How to Deal With Your Back Pain By Exercising

Back Pain is usually caused by the imbalance of the back muscles. For example if the muscles on the front of the thighs are not as strong as the muscles on the back of your thighs they will be an even pull on your spinal column.

Studies have shown that almost 80% of Americans will have to deal with back pain as some stage in their life.

In the past the treatment for fixing pain in the lower back has been to increase core strength and to increase flexibility on the muscles that are going into spasm. This is done by doing exercises to correct muscle imbalances. All the muscles between the hips and the bottom of the neck (the core muscles) are included in these exercises.

Back Pain is usually caused by the imbalance of the back muscles. For example if the muscles on the front of the thighs are not as strong as the muscles on the back of your thighs they will be an even pull on your spinal column.

There are many effective techniques to integrate your core strength muscle build up exercises to increase your core strength other than the obvious sit ups and crunches. A popular technique is use your breathing. Long deep breathing will work your diaphragm muscles and this will create support for the entire length of your spinal column.

Bridge lifting and stomach tucks are also a great way to increase your core strength muscles. A tummy tuck is a pelvic exercise, where you lie on the floor face and tighten your gluteus maximus muscles. Bridge lifting is an exercise where you put your lie on your back and keep your feet flat on the floor. Pushing with your heels, lift your hips off the floor keeping your back perfectly straight. Breath out while you push up and breathe in as you lower your hips back to the floor. Bridge lifting will help relieve the stress on your back.

Other popular exercises for the lower back are calf stretches and the lumbar stretch.

The lumbar stretch is when you lie down on your back and put one hand under each knee. You then bring both of your knees up to your chest and hold your position for approximately 20 seconds.

Back Injuries and Weight Lifting Limitations

Abstract: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes sure an injured person is not terminated from their job based simply upon the injury they have experienced.

“The signs and symptoms of a back disorder include pain when a person attempts to resume their usual posture, decreased mobility, as well as pain when rising or standing from a seated position.”

Document Detail: The prospect of experiencing a form of injury on the job is always present for those who work in a number of job environments. Having a job that requires a person to consistently lift heavy objects might potentially lead to injury. If a person in such a job position experiences an injury, their ability to perform the essential duties of their job may no longer exist.

When this happens it is the duty of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to make sure that the injured person is not terminated from their job based simply upon the injury they have experienced. An issue arises, unfortunately, because of the fact that the ADA does not have specified standards related to the amount of weight an injured worker can lift while still being considered to be, ‘disabled.’ Such was the position I found myself in both before and after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Working as a Nursing Assistant for many years, I lifted not only people, but the adaptive equipment they used as well. The equipment included everything from a simple cane to oxygen monitors and bottles, as well as both manual and power wheelchairs. As a young aide it was always my belief that someday I would experience a back injury if I did not lift correctly; how wrong I was.

Over time, osteoarthritis and knee, foot, and ankle injuries were the ones I experienced. It was not until later in life that I actually had a doctor place a weight lifting restriction on me of 20-25 pounds. Many people in America experience similar restrictions based upon recent or prior injuries whether they are job related or not. After the passage of the ADA, protections were supposed to be enacted. What exactly does the ADA have to say about people who experience weight lifting restrictions?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Weight Lifting Restrictions

The ADA says that a worker has to be, ‘significantly restricted in ability to perform…a class of jobs…compared to the average person with comparable training, skills and abilities.’ What this means is for a person to receive protection under the ADA, they must not be able to perform as well as the, ‘average,’ person. The rule is very ambiguous because there is not a clear definition of what, ‘average,’ is supposed to mean – we are all individuals. Even more, a person who can no longer lift heavy weights might not be protected by the ADA because, ‘The inability to perform a single, particular job does not constitute a substantial limitation in the major life activity of working.’

According to the ADA, for a weight lifting restriction to constitute a disability, a lifting requirement has to be issued that states a person is unable to lift 25 pounds. The court case, ‘Williams V. Channel Master Satellite Systems Inc.,’ demonstrated this matter. The jury decided that an, ‘average,’ person in the general population has the ability to lift 25 pounds and therefore an employee who is injured and can lift 25 pounds is not qualified as being, ‘disabled.’

Factors Associated with Back Disorders

The number of injuries that may find a person with a weight lifting restriction are many. A number of the injuries that find a person facing a weight lifting restriction have to do with back disorders. Back disorders result from exceeding a person’s tendon, muscle, or spinal column disc ability, or the cumulative effects of a number of different contributing factors such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Heavy lifting
  • Bending while lifting
  • Reaching while lifting
  • Twisting as a person lifts
  • Maintaining a bent posture
  • Lifting with forceful movements
  • Poor posture as a person stands or sits
  • Poor design of a person’s job or work station
  • Repeated lifting of awkward equipment, items, or people
  • Poor footing such as on slippery flooring or constrained posture
  • Vibration such as with delivery drivers, lift truck drivers and so forth
  • Poor body mechanics such as how a person pushes, lifts, pulls, or carries items
  • Stressful living or working activities such as remaining in one position for too long
  • Poor physical condition or losing the endurance and strength to perform physical tasks without strain

The signs and symptoms of a back disorder include pain when a person attempts to resume their usual posture, decreased mobility, as well as pain when rising or standing from a seated position. Additional contributing factors to a back disorder might include:

  • Increased age
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • Congenital defects of a person’s spine
  • Increased awareness of workplace hazards
  • An increase in static sitting or standing tasks
  • Decreases in physical exercise or conditioning

The manual handling of materials is the main source of compensable injuries in the United States’ work force. Four out of five of these forms of injuries affect a person’s lower back. When it comes to jobs that require heaving lifting, the ADA does not have specific regulations. Injuries involving heavy lifting can mean the end of a person’s job.

Back disorders may develop over time due to, ‘micro-trauma,’ caused by repetitive activities over time. They may also be caused by a single traumatic event. Due to the slow and progressive onset of this form of injury, the condition is one that many people tend to ignore until the symptoms become acute – something that many times results in a disabling injury.

Acute back injuries might be the immediate result of improper lifting techniques on the part of a person, or lifting loads that are too heavy for the person’s back to support. While the injury may appear to be caused by a single, well-defined incident, the real cause is many times a combined interaction of the observed stress in conjunction with years of weakening of the person’s musculoskeletal support mechanisms through repeated micro-trauma. Injuries may arise in the person’s ligaments, muscles, and vertebrae – either singly or in combination.

Even though back injuries do not account for work-related deaths, they do cause a significant amount of suffering, economic burden, and loss of productivity. Back disorders are one of the leading causes of disability for people who are in their working years and afflict greater than 600,000 people every single year at a cost of more than $50 Billion. The frequency and economic impact of back injuries and disorders on the working population are expected to increase over the next several decades as the average age of the people in the work force increases while medical costs rise.

No one is thankful for a work-related injury. As an aide I always did my best to follow correct lifting procedures. Yet somehow, injury followed me anyway. Lifting heavy objects is something many jobs involve, it is always in your best interest to ask for help if a person or object is too heavy to lift by yourself.

A Single “Lifting Restriction” Likely Not Enough to Win Disability
http://www.georgiasocialsecuritydisabilityattorney.com/a-single-lifting-restriction-likely-not-enough-to-win-disability/

Bottom line – a 70 lb. lifting restriction will not, on its own, result in a finding of “disabled” in a Social Security disability case.

Manual weight lifting
http://www.museo.unimo.it/ov/fdrEtram.htm

The link between manual weight lifting and risks of trauma and musculo-skeletal disorders, particularly of the lumbar vertebral column, has been widely reported in the literature.

Back Disorders and Injuries
http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_vii/otm_vii_1.html

Back injuries should be treated as an injury on the OSHA 200 log regardless of whether the injury was the result of an acute or chronic exposure.

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    Could Joint Facet Blocks be Helpful for Low Back Pain?

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    Vertebral Subluxation Information

    Summary: Subluxation is when one or more of the bones in the human spine move out of position creating pressure on or irritating nerves in their spine.

    Document Detail: In very basic terms a subluxation is when one or more of the bones in a person’s spine move out of position creating pressure on or irritating the nerves in their spine.

    Instructions from a person’s brain are sent to every part of their body as electrical impulses. The impulses move along their spinal cord, which separates into individual nerve fibers in their body. A person’s spinal cord is protected by a, ‘tunnel,’ of small and interlocking bones referred to as their, ‘spinal column.’ The individual bones are called, ‘vertebrae.’ Nerves branch off from a person’s spinal cord through small openings between their vertebrae. When each of a person’s vertebrae is in its appropriate position, their nerve fiber passes through without any problems. Nerve pulses have the ability to flow freely and communicate with their brain at incredible speeds.

    While a person’s spinal column is sturdy, each of their individual vertebrae may become misplaced. When this occurs it is referred to as a, ‘vertebral subluxation.’ One of the most common causes of vertebral subluxation is a car accident, although a number of everyday activities can result in subluxations too. Participating in sports, picking up heavy objects, or even sitting for lengthy periods of time at a desk can all put stress on a person’s vertebrae.

    In very basic terms a subluxation is when one or more of the bones in a person’s spine move out of position creating pressure on or irritating the nerves in their spine. Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from between each of the bones in a person’s spine. The irritation or pressure may cause the nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals that travel through the nerves.

    A person’s nervous system coordinates and controls every function of their body. If something interferes with the signals traveling through their nerves, parts of their body will not receive the appropriate nerve messages and will lack the ability to function to their complete ability. In plain language, some parts of the person’s body will not be able to work properly.

    The changes become progressively worse over time in the area of subluxation in the person’s spine. The changes take the form of ongoing degeneration referred to as, ‘subluxation degeneration.’ When subluxations happen and remain untreated, ongoing changes occur, resulting in damage to the structure and function of the person’s spine as well as nerve damage and resulting issues caused by improper nerve supply.

    Vertebral Subluxation Complex

    Vertebral subluxations involve a combination of changes that occur at the same time. The changes happen in a person’s spine and throughout their body. Due to this, a chiropractor may refer to vertebral subluxations as, ‘Vertebral Subluxation Complex.’ In vertebral subluxation complex, a number of things are occurring inside a person’s body at the same time. The changes are all a part of the complex. Chiropractors usually recognize five categories of components within vertebral subluxation complex:

    Vertebral involvement: A person’s vertebrae are either not moving appropriately, out of position, or are going through physical changes such as degeneration – a component sometimes referred to as, ‘kinesiopathology.’

    The malfunctioning of a person’s nerve: Research has demonstrated that only a small amount of pressure on spinal nerves may have a significant impact on their ability to function – a component referred to as, ‘neuropathology.’

    Muscle involvement: Muscles help to hold a person’s vertebrae in place and since nerves control the muscles they are an integral part of any vertebral subluxation complex. Muscles affect and are affected by vertebral subluxation complex – a component referred to as, ‘myopathology.’

    Soft tissue component: The soft tissue component occurs when a person has misaligned vertebrae and pressure on their nerves, which results in changes to their surrounding soft tissues. The person’s ligaments, tendons, blood supply and other tissues may undergo changes that can happen at any point of the vertebral subluxation complex – a component referred to as, ‘histopathology.’

    Chemical component: The chemical component occurs when all of the components of vertebral subluxation complex are affecting a person’s body and causing chemical changes. The chemical changes may be slight or large depending upon the parts of the body that are affected by the subluxations – a component referred to as, ‘biochemical abnormalities.’

    Symptoms of Vertebral Subluxation Complex and the Stages of Degeneration

    When a person’s spinal bones are not placed appropriately, the openings between them may narrow. The person’s vertebrae may impinge on the nerves branching out from these spaces, something that is commonly and inaccurately referred to as a, ‘pinched nerve.’ When this happens it interferes with the regular flow of energy along the person’s nerve fibers. The messages that travel along the person’s nerves become distorted. If the full and regular flow of energy is unable to pass to and from the person’s brain, some portion of their body will be negatively affected.

    The medical realm does not understand the human body well enough to predict exactly what effect a subluxation will have on a person. The nervous system is much too complex. What is known is that any changes in the flow of nerve energy results in a negative change in the way a person’s body functions. At times, the fact that there is an interference with a nerve becomes obvious. People experience symptoms such as irregularities, pain, soreness, digestive disturbances, weakness, or other health issues.

    The symptoms are ones reflecting the lack of ease in the person’s body. The symptoms are not the problems of themselves. The symptoms are, ‘alarms,’ that a part of a person’s body is not working as it should be. Ignoring the symptoms, or simply taking pills to silence them, does not do anything to help the real problem. Until the real issue, the interference with the nerve, is approached – the organ that is affected will continue to function improperly and the person’s health will continue to decline.

    Phase One Subluxation Degeneration: Phase One Subluxation Degeneration is something found in people where it has been present for up to 20 years. The phase is characterized by a change or loss in the usual curve of the person’s spine. A person in this phase will lose the usual forward curve in their spine and develop a reverse curve in their neck. The person’s disc spaces have begun to show a change in shape, although they still have clean borders. The person’s segmental motion might remain within usual range, and their overall motion is most likely not affected. Reconstructive care may take from between 6 and 18 months. More than 80% of people with Phase One Subluxation Degeneration experience no pain. If left untreated, people who experience this phase continue to progress over time to Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration.

    Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration: Phase two subluxation degeneration is commonly seen in people with subluxations that have been present for between 20 and 40 years. The phase includes some of the same characteristics as phase one such as a loss of usual curvature and position of a person’s spine, as well as alteration of segmental motion. Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration also includes a reduction in the person’s range of motion in the affected area. X-rays of a person in phase two reveal calcium changes, or buildup to certain levels of the person’s spine. The changes are sometimes referred to as, ‘spurs,’ or arthritis. The spaces between the discs in the vertebrae that are affected are noticeably narrower and might appear to be flattening out. While most people with Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration may not present with any symptoms, some might begin to feel achy or stiff. Reconstructive care for people in phase two can range from 1.5 to 2.5 years. If left untreated, the condition will progress to the next phase of degeneration.

    Phase Three Subluxation Degeneration: Phase Three Subluxation Degeneration is caused by subluxations that have continued for 40 to 65 years. The phase has all of the attributes of prior phases only worse. The curvatures in a person’s spine have become abnormal; the spaces between their discs are greatly decreased and changed. Calcium changes in their spine are abundant. People in this phase usually experience a restricted range of motion and most likely have symptoms of some kind. Their vertebrae reveal obvious changes in their shapes. Calcium projects referred to as, ‘lipping,’ or, ‘spurs,’ can easily be seen on X-ray images. Reconstructive care for people in this phase ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 years and does not mean that after reconstructive care the calcium changes will be gone. Many times, the person’s body simply adapts to the presence of the calcium and positive changes are measured from a functional perspective. Again, if left untreated the degeneration will advance towards the next phase over time.

    Phase Four Subluxation Degeneration: People with Phase Four Subluxation Degeneration commonly experience this phase due to subluxations that have continued without treatment for more than 65 years. Phase four is a serious condition that will negatively affect a person’s quality of life and longevity. An incredible amount of neurological damage, caused by years of subluxation, leads to phase four and takes a serious toll on the person’s health. X-rays reveal serious structural changes to the person’s spine. Their vertebrae exhibit massive calcium changes, the spaces between their discs appear blurred, and the bones themselves seem to be fused. People with Phase Four Subluxation Degeneration experience a severe restriction of range of motion, as well as a number of additional health issues. Reconstruction might not be possible at this point, although care may be directed to some level of reduction in subluxation and a goal of improving the quality of the person’s life. People with phase four subluxation degeneration experience serious neurological and structural health issues, although with treatment many report significant improvements in their condition, the symptoms they experience, their quality of life, and their mobility.

    Spinal Subluxation is a Silent Killer

    Unfortunately, many of the organs and cells in a person’s body do not send out alarms to inform us that they are not functioning appropriately. Due to vertebral subluxations, people do not receive a usual flow of energy through their nerves. The instructions from the body do not flow as they should through the nerves.

    If a subluxation continues undetected, a person’s organ might suffer extensive damage – yet the person may remain unaware of it. Due to this fact, subluxations and their ability to destroy a person’s health without visible signs are often referred to as, ‘silent killers.’ Waiting until your body experiences pain or other types of clear signals may mean it is already too late. It is important to stop subluxations before they have the opportunity to do major damage and become more difficult to treat.

    Each person is a different and dynamic individual. People degenerate and heal at different rates. The further along a person’s spine might be with subluxation degeneration the more time consuming and strenuous the effort will be to improve and heal. Because of this it is important to pursue early treatment and either stop or prevent the advancement of subluxation degeneration.

    Citations:

    Chiropractic Vertebral Subluxations: Science vs. Pseudoscience
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/chiropractic-vertebral-subluxations-science-vs-pseudoscience/

    “Unlike the mysterious, undetectable and asymptomatic chiropractic “vertebral subluxation complex” alleged to be a cause of disease, a real vertebral subluxation, that is, an orthopedic subluxation, can be a cause of mechanical and neuromusculoskeletal symptoms but has never been associated with organic disease.”

    Symptoms Related To Spinal Subluxation
    http://www.universityhealthcenter.net/subluxation.html

    “Your nervous system controls and coordinates all the functions of your body. If you interfere with the signals traveling over nerves, parts of your body will not get the proper nerve messages and will not be able to function at 100% of their innate abilities.”

    Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation
    http://www.vertebralsubluxation.org/

    “Through research, science, education, policy and service the mission of the Foundation is to advocate for and advance the founding principles and tenets of the chiropractic profession in the area of vertebral subluxation.”

    Related Topics

    Definition(s)

    Vertebral Subluxation
    Vertebral Subluxation – In very basic terms a subluxation is when one or more of the bones in a person’s spine move out of position creating pressure on or irritating the nerves in their spine.

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