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AQUATIC EXERCISE IS BETTER THAN PHYSICAL EXERCISE FOR LOWER BACK PAIN…

According to an article in Physicians Weekly patients, with chronic low back pain, were given a therapy program involving therapeutic aquatic exercise which outperformed a program of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation TENS and infrared ray thermal therapy for reducing pain and disability, researchers found.

Therapeutic aquatic exercise is increasingly making waves as a popular approach to treat chronic low back pain instead of physical therapies designed to relieve pain and reduce disability, including electrical nerve stimulation.

Healthline wrote that aquatic exercise, such as walking underwater and using floatation devices, can relieve the strain on certain muscles and strengthen them. Experts say you can begin with simple aquatic exercises before advancing to more complex ones and eventually return to land-based activities.

That’s according to a randomized control trial study of 113 participants with chronic back pain published in JAMA Network Open.

Researchers said that after 3 months, therapeutic aquatic exercise was found to have a greater influence than physical therapies on pain levels, functioning, quality of life, sleep quality and mental state.

Participants performed their allocated intervention for 60 minutes twice a week. Researchers said the benefits were present at the 12-month follow-up.

In actual fact regardless of whether or not you suffer from back pain, working out in a pool will offer you so many benefits. A few of the many benefits of pool exercise include a reduced risk of falling, less pressure on the joints and spine and having a wider range of motion.

It’s common for back pain to be caused by weak back muscles. This is why water workouts are so beneficial for anyone dealing with back pain. It provides a low-impact exercise that strengthens and conditions these muscles, creating better support for your spine wrote Disc Seel.

The hardest part is getting a referral for this type of treatment. I spent half a day trying to find out if there were any pools nearby that did simple aquatic exercises without success so then I looked into Spa Hotel’s but they were membership only.

In all the years I have had lower back pain I have never once been offered any type of water therapy which I have always felt could help with my pain as whenever we went on holiday I always liked to swim in the outdoor pools. It makes it a bit more difficult for me to just ‘swim’ as I have had two fusions in my neck so breast-stroke or crawl is out of the question. I just enjoyed floating but it’s not something you can do down at your local pool. It’s a shame no one has thought of setting up this type of aquatic class for people with lower back pain.

C3 Spine writes that there are several different types of water therapy. Depending upon your condition and the pain that you’re feeling, you may get the most benefit from using an underwater treadmill that allows you to exercise while having your body fully supported; underwater massage, which helps relieve tense muscles and joints; and other forms of underwater activities.

Whatever mode of water therapy is chosen, if the body is submerged to the chest there is an equivalent reduction in the stress of the body’s weight of approximately 80%.  If you are experiencing pain this will provide tremendous relief.

Most water therapy is done in heated water, giving the additional benefit of comfort while giving you the opportunity to move your muscles and increase your flexibility and mobility.

Walking backwards and sideways in chest deep water will help relieve pain. It relieves pain because the pressure and weight of the water essentially massages the muscles in soft tissues. The buoyancy of the lungs and abdomen then produce a traction effect on the low back, hips, thighs and legs and gently stretch the tissues.

Many people with low-to-mid back pain can’t stand up straight due to muscle spasms. Exercising in a bent-over position can make nerve and muscle pain worse, but being in water allows people to stand up straight and exercise in a position that maintains that posture once the individual leaves the water.

To me, with all these benefits from aquatic exercise let’s hope it is soon put into pain management programs for people suffering from lower back pain. I know my name would be at the top of the list and I would definitely write a review on how I got on if I am ever given the opportunity to give it a try.

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TOP TIPS for PREVENTING a BACK INJURY WHEN LIFTING HEAVY ITEMS at WORK…

Lifting heavy items is one of the most common workplace hazards. It is extremely easy to injure yourself while lifting something heavy, even when you think you are capable of the weight. Unfortunately, if you injure your back, it can take you out of action, and even out of work for more than a week, as well as experiencing pain and discomfort. The most common reason why people seek physiotherapy is that they have not implied the proper techniques when lifting something heavy. To avoid injuring yourself next time you are required to lift something heavy, here are some top tips for you to follow. 

#1 EVALUATE THE ITEM 

Before lifting anything, it is important to evaluate the item and consider the weight of the load. It may be something that you can carry, but the size or shape of the item makes it awkward to handle. Consider whether you need to enlist the help of someone else, or the use of equipment such as a forklift. Spending a little extra time can go a long way to avoiding an injury. 

#2 WARM UP 

If the item is extremely heavy, or you have a lot of items to carry, you may wish to perform a warm-up beforehand. This will help you to significantly reduce the risk of injury, while making you more flexible, and therefore, easier to perform the lift. It will also help your muscles recover quickly afterwards so you are not aching for days.

#3 KEEP THE SPACE CLEAR OF CLUTTER

When you are lifting something heavy, it will be more challenging to navigate the space you are in. Make sure you clear the space before you lift anything. This will ensure you do not injure yourself by tripping up, which can be fatal while carrying something heavy, and make it much easier to get to your final destination.

#4 BEND YOUR HIPS 

When you have assessed the item and the space, and have warmed up sufficiently, you should first take a strong stance and bend down at your hips, as opposed to your back. Keep your back facing forward, and as upright as possible. Squat down and engage the muscles in your legs. The leg and hip focus will take the pressure off your back.

#5 FACE FORWARD AND KEEP THE LOAD CLOSE TO YOUR BODY.

It is easy to want to look down or around the room when picking something up, but you must keep your gaze forward. This will reduce the risk of injury as you are not twisting in different directions and putting pressure on your back. Keep the load close to your body so that you have more control, and help with your balance, as it is closer to your centre of gravity. This will also use less energy to manoeuvre. Make sure you have a tight grip on the item and keep it as close to your hips as possible.

Taking steps to ensure you lift a heavy item correctly can go a long way in avoiding injuries. Although it may take a little extra time to complete, it will be worthwhile.