Archive for the 'Back Pain' Category

Jul 19, 2011 Posted Under: Back Pain

The Best Treatment Options for Sciatica

Sciatica is a condition that is brought upon by the irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerves found by the spinal column. The sciatic nerves run from the lower back up to the buttocks area, thighs, back of the legs and even up to the toes. If a person is experiencing sciatica, they will likely feel pain in different parts including a tingling kind of sensation from the lower extremities down to the toes. Sciatica pain can be very mild but it can also turn into extremely unbearable pain. Also, pain is usually felt on just one rear side or leg. It is seldom that pain is felt in both areas. Nonetheless, people should not exactly panic when they are diagnosed with sciatica or when it has been confirmed that they are suffering from such. There is sciatica treatment available. Methods can vary though most of them target the same thing – relieving pain.

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There are several options for individuals to address their sciatic condition. Among these, perhaps one of the best methods to relieve pain is to reduce physical activity and try to bed rest for a couple of days. Walking or even the mere prospect of standing can already strain the nerves. People should see to it that they stay off the ground until the pain subsides. Bed rest is actually one of the most immediate solutions to such problem. The sciatica can also subside by itself if the body is given enough rest. However, it is also necessary to remember that bed rest should not be prolonged because long periods of inactivity can actually worsen the condition. Rest and physical activity should be balanced. In this case, the person needs to also perform mild exercise such as stretching and a little bit of walking. The muscles should always be firm and developed in order to provide better support for the back.

Warm baths can also help. They can provide a soothing effect throughout the body and in fact reduce pain like no other. The warm temperature can be therapeutic. However, unlike warm baths, heating cannot be used to address the problem. Such direct heat over the affected area can only worsen the inflammation. Prolonged heat basically exacerbates the symptoms which is not good at all. Instead, it is better to use ice packs. The cold temperature provides temporary relief and helps reduce the swelling.

Medications can also be used to treat sciatica. It may be over the counter or in some graver cases, doctor prescribed. It is possible to try different types of treatment depending on the preferences of the person. Treatment also depends on what the doctor deems best for the condition of the patient.

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May 20, 2011 Posted Under: Back Pain

Transverse Abdominal Muscle Function

The Transverse Abdominal Muscle is the prime mover in stabilizing the lumbar spine. It is responsible for controlling movement and hence pain in the lower back. The transverse abdominal muscle when tight and controlled becomes functional. The benefits of the transverse abdominal muscle are many. When it is used consistently and correctly it will flatten your tummy, align your spine and control your back pain. The use of this muscle must be taught by an expert and it must be understood to actually get the maximum benefits from using it.

This muscle is also known as the Transversus Abdominis muscle. So if you see these two names used together or separately then don’t think they are talking about different muscles, they are one and the same. This muscle is the key stabilizer for people to function during daily activities. It is the single most important muscle for every human to have control of. Every person needs good core strength to perform their daily activities. The transverse abdominal muscle will do this if trained properly. It is not enough to just attend an exercise or Pilate’s class to think you are working this muscle. You must know you are or you are not.

A Quick Test
Breathe in through your nose (not a big breath). Now blow slowly and gently out through pursed lips. Do this 4-5 times.

Now as you do the blow parts, draw your belly button and the muscle below your belly button in toward your spine. Keep blowing and keep tightening until you need to breathe in. Did you feel the tightening through your lower tummy? If you didn’t then keep practicing the pattern as worded and focus on the muscle not the breath.

You will also feel your pelvic floor tighten if you have it right. If you got this then over the period of your day practice this little muscle crunch of the Transverse abdominal muscle. For the muscle to be trained and become functional this is the first step. That is you can feel it and actually tighten it on command and then progress on to train it to be strong and functional.
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Training the function of the Transverse abdominal muscle must be taught by and expert though, don’t think just any exercise class will do it for you.

To have a strong functional core means a better posture, stronger muscle tone generally and certainly pain control in the lower back. The benefits of this training are many explore your core and enjoy.

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Apr 20, 2011 Posted Under: Back Pain

How to Relieve Sciatica and Leg Pain

Sciatica is a broad term often used to describe symptoms that run down the leg; pain, tingling and numbness. However true sciatica involves the pinching or irritation of the sciatic nerve in the lower spine and the pain signals are then sent down the length of the nerve. This can occur when there is damage to the spine and spinal discs.

There are however other very common situations where there is radiating pain down the leg and the cause is a muscular one. These are the situations we will be talking about today.

Piriformis and It’s Syndrome

Piriformis is a short small muscle that lies deep in the buttock region. It acts to rotate the hip and stabilise the leg when walking. When this muscle is shortened and tense, the trigger points that develop can refer pain around the sacroilliac joint, the hip, around the buttock and down the back of the leg.

Piriformis also lies next to the sciatic nerve and major blood vessels, when the muscle spasms or is overused it can reproduce sciatic symptoms. This is known as piriformis syndrome, in 15 -30% of the population the sciatic nerve actually runs through this muscle and they are thought to be much more likely to suffer from piriformis syndrome.

Gluteus Minimus

Gluteus minimus is the smallest of the three main gluteal muscles and it functions mainly to support the pelvis when we are on one leg as well as take the leg away from the body. When trigger points develop in this muscle, pain can follow one of two patterns depending on which trigger points are active. Pain can either travel down the side of the thigh to the lower leg and ankle or down the back of the leg to the calf. It can also be felt directly in the hip join,t making it very painful get to sleep on the affected side.

This muscle is also prone to developing trigger points when there are trigger points present in the muscles of the lower back (quadratus lumborum) as well as when there are long periods of inactivity and from compression such as sitting on a wallet when driving.

So if you have been suffering from back and leg pain and no cause has been established, clear MRI’s, x-rays etc, it is quite likely that trigger points in this area are the culprits! In the case where there is an impingement of the sciatic nerve, releasing muscle contraction in this area can help offer the sufferer some relief from symptoms. Massage and Muscle therapy for Pain Relief. Relieve pain by relieving trigger points and contracted muscles. Very effective treatment for back and neck pain, sciatica, hip and leg pain, headaches, repetitive strain injuries and much more.

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Apr 06, 2011 Posted Under: Back Pain

Chinese Treatment For Back Pain

Traditional Chinese medicine is as popular today, as it was 2500 years back. In the last few millennia, it has been used to treat a variety of illnesses and health problems effectively. As a back stiffness victim; you too can look towards the same for an everlasting solution for your back issues. Here’s more.

Chinese medications stress the use of certain simple stretches to treat back stiffness.

  • One such stretch change requires you to lie on your back on a firm bed or floor. You must then fold your knees with your feet strongly planted on the ground. Once you’ve presumed this position, you need to bring your knees towards your abdominal area and inhale seriously. As you breathe out, you’re to slowly move your legs away from each other towards either side. This movement should allow you to feel a slight stretch in your inner quads. Continue to keep your eyes shut as you focus on your back. The workout will help relax the iliopsoas muscle connected of your lumbar region and relieve agony. It is also one of the very finest exercises for sciatica.
  • Another easy stretch recommended by standard Chinese medicine is the table stretch. This exercise can help treat sciatica and other kinds of back trouble too. To practice this stretch, sit on a chair straight with a table in front of it. Now lean across the table and hold the farthest edge of the table with both your hands. Now take a deep breath. Exhale and let your legs fall freely on the floor. Target your back and attempt to feel the stretch. Hold this position for so long as you can and then come back to the normal position.

Apart from the stretches mentioned above; Chinese medication also offers many natural treatments for sciatica and other back anomalies. The ginger and sesame oil liniment is believed to be one of the most efficient treatments for the same. To make this at home, you may require an equal amount of sesame oil and ginger juice. Mix the 2 together and heat them in a pan before applying to affected areas. You’ll find that it eases pain while simultaneously improving your blood flow. In addition, it will supply warmth to the affected area and also, further pain relief. And, while you may apply it as many times as you need; you must ideally use the cream twice daily- preferably after a shower and before going to bed.

The above remedy works for most kinds of back conditions. However, it is not recommended for agony that is triggered by an injury or wound. Applying it in these cases, could lead to rosiness and itchiness of the skin. If you develop rashes though; you should refrain from utilizing the unguent altogether.

Another effective Chinese cure is lumbar region self massage. This one involves rubbing your back up and down with your fists. Use your knuckles too when massaging your back. You can use this for whichever area is hurting or experiencing stiffness. Massaging therapy is very efficient for sciatica patients.

Use these standard Chinese treatments to address back trouble effectively and permanently.

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Apr 02, 2011 Posted Under: Back Pain

Advantages Of Ergonomic Chairs

If like me you’re concerned by the effects of poor office furniture on your back, this is the article for you. In it I will go over all; the advantages I can think of replacing your office furniture with ergonomic alternatives for the sake of your productivity, your posture and your mind.

Let me start by telling you my story, I started out in an office with many other people, all working away on substandard equipment just because our employer at the time decided to skimp on things he didn’t deem necessary (note: he has his own orthopaedic chair) for his staff. As such we worked for years in chairs which molded and shaped out backs into unnatural and dangerous positions, eventually I left there to work from home and discovered the joys of having both an ergonomic work station and chair to do my work in. Needless to say over the last year I’ve seen massive improvements in everything from energy to comfort levels, let me spell out the advantages.

Pain reduction: When sitting in an office chair your posture remains static and therefore causes amazing stress on and spine and muscles surrounding, you may also experience leg pain or joint trouble. An ergonomic chair minimises this pain because your back doesn’t have to struggle with the strain anymore.
Improved productivity: When sitting in a well made orthopaedic chair will cause you to feel less fatigue and discomfort as you would with a “traditional” office chair or even the height of your desk and the pressure it places on your upper back and arms rather than a desk which takes that into account.
Adaptability: unlike normal chairs ergonomic chairs can be adjusted in many ways to suit your body and the height of your work station, you can tilt in every way and still remain comfortable and safe without damaging your back. Many orthopaedic chairs come with different levels of foam packing inside them, meaning you can tailor make your chair for your specifications.
So those are the advantages of ergonomic chairs are and they are threefold: Pain reduction is highly important for everyday life, and in cases, a chair is better than a painkiller. Improving your productivity will help yourself and others around you both at work and at home, and you will be more adaptable to change with a healthy back. A good bad back chair is essential for your health.

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Mar 31, 2011 Posted Under: Back Pain

Beds and Back Pain

It has been estimated that approximately 4 out of 5 people in the UK over the age of 16 will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. This pain may be long term or it may last for only one or two days. Regardless, back pain can have an extremely detrimental effect on a person’s day to day life. It can affect your working life, social relationships, as well as the obvious effect on physical activity.

What causes back pain?

There are numerous causes for back pain and in some cases it can be difficult to pinpoint one single factor. It is known that a poor quality or incorrect type of mattress can both add to the pain already suffered or in some cases can even be the main contributing factor.

How does a bed affect my back?

A mattress which is unsuitable may put your spine out adjustment, causing intense pain. In other cases where the back pain is already present, a mattress which does not support your back correctly can have a negative impact on recovery. This can result in the pain being prolonged and/or worsened.

How do I know what is right for me?

This is a good question and the answer will largely depend on you as an individual. It is fairly common knowledge that mattresses can vary in firmness. In other words, some mattresses are harder or softer than others. But did you know that you can purchase mattresses with different textures and those which are made from different materials? Some people with back pain find that mattresses with contouring materials or memory foam are particularly comfortable. Again, this is something which will depend on the pain you are experiencing.

It is a good idea to try various mattresses out yourself. Of course, reading and researching the options is beneficial and can give you a good idea of what is available but there is no substitute for your own experience.

Try lying on the bed to gauge whether it is the correct size, first and foremost. Don’t be afraid to spend more than just a couple of minutes testing it. This is an investment in your own health, after all!

Try and relax your muscles when testing out the mattress. This will give you a much more accurate idea of how well the mattress suits you as when you lie in the bed in your own home, you will be far more relaxed than you would be at a store for example.

It is important to note that when moving around the bed, that it should contour around your natural shape. It should be a suitable firmness, so should not be too hard or too soft. If it is an unsuitable firmness, you may find that this pushes your spine out of alignment which will worsen or prolong your pain.

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Please also remember that when it comes to back pain, it is definitely recommended that you speak to your doctor for advice on the best option for your condition. Your new bed should be thought of as a valuable asset to your health and should bring you some much deserved comfort at the end (and start) of each day.

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Mar 05, 2011 Posted Under: Back Pain

Could Your Feet Be Causing Your Back Pain?

It is no surprise that when most people suffer from back pain or sciatica that the first place they may check for problems in their body is in the back or hips. But did you know that the human body is like a finely tuned instrument? When one part of the body is out of balance, it can mean problems in so many other parts of the body as well. The problem with your back may not be in your back itself, but maybe in your feet.

You use your feet for so many activities throughout the day that even a small problem in your feet can through your back out of alignment and wreak all sorts of havoc on you. If your health is generally well, then consider your feet.

Do you tend to wear out a certain side of your shoes or socks before the others? Are your feet angled either inward or outward while you walk? Are your toes crooked? Do you suffer from additional pain in your ankles or shins in addition to back pain? Are your feet tired after a long day in general?

These could all be signs that there is something wrong with the alignment of your feet that could be causing back pain. Your feet help to balance you, act as shock absorbers for the stresses that walking (really a controlled form of falling) have on your body.

Problems such as pronation (tilting your feet inward too much) can cause the leg to rotate, the pelvis to shift, and the curvature of the spine to change. As you can see your body really is a very delicate thing. If one thing such as your feet are out of alignment, it can really throw everything else off too.

Foot orthotics can solve a lot of these problems. Now, maybe you don’t like the idea of orthotics, after all, wasn’t the kid in school that had orthopedic shoes the one who always got laughed at? Well, that may have been the case back then, but you’re an adult now and there is nothing embarrassing about taking an interest in your health.

There are 2 major kinds of orthotics

1. The first kind helps to correct minor deformities in the foot. These functional and supportive orthotics can help with flat feet, high arches, or problems with the ball or heel of the foot.

2. The second type helps to distribute the weight in your feet better. These types of devices help to spread the weight of the body more evenly with padding and cushioning.

If you’re experiencing back pain, consider that it may actually be a misalignment of your feet that could be resulting in the back pain you are experiencing. If your feet are out of alignment, this issue can be corrected with orthotic shoe inserts that can help you hold your feet in a better position. Over time this will help you keep the rest of your body in alignment and help you ease your back pain.

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Dec 17, 2010 Posted Under: Back Pain

How Do Inversion Tables Help Low Back Pain?

There are big benefits to using inversion therapy tables. No matter whether you want to enhance posture, or preserve correct blood flow and circulation and even decrease continual low back discomfort affiliated with a pinched sciatic nerve and vertebral column compression, all these are possible with inversion therapy. Inversion therapy is a therapeutic treatment that was quite well-liked back in the mid-sixties for treating extreme lower back discomfort associated with herniated discs and spinal compression. The idea of inversion therapy goes all the way back to historic times, when Hippocrates, a renowned Greek doctor was one of the first persons to comprehend the effective nature of gravitational power used in treating lower back pain and similar conditions.

Due to gravitation force of the earth, the human body is subjected to continuous downward force on the bones, joints, muscle tissue and connective tissue. This downward force is frequent and it gets intensified via a variety of routines and movements. There may be various causes of lower back discomfort, although gravitation pressure on the spinal column and various vulnerable components of the human body is one of the leading reasons. The gravitational pressure can be double or even triple when doing every day activities such as sitting down or ascending stairs or lifting heavy objects.

It has been proven that people lose almost an inch of their height every single day as an end result of spinal compression from gravity. Throughout their life-time, human adults can lose about 2 inches from their total height by the time they have reached old age. For a lot of individuals, very small variations in height may not be a major cause for concern, though this alteration may cause a lot more harm than simply a difference in perceived height. In fact, the physical demonstration of gravitational pressure is placed on the entire body while executing every day activities. This is where inversion table exercises can play an important role in supplying anti-gravitational inversion therapy for lower back pain.

Inversion therapy is one of the most efficient ways to utilize gravity in the reverse direction. A gravity inversion table is employed to basically turn the body upside down by the ankles or feet, therefore making it possible for the joints, muscular tissues and connective tissues to stretch and elongate. Inversion therapy may be a lengthy process and may need a life time to undo the wear and tear that eventually leads to chronic lower back discomfort, joint conditions, cervical conditions, and pain all over the body. To have prolonged lasting effects, inversion treatment should be given a thorough trial, but it can present a near complete cure for low back pain with the help of low back pain workout routines.

Sciatica pain may be induced as a result of the pressure exerted on the sciatic nerve due to piriformis syndrome, bulging or prolapsed vertebral discs, spinal stenosis, arthritis, or spondylolisthesis. The sciatic nerve exercises can seriously help to minimize and control sciatic pain and minimize the dysfunctions that are responsible for pinched sciatic nerves. Conventional treatment options for sciatic nerve discomfort reduction include oral medications, weight loss routines and surgery. If the causes of lumbar discomfort have been identified as non-distinct, it may be helpful to take into account alternative options such as altering diet plan, lowering stress, and instituting lower back stretching exercises.

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Nov 24, 2010 Posted Under: Back Pain

Back Pain Caused By Bad Posture

Back pain is one of the common problems that affect both men and women. Very few of the people are aware with this reality that the most common cause of pain is the bad posturing. The pain increases in intensity due to bad posture, if it is present since long time.

Although the real solution of pain could be obtained from a physician, however; if the people know the cause of their pain, they can even settle down this problem without getting much help from a doctor. There are several people who come to know this reality, when they visit to their doctor, that they developed pain at their back, since they don’t bother to keep themselves comfortable during their work. They come to know that poor posturing of their body while standing, walking and sitting has brought such types of problems, which are now become out of their control. This reality becomes more evident when the doctor examines them and let them know about the changes that they have developed in their spine due to their bad posturing.

This is interesting to note that bad posturing doesn’t develop overnight; rather it takes many years by a person to acquire this habit. Therefore; the root cause of pain is very strong, and hence it takes much time for the treatment and for adaptation of good posture. This is necessary to realize that bad posturing is the main culprit of several problems. Since pain which is developed due to bad posturing keeps a person in distress and restlessness. The back pain impacts directly on the active life of a person and due to this pain; he or she becomes unable to perform routine tasks.

This fact should also be noted that pain due to bad posturing is completely curable. Nevertheless; for the treatment, along with the efforts of the doctor, a person should also play his role so that the earlier and better results could be extracted.

A person should observe his or her posture and intend to change it. A little practice would be required, which is not too difficult. Obviously, physical therapy would be a better option in order to tackle this situation. However; physical therapy could not treat the root cause of your pain. The treatment of the cause is in your hands. If you try to leave bad posturing, earlier recovery could be expected, and the normality could be obtained without any hassle.

This article is not written by a doctor or checked for accuracy by a physician.

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