doctor if they do not subside with in 48 hours.

Chiropractic can help treat sciatica by reducing inflammation and spasms of muscles, reducing joint adjustments, re-aligning and decompressing the spinal and reducing nerve swelling. Most chiropractors will take a spinal x-ray before treatments begin. I recommend seeing a chiropractor that uses therapies (heat, ice, ultrasound, e-stim, traction, etc.) in their office to help reduce spasms and swelling. If sciatica symptoms persists for more than 2 weeks after beginning treatments, it is time go get an MRI of the lumbar spine to determine the severity and the origin of the condition.

Stretching regularly will reduce muscle spasms that may be around the sciatic nerve and causing irritation. The sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis muscle, and if it is in spasm the nerve will become irritated and elicit pain. Pregnancy often causes muscle spasms in the piriforms muscle causing sciatica. I recommend specific low back stretches (piriformis, pelvic tilt, pelviic twisting, knee to chest, and cross over stretches) to reduce and prevent sciatica.

With age comes spinal degeneration. The spine is weight bearing and will eventually wear out over time. Degeneration causes stenosis (narrowing of the holes the nerves come out of) and can cause sciatica. This is serious and usually requires surgery or spinal injections.

Proper hydration is important to maintain muscle and disc vitality. Try to drink 1/2 oz. of water per lb. of your body weight per day. If you weigh 200 lbs. try to drink 100 oz. of water a day. Joint supplements are also recommended. I recommend glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, msm, and turmeric daily. These supplements reduce inflation and also provide nutrients to aid the joint for degeneration. There are many companies that sell these combinations.

Sciatica is not to be taken lightly. It can cause permanent damage to the nerve if it is not treated immediately. See your medical doctor or a chiropractor if you are unsure.

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Don’t Build Fitness Over Dysfunction

Each day people exercise, and in doing so, unknowingly put themselves at risk of immediate or future injuries. The reason why is they are building fitness over dysfunction. Dysfunction means their body is not working correctly. The problems could be in the joints, the muscles, or abnormal posture (such as forward head post or a rotated pelvis). Additionally, it could also involve problems related to other connective tissues (such as the fascia or the ligaments).

Scott Smalls is a 38 year old freelance sports writer from Pittsburgh, PA. Scott enjoys playing golf, softball and paddle ball. He works out at the gym 3-4 days per week. However whenever Scott plays sports or works out, his low back hurts. It feels like there is a vice clamping down on his lower back. Despite the pain and discomfort, Scott pushes on and completes his work outs and fights through. Why does Scott's back hurt? And why is not he doing anything about fixing the problem?

The problem with Scott is that he has dysfunction in his low back. His joints are not moving correctly. He has tight hamstrings, a weak core, an unbalanced pelvis and spinal instability. While he is exercising (hitting both cardio and weights), he is building fitness over dysfunction. Subsequently, he is not only suffering with chronic pain, he is also putting himself at risk of accelerated degenerative changes with his joints, discs and muscles.

Building fitness over dysfunction leads to diminished athletic performance, acute injuries, chronic & reoccurring problems (such as rolled ankles, rotator cuff tears, hip movement disorders and lower back sprain-strains).

The failure to diagnose, identify and correct dysfunction is an incredibly widespread problem. People need to undergo a performance screening examination to find out if they are experiencing musculoskeletal dysfunction. This includes not only those currently suffering with pain, but also those who have not yet experienced any symptoms. Yet, how many of us have gone through the trouble of going through a performance screen to see how our bodies are performing prior to engaging in sports or an exercise protocol? Moreover, for those who did bother to go to their medical doctor, did the physician understand enough about biomechanics to check for joint motion, soft tissue integrity, posture, core stabilization, and the other factors that go into total body function?

There is a new gold standard for checking and correcting musculoskeletal function. It is called MAS Correction. MAS is an acronym which stands for Motion-Alignment-Strength. Most musculoskeletal problems are caused by dysfunction with motion, alignment or strength. Motion is essential for life, a pain free lifestyle and enhanced athletic performance. When our bodies stop moving correctly, they start to break down. Healthy motion involves joint motion, muscle motion and motion patterns (coupled motion involving multiple areas of the body which work together (such as the shoulders and thoracic spine). Normal alignment is as important to the spine as it is to a suspension bridge or building . Mechanical engineers know that if a bridge is structurally unsound, it can collapse. If the foundation of a building is not level, the building will never be structurally sound. Just like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a crooked spine does not have mechanical stability either. If your spreadsheet lacks core strength, it will not be able to handle the various demands placed upon it through your activities of daily living. In order to stabilize and strengthen the spine, you need a program which is specifically designed to discover and then correct functional weaknesses. In order to accomplish this, we take our patients through a series of functional tests to assess where weak areas may be. Then we prescribe exercises to strengthen those isolated muscle groups which are suspected to be lacking the appropriate degree of strength & stability.

You must fix movement problems first, alignment problems second and stability / strength problems last. Failure to address these issues in the correct sequence will result in a significantly increased probability of re-injury. I recommend every person who exercises or plays sports get checked using MAS Correction protocols to ensure that they are not at risk of building fitness over dysfunction. It is much better, easier and more affordable to prevent problems rather than fixing injuries after they occur.

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