Chronic

Do you work in an office? Do you drive for a living? Do you have a sedentary lifestyle?

No matter how much you workout in a gym or attend classes do you still have those niggling back pains that keep you from achieving your goals and frequently visiting your therapist?

Approximately 75% of the population suffer with chronic back problems or have had back pain in their lifetime!

Below are 7 simple ways to tackle back pain and rid yourself of those constant niggles forever!

1. Assess your ankle mobility – by putting your toe against the wall and without lifting your heel of the ground push your knee against the wall. If the back of the lower leg feels tight then work on stretching out that muscle. A mobility issue will be highlighted by an inability to move the ankle forwards. You can increase mobility using this simple wall exercise and with improvement you should be able to take your foot further away from the wall and still get your knee to touch without lifting the heel.

2. Hip Alignment – this happens because of improper or asymmetrical movement. If you have a flat back (often due to high heels) it could mean, in basic terms, that you have tight hamstrings pulling your hips downward causing your back to flatten too much, in this case work on flexibility of the hamstrings.

3. Tight Hip Flexors – from sitting for too many hours you could have tight hip flexors on the front of your hip which could pull your hips down at the front causing excessive curvature of the lower spine (hyperlordosis) again work on stretching of the hip flexors and quads and strengthen the muscles at the back of leg (hamstrings).

4. Activate those Glutes – don’t worry about having a bum (butt), strong glutes form the basis of good hip movement and help the spine do the job it’s meant to do. Work on exercises like bridging, squats, lunges and deadlifts etc!

5. Postural Awareness – especially those who have office jobs or drive long distances. Subtle prompts can help to stop slouching like off setting the inside mirror of the car which encourages you to sit up straight to view the rear properly. Setting up ergonomics at your office workstation to use both sides equally and view your monitor without slouching.

6. Stabilize the Spine – Practice core strength exercises that focus on stabilizing the spine e.g keeping the spine still whilst moving your extremities, like the deadbug exercise and the plank, you could challenge yourself by setting the clock to see how long you can do the plank for and work on improving your time!

7. Stay well Hydrated – water along side a good nutritional plan can surprisingly help. Being dehydrated takes water away from the spine to use in other areas of the body. Aim for around 2 litres per day.

Greg is a leading Personal Trainer for GB Personal Training in London, UK. http://www.gbpersonaltraining.com

Find More Back Pain Articles

Chronic back pain is one of the most universal medical problems today. Low back pain is such a common nuisance it affects up to 90% of Americans at some point in their life. Half will have more than one episode. Chronic back pain is not a specific disease. Rather, it is a symptom that may occur from a variety of different processes. These include degenerated discs and joints in the spine, spinal stenosis, and chronic muscle strain.
 
·   Chronic muscular strain: Chronic muscular strain is perhaps the most common cause of back pain. There may or may not be an initial event or accident. The result is a back ache that may come and go or be present all the time. The pain is not explained by another cause, such as those discussed below.
·   Degenerative disc disease and sciatica: Degenerative or traumatic processes in the discs of the back can lead to rupture or disc herniation. The disc protrudes and places pressure on the adjacent spinal nerves. When this condition occurs in the low back, it is called sciatica, and classically presents as leg pain and difficulty walking. Frequently, pain is felt radiating into the buttock, leg and/or foot.
·   Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal cord causing nerve compression in the back. When this condition occurs in the low back, it leads to persistent pain in the buttocks, limping, a lack of feeling in the lower extremities, and inhibited physical activity.
·   Arthritis/Degenerative joint disease: Arthritis pain in the back is the result of degenerative processes in the spine, and has been described as aching, stabbing, sharp, radiating, or hot. Degenerative processes in the spine can lead to slippage of one vertebrate on another or even fracture. Vertebral displacement can pinch nerves and create muscle tension.
 
To achieve relief from chronic back pain and sciatica one must understand:
·   Back pain is not prevented by the strengthening of the muscles of the back.
·   The stability of the back rather than the strength of the back prevents your back from harm.
·   Therapy for stability is quite different from strength training. 
 
Any approach to back pain treatment and sciatica should begin with a thorough evaluation of your spinal core and understands:
 
·   The stability of the back is dependent on a properly functioning spinal core
·   The spinal core is a complicated series of discs and vertebra, each with a slightly different function
·   Faulty interactions between vertebrae create excessive strain in the back
·   Optimizing interactions between vertebrae stabilizes the back, providing back pain relief and alleviating the pain of sciatica.
 
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a therapy method that could relieve your back and sciatic pain completely and stabilize your back in anywhere from one hour to one week? The Feldenkrais Method can show you how to rid yourself of back pain for good, without drugs, surgery or machines. Feldenkrais has been used to treat hundreds of people suffering from back pain, the goal of therapy being to relieve pain and prevent your back from being injured again. The Feldenkrais Method uses simple, gentle movements to reorganize posture, flexibility, strength and coordination.

Lori L. Malkoff, MD completed her Medical Degree at UC Irvine, earned a Master of Public Health degree at SDSU, and completed post-graduate training in Family Medicine at UCLA. She has been in private practice for 23 years. Dr. Malkoff is one of less than 10 Medical Doctors in the U.S. to be certified as a Feldenkrais Practitioner, and currently owns and operates The Feldenkrais Center of San Diego. Please visit http://www.thefeldenkraiscenter.com to learn more.

Management of Chronic Pain


This book provides an up-to-date account of how to deal with the major chronic pain syndromes, including back pain, body and myofascial pain, malignant diseases, neurogenic pain, and headaches. It covers the background knowledge required in practice, and gives clear and concise advice on managing patients who suffer chronic pain. This book is not a technical manual but provides the essential practical information required for effective patient management.

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