FAQ – Lower Back Pain

What causes lower back pain?

There are may theories out there. Some people claim that back pain is caused by psychological pain stored up in the body. This theory suggests that you have a lot of repressed emotions and this is manifested as actual physical pain in the body. While I do not dispute that this can be a factor, I have seen far more physical reasons for lower back pain. In my experience, your posture is the definitive cause of back pain.

For example, if you sit most of the day, don’t work out very much and hardly ever stretch, your chances of getting back pain are extremely high. And since, that is most of us, it should not surprising that most of us have back pain. There are some main postural distortions that occur over time, but the more important point is that they do occur. I can see them as clear as night and day on people and you will need to identify your own postural issues if you really want to address lower back pain so you can get rid of it.

Take a look at your hips from the side, preferably by using a mirror. Imagine there is a bucket of water resting on your pelvis. Now, your hips are the bucket. Looking at your hips, can you see if the bucket would be spilling water out the front or in the back? If so, you have a postural shift that can definitely cause significant back pain. By the way, it can also cause upper back pain, neck pain and shoulder issues. Once your hips are out of balance, the rest of the body has to compensate for it.

Take a few moments to analyze how you look. How do you stand? How do you sit? Become more aware of how you hold your body throughout the day. You will be surprised how often it is in unnatural and unhealthy positions. So, to become aware of this is the first step. Then, you can begin to counteract the damage.

How can I get out of Lower Back Pain?

Okay, so now you need to actually do something to get out pain, right? Well, depending on how you stand and sit, you will need different exercises. We want to stretch the muscles in your body that have gotten inflexible and add strength to the areas that are overly weak. And everyone is slightly different. It all comes back to your posture, because that is a tell tale sign of what muscles are too weak or too tight.

As a general rule, you will probably want to strengthen your core no matter what. This includes doing exercises for your lower back, abdominals and psoas. Most people have incredibly tight and/or weak psoas muscles and this usually directly affects the lower back. So, start working on making your core stronger with good stabilization exercises.

Then, get to work on the muscle imbalances that are causing your postural problems. As I said, you want to strengthen the weak muscles and stretch the tight muscles. Generally speaking, if you have kyphotic posture you want to stretch the muscles in the back of your legs and strengthen the front. If you have lordotic posture, you will want to strengthen the muscles in the back of the legs and stretch the muscles in the front. Of course, it is a little more complicated than that, but that is the general rule.

How can I protect myself from a back Injury?

In addition to getting out of pain, you will also want to protect yourself from future pain and injury. You don’t want to be a shut in your whole life, afraid of sports and exercise. And the great news is that you definitely do not have to live that way. By fixing your postural distortions and muscle imbalances, you can get back to life in a healthy and natural way. As you learn to move properly, you will be protecting your back and learning to move in a very functional way. And that means dramatically reducing the risk of future injury and pain.

Back Pain and Joint Pain Relief Through Sleeping on a Novaform Mattress

As we get older, it doesn’t take a lot to put a back out, just a little twist a little wrong move and you could on your back for 2 weeks. Some chronic back problems or joint pains, and the doctor prescribes a period of bed rest, but your old mattress doesn’t seem comfortable anymore, it doesn’t matter what position you’re in all you feel is pain. Getting rest and relief from pain is as good as a mile away. Well it could be time to consider getting a new mattress.

Novaform Memory Foam Mattress

When NASA was looking for something to give a better cushioning effect for the astronauts during lift off, they invented memory foam, it was released to the public in the 1980’s and since then has been used in the bedding industry. Possibly the most outstanding feature about memory foam is its ability to conform to the body, giving relief to back pain and joint pain. When memory foam first hit the market it was expensive and not affordable to most people. The good news is that with advances in technology it has now become affordable to for most people.

How does a Memory Foam Mattress Help You?

Memory foam is heat sensitive foam, as you body warms up the surrounding form, your body will start to sink in, and it will naturally conform to your body giving the support and at the same time give the relief from pressure points. This will give more comfort and result in a better rest which will help your body repair itself faster. It’s important when you buy a memory foam mattress that you get one with a high foam density getting one with a foam density of 5-6 lbs/cubic foot will give you a mattress that’s durable and will last for years. Lighter density foam doesn’t have the durability and some have complained that only after 10 months that their mattresses lost the ability to bounce back.

How Many Types of Novaform Mattresses are There?

There are several different types of Novaform mattresses, though the most recent model is the Novaform Pure Comfort mattresses, which can be found in a number of different sizes, King, Queen, Twin, and Normal sizes. These mattresses are twelve inches thick, consisting of a base 9″ layer of base foam that is topped with a 3″ layer of premium high quality memory foam. The mattress has a cotton-polyester stretch knit cover. You can expect to pay anywhere between $550 – $800

Memory Foam Mattress Toppers are a Good Option

For those who cannot afford the cost of a brand new mattress, or those who have a mattress that is still in good condition and not ready for replacement, buying a memory foam mattress topper is a good option. These are positioned on top of your current mattress. The mattress pads are designed to give you the benefit of a memory foam mattress at a fraction of the cost, giving a much better sleep than you’ll otherwise have if you purchased a typical latex mattress topper. Many people buy a latex mattress because of the hypo-allergic and anti-bacterial qualities. However, a Novaform mattress will offer you these same advantages, while at the same time ensuring a good night’s sleep.

Added Advantages

Novaform memory foam mattresses are hypoallergenic that means it contains fewer allergens. For people who have problems with dust mite allergies, this is good news. Memory foam is made from non organic matter (dust mites can’t eat the mattress), as well as having fewer hollow spaces, means fewer numbers of dust mites to live in.

Back Pain Products to Help My Back Pain

If you suffer lower back pain, you are not on your own. Probably nearly all adults at some point in their lives will experience this condition that interferes with their work eg there is a high incidence of lumbar pain in drivers, everyday activities, sports (eg lumbar pain in golfers) or hobbies. Lower back pain or sciatica is considered the most common cause of job-related disability and the highest contributor to absenteeism in the western world. For example, it is second to headaches as the most common neurological ailment in the United States. Generally, most occurrences of lower back pain or lumbar pain subside after a few days, although some instances may take much longer to resolve or very occasionally lead to more serious conditions.

Short-term pain (Acute) generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks, and this condition tends to be mechanical in nature, the consequence of trauma to the lower back or a condition such as arthritis. Back pain from trauma may be caused by an injury sustained through sports activity, household jobs or working in the garden.

Sometimes, sudden jarring from a minor fall, or other stress on the lower back bones and tissues could be the root cause of low lumbar pain or sciatica. Symptoms of lumbar pain may range from aching muscles to shooting or sharp stabbing pain, limited flexibility and/or range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. Sometimes, pain felt in one part of the body may stem from a disorder or injury incurred in other parts of the body. Very occasionally acute low back pain syndromes could become more serious if untreated.

Definitions of what period or duration constitutes chronic back pain vary but pain that persists for over 12 weeks would generally be described as chronic.

Often the initial cause of the back problem is not known and this condition can sometimes be progressive The good news is that the vast majority of occurrences can be treated without surgery. Back pain treatments include analgesics, to reduce inflammation, to restoring proper mobility and strength to the back, by a variety of back pain products and therapies, to strategies for the avoidance of recurrence of the injury.

Usually patients suffering lumbar pain recover fully and don’t incur continuing loss of functionality. It’s advisable to contact your GP if there is no improvement or reduction in the back pain and inflammation after 3 days There is a plethora of exercises, medication, or therapy products and gadgets available to sufferers, designed to provide either, relief, prevention or both.

Although some of these back pain products (such as Magnatherapy or aromatherapy) would be described as ‘alternative’ or pseudoscientific ie they have few empirically or scientifically proven benefits, many are developed through the application of sound medical principle and theory. It’s worthwhile asking your GP for recommendations on any therapies as well as making sure that the cause is not more serious

Back pain therapy devices PGAT devices

Inversion Tables

Inversion is a natural form of passive gravity assisted traction (PGAT) that uses the patient’s body weight in conjunction with gravity to decompress weight-bearing joints. While the patient is rotated and suspended, gravity effectively creates a traction, resulting in a customized stretch that extends the spine, from the sacroiliac to the cervical joints of the neck, increasing the space between the vertebrae, which relieves the pressure on the discs and nerve roots. By reducing this pressure there is less interference with the spinal nerves thus reducing lower lumbar pain. Inversion is considered to be an effective therapy This is typically performed on what’s called an inversion table.

The table allows you to lie on your back relaxed, in an inverted position. This position eliminates some or all gravitational compression, depending upon how far back you position your body. Inversion therapy relieves back pain, and it works even better when it’s part of a well-rounded therapy plan that addresses the specific muscle imbalances you have. But even by itself it is highly effective. A recent study done at Newcastle University found that over 70% of patients who performed inversion therapy were able to cancel their scheduled back surgeries.

CPM Mobilisers

Backlife

Backlife is designed to apply a Continuous Passive Movement (CPM) to the lower back pain sufferer in a similar way to how a healthcare professional, as part of his back pain therapy, would apply in order to help relieve pressure between the vertebrae, and therefore relieve pain in the lumbar region. In order to apply CPM the user would lie on the floor bending their knees over the upper section of the machine. As the upper section moves, it gently rotates the pelvis in a circular fashion, allowing the joints to move, whilst the joints remain relaxed. The advertised benefits of Backlife for pain relief are that it reduces the stress and pressure on the lower back, restores back mobility and improves stability. In addition it reduces lumbar pain with regular use, improves posture, and reduces muscle tension.

Back in action Mobiliser

The Back in Action Mobiliser is an extremely powerful medical grade spinal joint mobilisation system, available for home or professional use for back pain relief. It’s described as usually very effective at decreasing the symptoms of long term and chronic musculo-skeletal problems. The system applies very localised pressure to the muscles either side of the spine, simulating a practitioners ‘thumbing technique,whilst mobilising the spine, flexing and extending the spine, freeing up stubborn vertebrae. In addition to this the mobilise provides a continuous passive motion (CPM) considered to be beneficial to health and aid healing The mobilise has been used to treat conditions such as: lumbago; prolapse /slipped disc, sciatica; scoliosis, arthritic hips, sacro-iliac dysfunction, whiplash injuries; fibromyalgia and many other disabling conditions. It is also comprehensively tested and endorsed by medics, so that it is probably the most commended back pain therapy care system available. Its most significant disadvantage is that it is made in small numbers and is expensive to buy however they are available to hire.

Backstretcher

The Backstretcher, also known as the Rolastretcher provides relief with a combination of massage and stretching movements, allowing the user to move and stretch different parts of the spine by moving up and down the frame. The rollers also provide pressure (acupressure) on the back muscles either side of the spine where dysfunctional trigger points (knots) often occur. It provides back pain sufferers the opportunity to complement their therapeutic treatment with a device, which is portable, The effectiveness of this device has been confirmed by scientific study by the University of Iowa’s Spine Centre.

Flexibak

Flexibak is back support cradle that is designed to ease lower back pain problems, reduce discomfort, and promote relief, by decompression of key joints, allowing natural movement to return to the user. Flexibak, developed by 2 leading British osteopaths, is designed to encourage the lumbar and sacroiliac joints to open up, and encourage the return of natural movement as pressure on inflamed muscles is relieved.

Back cushions and wedges and Supports Cushions

Back cushions

These are custom shaped soft cushions which are tailored to the natural shape of the user’s lower back and designed to offer support whilst maintaining an ergonomic and comfortable posture whilst sat on a chair or in the car, thus providing an element of relief for low back pain.

Seat wedges

Seat wedges provide lumbar pain relief in a natural passive manner. Sitting on a seat wedge has the effect of moving forward the pelvis which has the effect of causing the users spine to adopt a more ergonomically correct upright posture. Seat wedges maybe useful for lumbar pain suffering car drivers by angling their backs into more comfortable driving positions, or in sedentary workplace situations where the back pain sufferer may be adopting a suiting position for several hours, for example call centre workers. Ideal for everybody working in a sitting position, especially PC users. A variant of the seat wedge is the coccyx wedge which incorporates a cut away section to reduce or avoid pressure on the sacrum or coccyx which could be causing lower back pain or tail bone pain.

Back Braces

These aim to constrict the affected area of low back pain low afflicted area, these strap-on body braces help reduce lower back pain and help to correct poor posture.

TENS units

TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is the application of electric current produced by a device to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes. In this case we are referring to portable stimulators used to help with back pain. The unit is usually connected to the skin using two or more electrodes or semi adhesive pads. Although the first units developed in the US for testing tolerance of chronic back pain sufferers to electrical stimulation in preparation for surgically invasive implants, many patients reported deriving relief from the TENS itself. A number of companies began manufacturing TENS units after the commercial success of the Meditronic device became known TENS is regarded as a non-invasive, safe nerve stimulation intended to reduce pain, both acute and chronic. Controversy does exist over its effectiveness in treating of chronic back pain. In 2007 a feature in the Pain Journal concluded that ENS was effective for chronic musculoskeletal pain whereas the journal Neurology advised against recommending TENS for chronic lower back pain,but other neurologists in the same journal suggested that in some patients TENS is useful. TENS units available from high street retailers Baxolve offers immediate relief for lower back pain through a combination of TENS therapy and lumbar support in one easy to use convenient belt.

Heat and cold back pain products

There is little empirical evidence that the application of hot and cold compresses actually effectively relieve back pain conditions, although the use of hot and cold compresses may provide relief by helping to reduce the lower back pain, spasms, and inflammation, in turn allowing for improved mobility for some back pain sufferers. Immediately after the trauma, the sufferer would apply a cold compress (generally ice packs or refrigerant gel) to the affected area of the lower back pain, maybe after a strain, for up to about 20 minutes a few time a day, for a couple of days to help reduce tissue inflammation. After a couple of days the back pain sufferer would then apply heat to the affected area, using a variety of methods such as heat pads, heat lamps etc for short durations. This has the effect of dilating the blood vessels which increase blood flow to the affected tissues, and encouraging the healing process. It also has the effect of relaxing the muscles similar to having a warm bath after exertion. As with any back pain treatment it’s advisable to consult your GP before commencing a treatment.

Magnet therapy

Magnet therapy can be described as an alternative or pseudoscientific method of back pain treatment, using magnetic fields on the body to promote back pain relief and healing, with a perceived, though not understood positive effect on blood oxygen content. There is no scientific basis to conclude that small, static magnets can relieve pain It has its origins in Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM) dating back some 2000 years, centered around ‘Chi’or ‘energy flows’ around the body and instrumental in health and wellbeing, with magnetic wave therapy having associations with acupuncture or and acupressure. Although it is regarded with an element of scepticism due to seemingly physical and biological implausibility, in Eastern countries, therapeutic magnets are licensed as medical devices, and it does appear to be gaining some recognition within the US medical community, with an example of affirmative research of published in the MDBR Journal of Rheumatology. The downside to this is the difficulty associated with establishing true blind testing of magnets and associated ‘placebo or Hawthorne’ effects within test groups. By all means have a look at what’s available but remain sceptical.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is often used as a method of pain relief by physios and therapists in combination with other pain treatments, such as manipulation, massage, ice treatment and interferential (electrotherapy). The ultrasound device causes millions of sound waves to penetrate deep into tissue in order to promote healing of inflamed or damaged muscles, tendons and ligaments. It’s claimed that ultrasound can reduce tissue inflammation by stimulating blood flow, promote healing by stimulating soft tissue, and assist in the absorption uf analgesics, and reduce pain. Again there is conflict over the effectiveness for lower back pain treatment with both positive user testimonials offset by inconclusive meta analysis. See Physical Therapy article Jul 2001 and New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy Jul 2008

Ultralieve

Ultralieve Pro is a mains operated or portable hand held medical grade device designed for home use to help with pain and promote healing by conducting ultrasound waves into the damaged tissue. Although the device is easy its perhaps best if the user has received ultrasound treatment previously from a physio or healthcare professional, and again it’s advisable to check with your GP or physio before using one to derive pain relief It should not be used as a replacement for conventional help with back pain but in conjunction with it in between sessions. Again there is conflict over the effectiveness to help with back pain with both positive user testimonials offset by inconclusive meta analysis.

Which Sciatica Relief Pillow is Right For You? Find Out and End Your Lower Back Pain

Do You Remember What a Good Sleep Feels Like? You Will, after you Find Your Sciatica Relief Pillow

Sleeping with sciatic nerve pain and lower back pain is no easy feat. No matter what you do, you always seem to end up in pain. Whether it is upper back pain, lower back pain, or sciatic nerve pain, it hurts.

Sometimes it seems like that sciatica relief and low back pain relief will never come.

But there is good news, you can have that sciatica pain relief that you need so badly. The secret is in finding the sciatica relief pillow that is right for you.

What should you be looking for in a sciatica relief pillow?

Many people do not realize this, but a pillow can help low back pain, upper back pain, and sciatic nerve pain immensely. The key lies in how well the pillow supports the head and neck. When the head and neck are not supported, this places strain not only on the neck, but also on the spine.

The result? There is a great strain placed on your spine. And this usually contributes greatly to sciatic nerve pain when sleeping.

If the neck is supported correctly, the spine will not feel any pull and the sciatic nerve will not become irritated. The result? You can kiss your morning dose of sciatic nerve pain goodbye.

What Sciatica Relief Pillow Options do You Have?

There are many pillows that claim to help lower back pain and sciatic nerve pain. The problem is that many times, these pillows are firm enough to support the neck but too firm for your head to be comfortable. Or the reverse happens and the pillow has enough cushion for your head but not enough to support your neck.

There are two pillows people searching for sciatica pain relief love:

1 – Memory Foam Pillow – the memory foam pillow is not a light purchase. A really nice one can cost almost a hundred dollars. But it is well worth the price. The memory foam pillow curves up a little at the bottom so your neck can have the support it needs. But the rest of the pillow sits just a little lower to keep your head comfortable.

Besides the cost, the only downside to the memory foam pillow is that it is huge. Very hard to travel with. But I have to say, I love mine.

2 – Buckwheat Pillow – this is a little cheaper than the memory foam pillow, but it is still an amazing sciatica relief pillow. Filled with buckwheat hulls, the buckwheat pillow can be conformed naturally to your head and neck. Many people looking for sciatica pain relief love the buckwheat pillow, although to be honest I have never tried one personally.

When you are looking for a sciatica relief pillow, my best advice would be to go into the sciatic nerve pain relief forums and see what others are saying. Forums are a great way to connect with others who are going through the frustration of sciatic nerve pain.

Back Pain, Neck Pain, Headache? Give Dorn Spinal Therapy a Go!

Dorn Spinal Therapy was developed by a gentleman by the name of Dieter Dorn in Germany in the 1970’s. Mr. Dorn, a farmer, had no medical training and sought out treatment for relief of his long term back pain. He had the fortune to meet a healer who performed a gentle procedure on him that eased his pain by helping vertebrae and joints sliding back into proper alignment. He then decided to learn the technique himself, help friends and family suffering from bad backs, and eventually teach it to others. Only slowly but steadily this new treatment approach is taking on its journey outside of the European border into Australia, the United States and Asia. Unless you keep up on all of the latest alternative treatement news, this is probably the first time you are hearing about it.

As most of the literature on Dorn Spinal Therapy is in various European languages, it has taken a while to get the information translated and distributed to English speaking countries. The Internet gets most of the credit for the increasing awareness of this exciting procedure now. This treatment can offer relief to anyone suffering the effects of a dysfunctional alignment in their spine. Studies have shown that these dysfunctions can cause restricted movement, pain, headaches, tinnititus and other ailments. If you suffer from back or neck pain, you know what it means to have restricted movement and just what a negative effect it can have on your quality of life. Chiropractic treatments are the most popular form of treatment for back pain in the USA, Australia and UK, but it has its drawbacks as many back pain sufferers might have experienced. Within the medical establishment in the United States and most developed countries, alternative treatments for back problems do not get the respect they deserve and therefore those of us wanting natural treatments must seek them out or find a knowledgeable practitioner to guide us. There are hardly any chiropractors making us aware of a different treatment that they do not provide.

With chiropractic treatments vertebrae are forced into place, while the Dorn technique encourages alignment using the natural movements of the patient. For example, if you are suffering from lower back pain, the practitioner would instruct you to swing one of your legs and at the same time he or she would use light pressure to push the vertebrae into alignment. Having the patient use a muscle at the time pressure is applied makes this method extremely safe because when the muscle is engaged it will not allow the vertebrae to move too far. Will Dorn Spinal Therapy help you? There is only one way to find out.

Whether you are seeking relief from lower back pain, neck pain or even stress relief, Dorn Spinal Therapy is one treatment you should look into. This gentle, natural treatment leaves most patients pain free within only three treatments. And even if you have been told you need back surgery because there is nothing that can help you, you might want to think again and look for a Dorn practitioner to give this treatment a go before undergoing final surgery. You would not be the first one to be spared from surgery and live a happy, painfree life after discovering the power of this treatment.