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Thursday, March 29, 2012

[AlternativeAnswers] Alternative Answers for Back Pain

 

Good Morning!

Alternative Answers for Back Pain

Acute and chronic pain effects over 100 million people in the United States each
year. While pain is best known and characterized as subjective, meaning only the
person who is experiencing it can explain what it feels like, pain is often
called the Universal equalizer. Pain affects people differently. What may be
perceived as only a minor nuisance to one person, may be completely debilitating
to someone else. Pain is a warning that something isn't quite right. Pain is not
a disease in itself but the result of an underlying condition or due to injury.
Pain is not just a physical sensation or psychological event, but a combination
of these and other components.

Back pain can be caused by a variety of situations such as accidents,
musculoskeletal disorders, improper lifting, bending, sports activities,
misalignment of the vertebrae of the spine and disease. It can also appear out
of nowhere with no obvious cause. A viral illness may possibly be a cause, or
emotional trauma, such as fear or resentment. In the vast majority of cases,
pain is caused by stasis of blood and or our body's energy resulting in muscle
spasm, trauma and immobility. a variety of situations such as too much or
improper lifting, bending, sports activities and misalignments of the vertebrae
of the spine. It can also appear out of nowhere with no obvious cause. A viral
illness may possibly be a cause, or emotional trauma, such as fear or
resentment.

The pain may be acute or it may develop slowly over a matter of hours or days
out of a minor discomfort. In acute form, back pain can render a person
helpless, enabling them to get up from a sitting or lying position or to even
feed, wash, or dress themselves.

In the vast majority of cases, acute back pain comes from muscle spasm. Many
people with acute back problems think they are suffering from a slipped disc,
pinched nerve, spinal subluxation, or a torn ligament or muscle, when in fact
intense muscle spasm is the sole or primary cause. Spasm of back muscles is
maintained by a nervous reflex through the spinal cord that sets up a vicious
cycle: spasm and inflammation lead to more spasm and inflammation. Although the
cycle can develop due to injury, the ultimate cause is often in the brain, which
can interfere with muscle physiology through the spinal cord.

Pain is a vicious cycle: spasm and inflammation lead to more spasm and
inflammation. Although the cycle can develop due to injury, the ultimate cause
is often in the brain, which can interfere with muscle physiology through the
spinal cord. Chronic (long term) and acute back (and neck) pain are common
expressions of stress and emotional stress. This demonstrates the true
complexity of the mind/body interaction. Many times it is the brain's distortion
of muscle function that sets us up for pain by preventing muscles from
responding freely to physical stresses.

Acute pain can result from disease, inflammation, or injury to tissues. This
type of pain generally comes on suddenly, for example, after trauma or surgery,
and may be accompanied by anxiety or emotional distress. The cause of acute pain
can usually be diagnosed and treated, and the pain is self-limiting, that is, it
is confined to a given period of time and severity. In some rare instances, it
can become chronic.

Chronic pain is widely believed to represent disease itself. It can be made much
worse by environmental and psychological factors. Chronic pain persists over a
longer period of time than acute pain and is resistant to most medical
treatments. It can often cause severe problems for patients.

In assessing pain, a useful approach is to assess pain intensity (sensory), pain
relief (cognitive), pain location, pain distress (affective), behavioral
patterns or other similar sensory aspects of pain.

Without a doubt, added stress and strains can take its toll on your spinal and
nervous system. Maintaining a physically fit body, awareness of body positions,
a clean and detoxified internal system, keeping fears, stress and insecurities
in check and careful execution physically, through each day are all great ways
to avoid daily aches and pains.

Proper alignment of the head over the shoulders over the hips over the knees
over the feet, are also imperative in maintaining a pain-free body. Firm
abdominal muscles help to keep the back straight and strong. Bad posture habits
can lock your muscles into positions you are not even aware your body is taking
which can put unwanted strain on the lower back.

Exercise: The Back Strengthener

Do this exercise up to 4 times a day.

Lay on the floor, stomach down. Slowly lengthen out the spine as you raise one
arm and the opposite leg. Exhale as you raise up into an arch. Hold this as your
take two deep breaths. Slowly release back to the floor. Inhale, as your raise
up the other arm and opposite leg, exhale. Hold this arch agian for two deep
breaths. Lower down. Inhale. Then raise both arms, leaving both feet on the
floor. Exhale. Hold the arch as you take two deep breaths. Slowly lower down.
Inhale. Raise both feet off the ground, leaving both arms on the floor. Exhale.
Hold the arch for two deep breaths. Slowly lower down. Inhale. Lastly, raise
both arms and both legs off the floor. Exhale. Hold this full arch for two deep
breaths. Slowly lower down. Inhale. Repeat entire sequence one more time. This
exercise should flow easily with the breath. (Always feel the energy pulling out
in both directions from the top of the head and hands and out the bottom of the
feet.) Try to arch up further each time. This amazing exercise will relieve back
pain!

Exercise: Abdominal Work

Ab work can be done on a daily basis. By strengthening the abdominal wall you
are helping to support the lower back. 300, 400, 500 situps are not only a waste
of time but allows for that many more attempts to injure yourself. It is the
quality not the quantity of sit ups that makes all the difference. SLOW and
controlled is the most powerful approach. Stretching a sore back will actually
enhance the healing process. One good stretch for lower back pain is to gently
bring your knees up to your chest. Once there, put a little pressure on your
knees. Stretch, then relax. Repeat. Stretching will help the muscle calm down
sooner than just waiting for it to calm down on its own.

Exercise: Sciatic Pain

Sciatic pain is generally the result of pressure on the sciatic nerve. When an
intervertebral disc presses on the nerve root as it leaves the spine it causes
pain and often numbness along the route of the nerve which travels down the
buttock, down the thigh and sometimes down into the lower leg. This can result
in a feeling of weakness as well. This is sometimes caused by a disc prolapsed
or "slipped disc". Since sciatic pain can be the result of a disc prolapsed, it
is the prolapse that we need to understand. The prolapse is most often the
result of a harmful habit or pattern of bending and putting stress on the spine.
A herniated disc in the back, spinal stenosis and piriformis syndrome are also
medical disorders that can cause sciatica.

Stretching a sore back will actually enhance the healing process. One good
stretch for lower back pain is to gently bring your knees up to your chest. Once
there, put a little pressure on your knees. Stretch, then relax. Repeat.
Stretching will help the muscle calm down sooner than just waiting for it to
calm down on its own.

A variation on this exercise is to lay on your back and gently bring one knee up
to the chest. Keep the opposite leg elongated along the floor. Keep the energy
of that foot moving out through the foot. Squeeze and hold the knee to the
chest. You can make small circles with the knee. Pull your abs in and slowly
lower the knee. Switch sides.

Stabilizing exercises are also best for strengthening the back. The most
important aspect is sensing and controlling motion in the spine. Once learned,
the body can eventually take over and do this without the level of concentration
it takes early on.

Exercise 1.

In a standing position, cross right ankle over left knee. Now slowly bend your
standing leg. Sit back in the position so you feel a stretch in the buttocks. To
increase this stretch, use one hand and gently evert your foot by simple pulling
the toes toward you. Keep the foot on the knee. Make sure you sit back into the
buttocks in this sitting position. Switch legs.

Exercise 2.

Laying on the floor with knees bent, arms at sides, tighten abdomen and slowly
raise alternate legs 3-4 inches from the floor. With the arms, lower the
opposite arm over the head.

Exercise 3.

Laying on the floor with knees bent, feet on the floor, bridge upward, slowly
raising the buttocks from the floor. These should all be performed with a rigid
trunk. The pelvic tilt will be used to find the most comfortable position for
the low back.

Exercise 4.

This same pelvic position is maintained while performing stabilizing exercises
from the prone (on the stomach) position: With elbows bent and hands under the
shoulders, raise one leg 2 to 3 inches from the floor. With elbows straight and
arms stretched about the head, raise an arm and the opposite leg 2 to 3 inches
off the floor.

Exercise variation can be done on hands and knees, raising the arms and legs
only as high as can be controlled, maintaining a stable trunk and avoiding any
twisting or sagging.

Raise one leg behind with the knee slightly bent and no arch in the back or
neck. Raise one leg with the opposite arm with the knee slightly bent and no
arch in the back or neck.

Exercise: Piriformis Syndrome

Lay on your back and gently bring one knee up to the chest. Keep the opposite
leg elongated along the floor. Keep the energy of that foot moving out through
the foot. Squeeze and hold the knee to the chest. You can make small circles
with the knee. Pull your abs in and slowly lower the knee. Now gently stretch
the knee so that it crosses your midline and hold the knee there for 15-30
seconds. Switch sides.

Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac
http://www.peacefulmind.com/back_pain.htm
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit

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