Understanding and Preventing Back Pain
February 23, 2014
Professor Lee, Olympic College
Today could quite possibly be the day that you learn more about trying to take care of your body to help prevent yourself from future back pain or even possibly getting rid of that agonizing back pain. Back pain is one of the most common medical issues that people have, affecting most people at least once in their lifetime.
The spine consists of two main parts; the spine and the back muscles. Your spine consists of bones called vertebras which are joined together by facet joints in which each vertebra has four. Separating the vertebras are soft intervertebral discs. These discs ...view middle of the document...
Chronic back pain can occur after injuries to the discs, facet joints, or the sacroiliac joint, which is the joint where the lower back beets the pelvis.
Other causes of back pain are a ruptured disk, when a disc ruptures is put more pressure on the nerves around the vertebra which can result in back pain. Sciatica is another cause which is something that I suffer from. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve and a branch of sacral plexus that controls the hamstrings and all the muscles of the lower extremities below the knee. (Gunnal, S., & Wabale, R., 2013) When there is added pressure on the Sciatic nerve, a sharp shooting pain travels through the buttocks and down the back of your leg causing severe leg pain, numbness, and weakness. This is caused by a bulged or herniated disc. An unusual curvature of the spine can also cause back pain for some people. An example of a condition of an unusual curvature is Scoliosis. Scoliosis is when the spine is curved to the side. In most cases back pain can be prevented by strengthening the muscles in your back, but in some cases, for instance if you were in a car accident that injured your back, physical therapy or back strengthening exercises can sometimes help to alleviate the pain.
Regularly exercising your back is the best way to prevent back pain. Back strengthening and strengthening exercised are recommended 2-3 times per week. Some exercise that will help in strengthening your back are partial sit-ups, knee to chest raises, and press ups. With a partial sit-up, you want to have your knees bent, and you slowly raise your head off the floor and hold it for ten seconds. With the knee to chest raise you would slowly pull your knees to your chest while relaxing your neck and back. You hold this for ten seconds and repeat ten times. For the press up, lie down with your hands near your shoulders and your pelvis on the floor. Press up with your arms as far as you can without pain and hold for ten seconds and repeat ten times. Another way to help prevent back pain is practicing good back techniques. Good back techniques include standing straight, sitting straight in a chair, and bending and lifting at your knees and not at the hips. Practicing these good back techniques everyday along with exercising 2-3 times per week, you are reducing your risk of getting back pain in your lifetime.
This is an important topic for me because I have suffered from chronic back pain since my sophomore year in high school 8 years ago. For me I was an athlete and I was always doing strengthening exercise and...