Posted on 09-13-2016
7 secrets to eliminating back pain
- Get more mobile, we have become very sedentary as a population. In reviewing hundreds of patients MRI's both before and after surgery it is evident that disc herniation is a chronic problem with an acute manifestation. On MRI fatty infiltration can be seen in the muscles that strengthen and stabilize the spine. This happens over years not days or weeks, eventually the disc fails.
- Drink more water, dehydration is the first step in disc degeneration. We call a disc that has started degenerating a phase one disc, and that is marked by one significant MRI finding and that is “desiccation” or loss of fluid in the disc. A loss of fluid makes the disc more vulnerable to mechanical stress, since water is non compressible. Lose the water, and the connective tissue begins to break down faster.
- Don’t Smoke, smokers have more disc problems and heal slower. Many spine surgeons will refuse to operate on smokers because their healing is poor, and tissue oxygenation in the disc is lower than their non smoking counterparts.
- Sit less. Sitting increases the stress on the discs up to 200%. When you are standing there is far more stress on the feet and legs, when sitting much of that load shifts to the lumbar spine. If you must sit, sit properly. That means knees above the hips, back supported, and head over the shoulders.
- Get the proper exercise. I encourage everyone to train for strength. There is an expression, “strong people are harder to kill”. They are also harder to injure. Strength training can be accomplished with bodyweight exercises without the need of fancy or expensive equipment. Some effort must be taken to engage the muscles in the abdomen, hips and glutes. These muscles are the major support areas of the spine. Most of our home exercise programs require no equipment whatsoever.
- Don’t lie on the couch. This is terrible for your spine, and causes problems with posture. Sleep on the bed, either side lying or on your back with a medium firm mattress. Don’t use too many pillows behind the head.
- Do not read or watch TV in bed. Again this is an issue of placing your body in bad position and posture. The body is sort of like water in the way it will mold itself into any shape you poor it into. If you sit with your head forward all day, the muscles, ligaments and tendons will begin to change shape to accommodate that position. Eventually in the bones in the spine change shape in accordance to the stresses put on them. Ever see a person hunched over with their head projected over their body? They didn’t start out that way, its compensation over many years.
A properly maintained spine will last a lifetime.An improperly maintained spine will hurt, breakdown faster and make you miserable.The thing about the spine is, when it does not hurt you don’t think about it, but when it does hurt you don’t think about anything else.
Try these 7 things and see how you do!
Gibsonia Spine, Sport & Health
5499 William Flynn Hwy
Gibsonia PA 15044
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