Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Back Pain

I just got a new book in the mail called The Complete Idiot's Guide to Back Pain which seemed appropriate since I just got back from physical therapy to help me deal with back pain caused by the computer. Anyway, the book was written by Jason Highsmith, M.D. who is a neurosurgeon and Jovanka Millivojevic, a health writer and fitness expert.

The book is easy to read and follow as it should be since it's one of the "Complete Idiot's Guides." I was glad to see that the authors focused on those of us with sedentary jobs that still wreck havoc on our backs. The computer has definitely caused some wear and tear on my neck and back but that doesn't mean I will give it up.

There is a chapter on Ergonomics that discusses solutions for daily back pain culprits, how to make adjustments for your back at home, work and play and how to get a good night's sleep. Another chapter on neck pain and how it relates to back pain was good as it discusses the neck's anatomy and different syndromes that can produce back pain. Since the book is written in part by a surgeon, it gives good information on different types of surgeries of the neck and back and talks about the latest and greatest treatments of back pain such as stem cell research and clinical trials.

Exercising for a Happy, Health Back and a chapter on Pilates and Yoga had good advice for do-it-yourselfers and included some exercises to lengthen and strengthen the back.

Well, I think I'll go try out some of these exercises, my aching back could use it.

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8 Comments:

Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

Like most people, I spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen, and I also read and write a great deal. I mostly get problems with neck stiffness and tension that sometimes transforms into some wicked headaches, as well as eyestrain. Maybe I should check this book out.

2:50 PM, March 01, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I've found that light yoga does wonders for the back.

4:23 PM, March 01, 2011  
Blogger Bob said...

I am lucky to have two great chiropractors who share an office. Both emphasize stretching, both do wonderful massages, and both move those bones around. They have given me five stretches which I do several times a day.

5:23 PM, March 01, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

like susan powter said "move and get oxygen to the brain".

sedentary lifestyles equate to sore backs. one has to stimulate and strengthen the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the lower back or eventually the fine structures there will take a hit from the simple leverage of the physiology of the human body at that point.

the more remote-controlled devices we have at hand, the more at-risk our backs are.

it takes discipline to do foundation exercises for lower back strength, but the results are virtual freedom from the type of back pain reported by people my age and younger.

check out macebells and kettlebells on youtube. these are exercises that you can do that start off at weights that a child can do, and will provide a lifetime of core strength to protect that back.

oh yeah, and back strength is only as good as front strength. your abdominal core has to be strong too.

8:44 AM, March 02, 2011  
Blogger Mark K. Sprengel said...

I fixed my back problems from a workout injury some years ago when I started taking b12 and doing core activation exercises before kettlebell training.

Before that, sneezing or just s slight slip on the ice was something I dreaded.

Unfortunately I fell off the wagon with the kettlebell due to OT at work and sleep issues. Hope to get back into the game eventually.

Back still good though.

9:16 PM, March 03, 2011  
Blogger Tscottme said...

My job has me sitting 10 hours per day and my hobbies on the weekend have me sitting as well. I found much relief by turning my treadmill into a stand-up desk. I used a wire cooling rack from Wal Mart as a holder for my laptop. The cooling rack is lashed to the magazine holder on the treadmill and the laptop is held by the cooling rack so that the screen is at eye level. I lay a pre-cut wooden shelf from Home Deopt across the treadmill handrails. I connect a wired keyboard to my laptop so the keyboard is at a comfortable level.

With this setup I can use my laptop for long periods while I walk on my treadmill. I set the treadmill speed slow enough that I can read, talk on the phone, and even eat comfortably. I can spend the majority of a day walking which does wonders for my back and allows me to get things done as well.

My dad gave me a cheap inversion table that allows me to "hang" on it from a flat level up to a full upside down position. It only takes a little bit laying with my head below my feet to also help my back. Even a 10-20 degree declination is helpful. Don't do this after eating.

1:09 AM, March 05, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

I want to mention that after years of back pain and stiffness due to a herniated disk, there was one type of treatment that helped me immeasurably: trigger point injections (sometimes called trigger point needling). This procedure is performed by an M.D., usually a physiatrist. The doctor will insert needles into the affected area and trigger a twitch response. If the muscles have been locked into a spasm--as my lower back muscles were for many years--they will be forced to move. After four sessions, I was almost back to normal. This is after trying years of chiropractors, massage therapists and physical therapists. My doctor also recommended Pilates, which I have been doing religiously for almost a year now. My back feels better than it has in fifteen years!


I wanted to share this because I've found that most books that talk about back pain do not mention this treatment.

6:07 AM, March 05, 2011  
Blogger Joe said...

I had lower back pain for years. It escalated ten years ago at which point I was diagnosed with gallstones. After having my gall bladder removed, I rarely suffer lower back pain.

5:34 PM, March 07, 2011  

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