Posts for: May, 2016
We are always lifting stuff. We're bending forward to get stuff out of the bottom of the refrigerator, we're lifting stuff off the ground, we're picking up after our kids. Pick a day and count how many times you lift stuff and it's in the 30-40 range (I've asked patients to do this and done it myself).
This repetitive bending causes stress on the ligaments of our spine. Over time, this stress can finally reach a breaking point and we develop pain. Often, this breaking point can occur in the morning and thus, we associate our bed, our pillow, or any benign cause as the reason our back "went out."
It wasn't the "I was just putting my shoe on doc!" that made your back go out. It was the repetitive bending that over time caused the back to finally give up when you put your shoe on. When you think about it with a little common sense...is your shoe REALLY THAT heavy and your spine SO WEAK that putting on a shoe would make your back suddenly become damaged? No.
So consider every time to lift stuff to stabilize your abdomen by tightening your abs and maintaining a stable back when you lift even the lightest of things. Over time, your spine will thank you.
Lower back pain is very common and most people are trying to exercise their muscles in an effort to reduce this pain. The challenge is that some exercises are good and some are just downright bad.
The reason these bad exercises are still hanging around is because some people don't have the same back as you. You might have a degenerated disc and that particular person in the gym doing the "wrong" exercise doesn't have a degenerated disc. You may look at the exercises he's doing and think, "maybe I'll try those."
Another situation is that the damage that guy in the gym is doing to himself hasn't happened yet. There's a paricular exercise where you are seated and you push and twist your lower spine against resistence. This is the exact mechanism that CAUSES herniated discs. In this case, while it looks like the person is not having any trouble at the moment, they are suffering from what's called "yet" disease. They don't appear to have any pain "yet."
Here's a recent video I made regarding this subject.