Did you know that approximately one-fourth of adults in the United States experience back pain at least once during a three-month time period. Unfortunately, I am now officially one of them and have several other friends who are members of this group.
So what does back pain have to do with diet and exercise? A lot, as it turns out. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) has identified both as risk factors for back pain. For instance, people who don’t exercise regularly often have weak core muscles that don’t do a good job of supporting the spine. Additionally, people who adopt a “weekend warrior” approach (exercise a lot on the weekends while being inactive the rest of the week) are actually more likely to have painful backs. And obesity puts additional stress on the back. NIAMS also identified other risk factors for back pain, which include:
Age. The first lower back pain commonly occurs between the ages ...
Spondylolisthesis (spaun-di-lo-lie-thee-sis) is a mouthful and is a common cause of low back pain (although it can exist anywhere in the spine, the lumbar spine is the most common area affected). The spinal column is a series of building blocks called vertebral bodies stacked on top of one another. Sometimes these blocks do not line up perfectly. This slight separation in the spinal column is called a spondylolisthesis .
"Doc says I have a spondy-something-or-other. Don't ask me what it is; all I know is that it hurts". Steve tries to explain his low back condition to his friend. But, he finds that he cannot explain what he does not understand. Steve has had back pain for a number of years. Every year the pain gets worse and has now become constant. His doctor sent him for x-rays recently. The x-rays showed a spondylolisthesis with disc degeneration at L5/S1. Steve could not understand his doctor's explanation of the condition. So, now he has pain and has confusion.
Back pain happens. Even though the pain is constant, sometimes life just has to move on. Because life is an Olympic event , staying fit is the best way to stay healthy. But how does one safely exercise with a pain in the back? Some may say that such a feat is impossible without causing further injury or worsening pain. Others have found that by following some simple rules, exercising despite chronic low back pain is possible.
Here are ten rules for developing a workout with back pain.
1) All the movement should come from the hips not the back. When exercising on a treadmill, stationary bike or other equipment that uses the legs, one should be mindful to keep the back still while the hip joints do the work. If the lumbar spine gets too involved in the movement of the legs, this is called lumbar compensatory movement because the low back is trying to compensate for the inadequate action in the lower legs. Learning to separate the movement of the lower extremities from...
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