Most people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. The question is: Will you know what to do about it?
I learned the hard way. In my 20′s I suffered from periodic back spasms that lasted for a day or so, then I forgot about them. In my 30′s (just as everyone warned) injuries seemed to last longer and I didn’t bounce back from episodes of back pain as quickly as before. One day while visiting my parents my father handed me a letter from Dr. Hans Kraus. Kraus had been a prominent back pain specialist known for treating President Kennedy in the White House. The letter announced Kraus’ retirement as well as the name of his successor, Dr. Norman Marcus.
I received treatment from Dr. Marcus that not only alleviated my back pain, but taught me how to manage my back problem. On the first day Dr. Marcus handed me a medical journal with a series of articles illustrating various facts about back pain. The most important lesson I learned is that spinal alignment and disc herniation do not accurately predict pain. He explains why in the transcript of this interview which is featured on his website. It explains the basic causes of back pain along with the history of the treatment he uses.
Gone are the days when people suffering low back pain were advised to rest. Today the most common advice is to remain active while avoiding common pitfalls. Too little activity is just as bad, if not worse, than too much exercise.
What to avoid when you have low back pain:
painful positions while seated, standing or lying down
any movement or exercise that exacerbates your pain
inactivity, or being sedentary
If your back pain is chronic or severe, a trip to your doctor is needed to rule out the possible need for a different mode of treatment. While you’re there, ask if it’s safe for you to try some lower back exercises and if any specific exercises should be avoided for your condition.
Since my work with Dr. Marcus I’ve had fewer episodes of back spasm. I attribute this to knowing how to take care of my muscles. It’s not all about strength, endurance and flexibility. I’ve learned that sometimes my muscles are too tight for stretching and they need some TLC. That TLC might be a massage, some limbering with the Kraus exercises or a different type of corrective exercise. I also use a series of corrective exercises from Bill Boland who developed the Body Fix Method.
Now my toolbox is full of proven methods for dealing with aching backs and I have used them to deal with my own back pain as well as with personal training clients. In fact, in 25 years of fitness training, reducing back pain is by far the number one success reported by clients. The wrong exercise can cause back pain, or make it worse, but the right lower back exercises can make all the difference in your recovery.
For information about lower back exercise send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 917-991-5165. Once clearance from your doctor is obtained you may schedule a free fitness consultation.