After numerous lectures to the public especially athletic teams I’ve found certain exercises patients can do to help strengthen their spinal muscles to help prevent low back pain.
Why should you be so concerned? Because 85% of you will experience disabling low back pain during your lifetime.6.8% of the adult population is suffering from an episode of back pain lasting more than two weeks at any given time.
Noted orthopedic surgeon “Gergion” states that between the ages of 30-55 intervertebral disc disease is the most common cause of low back pain with or without sciatica. Which is pain down the leg. Prior to that “summer yard work”, “fall cleanup”, winter snow activities including snow shoveling and “spring clean up”. You NEED to stretch just as you would prior to any sport. If you don’t your just 1 reach away to “ouch” or “honey, my back went out”.
According to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company Stover (Snook Ph.D.) they spend 1 million dollars a per working day for low back pain care. Dr. John O’Brien MD states low back pain costs 10 billion dollars per year. Noted surgeon Bernard Finnison states 11 million people are treated each day with a two million increase each year. So as you can see from the above statistics prevention is the most important aspect of low back pain.
Daily stretching being the most important aspect next to proper lifting. Before we get into the stretches you should do daily, let’s discuss the anatomy of the spine. You have 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic and 5 lumbar which enclose the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord. Your body’s main computer.
In todays discussion we will limit ourselves to the lower back. The 5 lumbar vertebrae assist in flexion, extension, right and left lateral flexion and rotation.There is a disc between each of the vertebra which acts as a cushion for shock absorption. In between each of the vertebra is a pair of spinal nerves which travel to certain parts of the body. They also travel to various organs.
What happens, due to weakness most of the time, is the vertebra will tend to become unstable. When this happens you can have “pain”. To avoid this dilemma you need to stretch and when you are pain free, you need to exercise.
ALL STRETCHING IS DONE PAIN FREE.