A world of aching backs
Special to the Tribune
Studies suggest that 80 percent of adults will experience some degree of lower back pain in their lifetime. Considering there are almost seven billion people in the world, that’s a lot of aching backs.
Following a musculoskeletal evaluation of your back pain symptoms and your lifestyle, whether you are minimally active or a competitive athlete, our rehabilitation therapists will design a treatment plan to fit our patient’s needs.
The most common causes of lower back injuries are sitting or standing in a forward bent position and twisting.
Adding resistance such as shoveling snow or picking something up off the floor increases lower back injury risk.
To decrease your risk of back injury, keep these easy steps in mind.
When lifting something get the object as close to your body as possible.
Avoid bending at the waist, instead bend your knees and keep your back straight.
If using a shovel for snow removal or moving dirt, be sure to stagger your feet, keep your shoulders square and when possible face the direction you want to push or toss the snow. Avoid twisting or throwing it (snow or dirt) over your shoulder.
In addition to good body mechanics, exercising is very important. Specifically the core areas between your knees and shoulders. A few simple exercises are:
Crunches (sit-ups): Try to do three sets of 10, exhaling when you crunch up.
Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent, lift your bottom up and squeeze your gluts, three sets of 10 is a good start.
Planks: My favorite exercise. Lay face-down then lift your body up supporting yourself on your forearms and toes, go to your knees if its too hard, keep your body straight. Try three times to fatigue.
Don’t forget to walk, run, ride a bike or whatever you enjoy for cardiovascular fitness.
Barton Rehabilitation Services not only helps people who have back pain, but educates and develops exercise programs to prevent back pain. Our physical therapists specialize in manual therapy techniques to alleviate low back pain by mobilizing the soft tissues (muscles and ligaments) and joints in the lumbar spine. In addition to hands on treatment, our clinicians also utilize our state-of-the-art aquatic therapy pool, exercise gym and mechanical lumbar spine traction.
For more information about Barton’s Rehabilitation services, please call 530-543-5896.
– Alan Barichievich is the director of Barton Health Rehabilitation Services.