What to Know About Back Challenges
The back is the strongest part of our bodies, yet it is one of the most common ailments. Between 70 and 80 percent of most industrialized people will have some sort of back or neck problem in their lives.
When we slouch, our muscles are pulled out of their normal position, creating what can be called a “muscle tug-o-war”, and causing the body to work less efficiently. Even when working with an orthopedic doctor, a chiropractor or a therapist specializing in backs, it takes time and effort on the part of the patient, as well as the specialist, to re-educate the body.
Health is an ongoing process and constant exercise is essential to maintain it. With loss of flexibility and ongoing stress, discs in the spine can bulge from too much pressure, or tear from a severe strain; they protrude and press on the nerves. This major problem, often referred to as “throwing your back out”, can be corrected, but it takes time. The longer the problem has been present, the more need there will be for manual therapy to correct the structure.
Strength is necessary for a healthy back. Those who don’t exercise and have no muscle tone, or those who only do certain exercises, are probably out of muscular balance. The most common problem is weak abdominal muscles, which puts more stress on the lower back.
It is important during a back episode not to do any knee to chest stretches, even if it feels good, as flexion pushes the disc out further and can make it worse. During an acute condition, see a doctor, as some anti-inflammatory medicine, Wobenzym (Natural), or muscle relaxers, ice and bed rest can correct most episodes.
Othon Molina, Ph.D., c LMT, is a Master Holistic Coach and owner of Molina Wellness Systems, in Tucson. Connect with him at 916-598-5525 or MolinaMassage.com. For the complete article, see MolinaMassage.com. See ad, page 26.