June 2016 - Northwest Pain Relief Centers

Monthly Archives: June 2016

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Prevent Backaches

Back-ache, an urban comfort malady, is primarily the result of bad posture and weak muscles. The awareness on the working of lower back will go a long way in its prevention. The five lumbar vertebrae responsible for the erect human form are also the primary culprits for the back ache. These are flexible to permit hundred and eighty degree flexion or strong enough to support the weight of another human. But trying to achieve both simultaneously and you have a recipe for disaster. The weight bearing posture is an erect posture, read on to know the nuances of the dynamics of the lower back.

The more important reason for the publication of this article is the realization on our part that back-care should be directed more at prevention of backache rather than its treatment. Prevention is better than cure. And backache is a disorder that is easy to prevent.

The working of the lower back:

Let us now focus our attention on the five lumbar vertebrae as regards their working. These vertebrae are the trouble¬makers, responsible, directly or indirectly, for most backaches. You will recall that the thoracic vertebrae are attached to the ribs forming a rigid and strong cage that protects the heart and lungs. On the other hand, the lumbar spine is designed primarily for movement, although it must also bear weight.

However, these two functions, i.e., moving the trunk and bearing weight cannot be easily carried out at the same time. If such an activity is carried out this combines lumbar movements with lifting weight. For example, a ballet dancer or a gymnast moving and holding a partner aloft, the lumbar region becomes susceptible or vulnerable to injury.

Stacked one on top of another, the five lumbar vertebrae work as a unit, in a concerted manner, to permit forward bending, backward bending, etc. This working unit or column sits on a firm foundation or scaffolding called the pelvic platform. Our thigh bones, too, are attached to the sides of the pelvis. Therefore, the pelvis is the connecting structure between the spine and the hips of legs, i.e., between the top and the bottom halves of the body. Since the pelvis is the connecting and central point it acts like a pivot.

The position of the pelvis will control the position of the lumbar vertebras above it. If the pelvis is level or, .as we prefer to call it, balanced, the vertebrae above it will also be in a level or balanced position. This is the strongest position for the spine and makes it the least vulnerable to injury. However, if the pelvis is thrust forward, the vertebrae above it will curve out of alignment. Such out-of-alignment vertebrae cause wedging of the discs and potential discomfort to facet joints and make the spine weak and the back vulnerable to injury.

On the other hand, when the lumbar vertebrae are aligned properly because the pelvis is in a balanced position, pressure is taken off the discs, the facet joints are unloaded and maximum space is provided for the exit of nerve roots. This all-important ‘pelvic balance’ is a function of four groups of muscles. We shall learn more about these muscles soon.

The bones are the static, unchangeable part of the body. The muscles are the dynamic component, giving movement and life to the body. Back muscles play an important role in backache. They are controllable elements responding to the environment and controlled by our conscious thought processes. Composed of contractile fibers that are responsive to nerve-impulses, muscles comprise almost 40 per cent of our body weight and a large part of our body-bulk. There are some 140 muscles attached to the spine alone and they do a prodigious amount of work.

A muscle is basically a contractile tissue, i.e., it functions and tarries out messages by contracting or shortening and relaxing or lengthening. The more a muscle is used or worked, the more it develops and gains in strength. If it is not used as much as it should be, it weakens and becomes flabby or loose. If it is not used at all, it atrophies or wastes away.

Conclusion:

The ignorance about the working of lower back leads to a callous misuse or disuse of our more than 140 back muscles and the lumbar region. The misuse of the lumbar region, essentially wrong posture, is the major reason for the wedging of the discs and potential injury to the spine. The continued disuse of our back muscles, a gift of the modern ultra comfort life style, brings about their enfeeblement and more pressure passes on to the spine, increasing the chances of injury manifold. The back ache can be effectively prevented by adopting the pelvic balance postures as a routine and strengthening the muscles supporting it.


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Back Pain and Diagnosis

Did you know that many doctors miss areas of concern that could lead to cures? Did you know that back pain is common, yet many doctors fail to see the cause? The answer is simple. The reason is most medical doctors have little experience in the system of healing so to speak. Rather many doctors focus on prescribing medicines and searching for answers, which many times rest in front of them. Don’t get me wrong, good doctors reach everywhere, yet these people lack educational knowledge of the spinal column, central nervous system and so on. As well, these people fail to see that many causes of back pain rests in misaligned bones, or spine. Of course, diseases may cause back pain as well. Sitting too long, lack of stretch exercises, etc, all cause lower back pain.

If the back pain is, serious it will often show up in MRI or CT scans. X-rays will show back conditions, however since doctors review all areas, except the alignment of the bones and spine, thus most times the x-rays only reveal what the doctor wants to see. This happens to many people, including myself. A pro in analyzing the spine and bones is the man you want to see if you have chronic back conditions.

The types of back pain include sciatica. The back problem may be listed as slip disk in some instances, yet the pain often challenges doctors diagnose since a sharp, electrical shock-like and distressing ache starts at the back and then travels to the legs. Sometimes the pain is intermittent, while other times the pain may be chronic. The particular problem often requires surgery to correct. Sciatica according to few experts is one of the worst backaches endured, since even when the pain has mild pain it is difficult to bend forward and over to tie a shoe. The problem rests in the spine, joints, and connective elements of the spinal column that links to the entire body.

The spinal column makes up muscles, bones, central nerves, etc. What holds the spine together is disks, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, etc? When a person stands erect, the spine’s elements will join to apply tension. You can visualize the tension by considering how a string will respond when you pull it down. The changes assist the body in mobility; as well, it determines how the body responds to movement.

The lower back is made up of large-scale structures, including the backbone and the hip joints. The hip joints connect to the pelvis and each element joins with the spinal column at the triangle bone in the lower back and at the baseline of the spine that joins the hipbones on either side and forms part of the pelvis. (Sacrum)

The large bones attach to the legs, which provide us strength and support to the vertical spinal column. We have thick bones that start at the opposite side of the thick cord of nerve tissues (Spinal Cord) that is near the neck. Along this area, the joints are thick and the bones start to thin and shrink. The spinal cord is a “thick whitish” nerve cord surrounded by tissues and extends from the base of the brain and continues to the spinal column, giving mount to a pair of spinal nerves that contribute the body.

Combined these elements give us the ability to move and provides flexibility. In addition, the organs are directed by these elements.

The spine is held up by the larger group of bones at the lower region, smaller base, and the top architectures. Stress occurs at the area, since below this region larger muscles work by directing and sparking movement. This is how the legs are able to move, which brute stress is applied to the vertebrae. At the back, we also have a lumbar spinal disk. The disk is affected by the brute stress, since each time we bend and sit, we are applying more than 500 pounds to this area, yet it stretches to a “square inch” around the disks and per count along the area.


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Adjustable Beds to Relieve Your Back Pain

Adjustable beds by their very existence as mechanical marvels of design and function are perfectly adapted to alleviate many different symptoms associated with varied conditions that lead to back pain. If you suffer from lower back pain, your condition may be the result of a multitude of causes, many of which the sufferer has no clue as to how they got them in the first place.

The causes associated with back pain include muscle spasm or sprains, ligament sprains, joint problems or a slipped disk. Actual physical disability from instances such as work related accidents are another well-known cause of back pain. In all these instances, an adjustable bed can help alleviate your sore aching back. Why can an adjustable bed help you? You do not have to take my word for it. I am not a medical expert. But I do know how to quote them.

Through my research, I have found that medical experts advise that the best way to ease back pain is to position yourself with your back on the floor, with pillows under your knees, hips and knees bent, with your feet raised on a chair. Now imagine yourself in that position. Looks rather awkward, doesn’t it. Can you imagine doing this every time your back begins to act up? Now imagine yourself, if you can, in an adjustable bed perfectly aligned to provide the same comforting relief. Looks a lot better on an adjustable bed than on the floor, doesn’t it

There are other tips from medical advisors on relieving back pain. Heating pads are recommended to relax painful muscle spasms and medications such as Motrin, Aleve, Aspirin, Orudis and Tylenol, also reduce pain and swelling. Once again, an adjustable bed can help you!

Some adjustable beds, more notably electric adjustable beds, come equipped with soothing heating units built in. Some electric adjustable beds even have a vibrating feature to massage away that nagging sore back. As far as any relief you may get from taking medications, the adjustable bed manufacturers haven’t come up with anything to replace them yet. You will just have to place them on your night table next to your adjustable bed.

Adjustable beds come in a multitude of different shapes and sizes, models and types to fit most any budget. There are basic, hand operated adjustable beds, basic electric adjustable beds that elevate and configure themselves at the push of a button on a remote control unit, to the top of the line, everything you could ever want in an adjustable bed, electric adjustable bed. This type of electric adjustable bed will have all the bells and whistles and awe inspiring electronic gizmos, but will also carry a hefty price tag. But if you can afford it, go for it. After all, it’s your back that’s hurting.

For more serious back conditions as in the case of a person with a debilitating physical impairment, getting a hospital adjustable bed would be advisable. These adjustable beds are constructed far more sturdily in order to continual use in an acute care situation. If you find that an adjustable bed is just a little too pricy for you, there is an alternative and I don’t mean lying on the floor with your feet propped up on a chair.

If the price of the adjustable beds you like is out of your reach, you can always look for a good, used, cheap adjustable bed. I wont go into the details of how to get your hands on one of these cheap adjustable beds, other than to say that there are articles available that go into the specifics. Getting a good, used adjustable bed at a good price is not as hard as you may think.

One thing to remember, regardless of which adjustable bed you finally decide to buy, you will need a new adjustable bed mattress to go along with it. A mattress from an average flat bed will not fit or function properly on an adjustable bed. Just as with adjustable beds, there are varying degrees of quality, materials and prices associated with adjustable bed mattresses.

So, in closing, I say, let the shopping begin. You’ll only have your back to thank you, but it will be well worth it.


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4 Steps to Relieve Back Pain

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Michael J. Homan is a Reiki Master and studies natural healthing methods such as Acupressure, Electro-Acupuncture, Reflexology, Crystal Therapy, Chinese Magnetic Cupping, has his own e-Book called 4 Steps To A Pain-FREE Back!, and has a health related web site devoted to health issues and natural healing techniques.
I have studied and taken courses in acupressure. Studied some on chiropractic. I also have looked into psychological issues to do with pain and medical problems. And I am also a Reiki Master.

So now that you have a little about my background, and what fuels my writing… let’s get to the real content.

I am going to condense this article for convenience since it is a combination of four major studies in themselves, but you can get my e-book or read my full articles at my web site, which is healthgrowhealthier.com.

I have found that 4 major things play an important part in your spines health.

First, there is posture. I know this is not the first time you have heard this, but it needs to be said again and again.
Posture should be noted in sitting, standing, and sleeping. Start taking note of your posture at all times. If it is not straight, then start working on fixing it.

If you sleep in a position like I have in the past, with both hands under your pillow while you lay on your side, you can pinch a nerve in your neck if your shoulder of the arm that’s up starts to relax and leans in toward your head or neck. It would be better to lay your arm of your upper hand down on your leg while one hand is under your pillow.
And if you can, buy a few different thickness pillows for throughout the night. I do not know about you, but I can not have a high, fluffy pillow when I lay on my back. But a thin pillow gives me neck ache when I lay on my side.

The second thing on our list is the flexibility of your back.

What you want to do when you notice your back goes out a lot and you experience pinched nerves, is in getting your spine back into alignment and having it flexible.

Of course if you feel a chiropractor is your best choice, by all means seek one. But think about your progress if you could align your own back when ever you needed to. It’s not all that hard!

If you are in pain at the present, put ice or heat on the spot until the pain seems to lessen.

Do NOT, under any circumstances exercise while any of your nerves are inflamed or swollen!

To get your back more flexible you might want to learn kundalini yoga. Not all yoga styles are like those you may have seen on television, where they twist themselves up. Kundalini yoga has very good and useful spinal exercises developed to help flexibility. Kundalini Yoga is also a spiritual tool to help before meditation as well.

It is very important to strengthen your back and the surrounding muscles. This is the third step to a healthy back.
Doing sit-ups is one such exercise, You do not have to do many sit-ups until you feel you can… step by step.
Take all of these things slow and at the pace of your body. Your body will let you know what it is feeling. Pain is a warning sign.
Just remember… taking pain pills is okay when you really need them. But also remember that they do not heal the problem, they only mask the warning sign, they simply stop the warning sign, but not the underlying problem.
Health is more than just eating right. One has to consider mental health, environmental, and many other factors. It is not all that easy for a doctor to diagnose the complete problem and cure it, especially if it has roots in psychological issues and has gone a long time unchecked, and became a physical problem.

The fourth and last step in back health is to start a daily stretching routine. You have
seen cats and dogs stretch when they get up, try it for yourself!

The key to back health is in keeping it actively flexible and strong, or well supported by the stomach and back muscles. You may have to find that happy medium in between like I have, being too much strength in one area will pull out another.
Each person is uniquely different in many areas. So never think what worked for someone else is going to work for you. You may have to build on someone else’s information and work it into your own, personal program.

I recommend you learn a little about acupressure as well to maintain your pain when it flares up.
I have found that I can manage pain by using acupressure, simply by putting pressure on certain areas of the body. But that is something I suggest you seek a professional for help, or look for someone who does acupuncture, or take a course in acupressure like I did.


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Back Pain and Consideration

When back pain occurs, the process of consideration must start. Back pain can emerge from various causes, yet when the pain is severe, one should seek medical advice immediately. When injuries occur and the back delivers messages that signal us that a problem exists, one must also seek medical advice. Injuries often cause neurological conditions.

When to visit your doctor:
If you are in an accident or fall and cause injury, seek medical assistance instantly. Delaying the problem can lead to further complications. If you lift a heavy object and your back starts to ache, seek help. If the muscles in your legs cannot provide you support and stability to stand erect on your toes, seek help. If slapping of your feet start when you begin walking, you will need medical support also. At the lower trunk, legs, and back, if you feel weakness, tingling, or numbness you will need medical assistance. During sleep hours if your back gives you problems, you endure fevers, and if you experience chills, seek help. If you loose control of your bladder and bowels, medical treatment is needed.

If you notice pain traveling down your arm or leg, in addition to back pain, seek help. If you notice joint pain or swelling in all areas, including the back seek help. If you have back pain and perform home treatment, such as bed rest and taking over-the-counter meds, seek help.

If you feel pain in the back, which you believe is not an emergency; you should rest your back. When pain starts from common activates, it is often because you have over-exerted the joints, muscles, etc. When treating the problem at home, rest in a comfortable position. Lie on your back and place a pillow under your knees. You can also try resting on your back while placing your feet on your couch or chair. The knees should bend at a 90-degree angle. Roll a towel up and situated it so that it supports your neck.

Whatever method you choose and if it is right for you, allow your back to rest until the pain vanishes. If the pain continues however, seek medical assistance. Sometimes you have to rest the back a few days before it ceases aching. Ultimately, you can visit a massage therapist, chiropractor, or someone who performs acupuncture to seek help. In fact, many doctors and mental health experts are incorporated acupuncture into their treatment plans. The process includes needles, which treats the disorder by inserting the injections into the skin at points believed to cause the pain. Acupuncture originated in China, which blocked flow of energy is believed to create pain.

When you rest the back, make sure that you lay on a firm surface, especially if you are resting for a day or so. If you lie on soft mattresses for a length of time, it could cause problems to the muscles that support the back. During the wake hours, you want to continue lying on your back, rather than sitting up to read a book. You can continue the treatment at home by moving around every couple of hours. You want to focus on balancing the body when walking around and use hard surfaces to support your weight.

When you lie back down to rest, make sure you move gradually in position. If you have a back mattress at home, lie on the mattress and allow the heat and vibration motions comfort your aching back.

How to lie in bed properly:
Whichever side your pain is, sit on the edge of your bed and lower the head, so that it balances with your trunk. Raise the legs and slowly turn over onto your back. Use your arms to erect from bed rest.


 
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