Inflammation often causes pain and swelling. If you cut your finger, it usually doesn’t hurt very much at first. A day or so later, though, your cut and the somewhat swollen area around it feels worse. That’s because your body’s defense system, otherwise known as your immune system, started an inflammatory process to heal the cut. The chemicals sent to heal your injury are actually irritating the nerves around the cut.
Poor posture can lead to back pain, weakened muscles, and strained joints and ligaments, but it can be avoided. This gentle movement will help you build strength and create flexibility in your spine. Initially it may feel good or it may feel stiff and awkward, but it should not hurt. If a movement causes you pain, stop, back up, and repeat. Stop short of any pain. Try some variations: move less or slower.
Anyone with recurring, unyielding back problems knows the beast that is called back pain. While most of us have experienced back pain that comes from overexertion or muscle pulls, the effects of back pain for many can be debilitating, excruciating, and life changing. Experts say back pain accounts for $100 billion in lost productivity and health-care costs each year and is one of the primary causes of work-related disability. Managing back pain can be a daunting and exhausting proposition. One natural avenue for finding relief is massage therapy.
In the previous two articles (Part 1 and Part 2), we examined the anatomy of the low back and the various types of injuries that can occur in this area, with a particular focus on low-back ligament tears. We discussed how and why these injuries occur, how they affect the body, and how they can be accurately assessed through orthopedic testing and palpation.
One of the main objectives of this article (and Part 2 in the August/September 2006 issue) is to offer therapists ways of predicting the probable outcome of a client’s back problems. Is this person’s backache likely to get better rapidly? Slowly? Or is it unlikely to improve as a result of manual/massage/exercise therapy?
If you’re like most people, you are looking for ways to bring more balance into your life. When we think about creating a balanced life, we might start by cutting down on work, enjoying more pleasurable activities, and spending quality time with family and friends. These are all wonderful things, but they may be ignoring the obvious if your body is struggling to find its own balance, too.
Pain in the back — primarily the low back — is the source of great suffering and disability for a large number of Americans. Each year, it accounts for more than 70 million visits to doctors. For such a prevalent complaint, low-back pain remains remarkably difficult to explain and treat. Many people claim to understand the root causes, but in my view the real reasons remain a mystery. A number of experts say low-back pain is strictly a mechanical phenomenon, i.e., just fatigue and strain of muscles, tendons, or ligaments.
What do Gwyneth Paltrow, Rod Stewart, and Martina Navratilova have in common? No idea? Would it help if I added the San Francisco 49ers? No?
They all practice Pilates.
These popular personalities — and so many others — have discovered a winning combination of toning, timing, and training in this exercise regime.
While the popularity of Pilates gains more momentum each day, this exercise program had a slow start.
Depressed patients with a history of back pain are more susceptible to back pain recurrence, according to a recent study published in the journal Pain. While the correlation has been evident for years, researchers ran into the “chicken-or-the-egg” issue: Does depression cause back pain, or does back pain cause depression? While a gray area remains, depression was specifically identified as an independent risk factor for back pain.
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that massage, as well as chiropractic work, offered equally beneficial results for low back pain as physical therapy and pain medication. By reviewing the results from three separate studies, researchers were also able to conclude that massage and spinal manipulation relieved pain better than acupuncture, other nondrug relaxation techniques, and a fake laser procedure.