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Tag Archives: lower back pain

Forget Fusion…!

Read this interesting information about the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation relative to spinal fusion surgery for lower back pain. A rule change, beginning 2018, says no spinal fusion surgery without at least 60 days of conservative care, prior. This conservative care can include chiropractic. Also, it states that opioids should be avoided whenever possible and the avoidance of “provider catastrophizing the explanation of the MRI findings.” Why? Because spinal fusion outcomes are significantly worse than non-fusion surgery. A study found 77% of the workers did not return to work for 2 years after fusion. Most back problems will respond to chiropractic and conservative care. Studies now support chiropractic care as being the first responders for conservative care. Pass the word!!

Summer ends, yard work begins!!

Well, I trust everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend and hope there wasn’t much labor involved. I know I tried to avoid anything laborious. The weather was wonderful and I did spend time outside in the yard doing semi-laborious things. Did you know fall is the time of year when there are a rash of back injuries due to yard work? In fact, this time of year tends to be second only to spring, for gardening or yard, clean-up-type, back injuries. Bending and lifting are the two main culprits that increase the risk of back issues. Tight hamstrings play a big roll in back problems with the guys however women are also susceptible. When bending forward, you must always try to hinge at the hips and avoid any significant time with the lower back rounded forward, especially with bending only partially. Forward bending distorts the fibers of the disc and can cause pain even if only performed for a short time. Enjoy your yard and the outdoors, be careful, and if you injure your back, call your chiropractor…they will help!!

Hammy tightness & back pain!!

I recently had the opportunity to go to the Air and Water Show along Lake Michigan here in Chicago. I did a significant amount of walking and at the end of the day my low back was a bit tired. It felt fatigued. For guys who develop back issues, more specifically lower back issues, hamstring tightness is quite common and often contributes to the back pain. Did you know that tight hamstrings can alter the mechanics of your gait and change the way you should normally walk or run? It happens more often in men, however I do come across women who are particularly tight along the hamstrings. In fact, the tighter your hamstrings, the greater chance of lower back issues. Almost any issue with your lower extremity will eventually effect your lower back, if it lingers long enough. To remedy this take time to stretch the hamstrings and calf muscles several times daily and hold the stretch a minimum of 30 seconds each time you do them. A little prevention goes a long way!!

Save a back!! Stop the pain!!

Back pain is so common among people it has its own talking points. Did you ever get into a conversation with someone only to end up comparing back pain stories? Well, here is a quick exercise that can help. Bending or twisting are the two motions most my patients perform that contributed to their back injury. Here is a simple exercise to help you bend properly, and save your back, it is called a “hip hinge”. You will need a broom. Begin by standing with feet shoulder width apart. Place the broom along the spine, holding the top of the broom against the back of your head and the base of the broom against your butt. Now hinge at the hips and flex forward but keep the broom in contact with the head and rear end. You should be hinging at the hips without rounding the lower back. You might feel some pulling in the hamstrings. Stop when the broom pulls away from the head or butt. Practice this enough so that you can do a hip hinge for almost any bending activity. It can literally save your spine.

Back Pain Losses

Did you know that back pain is second only to the common cold as the most frequent cause of sick leave?  Back pain accounts for approximately 40% of all work absences.  A study from 1999 found that an estimated 22 million people suffer from back pain that lasts one week or more with an estimated 149 million days of lost work.  So what would those numbers be today in 2017?  Chiropractors are experts on diagnosing, treating, managing and preventing back pain.  If you haven’t had back pain yet, you are lucky, because for most Americans, it is just a matter of time.  Visit the pro’s who handle these problems on a daily basis!!

Enjoying your life to the fullest?

Health is something most people take for granted, however as we age, we start thinking about our mortality a little more frequently. Spine problems are one of those things that can make every day activities more challenging if not addressed. Here are just a few of the problems that can occur with the spine as we age. Degenerative changes of the disc and vertebrae can be a result of genetics, trauma, wear and tear or just life itself. The discs can become thinner, the vertebrae can develop bone spurs. Arthritis can contribute to pain in the spinal joints. Stenosis can occur with a bulging disc or bony changes along the spinal canal. All of the previous can contribute muscle or nerve issues along the spine that can affect the limbs (think sciatica). Chiropractors are educated and trained to diagnose and treat patients with these issues and help them enjoy their daily activities to the fullest. Don’t let spine problems ruin your fun!!

Chronic Pain & Opioids

Chronic pain is one of those things that can literally make you lose your mind or even damage it.  A study of over 10,000 elderly adults found that those adults dealing with moderate to severe chronic pain, also had a significantly more rapid decline in cognitive function including memory, attention, as well as increased signs of dementia. This was compared to people with little to no pain. So instead of getting a prescription for opioids when you are in pain, find your local chiropractor, as study after study has proven its effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of those with chronic pain.!!

Why back surgery, if it isn’t effective?

Did you know that there is an 80% chance that you will suffer from back pain, if you already haven’t? Did you know that there are 500,000 disc surgeries annually and that most of them are unnecessary and ineffective?  Several studies now indicate that for many patients, fusion surgeries designed to alleviate the pain from degenerative discs, disc herniation’s, and/or radiculopathy do not work. This can lead to significant increase with disability, opiate use, prolonged work loss and poor return to work status. On the plus side, the medical world is now rethinking its approach to back problems because “the world of spinal medicine, unfortunately, is producing patients with failed back surgery syndrome at an alarming rate”. “There is an overwhelming body of evidence indicating that chiropractic management of low back pain is more cost-effective than medical management.” Dr. Anthony Rosner testifying before of the Institute of Medicine, stated, “Today we can argue that chiropractic care, at least for back pain, appears to have vaulted from last to first place as a treatment option.”  Spread the word to your friends and loved ones!

Latent pain..happens to everyone!!

Health Tip Today:  Well, as a doctor who likes to practice what he preaches, I must say that my last 2 health tips discussed injuries due to working in the yard.  As proof, I did some yard work over the weekend, mostly edging and raking.  I did this for two consecutive days (Sat & Sun) and for a limited time. Being right handed, the right side of my mid back and right shoulder felt some fatigue, but other than that, I was careful with bending as not to hurt my low back.  Today (2 days later), I went to the gym this morning and my mid-back and posterior aspect of the right shoulder started getting tight and sore.  Funny enough (duh), I couldn’t figure out why, as I hadn’t done anything to hurt it.  The light bulb finally came on during my drive home, as I realized that I had been pushing an edger and raking right handed over the weekend.  This is kind of humorous, as initially I couldn’t figure out why I was getting sore.  It happens to the best of us, but at least I know why.  I shall take a visit to my chiropractor for some treatment!! 

Latent symptoms!

I spent some time this weekend doing the very thing I discussed last time, performing chores in the yard, as the weather was finally decent.  Often times, neck and back pain manifests days to weeks after the event that causes injury.  This includes auto accidents, falling, bending or lifting and other such activities or incidents.  This sometimes makes it hard to pin point the incident that injured them.  This last month I have had patients come in with pain symptoms from incidents that happened several days previous.  One from a fall and one from lifting heavy boxes. They seemed fine after the event (fall and lifting) and basically pain free for days. However, they started getting sore and tight about 5-6 days later, and the pain and discomfort progressed to the point they saw me.  Car accidents often progress this way also.  A thorough history will generally uncover the cause, but if you find yourself or a friend in this scenario, hustle to your chiropractor to get the help you need so you are healthy enough to enjoy the nice weather…!!