How to Avoid Your Back “Going Out”

How to Avoid Your Back “Going Out”

back going out

How to Avoid Your Back “Going Out”

As winter approaches I begin to see an increase in patient’s coming in for treatment because as they say, “I threw my back out”.

What they really meant to say is they have had an acute low back injury, which has severely limited my ability to move. Anatomically what has happened is they have caused a misalignment in their lumbar spine, irritating the delicate spinal nerves that exit between the vertebrae causing pain and severe muscle spasm, which limits their ability to stand and move.

These types of acute flair-ups usually occur after a patient has done some heavy lifting, had some type of accident; i.e. fall, or increased physical activity they are no accustomed to.

During the winter months I see an increase in these injuries as patient’s shovel snow, slip on ice, carrying those heavy Christmas tress and boxes full of decorations, etc.

Below are the ways you can avoid your back “going out”:

1. Make sure you have appropriate core strength and stability.

The core is defined as the muscles of the abdomen and low back. Most patients with chronic low back pain have weak core muscles. By strengthening these muscles you add stability to the lumbar spine decreasing the chances that the vertebrae will become misaligned aggravating the spinal nerves causing pain.

A strong core will also help with balance. If walking on an icy sidewalk this winter and you lose your balance, a strong core will help keep you upright and avoid injury. A doctor of chiropractic is well trained in identifying which muscles of the core may be weak and can prescribe an exercise program specifically designed to help strengthen those muscles.

2. Use proper lifting techniques.

Everyone has heard the saying, “bend with your knees, lift with your legs”, unfortunately most of us do not lift this way. More frequently we bend at our waist and lift with our back increasing the chances of a lumbar spine injury. The best way to remember how to lift, think about how an infant picks up an object they see on the floor. They waddle up to the object, get as close as they can, then squat straight down and straight back up. They never bend at their waist to pick up the object. This is the ideal lifting technique. You always want to keep whatever you’re lifting as close to your chest. The farther an object is held away from the body the heavier it will become and the more stress will be placed on the lumbar spine.

Another important factor to lumbar spine health is maintaining a healthy weight. The heavier a person is, the more weight their spine has to support. If the lumbar spine is constantly under stress because a patient is overweight they are much more susceptible to a lumbar spine injury.

3. The last and maybe most crucial factor to maintaining a healthy lumbar spine is regular chiropractic care. (Check out our blog on the Benefits of Chiropractic Adjustments here).

A thorough examination by a trained corrective care chiropractic doctor is essential to eliminating any structural issues that could make someone more likely to injure their spine. If you already experience chronic low back pain or frequently have acute flair ups after strenuous activity, you may have a structural component contributing to your condition.

Unless those structural components are addressed and corrected, you will remain susceptible to lumbar spine injury. The doctors and nutritionists in our office are well trained to address all the issues mentioned above that may be contributing to your low back “going out” this winter.

If you’re interested in a natural and safe way to help strengthen the lumbar spine and avoid that acute injury, call our office at 410-216-6607 to make an appointment immediately.