MIAMI BACK & NECK SPECIALISTS
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December 09, 2014 - 3 Simple Ways to Alleviate Common Back Pain
Back and neck pain may have a long list of possible causes. However, the most common cause of pain is muscular. If the pain radiates (shoots down to) the arms or legs, there is a strong possibility of nerve compression and a consultation with a spine doctor is warranted. However, for the common back and neck pain try the following simple steps:
1. Low Back Stretching. This is a direct way to relieve the back spasm. Just like a leg cramp, the long muscles of the back go into a “tetanic” contraction (a spasm) and that is very painful. Flexion and extension stretching is a gray way to start the morning. It re-distributes the blood flow and important minerals such as calcium that are important for smooth contraction and relaxation of the muscles. Stretching also, prepares the muscles for the daily activities so that getting in and out of the car or lifting one’s keys off the floor isn’t painful.
2. Abdominal Strengthening The human spine is deep inside, almost in the middle of the body. The lower vertebrae work like a fulcrum, or a pivot, and the spine sways with the pull of the abs and the back muscles. If the back muscles over pull, one begins to develop pain due to the compression of the spinal facet joints (intervertebral joints). A strong abdomen counters the pull of the back muscles. A set of a 100 crunches in the morning will immediately set the right tone and you may notice an improvement in back pain with every movement. Avoid lifting the lower back off the floor during this exercise. Focus on abdominal compression while lifting the shoulder blades only. The arms can support the head but avoid flexing the neck.
3. Hamstring Stretching The hamstrings are a unique group of muscles because they cross two joints – specifically the knee and the hip joint. Most muscles only cross one joint. The hamstrings attach to the bottom of the pelvis, or more precisely deep under the butt cheeks. Therefore, tight hamstrings will pull the pelvis against the muscles of the thighs and legs and that in itself can cause back pain. You may notice that placing a couple of pillow under the knees will improve back pain as well. The reason why that works is that flexed knees and flexed hips result in a relaxed position for the hamstrings. Daily hamstring stretching can be done together with stretching of the Achilles’ tendon which will prevent Achilles tendinitis – a common cause of pain at the bottom of the foot. I like to lean against a wall, and by keeping my knee straight, push the foot into an acute (sharp) angle with the floor. There are many ways to stretch and to do crunches. It’s always a good idea to seek an opinion of a trainer, a physical therapist or a doctor to make sure the proper technique is used and this may lower the chances of injury. If the pain persists or if the exercises make the pain even worse don’t wait and talk to your spine doctor. Georgiy Brusovanik, MD Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery .
Karl Green, MDOrthopedic surgeon has minimally invasive surgery with Dr. Brusovanik.
Compassionate, Knowledgeable, great personality, Very pleased with results. Surgery was literally a breeze, I would recommend Dr.B without reservation.
Karl Green, MD
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