Author:Â C. Small
At some point in our lives, 60-80% of all individuals experience lower-back pain (LBP).Â The condition is disabling to 1-5% of the population.Â Most cases of LBP occur between the ages of 25 and 60 years, but 12-16 % of children and adolescents are LBP suffers.Â Males and females are affected equally.
Back in the late nineties, I started having problems with my lower back, and over time the problems increased significantly.Â Through my research (I donâ€™t know about you, but I research everything the doctors tell me), I learned from the National Institutes for Health that lower-back pain (LBP) can be acute or short-term low and that it generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks.Â Most acute back pain is the result of trauma to the lower back or a disorder such as arthritis. Â Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house or in the garden, a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other stress on spinal bones and tissues. Â Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand straight.Â Chronic back pain, which is what I have, is pain that persists for more than 3 months.Â It is often progressive and the cause can be difficult to determine.Â Acute or short-term low back pain generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute back pain is the result of trauma to the lower back or a disorder such as arthritis. Â Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house or in the garden, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other stress on spinal bones and tissues. Â Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand straight.
According to Sharon A. Plowman and Denise L Smith in Exercise Physiology, for Health Fitness, and Performance, there has beenÂ and still is great interest in the link between muscular fitness and the absence or occurrence of LBP.Â The interest is high enough that some tests of health-related physical fitness have included sit-and-reach, sit-ups, or curl-ups, and trunk extension tests as a means of testing lower-back function.
One of the things that I learned while going through physical therapy is that in order to have a healthy, well-functioning back, one must have flexible lower-backÂ muscles, hamstrings, and hip flexors, and strong, fatigue-resistance abdominal and back extensor muscles.Â The goal is to keep the vertebrae aligned properly without excessive disk pressure, allowing a full range of motion is all directions.Â In addition the pelvis must freely rotate both towards the front and back of the body.
Per the therapists Iâ€™ve had over the years, individuals suffering from LBP show signs of lower levels of strength in both abdominal and back extensors.Â EMG (electromyogram) activity is also increased in the back muscles of individuals with LBP.Â These differences, however, are believed to be the result of LBP rather than the cause.Â Also, studies measuring strength and muscular endurance have identified back extension endurance as the criticalÂ variable.Â So, how did all of this new found knowledge help me?Â Well, it helped me to understand why my physical therapists developed my exercise plan on a total body workout for strength and muscular endurance, with a focus on exercises for the back and abdominals.Â Did the plan help?Â Initially, yes it did.Â I believe the strengthened back and abdominals muscles, along with other treatment measures have kept my pain level at a minimum.
About the author: C. Small is the Owner/Manager of CVS Unlimited, LLC and a health and fitness enthusiast with more than 31 years of military training. The Companyâ€™s desire is to educate you on the dangers of obesity and help you achieve a healthy lifestyle by combining good nutrition with the right exercises, and using the right equipment for lasting results.
CVS Unlimited, LLC is a paid affiliate of Botanic Choice.
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