BACK IN ACTION

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BACK IN ACTION
Crippled by backache? Throw away the painkillers; climb out of your chair and move your ass!
Overview
The back, from a structural perspective, is an intricate web of muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, nerves and joints anchored to the spinal column. The spine, in addition to its role as a postural mainstay for supporting the upper body, serves as the transmission conduit for the central nervous system.
Any instability in, or misalignment of this central pillar not only makes sitting, standing and movement painful, but also restricts the proper use of the arms. According to statistics, back pain is inevitable at some stage of your life; is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost work time; and is the third most common reason for surgery. In short, back pain can be costly.
Why does my back ache?
Pain is the body’s way of saying “stop it – you’re hurting me!”, but the general response is to ignore it and hope it will go away. Desensitisation, analgesics and the attitude of “no pain, no gain” have become a characteristic of modern life styles.
Many things can cause back and neck pain, directly or indirectly.
  • Physical injury to, or degeneration of the spine is the most common cause of chronic back pain. Damage to the intervertebral discs frequently results in disc protrusion or herniation impinging on the spinal nerves.
  • Pain felt in the back can also be referred pain from problems in the abdomen, pelvis, or chest. Abdominal disorders such as digestive problems, kidney and urinary tract infections, constipation, and ovarian disorders can cause backache.
  • Changes in the alignment of the bones and complex ligamentous structure that form the pelvic basin often cause chronic back pain. Pregnancy and the ageing process are examples of such.
  • Myofascial stresses produced by musculoskeletal or physiological issues can cause spinal misalignment and pain, a common example being hamstring contracture.
  • Scar tissue from accidents to the spine can restrict movement and cause intermittent pain.
  • Or, it can be the consequence of lifestyle, diet, obesity, occupation, sport, posture, genetics, socioeconomic status, environmental factors, job dissatisfaction, emotional stress, and psychological issues.
Damage and pain can be caused by a single traumatic incident, but that is rare. It is generally the result of repeated and accumulated stress – i.e. the final straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Many factors can cause or provoke pain, but at the end of the day, back and neck pain is predominantly a lifestyle sequela. You probably consider “lifestyle” as being a description of what you do during your day, but in reality that is only half of the story. Style actually means how you do, not what you do, and in that regard it refers to the quality of your activities in daily life.
Posture
Central to all physical activity is posture, so it should come as no surprise that poor posture is the precursor of a host of physical problems, especially back pain. Compounding matters, postural problems and pain are mutually reinforcing – poor posture generates pain, pain distorts posture, and so on ad infinitum ad nauseum. Eventually, chronic poor posture changes the shape of individual vertebrae as well as the entire spine, resulting in misalignment issues that adversely affect the whole body.
Posture is the foundation on which movement is built. Faulty biomechanics means that one’s movement patterns are unhealthy, in which event even seemingly innocuous activities like walking and running can have painful or debilitating long-term consequences for the spine. You can also damage your spine by poor work habits such as overuse, overloading or faulty weight-bearing techniques.
What’s the fix?
In many cases, symptoms will improve within two months no matter what treatment is used, even if no treatment is given. However, it is important to stay active! Prolonged reduction of physical activity leads to loss of muscle strength, joint mobility, and cardiovascular fitness. Over time this deconditioning syndrome becomes self-sustaining and exacerbates both pain and disability.
The range of conventional treatments is broad. These include passive therapies such as tea & sympathy, orthopaedic aids, and massage; active conditioning routines such as yoga, Pilates and strength training; and, medical interventions by way of medication, electrical stimulation and surgery.
Ultimately though, successful resolution of back pain issues requires Identifying and addressing the underlying biomechanical causes and physiological factors. Treating the symptoms or adopting pain-avoidance strategies are short-term solutions but they will not prevent recurrence or further deterioration. In such regard, Kinergetix has proven itself as the most effective rehabilitation and prevention modality available, and has enabled many people to return to a pain-free, active and productive lifestyle.
Kinergetix
Why has Kinergetix been so successful where other therapies have not?
  1. Postural training: Often the root cause of back and neck pain is poor posture. Correcting posture however is not simply addressed by the admonition to sit up or stand straight. Posture is more than spinal alignment – it is the result of a complex neuromuscular control strategy that cannot be rectified by forceful or short-term measures.
  2. Stability training: Stability is a central consideration in dealing with back pain. Instability in the structures that support the trunk manifests as painful and inefficient movement which leads to further deterioration.
    The issue of stabilisation has been oversimplified, and this is largely due to limited understanding of the factors that determine spinal and postural stability. The in-vogue assumption that core stabilisation is key to spinal therapy, and that it can be achieved via focussing on a few “deep stabilisers” by way of phasic conditioning techniques is not only misguided, it is counterproductive.
  3. Ergonomic training: Efficiency and safety at home, at play and in the workplace. Working smarter – not harder. Practical biomechanical instruction in lifting, carrying, and moving objects, and the proper use of your prime tools, your hands. Environmental ergonomics and the workstation.
  4. Integrative therapy: Multimodal combination of the most effective therapeutic approaches to rehabilitation and health conditioning. This unique integration of Eastern and Western modalities works to optimise health from the aspects of physical, physiologic and bioenergetic functionality.
  5. Mindfulness training: Regardless of how fit and healthy you may be, if you’re unaware, desensitised, inattentive or controlled by the emotional “monkey mind”, then you will be unfocussed, disturbed and accident-prone. Cultivating awareness and mindfulness to avoid further injury.
  6. Health education: is an essential ingredient to equip the individual to understand the complexities and idiosyncrasies of their back pain.

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The range of exercises prescribed by physical therapists are basically limited to traditional gym-style exercises for rehabilitation.