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Locations : Laurel Springs, Haddonfield, Mt Laurel, Somers Point, and Washington Township, NJ

All Posts Tagged: BACK PAIN DOWN THE LEG

Lower Back Injury and what you can do!

Every year thousands of people suffer some type of lower back injury. This often requires a visit to their chiropractor as a result of gardening or doing some other type of yard work. This happens a lot in the spring when people are anxious to get outside and tend to their yards after months of being penned indoors by the winter season.

It is relatively easy to injure your back, especially if you are moving heavy objects around the yard. While good chiropractic care is always one of the first things you should do after receiving such an injury, you also want to consider the fact that chiropractic care, which occurs on a fairly regular basis, may help to curb some of these injuries in the first place as does following some common safety precautions when you are working in your yard. Our team can help you improve your readiness for the spring season using Active Release Technique, Chiropractic Manipulation, home exercise strategies, and improving your stretching at home as well!

There are a number of tips that can help you when it comes to preventing back injuries while you are working in your yard. Perhaps one of the most important things to remember is that in most cases, the more fit you are the less likely you are to suffer an injury of this type. Fitness is a good idea in any case and this is especially true when you are performing any type of rigorous physical activity. Good muscle tone and flexibility will go a long way toward helping you stay healthy and free from back injuries that can be very painful.

In addition, you always want to lift properly. Always lift with your knees and keep your feet in front of you approximately a shoulder length apart or even slightly wider. Whatever you do, always avoid lifting with your back. This is one of the primary reasons that people receive back injuries in the first place. Another thing you can do to reduce your chances of injuring your back is to use tools that work well for you. If you are an individual with a smaller build, you need to use smaller tools and try not to move things that are too heavy without help.

Of course, if you do feel tightness in your back, or you have had an especially hard day, you can typically relieve much of the tension by icing the muscles appropriately. If you prefer, you may want to alternate ice and heat in order to reduce inflammation and then relax the muscles. Ensure that you do not apply ice directly to the skin and that you use caution when applying heat as well.

It is always a good idea to visit your chiropractor on a regular basis even if you are not currently experiencing any problems. Professional golfers in particular have recently shown that they stay in top shape with semi regular visits to the chiropractor. This can prevent you from suffering a back injury or some other type of injury while you are working in your yard.

In the event that you do suffer an injury our team would be more than happy to help and can be an integral part of the recovery process. Working in your yard and getting ready for spring is something that most people enjoy, but it is also something that you should do carefully in order to ensure that you do not injure yourself. Be safe and contact us with any questions you may have.

If you have questions, please use our CONTACT US page at the following link!

https://drmarkkemenoshandassociates.com/contact/

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Who needs 315 feet of RockTape? These docs!

UPS man just dropped off 315 feet of RockTape!  Who needs 315 feet of RockTape, look no further than these docs!  Looking ahead to the the spring running season, spring track, as well as many other sports, it was time to get loaded up again on our favorite form of Kinesiology Tape, RockTape!

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The Canadian Armed Forces has thrown out dated fitness testing in favor of real-world tasks. Sit-ups tossed out.

The Toronto Star published a story recently (January 20th, 2016) with the headline, “The Death of the Sit Up”.  The article immediately popped up on my social media feeds because one of the consultants mentioned in the article is Stuart McGill, PhD.  Dr. McGill is a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo.  Dr. McGill is also widely known as one of the best researchers around for prevention of low-back-injuries.

Original Article Link:  http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/01/20/the-death-of-the-sit-up.html

The article discusses that once a staple of physical fitness in gym classes and military fitness tests, the Canadian Armed Forces have thrown out using sit-ups as a measure of physical fitness.  Dr. McGill has been researching spines for over 30 years and has shown several times over that flexion of the spine, the motion used in a sit-up can statistically put you at a great risk for developing a low back disorder.  Dr. McGill is quoted in the article that he has now been contacted by the US Military and asked to show his findings that doing repeated traditional sit-ups causes damage over time and as repetitions increase, the more likelyhood of a disorder of the spine develops allowing the spine to become damaged.  The largest problem with the traditional situp are that if a disc bulge begins to form, repeated sit up motions can actually increase the size of the bulge due to simultaneous compression and bending of the discs and spine.

The article goes on to talk about ways other exercises are being used now to evaluate physical fitness and military training.

The last few words on the article more or less sum up most of McGill’s findings and our advice as well:

“McGill says every exercise is a tool to achieve a goal. “If (your goal) is to become faster, stronger, or if it’s to become injury-resilient and have less pain in life and make yourself generally fit to enjoy life, then the answer is don’t do sit -ups,” he says. Exercises such as planks, he notes, are safer for lower backs and better engage core muscles.

“But if you’re a UFC fighter or a jiu-jitsu master and you have to do groundwork to fight an opponent off your back, you should probably do a few sit-ups.”

We highly encourage you to check out the original article at the Toronto Star authored by Mary Ormsby:

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/01/20/the-death-of-the-sit-up.html

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The necessary evils of sitting, work stations, work desks and office chairs!

Recently sitting at a desk, using a computer, and sitting in office chairs have been under heavy attacks from all angles due to sitting too much and it possibly being a repetitive trauma to some areas of the body.  It’s hard to think about sitting and working at a desk as possible trauma, but when you add up years and years of it, it starts to take it’s toll on the body.

First things first, you want to be sure your posture is doing well.  You will want to sit as close as possible to the the desk and that you sit squarely with the desk.  It’s important that your arms remain parallel to your spine and your hands rest comfortably on the work surface.  If possible, you want your arms in a comfortable position close to a 90 degree angle.  Whenever you posture starts to become a problem, it is best to stand up, stretch and walk around as much as possible.

Most often, for most people, an office chair height should range from about 16 to 21 inches off the ground and is suitable for most body types.  Having a non adjustable chair is very much a problem and you need to make sure that the chair fits you as best as possible.

With many of our patients we are seeing a trend of stepping away from sitting at a desk and using a standing desk more and more often.  Raising your work surface greatly allows for better mechanics of the spine and hips because they more remain more naturally in neutral.  Another side note on a standing desk is that you stay more alert when using a standing desk because you are not as easily able to slump or else you might fall over, so some studies have shown that you use 60 – 80 more calories per day when standing.  The standing desk industry as a whole is starting to truly take off.  Here at the office headquarters in Laurel Springs, we intentionally built a standing work station for the doctors to use with many power outlets since most of us have a smart phone, iPad, and a laptop.   We also like to remain on our feet as we work for the most part, so a standing work station allows us to check notes without the up and down of an office chair.

Check your screen height!  It’s sad to say it, but looking down for long periods can become hard on the neck, just like reading a book for too long, or texting too long.  With your chair adjusted properly to the height of your table, your legs should be comfortable and your back well supported by the lumbar areas of your chair.  When you look forward somewhat comfortable and relaxed, you want to be well aimed at your computer screen.  Often times with laptop computers this is far from the case you look down to see your screen, effectively putting your neck into forward flexion of the cervical spine.  You want to best raise your screen level to an effective height that does not cause you to look down.  Lifting your laptop is sometimes tough and requires the addition of a second screen or a lifting device to help you stay looking forward and not down hill.

Lastly, the armrests on your chair can be important.  I personally would not buy an office chair without adjustable armrests because properly adjusted armrests can help lower neck and shoulder strain over the 6 – 8 hours you work each day.  Proper armrests also can help to slow the likelihood that you end up slouching forward as the day progresses and you become increasingly fatigued.

Overall, the biggest factor of spending several hours a day in a chair is that you’re in a compromised position to at least some extent.  There is no replacement for standing up, taking a walk and stretching.  Watching your posture in a position that you will spend several years of your life in is very important to protect for you long term health.

If you have questions about Chiropractic, Active Release Techniques, Corrective Exercise / Rehabilitation and just about anything related to sitting in poor posture for too long, we hope you will give us a call at 856.228.3100 to see if we can help you!  We have found that Active Release Technique combined with some Chiropractic Manipulation and Corrective Exercise based on the patients needs can greatly help reduce issues related to poor ergonomics at work and suggestions on getting those issues fixed long term make for great patient outcomes!

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“Walking is not a very good back exercise” mentioned on PBS this weekend, not a very good opinion

I was slightly shocked listening to a show on PBS this weekend discussing all forms of exercises to help with aging.  On the the show they were discussing a wide variety of exercising from a large panel and the topics of discussions were yoga, pilates, stretching routines, swimming, cycling, running and many other forms.  A statement was made on the show however that “Walking is not a very good back exercise” and I almost dropped my pain brush in the garage, loaded with white paint!

Hold on and prepare yourself  on why this is a poor attitude to have towards “talking a walk”.  While I feel the person making this statement was comparing walking against pilates or aerobics and basing their statement on muscle activation and stretching, walking is actually a good exercise for the back.  When you look at walking from a stance of worrying about the deepest areas of the spine, and not just your “back muscles”, then you realize quickly that walking is very essential to spinal health and is actually a good exercise for the back.

Spinal mobility is intimately related to the health of the spinal discs.  If you take the flexibility out of the disc itself, spinal mobility and flexibility will be decreased greatly.  This means, the discs help to provide a great deal of rotating levels and bendable materials so that we can move.  If the discs in our spines were not flexible, we would feel like we had a stiff board for a back and not a system of joints that permits movement.  Disc hydration is what allows the discs to remain mobile.  Around ages 18 – 22, the spinal discs ability to self hydrate starts to steadily reduce.  This means that about the time you truly become a skeletal mature adult, lets say by age 25, the only way that the core of your discs can be lubricated, watered, and fed with nutrients is through a process known as imbibition.

Bare with me on this in relation to the original point that “Walking is not a very good back exercise”.  The opening and closing action of intradiscal spaces (space the disc resides in between two bones known as vertebral bodies), applies and then releases pressure on the disc causing a pumping process with feed and nourishes the disc with water and nutrients.  This pumping motion sucks fresh spinal fluid in and compress old spinal fluid out.  This process is very critical to the health of the discs, keeping them soft, compressible and flexible.  To take this point even further, when a person sits still, the process of imbibition is stopped completely.  So yes, sitting in an office chair for long periods of time does negatively impact your spine in most cases when looking at the spinal discs.

So my response to the idea that “Walking is not a very good back exercise” is that the statement is completely false and while walking does not strengthen your back musculature, it is imperative to discal health deep inside the spine.  Furthermore, when compared to a daily activity of sitting in a desk chair for long periods of time, walking for a sore back can be just what the doctor ordered.

Looking for more information about your spine or need some old low back looked at?  Give us a call and we will try and help you as much as possible.  856-228-3100 

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