Back Pain Treatment: What’s Good and What’s Bad


The back is made up of different structures that are overlapping and interconnected. This includes muscles and tendons, complex and small joints, spinal discs and nerves that are highly sensitive. Any problem or irritation that may occur to these structures will cause joint pains that may radiate to other parts of the body. Back pain may differ in intensity where it can be severe or mild depending with the injury and the damaged structures. There are several things that can be done to keep the back in a good condition and prevent aggravation of the disease.

What is good and bad in the treatment of back pain?

It is encouraged that one should have a good bed that has a firm mattress. It is encouraged that one should avoid mattresses that are too soft and not firm. This is important to ensure that one gets a good sleep. Good sleep helps to soothe the joints that are inflamed and repair the muscles that are strained. It is encouraged for one to experiment using different positions until they get a good position that will enable them to get a good sleep. Sleeping on the side is advisable because this prevails any curvature on the spine as this is likely to worsen the condition.

Exercise gently

It is advisable to take part in doing gentle exercises instead of resting and waiting for the pain to decrease. Too much exercising can aggravate some back pains and decrease the strength of the muscles. It is advisable to start with gentle stretches and experimentation should be done to see how one can move without causing any pain to the back. One can also go for an easy and a slow walk and the pace should be increased in cases where one is not feeling pain. It is also advisable to take part in regular exercises and this includes taking part in exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles without causing any pain on the back. It is advisable to discuss the exercises that should be done with the doctor and any change in rule.

Reduce weight

It is advisable to maintain a healthy weight for patients who suffer from back pain. This is due to obesity and increased weight causes a lot of pressure to be exerted on the back and this worsens the condition. Most people who have suffered from back pain for a long time find that the pain decreases or disappears when they lose a few pounds. One should consider getting the advice of a nutritionist on the health foods that should be taken to reduce weight by lipozene . One can also have a personal trainer to help in shedding the extra pounds.

Body work

The patients who suffer from back pain are encouraged to take part in physical therapy, osteopathy and chiropractic therapy. The patient will be taught on proper posture while lifting or bending and this will help to avoid flaring movements that are likely to cause damage to the back. The patient will also be taught on how to align the neck, trunk and the head to avoid aggravating the condition. It is also encouraged to take part in Feldenkrais mode of therapy where one is taught on how to flex the back gently and coordinate the movement of the body.

Pain killers

It is advisable to take pain killers that are sold over the counter to help reduce back pain. The drugs that can be taken include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and examples are ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen. These drugs may cause side effects like liver and stomach problems and there before it is advisable that patient should be aware of the side effects of the drugs before taking them. When the back pain is not relived by these drugs, it is advisable to visit the doctor who will do different tests to find out the cause of the pain. This will ensure that patient gets the right treatment for the back pain .


The back is made up of different structures and they include the muscles, small joints, tendons and nerves and when they are injured the patient will present with back pain. It is advisable that on should get a firm mattress, take painkillers, take part in physical therapy and exercise gently. It is advisable that one should avoid soft mattresses that are not firm, avoid violent exercises, avoid obesity and avoid taking painkillers that are sold over the counter for a long time.

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What Is a Corrective Exercise?

Just because it is called a corrective exercises does not mean that it is doing you any good!

Corrective exercise has turned into a term that many people use to describe movements that they think are beneficial to them but in actuality, they are not. Corrective exercise is right up there with “functional training,” “yoga therapy,” and “orative yoga. ” It is not what you call something that produces you the results that you desire, it is how they affect the tensgrity (balance) and bio-mechanical (movements) motions of your body.

A real corrective exercise will normalize (correct) an area of ​​your body that is in essence “not doing its job!”

Let's take for example, the exercise: the “prone cobra” also called the Mckenzie press. It has been used for years, and in the case of yoga A LOT of years, to mobilize and strengthen the spine. For those of you who are not familiar with this stretch, it is when you lay down, on your stomach (prone) and you come up to either your forearms or your hands pushing your upper body up leaving your lower body on the ground. There are some slight differences depending on those who you talk to as either or not the hips stay on the ground. For this example, it's not important. The idea is that when you push yourself up, it will open the anterior (front) of your spinal joints and the disc will slide forward. And if you have enough space in your spell, then this is true …

Now, let's look at how the body responds to a motion like this. In the bone cobra, when you push yourself up your spine goes into extension (like if you were standing up and you arched your back) and now based on spinal mechanics the posterior (back) part of the spine pinches together.

So how is this a corrective exercise?

In short, this is NOT a corrective exercise! Most people who are performing this exercise have back pain, and are thinking that this will help. Now there is a lot of reason why one could have back pain but for this example, let's stick to just one. Gravity is constantly compressing us, and combined with too much sitting and not enough proper movements, causes improper loading and our spanish takes the brunt of it. Many individuals have disc compression and they may not have any symptoms … yet, and for those individuals over the age of 50 they can almost guarantee that they too have disk compression, some degree of bulge / herniation / prolapse.

Now while have some disc compression and doing the prune cobra exercise, your spine is forced into extension and the posterior (back) part of the vertabrae is going to pinch the posterior (back) part of your disc even more. This will lead to further bulging / herniation / prolapse and cause a lot more back issues and pain.

So what is actually a corrective exercise for this?

As I stated at the beginning, a corrective exercise will correct and normalize a problem. When it comes to back pain and spinal compression … The # 1 … hands down … best corrective exercise are ELDOA's. They are “stretch exercises” that pull one vertebrata away from another, providing much needed space. This space now allows your body to start to function better within that area. This means that your disks will now be able to start to rehydrate and regain their form and volume. Without compression, you will have SIGNIFICANTLY less pain. This means that you can start to live you life with more confidence in your body and be able to do the activities that you want to do.

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High Tech Posture Correctors – The Future of Back Health?

LUMO BodyTech are well known for their first post corrector – the LUMO Back which launched with Kickstarter support back in 2013.

Since then, the team at LumoBodyTech have not been idle. Their latest product, the exciting LUMO Lift, is now starting to ship and we are excited to see what they've come up with. There are 16 000 pre-orders so we're not the only ones keen !

LUMO Lift – the new way

The LUMO Lift, like the original LUMO Back, is designed to correct the wearer's posture. It is worn on the upper body, for example on your collar or shoulder.

LUMO Lift is a small sensor that you can clip anywhere on your chest and shoulders using an interchangeable magnetic clasp.It focuses on improving how you hold your chest, shoulders, and upper back. Based on your profile and behavior, Lift provides data and recommendations to help you improve posture and fitness. You'll also earn badges and rewards as you reach targets.

It has two parts, one being the actual sensor and the other being a small magnet. You simply “sandwich” an item of your clothing between the two and you are good to go. The device is very small (under 2 “long and 1/4” thick) and discreet. It can be completely hidden under clothes, or worn as a fashion accessory if you wish.

The Lift detects the curvature of your upper body (spine), which is a very good indicator of your total monthly post – if you correct the top of your back alignment, you also correct the mid and lower sections. Using the LUMO Lift, when your spine moves out of alignment, you get a small buzz that gives a gentle reminder to straighten up. Very simple and very effective.

Advanced Features – the Lumo Lift not only corrects your post, – it can also track physical activity including steps and calories burned. There are several other products currently available that do this too, but the ability to monitor and track body positioning is unique to the LUMO Lift. Its advanced software is the key to LUMO BodyTech's continuing success in the post corrector market.

How Does Lumo Lift Work?

Once you've attached the Lumo Lift to your upper body using the magnetic clasp, it immediately begins monitoring your posture. The built in lithium battery lasts for around 5 days and recharges in 2 hours.

2 Modes

The Lift can be used in two different modes:

1. Monitoring – in this mode it silently monitors and records your posture and activities. It is paired which an iOS device like an iPhone and the data can be reviewed and analyzed. (It currently works with the following devices: Apple iPhone 4S, 5, 5S, 5C, iPod Touch (5th gen), iPad (3rd and 4th gen), iPad mini, iPad Air.) Lumo BodyTech are developing both android and desktop apps . You can set goals, earn rewards, and get actionable recommendations straight from the app. Over time, it plots wherever you are making gains in your postural alignment.

2. PowerUp – in this mode the Lift gives you gentle vibrations when you slouch or get lazy. You can turn this feature on and off as you wish. This direct feedback is unique to the Lumo BodyTech devices and actually “trains” you to hold a good posture.

Awesome Tech, But What Can LUMO Lift Do For Me?

Well, for starters, you can wear it every day with no hassle and no effort. This is a critical point for all posture correctors because if they are hard to use, most people will not persist. You will not even know you are wearing this one (except you slouch and it buzzes!).

However, the largest selling point of the Lift is that it is that it helps you correct, or maintain, your posture with no limits on your movement. This degree of movement is simply not possible with traditional back braces or posture correctors. The only other comparable product is its sibling, the LUMO Back. And they are quite different.

LUMO Lift Features

Battery life 5 days 5 days

Other Features Monitors all movement activities

Very discreet to wear

Gives data based suggestions on how to improve posture and activity Monitors all movement activities

Discreet to wear

Gives data based suggestions on how to improve posture and activity

Price $ 79 usd on pre-order

(usual retail will be $ 99)

LUMO Lift compared with LUMO Back

LUMO Lift is targeted at your upper body, whereas Lumo Back is worn on a belt around your lower back. It vibrates when you slouch to remind you to sit straight and stand tall. Lumo Back is great at helping to encourage you to move more through your day by tracking the amount of time you spend sitting and standing each day, as well as the number of times you stand up. It also tracks the number of steps you take, the distance you walk and run, and the calories you burn each day.

LUMO Lift is starting to Ship Now

The Lumo Lift is still available as a pre-order at this point. The team at LUMO BodyTech are limiting pre-orders so that their first customers get the product in a timely manner. There are now over 16 000 ordered and you will have to move quickly if you want one of the first run. Be mindful that your credit card will be charged as soon as you put your name down (that's how they fund the manufacturing!). However, you do get their excellent 30 day right of return warranty in case it does not live up to your expectations for any reason. As a new product, they have come up with some sweet deals such as limited edition versions and significant discounts.

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Tips to Preventing Back Pain

The following simple tips can help prevent the occurrence of this syndrome:

Engage in regular physical activities and exercise of moderate intensity for three to five day a week continued for a duration of thirty to sixty minutes. Commenced at the beginning with a warm up for about five to ten minutes and concluded with a cool down of about ten to twelve minutes. This includes jogging on toes, walking on foot, dancing, and swimming. This can help to maintain a normal body weight and improve endurance and strength of the muscle to make one fit and healthy. Any body weight above normal means excess load on the low back region (lumbar) and can result in low back pain.

Avoid assuming bad post when at work or at home. For example when an individual wants to lift up things from the floor, it should be done, by bending the knees rather than bending the back and keeping the knees straight. This can cause a person to develop back pain. When sitting down, a person should do this on a chair that is well ergonomically designed, one that will position the back straight and position the knees, ninety degree in relation to the hips with the head looking forward. When sleeping, it should be done on a soft bed that is having a firm but not hard surface. Side lying with knees and elbows bend and head on a soft butterfly pillow is the best way to be position.

Engage in back extension exercise by placing the hands on the small of the back with fingers pointing down and thumbs by the side and bending back, with the knees straight but not bent. This can help restore the normal lordosis of the lumbar spine returning it to normal. This exercise can also be done by lying on your abdomen and using the hands which are placed on the floor to support the upper body, as the upper body is raised up from the floor, but the lower body remains on the floor, as in when a person is doing push-ups.

When taking a bath with water place in a bucket below the knees, squat as stated above rather than bending the back and keeping the knees straight which can harm the back. If this is not possible, one should place the bucket of water on a stage that is up to the hips height so that one will not need to bend the back. Also when washing do this by placing the bucket or container that have been used to soak the cloths as described above. This position is sometimes not very comfortable, since the saying that good postures are not often comfortable posture, while bad post are often comfortable but at the long run may cause pains.

While working in the kitchen, that is washing dishes, cutting fruits and vegetable and so on, make sure this is not done by flexing the back. Rather stand upright, and place one leg up on a raised wooden board so that one leg is position above the other as the activities continues when the leg on the floor becomes fatigue, it can be alternated with the one place on the raised board. This will cause the leg placed on the raised board to bend light at the knee, and the other leg straight.

Avoid lifting any weight that is up to or above fifty kilogram, instead one should seek for the assistance of other people to help in lifting heavy objects. The best way to lift up or pick light objects from the floor will be to place the dominant leg forward, keeping the back straight and bending the knees to lift or pick it up.

People should avoid working for too long a period of time in a static, flexed position but if they want to work for a long period of time, they can take a break in between work and during the break and rest period engage in back extension exercise .

More so, exercise should be balance with caloric restriction as this is best way for a person that wants to maintain an optimum weight, as excess weight can put more load and stress on the back causing back aches. The Body Mass Index (BMI) can be used to measure the body weight. This can be done using the formula weight (kg) / height (m2). BMI of 18.5-24.9 kg / m2 is normal, 25-29.9kg / m2 is termed overweight, and 30kg / m2 and above is termed obese.

Women of up to forty years should go for regular check up to know whenever they have started developing uterine, ovarian cancer. Also men of the above age should check the status of their prostate cancer as all this can lead to back ache, preventing this can prevent back pain. If there are a signs of urinary infection a person you go for a laboratory test to confirm this and if fully the result reveal this condition, they you try their best to treat the condition. Also avoid fecal impaction or constipation as this can cause or lead to back pain. To prevent this a person should drink a least three liters of water a day, take a lot of fruit and vegetable, and should eat a lot of fiber containing diet.

People should make use of lumbar roll which is usually place on the small of the back when they are going to be driving for a long journey in a car. But if they decide to take a commercial car, they should sit in the middle row of the bus. The lumbar roll can also be used by those who work for a very long time in a seated position. Those who make use of computers, writer and even students and those who love reading for a very long time.

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Short Video Helps Patients Understand Causes, Treatment of Back Pain

When lower back pain strikes, people are often left wondering what the cause is, whether it will get better and what they can do to help themselves recover. Given the number of important structures in the back, including vertebrae, spinal discs and nerves, it's easy to absorb the worst. However, most cases of back pain are muscular in nature. This means that imaging tests and invasive procedures are probably not indicated.

Dr. Mike Evans, a primary care physician based in Toronto, created an 11-minute instructional video to help back pain patients get a better grap on their conditions. He uses the concepts of red and yellow flags to teach patients what to expect and what to avoid in terms of diagnosis and treatment methods.

Red flags are symptoms that indicate a severe spinal problem, calling for the use of diagnostic imaging tests and potentially invasive treatment methods. Dr. Evans assures patients that the vast majority of people do not have red flag symptoms.

Red Flags

  1. Signs of Neurological Damage: sudden change in bowel and / or bladder habits; numbness in the groin area
  2. Signs / Risk of Infection – fever; IV drug use; compromised immune system
  3. Signs / Risk of Bone Fracture: traumatic injury; osteoporosis
  4. Signs / Risk of Cancer: history of cancer; constant pain; unexplained weight loss
  5. Signs of Inflammatory Disease: pain throughout the night; morning stiffness improving with movement

Much more common, and of most pressing concern to most back pain patients, are yellow flags. This concept denotes symptoms that increase the likelihood of pain transitioning from acute (short-term) to chronic (long-term).

Yellow Flags

  1. The belief that all pain is harmful
  2. Avoidance of activity due to that belief
  3. Low mood / isolation
  4. The expectation that passive treatment is sufficient to treat pain. Passive treatment entails work done by medical professionals without active involvement by the patient.

Dr. Evans states that 90% of patients with acute back pain will recover shortly. Yet some transition to chronic pain even without a residual condition because they are not active enough. Evans emphasizes movement as the best form of medicine for most back pain cases. He suggests developing a “resilience plan” that incorporates a structured exercise routine – be it walking, yoga, Pilates, etc. – with one or more of the following approaches:

  • Spinal Manipulation (chiropractor or osteopathic physician)
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (particularly helpful for those with chronic pain)

Evans' final bit of advice to patients is that they acknowledge but not focus on pain. This means avoiding the yellow flags of negative beliefs and attitudes towards pain and adopting a proactive approach.

Watch Dr. Evans' video at .

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How Did I Get Sciatica?

Have you ever experienced sciatic pain? That's the pain that's “kind of low back, but the pain goes into the butt cheek and down the back of the leg.” Have you ever had this? Do you have it now? Sciatica is a very common reason why people come into our office and there are several ways that patients get this condition.

The sciatic nerve is the big thick nerve at the bottom of your spell that travels along the same route that you're experiencing as described above. The nerve starts in the lower spine and runs down the back of the thighs and legs. Sciatica symptoms occur when there is pressure, inflammation, or damage to the sciatic nerve.

I know what I see with sciatica patients that come see us for help, but I did some digging around the internet to find out what the online world says causes sciatica versus what I see on a daily basis.

Common causes of sciatica include:

  • A bulging or herniated disc
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Trauma
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Spinal tumors

Sounds pretty terrible and it seems that very little can be helped with chiropractic care, right? Wrong. We help sciatica patients on a regular basis. Thankfully, the causes we often find are more more simple to alleviate. The simple answer to what is causing your pain is likely the problem that is often ignored when visiting a doctor that is not a chiropractor and, therefore, not looking for the same types of potential causes.

What about spinal misalignment?

That's the first thing I thought about when reviewing some online resources. Why is this not listed as a potential issue when we see it so often in patients coming into our office? Since the sciatic nerve is being affected, irritated, and pressured, we want to take a look at what is actually causing the pressure on this nerve – and that can easily be a spinal misalignment.

During the consultation and examination, I am looking for the potential causes listed above and trying to rule them out as possibilities. In most cases, we can rule nearly all of them out pretty quickly. Next, I will look for any spinal misalignments that may be creating pressure on that nerve.

The L5 vertebra, the pelvis, and the sacrum are all specific areas that I will evaluate as the leading cause of the sciatic pain. When I'm feeling along the spine, I may feel areas of heat (increased temperature due to inflammation), spasm, or point tenderness on specific joints. Any of these indicators can reveal a spinal misalignment. If these areas match up with nerve roots that can affect the sciatic nerve, then I can feel reasonably comfortable that chiropractic care can help.

Radiographic examination (x-ray) is a good idea in almost all cases, so that you can be even more certain that there's nothing going on with the spine that would prevent you from getting chiropractic care. What we see on x-ray can also alter the types of treatment or referrals we would make to help you get the best results as quickly as possible.

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Causes Of Back Pain And Treatment Options

Many of us will experience neck and back discomfort at least once in our lives. There are many reasons why many people have back pain. The following are some of the causes of back pains and complications.

Injury or accident:
For some people problems may be as a result of an injury or accident. Accidents lead to shock in the muscles and tendons. In some cases it may be as a result of bone dislocation. It is advisable to seek medical assistance if the pain persists.

Poor posture:
For others the problems is as a result of slow and progressive increase of pain on the back. Sometimes the issue could be as a result of a continued poor posture. Usually a poor post puts your head forward and exerts a lot of stress on the muscle in the back of the neck and the upper part of the shoulders. If you have a poor posture problem your muscles are constantly in a state of contracting which results in injury and discomfort.

Failure to exercise:
Failure to exercise opposing muscle groups can lead to neck, shoulder and back discomfort. The imbalance of muscle strength can lead to chronic or periodic pressure in these areas.

A sedentary lifestyle, obesity and lack of muscle tone may also lead to back complications. The neck and back share the same muscles and that means if one is negatively affected it will affect the other.

Treatment options:
The following are some of the safe and effective things to do. However, if your back does not benefit from these, the best thing will be to see a doctor.

Application of heat or ice:
Apply heat or ice on the specific area in a way that you feel comfortable. In other words, beside the fact that ice may be too cold, you should not feel pain as you do this. You may need to apply ice packs wrapped in towels for around 10 minutes after every 2 hours. On the other hand, you may need to apply heat instead of ice or use the two. Remember to have a cloth between your skin and the ice.

Massage helps to increase blood flow to the muscles. It also improves muscle tone and assays your muscles to relax.

Use of pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin can bring the pain down.

Try to lie comfortably in a well hung bed and relax. The best position for your back is on your side with the knees bent.

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What Women Need to Know About Hip Bone Pain

Many women suffer from hip bone pain. It is more common the older a patient is, but can occur at any age. The bones in the hip and upper thigh are some of the strongest in the body. However, no bone or joint is free from potential harm. With normal wear and tear through life, common diseases, or a trauma that causes damage, anyone can end up with pain in their hip. There are a number of self-help methods that could ease symptoms, but you should always keep in good communication with your doctor about any new developments, to ensure you receive proper diagnosis and treatment.

Typical Causes

Most often, the causes of hip bone pain are due to overraining the hip muscles, bones, or tendons. Tendinitis and bursitis are both problems that involve inflammation of tissue around the hip. They occur because of performing stressful, repetitive activities. Muscle and tendon strain are caused the same way. They are all common conditions for women. Fractures are more common with the elderly and those involved in overly active activities causing frequent jarring or impact on the body, such as extreme sports and jobs. Arthritis is also a common cause of trouble with the hip. In some instances cancer could be a culprit.

Self Help Methods

Keeping the body strong can help prevent injury in the first place or can help the body heal. Proper nutrition and low-impact exercises can help maintain your weight (lesing the daily strain on the hips) and strengthen bones, muscles, and tendons. Swimming, yoga, and walking can all be very beneficial. Stretching can also help sore muscles relax and relieve their strain on tendons and bones. Placing ice packs on the sore area can help if the problem is due to inflammation. Many cases of hip bone pain can be treated with over the counter pain or anti-inflammatory medication.

When to see a doctor

Sharing any new development in your body is always a good idea when you see your doctor during your regularly scheduled visit. They can help diagnoseose issues and provide treatment options as they occur. However, if you experience severe hip bone pain that came on suddenly, then you should seek immediate medical attention. The appearance of warmth, redness, or swelling around the joint is also cause for alarm and should be inspected by a medical professional soon. It is also serious if you have just experienced a tragic event, especially if you heard a popping noise during the injury or are not able to put weight on the joint after it. Getting help quickly can help prevent further damage.

Treatment options

A doctor will make a treatment plan to fit the diagnosis. Treatments for hip bone pain could include physical therapy, during which time a therapists taught you proper postures and exercises. They will help you learn how to help your body heal and avoid injury in the future. A doctor also could prescribe over the counter or prescription medication to help with the ailment. In several cases, the issue could require surgery. In all cases it is important to educate yourself about the diagnosed condition and follow all doctor's orders, to ensure the safest recovery possible.

Remember to check with your doctor before taking any treatment or medical remedy.

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Self-Massage Technique May Help Chronic Pain Patients Battle Insomnia

The relationship between chronic pain and lack of sleep is a vicious cycle: Pain interferees with sleep and, in turn, a lack of sleep lowers one's pain threshold. Pain can interfere with sleep in a couple ways. First and most obvious, physical pain can cause a person to stay awake or to wake up from sleeping. Second, and more subtle, is the fact that chronic pain is often associated with anxiety; worrying about how you'll feel the next day, whether or not the pain will get worse, how the pain will affect your ability to function, etc. can contribute to a lack of sleep.

Many chronic pain patients are weary of sleep medications. Tolerance, addiction and withdrawal are concerns – concerns that those who take pain medications already face. Finding a natural, safe way to break the insomnia / pain cycle is an important area of ​​chronic pain treatment. Preliminary research out of the University of Alberta suggests that a Japanese form of hand massage called shiatsu may be a safe, effective and affordable option.

Shiatsu involves the use of pressure, massage and stretching techniques implemented on the palm and fingers. The form of therapy operates on the Eastern promise that energy (qi) flow through the body becomes disrupted, causing illness and dysfunction. Unblocking the flow of energy with techniques such as shiatsu is meant to restore function and health.

Researchers followed nine chronic pain patients with insomnia issues who were taught self-shiatsu technique and instructed to perform it every night before bed. Many of the patients fall sleep while performing shiatsu on their hands, and some reported fewer sleep interruptions through the night.

The researchers are not quite convinced that the restoration of energy flow is the mechanism behind any beneficial effects shiatsu may have on patients. Cary Brown, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta and one of the pilot study's authors, suggests that the focus required of patients during shiatsu performance may distract from the worries associated with chronic pain, thereby facilitating sleep.

Watch an interview with Cary Brown at .

Although more research is needed to validate the findings of this very small study, people with pain may find shiatsu study a worthy option because it is safe and affordable. Patients can simply take a training session with a message therapist or physical therapist trained in the form of massage, then administrator it themselves each night.

For more on the link between lack of sleep and pain threshold, see = blogs & _r = 0 .

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21 Back Pain Facts

Lower back pain (lumbar) affects the great majority of us. It affects all age groups and activity levels.

Here are 21 facts you should know.

  1. It is the leading cause of disabilities in the world.
  2. Americans spend $ 50 billion per year on this serious and painful condition.
  3. Up to 80% of any given population experience and suffer from either acute or chronic forms of this pain.
  4. The number of given people who have painful back issues increases with age.
  5. It can begin as early from school age and well into the senior years with 35-55 years of age being the most affected.
  6. 50% of working people every year admit to having some symptoms of back pain.
  7. 90% of people with acute lumbar pain will recover within 6 weeks.
  8. 7% of people with acute back pain will eventually develop chronic back pain.
  9. It is one of the most common reasons given to employers for missed work.
  10. Fewer than 5% of people who suffer from back pain are qualified candidates for surgical treatment.
  11. A larger proportion of adults with any type of lower back pain fill and use medical prescriptions annually than those without.
  12. It is the third most common reason for surgery.
  13. United States health care spends as much on spinal problems as it does on cancer every year.
  14. It is the second most common reason for visits to the family doctor.
  15. Those who are overweight, 'weekend warriors' or are generally unfit are the most affected.
  16. The majority of instances are mechanical. ie muscular and joint related.
  17. The most common mechanical causes are muscle or ligament strains.
  18. Those with it are three times more likely to report limitations related to social, recreational and family activities.
  19. People with chronic lumbar pain are more likely to report significant levels of psychological distress, depression and anger while those who suffer from acute lumbar pain are much less likely.
  20. Pain that is worse in the morning and improvements with movement and stretching is often indicative of a muscle related issue or injury.
  21. It is a symptom of an undercoming injury or problem. Most of these problems can be addressed through exercise rehabilitation.

Lower Back Pain is a very common and difficult condition to address, treat and overcome. It is important to consult your family doctor or back specialist prior to any treatment method. One of the best methods of treatment is with specific and targeted exercises designed for protection of the lumbar spine. If you suffer from this form of pain and are considering a simple, easy and safe exercise plan, please consider a low back pain program.

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Common Risk Factors for Lower Back Pain

What might I be doing wrong to cause my low back pain?

There are a variety of factors that may contribute to your back pain and its recurrences.

At any given time, more than one of these factors may be at work. The risks themselves vary as your activities and lifestyles do. The amount of time that you spend, the intensity, and especially the way in which your perform activity plays a significant role in the degree of low back pain that you experience.

Your sources of low back pain will also change as your activity changes, making it more difficult to diagnose and treat. Although some back problems are preventable, others may not be. Some unavoidable problems include direct injury to the spine or lower back, accidents or even illness. Here are some preventable factors that affect your low back pain:

Physical Strain and Stress on your Muscles, Joints and Ligaments

Overuse, underuse, misuse and poor condition of these parts of the body can lead to injury of the lower back. Muscle problems and injury can occur from the cumulative build up of small strains and tears. This potentially leads to painful back spasm and muscle guarding. Without adequate treatment, a cycle of healing and injury may occur.

Examples of strain and stress are:

  • intense exercise beyond your normal limits
  • exercise without adequate training or conditioning
  • improper lifting technique
  • repetitive use of a particular muscle group
  • unhealthy bodyweight

Mental and Emotional Stress

The daily toll of stress in our lives has a significant impact on our bodies. This causes increased tension in our bodies that we may not even realize is occurring. The lumbar spine is specifically given to this form of stress because it is always in a state of contracting to support both the weight of the body and the movements from it. Stress causes unnecessary tightness and fatigue to this area and reduces our ability to relax the muscles of our lower back.

Emotional stress almost always results in a tightening of the lower back. This tension can remain well beyond the time that we experienced the stressful event and risk injury to our back. Treatment for emotional stress can be more difficult to manage due to many factors beyond the scope of this article.

Muscular Imbalances

Muscles that are tight, short, weak, overstretched and poorly conditioned will certainly increase our risk of low back pain. Muscles that support both sides of the spine must be balanced to protect the vertebrae and disks. Imbalances lead to disk pain and possible rupture.

Facet joints are vulnerable to excessive pressure from muscle imbalances. Wear and injury to these joints can trigger further pain including back spasms. Reconditioning the muscles groups with effective exercise is vital to correcting these imbalances.

Direct Injury to the Spine and Accidents

Injury to the spine can be both acute and chronic. Accidents such as slips, falls or injury from heavy physical exertion are difficult to avoid. An acute injury that is not properly rated and resolved may lead to a chronic problem and further injury. An injury in the past that has not yet adequately healed or correctly may return to aggravate your lower back.

Disk Problems

Acute and chronic back problems can lead to disk injury and wear. Disk bulge, rupture, herniation, tear and thinning are serious concerns that may require medical attention. These injuries lead to increased pressure on the nerves of our spinal canal and increase wear on the facet joints of the vertebrae. Exercise will help to stabilize and control any harmful movement to this area.

Facet Joint and Bone Degeneration

Wear to the facet joints and vertebrae creates significant amounts of pain to the lower back. They are usually accompanied by wear and thinning of the lumbar disks. These areas of wear are typically part of the aging process. Poor diet, exercise, conditioning and treatment may accelerate this process.

Nerve Problems

This usually occurs with skeletal damage as stated above and also incidental or direct injury. Disk wear and thinning lead to progressive narrowing or impingement of the nerves that travel through the spinal canal and also the nerve roots that exit from it.

This can cause:

  • nerve pain
  • numbness
  • tingling sensations that travel out from the area of ​​concern
  • radiating pain
  • sensation of pins and needles
  • poorer function of tissues and organs that receive nervous supply from the nerve
  • sciatica
  • spinal stenosis
  • cauda equine syndrome

While many of these factors should be addressed and treated primarily by a Physician or Back Specialist, there are also options available to explore in addition. There are very effective and specific exercises, movements and stretches that we can learn and perform for the prevention of lower back pain. Make sure that your family doctor gives consent prior to any exercise program is performed.

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Unpaid Caregivers at Risk of Chronic Pain

In the US, about 14 million unpaid caregivers spend at least 21 hours a week assisting loved ones with daily activities. Caring for those with illnesses or disabilities is a physically and emotionally demanding task, one that, according to new research, can turn into a catch-22: Caregivers are susceptible to musculoskeletal pain, which may, at times, render them unable to provide care and possibly even cause them to require assistance themselves.

Interviews and questions administered to 46 unpaid caregivers yielded information concerning the high incidence of pain, impact on caregiving ability and quality of life and caregiving tasks that are most physically challenging. The following were reported:

  • 94% reported musculoskeletal pain in one or more body parts
  • 76% reported lower back pain
  • 43% reported knee, shoulder and wrist pain each
  • 78% said that pain affected their ability to provide care
  • 66% reported impact of pain on quality of life

The most physically demanding tasks reported were:

  • Toileting
  • Transfers
  • Stair navigation
  • Recovery from falls
  • Bathing

One of the study's authors, Amy Darragh, PhD and occupational therapist, noted that the physical toll of caregiving is not isolated to unpaid or informal caregivers; professionals perform the same tasks and are there before at risk of musculoskeletal pain. However, informal caregivers are not provided with the training and technological support to help prevent injuries that professionals are afforded. Unpaid caregivers are, then, a unique demographic in need of additional resources.

This problem inspired the researchers to begin developing a protocol for informal caregivers that will help them find support and take care of themselves. They plan to study the protocol's effectiveness in the coming year.

The main tenets of the protocol are as follows:

  • Seek training from local resources (hospitals, Red Cross, etc.) – a list of resources can be found at .
  • Keep track of your activities and resources.
  • Get / accept help. Darragh suggests keeping a list of activities you could use help with the phone so that, when a family member or friend offers to help, you can easily identify a specific activity to request help with.
  • Mind yourself. Caregivers may be so focused on their care recipients' well-being that they neglect their own. Eating well, sleeping well and attending regular health check-ups are important for caregivers to maintain.
  • Think ahead. Identify resources even if you do not need them yet – you might someday, and it's better to know what's out there beforehand. Look into reply programs, day care programs, available volunteers, etc.

By seeking training and taking basic steps to mind your own health, you can reduce the risk of injury and chronic pain associated with caregiving in general, and especially informal caregiving. There is help out there – in the form of medical devices, biomechanical training, volunteers, loved ones and emotional support groups – to make your caregiving experience safer and healthier.

See more on Darragh's study at .

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Car Accident Back Injuries

There are many ways that people can hurt their backs other than just lifting something the wrong way or falling down. One of the most common ways to hurt the spell is to be involved in a car accident because the human body can not stand up to the power of inertia, and when two objects meet, the power of the collision can cause damage to things like tissue, bones, ligaments, and even if people do survive, they may end up with injuries that are going to need a person injury doctor to treat it.

Treating Injuries To The Back And Spine

The problem with getting a back injury is that sometimes it is not so obvious that the car accident has done more than wreck the car. People may wake up a couple of days after the incident, and suddenly they are so stiff and sore that they are not able to even move out of their bed. A personal injury doctor has some recommendations for what patients can do if they have not seen out medical treatment yet for their back injury, and what to expect once they do:

• What to do after an accident occurs: The most obvious thing for people to do if they have been in a wreck is to call for the police to come, but people also need to call for an ambulance to be taken to a hospital. There are so many things going on when an accident happens that people think they are fine, but with adrenaline pumping through their bodies, they are not aware that they actually do have an injury. Whether people experience pain after the accident or not, thy need to go to a hospital to get checked out.

• Temporary solutions to accident injuries: Not everyone listens to good advice, and sometimes people go home after a car accident without going to the hospital for any kind of examination. Within a few hours of the incident, people may start to feel bad or pain. The best way to treat any kind of pain is to use ice packs to help alleviate pain, and then go seek out a personal injury doctor .

• Getting car accident injuries evaluated: Once an appointment is made with a personal injury doctor, the first thing that doctor will do is find out all the information about what happened so a medical evaluation can begin. People will be examined, and their backs may be x-rayed and a scan can be performed like an MRI to see exactly what is going on with the spine and the tissue surrounding it.

Accidents can cause a lot of injuries especially to the back, and although an injury may not appear right away, they still need to be treated before people end up not being able walk or even work.

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Signs That You May Have A Slipped Disc

Suffering from a slipped disc can be extremely painful. A slipped disc occurs when a disc or a part of a disc in the spine sufferers from a rupture. When this happens, a small amount of gel leaks out from the rupture and this leads to extra pressure on the nerves that surround the disc. Due to this extra pressure, the person suffices from a lot of discomfort. It is important to know the various symptoms which may cause the symptoms so that you can get yourself checked immediately instead of suffering through the pain.

Numbness and Weakness

When a slipped disc occurs, certain parts of the body may start to feel numb. This numbness is caused due to the pressure which was created by the gel on the nerves. In certain other cases, the nerves get injured and start to get weak. At these times, the person may also start to feel weakness during their everyday activities. Both these are signs of a slipped disc.

Pain in different parts of the body

In most cases, the arms, shoulders, legs, buttocks or thighs start to experience pain. If you start to get pain in your arms or shoulders, it is very likely that there is a problem in the neck region. On the other hand, a problem in the lower part of the back can usually be seen through pain in the legs, thighs and buttocks. The intensity of the pain will depend on the severity of the injury.

Issues with Bladder control or Bowel Control

In some cases, some people may start to find it difficult to control their bowel and bladder movements. This usually occurs only when the injury is very serious.
Trouble with day-to-day activities

People who suffer from a slipped disc may find it difficult to carry out regular motor skills which typically do not need any effort. From tying your shoe laces to writing on a piece of paper, motor skills may become difficult when there is a fault with the nerves.
Affected Muscles

The body has its own way of trying to heal itself. In this process, any muscles which are close to the affected area in the body will start to spasm. Muscle spasms often occurs when there is a slipped disc.

Depending on the area where the problem has occurred and the severity of the injury, people may also suffer from other signs and symptoms. Even if you suspect that you might be suffering from this condition, it is recommended that you get yourself checked in order to prevent any further complications.

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Do You Have a Pain in the Butt?

Although chiropractors are well known for their successful treatment of neck pain, headaches, and back pain, there are many other problems that they successfully treat. A common one is a chronic dull ache in the buttock region. The pain is usually only on one side and feels like it is originating from deep within the muscles and soft tissues. The more a person sits, the worse it gets, and walking seems to help alleviate it temporary. When left untreated, the pain and / or numbness can travel down to the hip, thigh, and even the foot.

The clinical term for this problem is called “piriformis syndrome”. A small muscle (called the “piriformis”) is located underneath the large buttock muscles. When you sit on a hard surface, on your wallet that is in your back pocket, or sit on an uncomfortable chair for a prolonged period of time, the pressure looks to aggravate and make the muscle very tight. Doing activities that require repetitive rotation of the hip and leg outwards can also provoke the muscle to go into spasm. Unfortunately, the largest nerve in your body, called the “sciatic nerve”, is located directly underneath the piriformis muscle. When this muscle goes into spasm, the sciatic nerve can become irritated or pinched. This nerve originates in the low back, passes under the piriformis muscle as discussed and travels down the back and side of your leg until it ends at the bottom of your foot. It is responsible for controlling the sensation of pain, touch of the skin, and most of the muscles of your leg. If the pressure on the nerve is sufficient enough, pain and numbness will be felt in the same pattern as where the nerve travels.

If you have symptoms that are similar to the ones I have described, you may have piriformis syndrome. However, there are other possibly more severe causes of the same type of symptoms so see your chiropractor to be sure an accurate diagnosis is made.

Once an accurate diagnosis of “Piriformis Syndrome” is made, the first step is to alleviate the spasm of the muscles (piriformis muscle) deep in the buttock region. This can be done by using specific deep pressure or massage of the muscle itself. To do this correctly, you must have a good knowledge of the anatomy of the region. In my office, I also use a mild electrical stimulation modality called “Interferential Current” to assist further in loosening the tight muscles. Of equal importance is how well the hip, low back, and pelvic joints are functioning. If there is a restricted range of motion or mobility of any of these joints, the adjunct muscles will have to compensate by working harder as you do your daily activities. This causes chronic muscle spasm and fatigue of the hip and low back muscles, eventually leading to the problem we are discussing. The most successful and safest way to restore the movement or range of motion to the joints I have described is through chiropractic manipulation. Depending on the size and age of the person, it can be done very gently or even firmly if necessary. To losen the muscles, such as the piriformis muscle, I use “trigger point therapy” (deep pressure to release the muscle tension) and have the person perform specific stretches at home.

When the muscle spasm is relieved and the joints are functioning normally, your body is then able to heal itself. Incorporating regular moderate exercise in your daily activities will also help speed along your recovery by keeping the muscles loose and the joints mobile. As I have stated before, only your body can heal itself and health care practitioners should be there to only help it along.

Finally, if there are activities that your are doing at home or at work that are you think may be aggravating the hip or buttock, discuss with your chiropractor how these things can be changed so they have less of a negative effect.

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