Friday, June 22, 2018

Low Back Pain: Who Will Respond Best To Care?

Low Back Pain:  Who Will Respond Best To Care?

Is it possible to identify which low back pain patients might experience the
most benefit from spinal manipulation combined with exercise? In a 2011 study,
researchers identified which patients might respond best to this combination of
care and which patients might need a more aggressive approach.

Directional preference (DP) describes a situation in which it feels better for
the patient to move in one direction versus another. For example, if a patient
feels worse bending forwards (which is quite common) and feels better bending
backwards, then “extension-biased exercises” are preferred.

If leg pain is present, the DP that reduces or eliminates the leg pain (called
centralization, or CEN) is the exercise-biased direction, and it’s important to
avoid any exercise that increases leg pain (peripheralization).

In the study, which involved 584 patients with low back pain, the researchers
found that 60% of the participants had a DP and of those patients, 60% had CEN.
The researchers found that the patients with a DP that reduced CEN responded the
best to care (in this case, spinal manipulation combined with exercise) in
regards to improved pain and function. On the other hand, the patients who had
no DP experienced the least overall improvement.

The value of using a classification system like this allows a doctor of
chiropractic to determine which exercises will help each individual LBP patient
the most.  It also provides them with the ability to identify those most likely
to respond favorably and those patients who may need a more comprehensive
treatment.

So, if you feel best bending backwards and/or leg pain lessens, the preferred
exercises include bending backwards (extension) from standing, prone press-ups
(“saggy” push-ups) or hugging a gym ball, and/or extending your back over a gym
ball or a stack of large pillows. Of course, there are many additional exercises
but ANY position that reduces LBP and/or leg pain will help.

 We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for neck pain or headaches, we would be honored to render our services. Visit http://www.olsonchiropracticcenter.com for more information.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why Does My Back Hurt? Part 2


Last month, we discussed common causes of back pain including mattresses, shoes, diet, exercise, and posture. Here are some additional considerations…
6. OFFICE CHAIR: Because of vast differences between people’s height, weight, body type, and preference, it’s difficult—if not impossible—to find a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to office chairs! In the ideal world, the option to sit, stand, walk, and stretch as needed would be perfect but this simply is not reality! Low back pain (LBP) from sitting is common due to the excess pressure it places on the joints and disks (the “shock-absorbers” of the spine). Here are some remedies: 1) Find a chair that FITS YOU. 2) Get up and move at least once every hour (set the timer on your smartphone as a reminder). 3) Place the computer monitor directly in front of you and keyboard/mouse so the elbows bend only 90°. 4) Keep your feet on the floor at your desk (use an upside down box if you have short legs). 5) Perform “in the chair” stretches when your timer goes off!
7. BODY TYPE: We’ve discussed obesity as an obvious cause of back pain, but other factors are important as well. A very common cause of back pain for women is breast size. Here, the topic of a supportive bra is important, as carrying more weight in front of you adds additional stress on the back and shoulders.
8. SHOULDER BAGS: Back pain can be caused and/or perpetuated by a heavy purse, bag, briefcase, and even a thick wallet in the back pocket! To keep your eyes level, your body has to compensate and assume a less-than-ideal posture that may place unnecessary stress on your back! So before leaving the house today, CLEAN OUT that bag and/or put your wallet in a front pocket and lessen the load on your spine!
9. SMOKING: Smoking can reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches your cells, which can cause them to function at a less than optimal state. You’ve perhaps heard that a conscientious back surgeon will NEVER operate on a smokers’ back due to both the prolonged healing time and subsequent bad outcomes. So in addition to giving your heart, lungs, and those around you a break, if you want your lower back to heal, STOP SMOKING! Studies also show smokers are TWICE as likely to develop LBP compared with non-smokers, so quit. Better yet, DON’T START in the first place!
10. STRESS & DEPRESSION: Remember, “health” is a balance between structure, chemistry, and mental factors. Stress increases muscle tightness and alters posture in a way that can lead to or exacerbate existing LBP. Exercise, meditate, eat smart, and resolve your differences with family members and friends to minimize this problem! When needed, your doctor of chiropractic can refer you for counseling!
11. ERGONOMICS: How we “fit” into our job, lifting properly, workstation set up, work pace, and work stressors ALL play into LBP management. Have an assessment to see what can be fixed!

We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for back pain, we would be honored to render our services. Visit http://www.olsonchiropracticcenter.com for more information.