Fritz_Getting to the Core of Back Pain

Health & Wellness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

“Find Out The Secret To Back Pain Relief !” GET TO THE CORE OF BACK & NECK PAIN If you suffer from an aching back or neck pain, it could simply be that your core muscles are weak. When the spine strains it may develop muscle spasms and become tight and misaligned. You may have heard of the term “core”, but what is it? Your core is the foundation of your body and like a building, needs to be strong and supportive. If your foundation is weak or crooked, then the other structures, which rely on this, will not function properly. However, unlike a building, your core needs to not only be strong and supportive, but also move. The timing and strength of the various muscle contractions is critical for your proper body function. When it isn’t, abnormal strains occur to your spine, causing a lot of common aches and pains. Your core muscles consist of a wide variety of skeletal muscles that keep you erect and help you move around on two feet. The core is a group of muscles in the pelvis, spine, abdominal and upper thigh areas. These muscles are arranged in different angles that are layered to give you support and stability. Why do most people suffer from back pain? Most people will experience back pain sometime in their life due to core muscle weakness. When the spinal joints, hip joints, sacroiliac joints and the muscles of the abdomen, pelvis, spine and hips don’t move well, a resulting strain occurs on the spine. This causes pain and can occur at any stage of life. However, this typically happens as we become older and less active as adults.

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USE IT OR LOSE IT

How does the core become weak? A simple answer; use it or lose it. Our lifestyles today put us more at risk with prolonged sitting at work, sitting in the car, bending forward, watching TV, poor posture and many other factors which contribute to core weakness. Once the core is weakened, the weight of your body rests on your spinal discs, joints and ligaments causing long term damage. Medication, injections and other treatments can help with pain control, but do not address the root cause of the problem, which is core weakness. If you have ever had a surgery that involves cutting through the abdominal or pelvic walls, this weakens the core. In addition, prolonged illness and bed rest also weaken the core. Another common reason for core weakness in women is from childbirth and c-sections. This severely weakens the core. The answer to helping most back pain suffers and preventing future injuries, is to strengthen the core with professional help. Corrective exercises and specialized massage and mobilization techniques can be provided by your Fritz Physical Therapist to strengthen your core, relieve stress and tightness, and restore your spine’s proper alignment. Working with your physician, we thoroughly evaluate your movement, alignment and strength. After we determine where the root cause of the problem is coming from, we then put together a comprehensive treatment plan to help restore core strength and movement. This helps you to not only have relief from back pain, but teaches you the right exercises, posture and movement to prevent future problems and maintain a strong, healthy core. To see how we can help you have a strong core and relieve your back pain, call us today or go online for more information.

PATIENT SUCCESS SPOTLIGHT

Physical T

“Summer was awesome! I am much improved in flexibility, strength, agility and using my lower limbs!” - Jason Ferri “Summer was awesome!”

Physical Therapists Offer Ba

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We are excited for the new additions to our staff - Dan Bucknell, PTA; Jennifer Stone, PTA and Summer Armagost DPT! !

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Aching backs and shoulders? Tingling arms? Weakened muscles? Stooped posture? Does your child have these symptoms after wearing a heavy school backpack? Carrying too much weight in a pack or wearing it the wrong way can lead to pain and strain. Parents can take steps to help children load and wear backpacks the correct way to avoid health problems. Backpack Strategies For Parents & Students Therapists Offer Backpack Safety Tips

ackpack Safety Tips • Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items are necessary for the day’s activities. Loading the Backpack: • A child’s backpack should weigh no more than about 10% of his or her body weight. This means a student weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded school backpack heavier than about 10 pounds. • Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back (the back of the pack). • Arrange books and materials so they won’t slide around in the backpack.

WRONG WRONG Load too heavy Load too heavy

CORRECT • If the backpack is too heavy or tightly packed, your child can hand carry a book or other item outside the pack. • If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it. Wearing the Backpack: • Distribute weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a pack slung over one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and c using pain or discomfort. both shoulders Wear both straps Use of one strap causes one side of the body to bear the weight of the wearing 2 shoulder straps, the weight of the backpack is better distribu Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscles Pay close attention to the way the backpack is positioned on the back. evenly in the middle of the back. Shoulder straps should be adjusted to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and allow free move Straps should not be too loose, and the backpack should not extend b Lighten the load Keep the load at 10%-15% or less of the child’s body weight. Carry onl are required for the day. Organize the contents of the backpack by pla items closest to the back. Some students have 2 sets of books, so as carry the heavy books to and from school. How a Physical Therapist Can Help A physical therapist can help you choose a proper backpack and fit it s child. Children come in all shapes and sizes, and some have physical l require special adaptations. Additionally, a physical therapist can help i problems, correct muscle imbalances, and treat pain that can result fro backpack use. Physical therapists can also design individualized fitne help children get strong and stay strong—and carry their own loads! WRONG CORRECT Load too heavy Load no more than 10%-15% of body weight es one side of the body to bear the weight of the backpack. By raps, the weight of the backpack is better distributed. over the strongest mid-back muscles the way the backpack is p sitione on the back. It should rest f the back. Shoulder straps should be adjusted to allow the child to e backpack without difficulty and allow free movement of the arms. too loose, and the backpack should not extend below the low back. • Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Shoulders and necks have many blood vessels and nerves that can cause pain and tingling in the neck, arms, and hands when too much pressure is applied. • Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits s ugly on the child’s back. A pac that hangs loosely from the back can pull the child backwards and strain muscles. • Wear the waist belt if the backpack has one. This helps distribute the pack’s weight more evenly. • The bottom of the ack should rest in the curve f the lower back. It should never rest more than four inches below the child’s waistline. • School backp cks come in different sizes for different ages. Choose e right size p ck for your child as well as one with enough room for necessary school items. • Only put items in your backpack that you need for the day. RIGHT Load no more than 10-15% of body weight traps on COR oulder Wide, padded straps on Load of bo

Exercise Essentials Try this simple exercise to help you feel better...

Helps The Core

PLANK FOREARMS & KNEES Position yourself on forearms and knees. Make your body flat as a plank from head to feet. Keep trunk engaged, do not let lower back arch. Repeat 7 times.

Exercises copyright of

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The above exercise is designed to be performed under the instruction of a licensed physical therapist.

No Doctor Referral Necessary Whether you want to come in for a check-up, suffered a recent injury or you want to improve your health, a doctor referral is not needed. In the state of Pennsylvania you have direct access to chiropractic care and physical therapy!

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