Back Pain
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Back pain and neck discomfort are very common and can be very frustrating. Mechanical soft tissue injuries of the neck and back occur in motor vehicle accidents, work related injuries, sports and leisure activities and simply in the activities of daily living.

After a back injury two groups of people have the most difficulty: 

The first group is people who spend long hours holding a fixed position of their upper back. Examples are working at a computer or as a cashier. These people develop neck and upper back pain and headache near the end of their work day.

The second group is people who have to lift and move heavy objects as part of their job. They have an increased chance of recurrent muscular spasm.

For anyone who has a back or neck strain it is essential that they take charge of their own recovery program and subsequently their own prevention program. Dependency on Physicians, drugs, Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists and a myriad of other "solutions" should be avoided at all costs. Learn the key information from all the "solutions" and then apply that knowledge in the individual circumstance diligently and consistently. As a start in this empowerment consider the following key issues:

Bed and Pillow:

People spend one third of their lives in bed. If their neck and back are strained during this time or if the posture they maintain is abnormal their back pain could last forever. It is essential to have a firm mattress and to use a pillow which maintains the head in a neutral midline position.

Shoes:

Sports shoe manufacturers have spent millions of dollars in research to design shoes with materials to absorb forces transmitted through impact with the ground. They have also addressed the need for proper arch support and necessary padding for the heel and metatarsal area of the foot. The same principles are useful to prevent irritation to any inflamed area of the spine or lower limbs. If you walk in bare feet or thin leather slippers you transmit forces approaching your body weight up the bones of your lower limbs to the spine and to the areas along the way that may have been strained. If you wear a good shock absorber on the soles of your feet, you diffuse some of the force at the floor and reduce irritation to the painful areas of the back, neck and legs. The message is to wear proper absorbance material on your feet at all the times that you are weight bearing. This can be wearing good quality jogging or walking shoes  or cork sandals. The popular habit of relaxing in bare or stocking feet is very irritating to back or lower limb pain. 

Regular Activity:

For people who sit at a desk or computer for long periods, it is important to regularly stand at 15 to 20 minute intervals and to do a simply series of stretch exercises that take less than a minute to perform. These stretches basically change the curvature in the cervical and lumbar spine and remind you to try to relax the muscles of the neck, low back and shoulders. Stand, look up to the ceiling twice, look down to the floor twice, roll the shoulders back and let arms hang straight down twice, and finally do two pelvic tilts slowly and carefully. By the end of the day you will have done several isometric exercises and reminded yourself to try to relax the muscles in the areas that experience pain by the end of a long period of fixed posture.

Regularly during the week make an effort to swim or do aquatic exercises. Swimming tones the front and back muscles symmetrically. Swimming is by far the best regular exercise program to rehabilitate strained back muscles and to condition your back and abdomen to prevent further strain.

Regular dancing is fun and a good conditioning exercise.

 

 

 

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