ONE SIMPLE LIFESTYLE CHANGE THAT CAN SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE YOUR BACK PAIN…

One simple lifestyle change that can significantly reduce your back pain is a guest post from Tavistock Clinic in Crawley.

None of us are strangers to back pain.

It’s the leading cause of disability in the UK. In addition, 80% of the population experience back pain at one stage or another in their life and it is one of the most common causes for absence days at work.

Back pain is often a mystery. The reason being, it can be caused by such a wide variety of reasons.

You may twist your back whilst reaching something on the floor, and the pain is caused by overstretching the muscle. You may have had a car accident, where the pain is caused due to the physical impact to the muscle. You may even be getting back pain from emotional trauma or certain foods that you react to unknowingly.

Many of us also know the importance of ‘bending at the knees’ and not your back when lifting items.

This is staple (and correct) advice that everyone should follow. The notion is that you should use your leg muscles to pick something up off the floor, instead of putting the pressure into your back.

There’s something missing though: what about all the things you pick up from that mid-range area, between the knees and torso region?

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone in a squat position whilst lifting something off the kitchen counter, dining table, or when putting dishes into the dishwasher.

The vast majority of ‘bending’ we do is at the mid-line level – where squatting by the legs simply does not cross our minds, nor is it practical, or swift enough.

Yet, we still put the pressure into our backs, and not into our legs. How do we resolve this?

In truth, there is another posture of bending that everyone needs to know about, but no one actually does… yet.

‘Hip hinging’ is bending by your knees and ‘hinging’ by your hips at the same time.

It means you still get to bend down from your back and reach down (from the bend in the knees), without having to do a full squat (with your back perfectly upright) but without any undue stress into your spine.

Buffalo Rehab provides a picture-perfect demonstration of the difference between a normal pick up and a hip hinge:

Picture number 1 on this image slide is how the vast majority of people would pick something up from knee level.

Picture number 2 on this image slide shows the perfect position of lifting. You can see I the back is almost horizontal, which may make you think it’s terrible for the spine.

Picture number 3 offers a separate alternative of lifting, also known as the golfers’ grip, which is still safer for your spine than the first picture.

The question should always be, however, ‘why is the spine in that position?’

In picture number 1, the spine is bent because the spine itself and the spinal muscles are folding forward (flexing).

In picture number 2, the spine is not actually bent at all – it’s straight (no, it’s not an illusion!).

The reason it’s horizontal is that the hips are hinged forward.

This is a perfectly normal and safe movement for the hip to do, and when you lift an item from the ground the force goes into the hip and back of the legs primarily, with less stress on the lower and upper back.

There are a number of examples in the professional sporting and exercise world that demonstrates the importance of the hip hinge.

Whenever you see someone doing a squat in the gym, if done correctly, they will be hip hinging:

The same goes for if you are doing one of the staple back strengthening exercises, the deadlift:

Many people think this exercise is dangerous because you are not specifically ‘bending by the knees’ as much as you would think, but the truth is the spine is completely neutral in this position, so the stress is primarily on the hip and legs, where it is supposed to be.

At Tavistock Clinic we offer physiotherapy in Crawley and we advise strongly to every one of our sports and exercise clients to ensure they are hip hinging both during their rehabilitation from injury but as well as part of their prehabilitation to minimise the chance of future injuries. 

So how do you learn to do the hip hinge?

The PTDC demonstrates, through use of video, a series of highly effective exercises to help you make the hip hinge second nature for you as much as possible.

With these exercises and awareness of your hip and spinal posture during any lifting activity, you are much more likely to save your spine in the future and prevent unnecessary and potentially severe back pain.

I hope you’ve found this article useful and informative. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly on kulraj@tavistockclinic.com

Happy Hip Hinging!

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FATE TAKES TWO HANDS, MEMOIRS OF A PHYSIOTHERAPIST, Free on Kindle (limited time)…

The book ‘Fate Takes Two Hands’s Memoirs of a Physiotherapist’ was written by my mother in law who wrote about her life before she became a physiotherapist during the Second World War.

Based on a true story this is a heartwarming tale of a wartime working life of a physiotherapist during the Second World War. Born in Manchester in 1916, the author went with her parents to a pantomime to see Peter Pan. From that day forward she set her sights on being on the stage with her name in lights.

However, her mother and father had other plans for her. She tried every trick in the book to avoid going down their career route, and shares her love, loss and friendships to pursue her dream of being an actress.

That was until she met Audrey, who changed her direction in life into the hospital theatre rather than the dramatic theatre.

Separated from her beloved family she bravely endures a trip on her own across the world to be with her loved one, and writes in detail of the patients she was treating during the war.

I promised my mother-in-law before she passed away that I would do my up,OST to get it printed for her and after reading it, I knew I had to give it a go. With no chapters or paragraphs and hand written in quite a difficult script it did take me nearly 2 years to finish but I got there in the end.

From today until Thursday 17th January this book is free to read on Kindle as I would love some reviews from my readers on her book and the finished product. Many thanks.

BEYOND THE BACK – BOOK REVIEW…

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Beyond the Back: The Chiropractic Alternative For Conditions Beyond Back Pain: 9 Top Chiropractors Share How They Help Patients Avoid Drugs and Surgery Naturally…

Written by nine chiropractors –  Suzanne Doyle-Ingram (Author), Steve Polenz (Author), David Sundy (Author), Stephane Provencher (Author), Gil Desaulniers (Author), Matt Thompson (Author), Jessica Thompson (Author), Jeff Pereverzoff (Author), Marion Constantinides (Author), Victor Dolan (Author) only available on Kindle.

Beyond the Back focuses on the various solutions that chiropractic care offers – besides back pain. In this book, you will learn:

•How Chiropractic can help you have more energy and get more out of life
•How Chiropractic can help you have a healthy pregnancy
•How to raise Superkids
•What are Epigenetics?
•How Chiropractic can heal knee injuries naturally
•How Chiropractic can help multi-generational families
•The Benefits of Applied Kinesiology
•Chiropractic care for athletes

Because most of the general population thinks of Chiropractors as back pain specialists, many people are simply not aware of all the other aspects of health that Chiropractic can improve. In fact, in some cases, Chiropractors can help their patients get off medications entirely and even avoid surgery.

For me on a personal note I was looked after by a Chiropractor in my younger years for many years until he was unable to get me straight any more and so I had to resort to surgery. I have recommended Chiropractors to people suffering from joint problems many times and some had great results.

The section on Pregnancy is a great chapter for mum’s to be and I wished I had known about Chiropractors before my first born. The questions and answer sections on how a Chiropractor can even give you more energy will ring a bell with most people. At the moment it’s only available on Kindle format but well worth a read if you have a Kindle to download it onto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP…

Never give up

Chronic pain sufferers often have to adjust their hopes and dreams, their lifestyles and even their employment prospects. This can then have a knock on effect and end up leading to depression and anxiety.

Different chronic pain conditions bring with them different levels of emotional symptoms and together with the number of drugs we take to deal with our conditions, we seem to end up with an emotional mix up.When we are in pain or distress or feeling isolated and helpless it changes our personality. This is a typical example of what has happened to me recently.

After having some facet joint injections for the pain in my back I was pain free for the first time for a number of years. My head felt so much clearer, and lots of my friends commented on how bright my eyes looked and how well I looked. I felt a million dollars then with a flick of a switch my back went into spasm and my pain free world came to an abrupt end.

It soon came back to me how little I could do with this awful pain but I so desperately wanted to avoid going back down the medication route as I had managed to stop taking my strong opioids, and loved the clear heading feeling I had started to become accustomed to.

My fight and flight mechanism was telling me to go back to taking my strong drugs or hide away in my own little world of pain and loneliness. After having had so many comments from friends on how well I looked, it made me feel like I should hide away from seeing anyone as the tell tale sign in my eyes and posture would show I was back to square one again.

I guess anyone in chronic pain will grab the opportunity of some pain free time to enjoy life as a normal person be it for a few days/weeks or months but the hardest part is accepting that after a short respite your usual pain would be back before you know it.

One of my friends bought me the tile above with ‘never, never, never give up’  on it, which I keep in plain site for me to see when I am going through a rough patch.

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MORE NEWS ON THE BACK CARE AWARENESS WEEK…

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As you saw from my previous post the Back Care Awareness Week 2016 was highlighting  on carers and they were delighted with radio coverage they had across the UK.

BackCare UK stated that ‘ this year we exceeded our expectations, Dr. Brian Hammond on regional and national radio interviews discuss how BackCare UK is raising awareness of the reality of back pain in young carers and the various steps that can be taken to prevent this.  If you want to listen to Dr. Hammond’s radio interview highlights and podcast then click onto BackCare UK now.

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