Approximately 31 million Americans live with chronic back pain. The back is made of muscle, tendons, ligaments and vertebrae designed to function as core stabilizers for the body. General weakness, excessive abdominal fat, poor posture and muscle imbalances are but a few reasons for lower back pain. Depending upon the reason sufferers may correct the condition through surgical or non-surgical means.
Corrective exercise and functional exercise training have received a lot of press in recent years. The health industry is redefining fitness and placing more emphasis on pain free living. Core stabilization exercises are great for strengthening muscles throughout the mid-section and alleviating back pain. Core exercise includes static (no-movement) exercises as well as ballistic (movement) exercises. Exercises target the lower back, abdominal and oblique (love handles) muscles. Sufferers should consult a fitness professional to ensure proper execution and to prevent injury.
Lower back pain may result from tight muscles on the front of the body. The hip flexors, muscles that cause the knee to move toward the chest, can become tight and create imbalances in the mid-section. This imbalance often translates into pain in the lower back. Sufferers can stretch several times per day to loosen hip flexor muscles and strengthen glute (butt) muscles. A weak gluteus maximus causes the lower back to work overtime which results in pain. Consult a fitness professional for proper exercise execution.
Back pain may result from improper gait (walk). Whether the sufferer is flat footed, pigeon toed or knock kneed; improper gait will eventually cause back pain. Chiropractic adjustments are tune ups for the body designed to keep it in top form. Sitting, walking, exercise and everyday life creates muscle imbalances. Chiropractors access and detect these imbalances, are able to realign the body and help reduce back pain. However, some back pain symptoms are the result of more serious conditions and cannot be relieved through non-surgical means.
Decompression and stabilization surgery are often completed together. The procedures are usually the result of degenerative disc problems in the lower back. The soft tissue between vertebrae becomes flat through age or injury and presses on nerves in the lower extremities causing pain and tingling throughout the legs. Decompression removes pain causing tissue and fuses remaining bone.
Discectomy’s are performed on patients who have bulging or herniated discs in the lower back. It involves removing the damaged disc through minimally invasive means that ultimately reduces pain and speeds recovery. Back surgeons provide many surgical options for those who cannot correct back pain through exercise. However, regular exercise and healthy weight maintenance remain top choices for prevention.
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