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80% of people will suffer from serious back pain in their lives, mostly LOWER back pain. Back pain is the second most common medical complaint, after the common cold. Back injuries cause an estimated 180 million lost days of work annually. Over 400,000 people in the UK receive Social Security payments for back injury. In the UK, 1.1 million people are disabled by back pain. The direct health care costs of back pain sufferers in the UK (1988) was over £ 1,500 million. Bending and lifting is the number one cause of serious back problems. Depression is often a major problem for people with chronic back pain.

If you've ever suffered from chronic back pain or been off work for a week or two with acute back pain, you are in the company of around 5 million other sufferers in the UK

annually who are forced to consult their GP about back pain or a related condition

losing weight can have a significant impact on reducing the strain you place on your back muscles. usually the lower back. If the bulging disc or disk herniation is large enough. There are two sciatic nerves. Back pain most commonly affects the lower. This is called “sciatica. Sometimes. The pain you feel is usually deep and achey and is located in the central area of the spine or just slightly off to one side or the other of the spine. with obvious consequences. over and above having to support a heavier load. usually at the vertebral level. When a disc has been injured and is bulging and swollen. and down the back of one leg. and twisting awkwardly to avoid injury transfers the strain to the back. Areas of inflammation cause bone to become worn and distorted. This is normally due to excessive strain on the muscles. but more often severe pain in the buttock. by a prolapsed (slipped) inter-vertebral disc. but usually sciatica only affects one leg at a time. in serious cases. What causes the back pain from a bulging disc? The pain comes from two main sources: 1. Quite often overweight people are also unfit. inflamed and to produce excess synovial fluid leading to redness. it can affect both legs. ligaments and small joints of the skeleton. The disc itself has nerves in its outer fibers.” How far down the leg the pain travels depends on which nerves are involved. stiffness. these nerves become irritated and send out pain messages to your brain. When trying to deal with pain in other areas. left and right. Sciatica: Sciatica causes. lumbar region of the spine.What kind of conditions can cause back pain ? Height/Weight ratio: If you are above the recommended weight for your height. sufferers often lose site of how distorted they have become. the spinal nerves too will be irritated. which presses on the root of the sciatic nerve where it joins the spinal cord. Remember: Putting on Weight is a Pain in the Back. which causes pain running down to the buttocks. Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is an inflammatory disease which causes the synovial membrane linings in the joints to become thickened. 2. and have poor muscle tone. . This is the result of the sciatic nerve being compressed or damaged. leg or foot. which puts them at increased risk. sometimes mild. thigh. swelling and pain.

Never lift a box or container without first finding out what's inside it. eating a meal. forty percent more weight is placed on the spine when you are sitting as opposed to standing. wheelbarrow or other mechanical device if possible. So sitting for prolonged periods is not the best thing to do for your back. Stand stable with your feet apart and solidly on the floor. Use a cushion or platform if not. children. Use a shopping trolley whenever possible. Not by swinging the load around to the other hand. Ironically. Never twist your body to the side when lifting. Lift the load using the power of your legs. It can force the sacrum out of alignment or encourage you to sit at an angle to relieve the pressure. get help whenever possible. Don't over reach and pull it toward you. Get up and move around often.             Never lift anything you don't have to. watching TV. computing. Check the size of the container and ascertain it's likely weight. Carrying Techniques: Examples of carrying include: Groceries. Do not twist at the hips. making the bed. Bend your knees when picking up and putting down again. so that you feel fully supported. children. driving. Keep the load close to your body. furniture. laundry. Avoid sitting with a wallet in your back pocket. mowing the lawn. Maintain a firm hold on the object. Know where you are going with the load and check your path will be clear. Stand square to the load and as close as is comfortable. Once you have the load. Adjust the chair for your position or comfort. Feet should touch the floor. Never be afraid to ask for help. hot saucepans. dustbin. Don't sit twisted or leaning to one side or the other. Bend your knees to give you power. changing a car tyre.Back to Basics: Back Tips to Prevent Back Strain. Don't twist. wheelbarrow or other mechanical device to transport loads whenever possible. but by putting down and picking up again. or lowering. Use a trolley. Stand squarely to the object. Use your legs to push or pull.       Don't move what you don't have too. Distribute your weight evenly. washing basket. Use firm steady pressure. Never jerk a load to get it moving. Don't rely on the picture on the box. .        Sit comfortably in the chair.          Wear sensible footwear to prevent slipping or tripping. luggage. Lifting Techniques: Examples of lifting include: Shopping. Use a trolley. Maintain a firm hold on the object. Stop frequently to rest and take note of what's going on with your back. Never bend forward at the waist (you'll take all the extra weight on your lumbar area). Sitting: Examples of sitting include: Reading a book. Suitcases or bags that can't be divided should be switched from side to side. vacuuming the stairs. face the direction of your movement. Bend your knees to reach the load. Look ahead to ensure your way is clear. Carrying/Moving Heavy Objects: Examples of moving heavy objects include: Moving furniture (including sliding). Don't allow yourself to become locked in the sitting position.

dusting mops or long handled dustpan and brush. pick them all up at once. .       Change position frequently. pull knees up. to keep your balance. not your back. changing a light bulb. Kneeling or Bending: Examples of kneeling and bending include: Gardening. Reaching: Examples of reaching include: Hanging out the washing. avoiding high heels. Examples of their use includes: Sweeping with a brush. washing dishes. then. settee or floor. ladder or scaffolding to allow you to work at a height that avoids reaching too far. Hold the handle close to your body. Get appropriate advice about whether you need a soft or a firm mattress.Standing for long periods: Examples of standing include: Waiting in a queue. Consider using a long handle trowel. painting. especially when looking up. Check for signs of pulling. To get out of bed. so that you aren't unbalanced by leverage. window washing. Wear sensible footwear. Some tools are dual purpose and have long handles that screw into shorter tools such as paint rollers. raking the lawn.       Choose good quality. Stand on a rubber mat or carpet. roll to the side. light-weight tools. Shifting from left to right. lopping trees. Consider using a reach grab (like the park keepers litter tool) for picking things up. Try not to strain arch your back. or position one foot 'ballet' style. Use both your knees and one hand and establish a 'tripod' to support yourself when working.       Make sure you are on a firm floor. place a board underneath it. Firming up a mattress is easy. When sitting at the side of the bed it should be possible to just stand up. swing legs over the edge and push up with both arms. Make sure you are standing squarely to the work. Scrape or sweep multiple items into a pile. Pay attention to your back if bending or kneeling. Fatigue will quickly set in. lopping. showering. Shifting your weight from one leg to the other. Don't over-reach so that you have to balance on one foot. finding lost items. washing floor.        Bend your hips and knees. fork or rake. Relieve the pressure on one leg at a time by resting it on a step. Use steps. ironing. unless you are used to this movement. mopping. on a therapist's couch. rather than bending. Sleeping or Lying: Examples include: In bed. Use long handles tools to avoid straining.      Change position frequently. Use your legs to give you power. pain and squelching. or unexplained clicks. feet apart and in a stable posture. dressing. waiting for a bus. Keep both feet firmly on the ground or step of your ladder. Pay attention to your posture. making the bed. stool. fetching from the top shelf of a cupboard. twist or use your trunk or back to apply pressure to a tool. Do not over-reach. washing windows. Don't sit up from lying down by squeezing your tummy muscles. playing with children. especially on an old mattress. NOT your back. Over weight people can strain their back when kneeling because the spine is forced to sag. Use Easy Reach Tools: Many hardware shops now sell long handled tools. Unbalanced twisting is a major cause of back injury. Never over-reach. This avoids the spine straining. Position yourself so that you are close to your work. such as for paint rollers or when dusting. digging. if light enough.

Use any of the above accessories to make your driving position easier and more comfortable. heated seating. Make sure you are able to adjust the seat in any position. vertically or horizontally. and correct placement.Driving: Examples of driving aids that are available include: Lumbar rolls. to avoid twisting. they do not offer a solution in the long run. mainly because you can't adjust the wheel or pedals to accommodate the new seat position. In addition. the lower vertebrae. Nor does surgery. for comfort. and under. It can force the sacrum out of alignment or encourage you to sit at an angle to relieve the pressure. Make sure your lower back is supported squarely in the seat. stop regularly to move and stretch as often as you can. . cushions. it has been suggested that increased levels of fitness may reduce an individual's risk for developing low back pain and spinal injury. What does alter. addiction to painkillers is becoming a tragic side effect of persistent back pain and failed back surgery. Use your mirrors (interior and exterior) to full advantage. and in particular. Swishing a soapy mop around. some doctors are prescribing large doses of addictive painkillers and patients are finding themselves having to "kick a habit" they never dreamed they could fall victim to. give some thought to an automatic car. is YOU! Avoid sitting with a wallet in your back pocket. is no job for a matchstick back. I'm talking from experience now!) In some patients. to help patients relax their muscles. To cope with extreme back pain. and up. these muscles form a 'brace' which protects the spine. there is really only one good remedy : PREVENTIVE AND HEALING EXERCISES. An average of 75% of the patients returns to their GP with new complaints of back pain within five years from the date of surgery! Therefore. except to prevent the risk of paralysis in the worst cases. If you have back problems or get regular attacks. wedges. People who are fit tend to recover from injuries more quickly than those who are not active physically. Use the local car wash. from stress and strain. On long journeys. It is a good idea to develop strength in the abdominal and back muscles as when properly exercised. Although some classes of painkillers are useful at the outbreak of a crisis.          Always wear your seatbelt. (You can probably tell. Benefits of exercise are well documented and accepted within the medical community. Badly designed or broken car seats are a major cause of postural distortion in a car.

In addition. and keeping good posture. or from lifting incorrectly. taking stress off of the spine. one should tighten the abdominal muscles when lifting. it is important to remember to bend with the knees and hips. Disruption of one of these curves places an undue strain upon the other curves. General Spine Maintenance Tips The spine has three curves. many back injuries and episodes of low back pain could be avoided. To reduce the strain or "torque" on the spine. .  The thoracic spine.  The cervical spine has a natural lordosis (with the spine arched backwards). due to low back pain problems alone. places a large amount of strain on the spine. Disruption of the curves can come from chronic poor posture. keeping the legs straight at the knees. Bending at the waist. These curves allow for the center of gravity to be placed over ones feet. Don't do this!! BEND AT THE KNEES. a natural kyphosis (with the spine slightly flexed forward). When lifting objects. taking more pressure off the low back. hold the object as close to the body as possible.  And the lumbar spine has a natural lordosis. is in the order of several billion dollars. By using proper lifting techniques. The cost to employers each year. thus allowing the legs to do the work. and in particular the low back. keeping the back and body muscles strong. The "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" philosophy holds when it comes to low back pain.low back care : preventing (low) back attack The time to take care of low back pain problems is before they occur. maintaining the appropriate body weight and tone.

When sleeping. Change positions often. Wear comfortable shoes. try to keep the ears. hips and ankles in a straight line. strength training. It is often helpful to place on foot on a box or some other object. as it distorts the curves of the spine. Sitting can actually put a moderate amount of strain on the low back. make sure you are using proper form. sit straight up. Posture. . Switch feet periodically. as it takes pressure off the low back and the sacro-iliac joints. could mean tearing and injuring tendons. so that your knees are slightly bent.Proper Form Before taking on any new exercise regimen. Posture. every thirty minutes. To remember the proper posture when standing. Try to wear high heels as infrequently as possible. again aligning the center of gravity over the feet. not slumped. When standing for a long period of time. Posture. especially if you will be on your feet for a long time. and places increased stress on the low back. Improper form. for stretching. and it is important to get up and walk around frequently. … Avoid staying too long in any position which causes the natural curves of the spine to be distorted. A lumbar support may help with this. not injure you. And the goal of exercise is to strengthen you. standing or lying down. Sit straight up. whether sitting. and muscles. not hunched over. a pillow between the knees can take strain off the low back. and cardiovascular activities. Keep the seat far enough forward. please. ligaments. keep the spine straight. So USE GOOD and PROPER FORM. When driving. if on one's side. shoulders. Also remember to shift legs.

bend at the knees. keep the objects close to your body.Carrying a Load If you must lift. INCORRECT FORM CORRECT FORM . not at the waist. Avoid twisting when you are carrying heavy objects. Remember.

you may still be experiencing pain. (For obvious reasons. You have a pain crisis – What do you do ? If you are alone:   Keep your cell phone close at hand Just walk around the table. . So what to do while you’re waiting for this treatment to “kick in” and make you feel better? 1. don’t leave the house until you are certain that your back has stabilized.physical therapy treatment.What can you do for back pain relief? This article is going to assume that you are already under the care of a doctor and you are trying to solve your problem with some sort of medical – chiro-practic . you should never start exercising without prior consent of your therapist) Although you may be in the middle of a back pain relief program.

arguing that the opposite movement (backward bending or back-stretching) injudiciously promotes weight-bearing on the affected disc(s). Hold this stretch for at least 10 seconds. walker or shopping cart) than standing up straight. hot wet towels or moist heating pad for 15 minutes 2. . simply apply a gentle pulling motion. Repeat 5 – 10 times with each knee. This is a very basic yet effective hip stretch. Keep laying in this position for 30 – 60 minutes 4. Exercises to prevent (lower) back pain 1.2. Some spine specialists favour flexion exercises only (forward bending). 3. Spinal Bending Flexing the lower spine (bending forward) increases the size of the passageways between the vertebrae and allows the irritation or impingement to resolve. This is why people with back pain often feel better when bending forward (such as leaning on a cane. Disc & sciatica relief position while lying on ice Remove ice after 10 minutes. gradually pull the knee further and further towards your chest. Knee to chest stretch While lying flat on your back with your knees bent. don't force your leg back. Start out slow. Hot shower. grab one knee with both hands and gently pull it back towards your chest.

Most specialists however. Back stretches Back stretches target the abdomen and lower back muscles. Hold for 1-2 seconds. Just like with all other exercises however. amongst which the North American Spine Society and the famous Dr. According to them. Bend backward as far as tolerated. increased pain during exercises should always be taken seriously and be discussed with the specialist as soon as possible. patients should consult their spine specialist or chiropractor and adapt the selection. Mckenzie do not agree. but also to strengthen all the surrounding muscles and to contribute to keeping the spine flexible. Repeat 10 times. Hence. basic exercises are not complete unless side-bending and back stretching is included. Consider Practicing Yoga . Even when respecting a schedule composed by their specialist. the goal of the exercises is not only to stretch the spine. pressing inward with fingers. Place hands with fingers in the small of back. frequency and intensity of their exercises to their personal situation.

Alternate #1: When lifting the leg. Alternate #2: Swiss ball version. The following exercises are common among Pilates. Hold the pose while tightening your buttocks for a few seconds then lower. Alternate #1 for more advanced users: After you lift your buttocks of the floor.Buttocks and Pelvis The buttocks and pelvis muscles are an important part of core conditioning and should be a part of every back pain therapy program. Bridge Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on floor. Lift one leg up and extend up and out. These muscles are often overlooked in favor of their abdominal and back muscle counterparts. Place feet on therapy ball and push buttocks off of floor. Donkey kick Assume a hands and knees position on floor. Chiropractic and physical therapy practitioners to strengthen and stabilize the pelvis. Repeat 10-20 times. Push down with your feet while lifting the buttocks off the floor. rest for 10 seconds then repeat for 2-4 sets. Hold for a few seconds then lower and lift the other leg. Yoga. Alternate #2: Perform the kicks in rapid succession for 20 seconds. bend the knee at a 90 degree angle and push your foot towards the ceiling. 6. Repeat 10-20 times each leg. 5. gently oscillate your pelvis up and down a few inches several times before lowering. .

7. lifting chin toward ceiling and arching back in opposite direction. Cat Pose Start on all fours. knees under hips. Cobra Lie facedown with elbows bent and close to body. It will increase your core strength and assist in stabilizing your lower back. as an alternate to the Donkey Kick : After you lift your leg and extend it up and out. 9. Inhale. Repeat 10-20 times. Exhale. tilting pelvis under while rounding back like a cat (as shown). Try this exercise to strengthen your buttocks. simultaneously lifting chest and left leg until left foot is about 12 inches off floor (as shown). dropping chin to chest. Repeat 10 times. Do three to five reps. also lift and extend the opposite arm. hands under shoulders. Opposite arm / leg reach For more advanced users. palms down. . Inhale. Repeat with right leg for one rep. alternating leg and arm at each exercise. Exhale. 8. lowering chest and leg to start position.

  . Perform this exercise for 5-10 minutes as part of your regular daily exercises for lower back pain. Sit and Bounce on a Therapy Ball      Simply sit on the ball with feet flat on ground. You do not want to bounce vigorously.10. All you need to do is create a small. gentle oscillations up and down. This causes the disc to compress and decompress over and over to help with water exchange (imbibition). Take care to sit correctly Now gently bounce up and down.

pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips.There are many more ways in which you can use the Therapy Ball to strengthen your back and abdomen Top 10 Ball Exercises Ball Crunch Lie with the ball resting under the mid/lower back and place hands behind the head or across the chest. Lower back down and repeat with the left arm and right leg. Superman Begin on the ball with your hands and knees on the floor. Take your time--this exercise will challenge your balance! . As you curl up. keep the ball stable. back straight and abs tight. Slowly raise right arm and left leg up until level with the body. Contract your abs to lift your the torso off the ball. holding your balance and keeping torso tight.

toes out at about a 45-degree angle and place an exercise ball behind your lower back for support. Bend the knees and lower into a squat. Place your hands behind your head or at your sides and stay on your knees or toes. lifting your chest off the ball. shoulders retracted and the body in a straight line. you can keep them at your sides or prop them on the hips. Wall Squat Stand with feet wide. keeping the knees in line with the toes.Ball Pushup Kneel on the floor with the ball in front of you and roll forward on it. If you choose to hold weights. Back Extension Lie face down with ball under your hips and lower torso. . Bring your shoulders up until your body is in a straight line without hyper-extending. Lower down as far as your flexibility allows and push into the heels to go back to starting position. Slowly roll down the ball and then roll back up. Place the hands a bit wider than shoulders and check to make sure you're not sagging in the middle. walking the hands out to where you can comfortably support your body with the abs in.

Ball Roll Outs Start by lying on the ball face down. For added intensity. slowly lift your hips off the floor (squeezing the glutes) until body is in a straight line. Start with small circles and as you get comfortable do larger circles. Hold for a few seconds and lower. Repeat. Ball Circles Sit on the ball and place your hands on the ball for balance or place them behind your head (more difficult). hold for a moment and lower. Keeping abs tight. . lift the hips and then take one leg off the ball. Walk out with your hands as far as you can keeping your balance as best you can (out to your knees or further if possible). Keeping your abs tight roll out as far as you can and repeat.Hip Extension Lie down with feet heels propped on ball. lifting the other leg off the ball. Slowly begin to move your hips in a circle to the right and left keeping your abs tight.

If this feels difficult. hips lifted. . Continue walking the feet forward until you're in a bridge position with the head and shoulders supported by the ball. Keep the abs in to help keep your balance Ball walks Sit on the ball and place the hands on either side for balance. Place the hands on the ball or behind the head (harder) and lift the right foot off the floor. hold onto a wall for balance and only walk forward a bit at a time until you feel more comfortable. Walk all the way back until you're seated again and repeat. Contract the abs and slowly walk the feet forward as you slide the back down onto the ball.Seated Balance Sit on the ball with the spine straight and abs in. holding it in the air for 5 or more seconds. Lower and repeat on the other side.

consult your GP. . nor in any way specialized in treatment of back pain or any other medical disorder. I never received any medical education. So please. I am not a doctor. I don’t know anything about the human body. nor a chiropractor. (sports) training or massage. chiropractor or Spine Specialist before executing any of the exercises listed in this handout.IMPORTANT All the information in this bundle has been found on the internet.

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