According to a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, yoga really can be a simple, yet highly effective cure for your lower back woes. In the research, three groups of people with chronic lower back pain were assigned different ways to relieve their aches. The results showed that those who attended yoga classes drastically reduced their need for medication by the end of the study.
The Feldenkrais method is a movement techniques, similar to the Alexander technique, that attempt to better integrate the connections between mind and body. By becoming aware of how one’s body interacts with its surroundings and learning how to behave in less stressful ways, it becomes possible to relinquish habitual movement patterns that cause or contribute to chronic pain.
The method was developed by Moshe Feldenkrais, an Israeli physicist, mechanical engineer and expert in martial arts, after a knee injury threatened to leave him unable to walk. Relying on his expert knowledge of gravity and the mechanics of motion, he developed exercises to help teach the body easier, more efficient ways to move.
Spinal stenosis is one of the common reasons for low back pain.
The spinal cord is the main bone at the back that maintains the balance of the whole body and keeps it upright. The main structure is further divided into 26 smaller bones are responsible for every basic movement of the body such as turning, running, and lifting.
Spinal stenosis is the weakening and tearing of these structures that can lead to cartilage loss and lower bone density. It is often one of the effects of aging in the body and can be cited as one of the types of degenerative cascades.
While spinal stenosis is more likely to occur in older people due to aging, others with specific injuries, diseases, tumors, inflammations, diet, spinal conditions, and daily habits can be at higher risks of developing it as well.
If you disclose it, you may wind up dealing with judgments and misguided attitudes from supervisors and coworkers about the extent of your chronic pain. On the other hand, if you don’t disclose it, you may miss out on accommodations you need and are entitled to.
There is always going to be risk when you disclose. And it is hard to know whether an employer will be accommodating or treat you unfairly.
Even though people in pain do not consider themselves disabled the disability act does apply to them. The ADA defines a person with disability as someone who has “a physical or mental impairment” that significantly alters one or more major life activities. You may have trouble sitting, standing or walking, for example. The key is whether the limitation is substantial
A leading orthopaedic surgeon has warned against wearing Ugg boots in the winter months, saying they lack support for the lower leg if people buy the wrong size.
And constant wear and tear of the boots can cause the heel to get worn away, which can flatten out the arch of the foot which is needed for posture support.
The Best Exercises to Reduce Back Pain
These exercises can be done anywhere and can make your core and back stronger to support the lower back. Specialists recommend these functional training exercises at least twice per week and about 30 minutes each session for lower back pain relief. Move through the routine and do each exercise 2 to 4 times as you pay close attention to your form.
1. Decompression Breathing
This technique will oxygenate your body as you lengthen it. Decompression breathing helps teach you how to breathe deeply as you keep the spine long. Begin by standing toes touching and heel slightly apart, then shift your weight into the heels while unlocking your knees. Proceed to pull the heels gently towards each other, reach your arms overhead and press the fingertips together. As you inhale, lift your ribcage from the hips and when exhaling, tighten your core to support your lengthened spine. Repeat this procedure till you feel tall.
2. Founder to Forward Fold
This exercise is designed to help build integrated core and back strength to support the spine better. It requires sticking out your booty and may put too much tension on your lower back. If that happens, try the modified founder instead. The goal of this exercise is to reinforce good movements patterns. These movements improve the spine motion ranges and strengthen the back muscles for an enhanced lower back support that will prevent injuries.
3. Adductor-Assisted Back Extension
This exercise efficiently isolates some of your deeper lower back muscles making them stronger. When you add some help from the inner thigh muscles, increasing the activation of the hamstrings, you can build stronger back muscles.
4. Eight-Point Plank
This plank with elbow and knee touching the ground may sound easy but is not. When you focus more abs in this exercise, you increase the spinal support reducing back pain. When repeated thrice daily for a few weeks or months, your back muscles will be stronger, and the back pain will be reduced or gone altogether.
Doing this move will give strength to both your back and butt muscles. In case the full woodpecker is too strenuous for you, start with the modified one to build adequate strength to do the full one.
Many studies have shown that regular core bracing and strengthening the back muscles, promotes long-term relief from lower back pain. Living a sedentary life has been shown to increase the risk of back pain, hence the need to do some of these exercises.
Low doses of the hormone oxytocin along with the anesthetic ketamine may provide a unique and effective therapeutic approach to some patients with severe, intractable pain
This therapeutic approach is “incredibly unique” and is safe and effective in some patients with intractable pain. “If you put these two together, you could replace any short-acting opiate,” Caron Pedersen, FNP-C, DC, BSN, BS-PT, a nurse practitioner, chiropractor, and physical therapist specializing in patients with spinal pain, told Medscape Medical News.
Alternative to Opioids?
A variety of antiseizure, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory agents, as well as muscle relaxants and adrenergic blocking agents, provide mild to moderate pain relief. But these approaches are not always a substitute for opioids in patients with severe pain.
In breakthrough research led by neuroscientist Olaf Blanke and his team at EPFL, Switzerland, the scientists show that phantom body pain can be reduced in paraplegics by creating a bodily illusion with the help of virtual reality. The results are published in Neurology.
“We managed to provoke an illusion: the illusion that the subject’s legs were being lightly tapped, when in fact the subject was actually being tapped on the back, above the spinal cord lesion,” explains Blanke, lead author of the study and holder of the Foundation Bertarelli Chair in Cognitive Neuroprosthetics. “When we did this, the subjects also reported that their pain had diminished.”
Paraplegics suffer from no longer feeling their legs again, but the condition is often accompanied by neuropathic pain due to the spinal cord lesion. The patient feels pain originating from the legs, even though nothing else can be felt below the lesion. The sensation of pain is real and yet completely resistant to drug therapy. Now, virtual reality may be the key to providing pain relief for this type of pain, and the solution comes from restoring a sense of touch.
If you sit too much – Muscles stop contracting and expanding when we sit a lot and our spines bend forward. Take frequent breaks and fight back as you lay back on a pile of pillows with your arms spread out.
If your purse is overloaded – It’s all too easy to just keep adding things as we lug our purses everywhere. Do a weekly cleanout and make sure your purse does not weigh more than 10 percent of your body weight. If you have to tote a lot, use a backpack to evenly distribute the weight.
If you forget to exercise – I always intend to exercise more than I do, but just remembering to walk daily would be a big help. Studies say exercise can cut back pain from 10 to 50 percent.
If stress is taking over – Stress is considered a leading cause of back pain. Look closely at your levels of tension and worry and then find ways to let the stress go. Head outside, reach out to friends, or try a yoga, or mindfulness meditation class.
If you need a new pillow – Your head and neck need to relax to avoid back pain. Look for a pillow filled with down or a similar substance that lets your head sink into the pillow. Avoid resilient pillows that create stiff, artificial angles placing pressure on the head and neck. You can also place a pillow under your knees to relieve pressure on the spine.
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