Low back pain has got to be the number 1 thing I see in my office every day! Most people have lower back pain for a variety of reasons but many can be prevented. This goes from improper mobility/movement, poor posture, alignment, stress, and bending. When you begin to learn how to move better you will feel and perform better.
When bending or lifting a lot of people being to bend and round the spine. The spine is designed to have some movement but not to have the ability to completely round then take a load or lift something heavy. That is the job of the hips! The hips are designed to have great mobility and POWER! In addition, we have a fairly strong core that is designed to brace the spine and protect it. Much like an natural weight belt! So when bending or lifting, the spine should be straight and in a neutral position while the hips and knees do the bending and lifting! The result comes in when you properly lift the object, keep a neutral spine and walk away having the job completed with NO lower back pain.
The chance of back pain occurring increases the more you lift improperly. This contributes to more “wear and tear” of the spine resulting in pain. Most will come in saying they hurt the back but the real dysfunction is in the hips and pelvic girdle! The spine just happened take the forces and is now the symptom of the problem. Be smart, improve your core strength, and focus on strengthening and balancing the hips to prevent low back pain from ever happening!
In your health,
302 – Professional Athlete’s Success Story. Pain to Podium
Professional Athlete’s Success Story.
Andris is a professional athlete in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He competes and trains out of Atos HQ in San Diego. About 8 months ago Andris begin to get injured more often until that eventually lead to a severe low back pain injury. From there, he was having a lot of limitations and could no longer use his body and train it the way he should be!
After a lot of struggles, he was eventually referred to us and that is where the real story begins. Over time his lower back and hips had developed a lot of compression, torque, and was just in need of some love and care! We had placed Andris on a 2 month care plan and within 2 weeks he started to feel a lot better. After continuing care for a bit longer, he had noticed less pain, more mobility, and had been able to recover better after training sessions! Andris had to lay off of jiu-jitsu competition for nearly 8 months and there was a lot of frustration! After working with Andris, we were able to perform Active Release, Graston, myofascial release, and Chiropractic Care to help get him on the road to recovery. Fast forward a bit and Andris competed at a jiu-jitsu competition up in Long Beach where we placed 2nd at the black belt level.
Even better, he has more body awareness, feels better, has no pain, and is back doing what he loves to do!
Ep 287 – Why an MRI & X-Ray May Not Help You (What They Don’t Tell You)
Disc Bulge/Herniation, Nerve Compression and Back Pain Explained
Disc herniations, bulges, and compression to the nerve are common, especially in the lower neck and lower back area. As a result of this many people can have pain, numbness, tingling, shooting pain, altered sensation, and a burning sensation. One of the most common conditions we hear about and see is called Sciatica and it occurs when there is compression to the disc in the lower back and pain can run down the leg.
The spine is very important as you may know already because it houses part of our central nervous system (CNS) and relays messages, information, and fluid to our brain (which is the master controller). The issue with disc compression usually occurs over time and with poor mechanics of the spine, the disc can wear out. This can cause degeneration of the spine where the two surfaces come together. In addition, if degeneration occurs long enough or serious enough it can cause spinal canal stenosis, which is where the area of the spinal cord has reduced space to move. Also, what can happen is that the center of the disc can begin to migrate (most often backwards).
When a disc begins to migrate back, simply put it can put pressure on the nerve roots and/or spinal canal which may lead to some of the pain and symptoms we had mentioned before. If the compression is serious enough it can cause weakness within the arms, legs, etc and may even need surgery. Most cases do not require this, however, this type of disc pain injury can effect other areas of the body as the body will compensate.
Due to years of compression and poor mechanics it may take a few months to alleviate the symptoms but even after the pain is gone, patients will have stress and tension that has been placed on the spine and nerves (CNS). This is particularly why it important to continue care, exercises, rehab, etc well after the pain has gone away.
Final thought, while these injuries may actually take some time to heal, with quality and persistent care you can most definitely recovery in full from these types of injury. MOST IMPORTANTLY, keep in mind that pain is often the very last symptom to come on and the very first thing to go away.
Inversion Table – Should You Use It For Low Back Pain
Should You Use Inversion Tables For Lower Back Pain?
After countless cases of lower back pain, disc herniation’s, disc degeneration, arthritis, facet syndromes, etc, you would think that there would be a definitive answer to solve lower back pain. Well, there isn’t, but what question does arise often in my experience is whether or not inversion tables work?
So what is an inversion table? Do they work and should you use them? Here we will dive a little into some questions and answers surrounding inversion tables so that you can be a little more informed. Of course I will rant on and give you my opinion at the end.
Okay, what is an inversion table?
An inversion table is essentially a table that you strap yourself into and allow yourself to flip over (inverting your body) so that your head is now facing the ground and the feet pointing to the sky. The table is approximately $200 to 500 dollars and may also allow you stop at different angles so that you are not hanging completely upside down.
What does it do?
The theory behind inversion is that it decompresses the spine, disc and joints by applying a traction force. By hanging upside down or on an inverted angle the body decompresses by the weight of gravity. It is supposed to separate the surfaces of the joint, thus taking pressure away or off of he spine.
Some studies show that inversion has helped to decompress the spine by 3mm during the treatment, and yes, this is enough to take compression off a nerve, disc or other structure that may be inflicting pain.
Is it safe?
Well, that can be a question within a question… Do you have blood pressure issues? Glaucoma? Cardiovascular disease? Severe low back pain? Inversion can cause some of these conditions to intensify and many not be recommended in these cases.
Its hard to determine if you are going to have adverse effects of inversion but most common side affects include dizzy or disorientation due to blood rushing to the head while inverted.
Most people do not have increased lower back pain but it is possible for you to have an ache or discomfort after standing due to the effects of gravity being reintroduced on the spine.
Does my opinion even matter?
I believe that the inversion tables have some benefits. It may also be a total waste of time and money. So which one is it?
Most of the patients that I have seen had used a inversion table with some success. Now this is a rough estimate but I would say about 60% state that its beneficial while the remainder state that it had no affect. Well, what about the risks? After countless owners and experimenters with the inversion table, I have had many patients also report an increase in pain or other problems due to the inversion table. Based on anecdotal evidence I say its safe to go but there are definitely some risk factors involved.
Just remember that an inversion table is not going to cure you or fix your problem although it may help. You need to combat it with proper treatment and some sort of rehabilitation to stabilize the spine. In addition, you will need to improve core strength and hip/pelvic mobility. While inversion has its benefits, hanging upside down on an inversion table is more of a temporary fix and for about $200-$500 I do not think its worth it. For that price, you could see a good therapist 3-10 times (depending on cost) while learning about YOUR exact condition while walking away with tangible exercises that will help you.
Final verdict: An inversion table to help lower back pain can help you in the short run but it should not be your go to move to fix lower back pain.