Health &Wellness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body
How Knowing the Difference Can Help You Find Relief IS IT BACK PAIN OR SCIATICA?
Health & Wellness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body
IS IT BACK PAIN OR SCIATICA? Does life ever feel like one large pain in the back? Back pain is difficult to deal with on a daily basis, yet for so many people, this is a total reality. By certain estimates, as many as 85 percent of adults in the United States struggle with back pain at some point in their lives. The most common type of back pain experienced is in the lower back, and it can happen for any variety of reasons. Being in a car accident can cause you to experience lingering back pain for years after theaccident.Accidentsatworkcan lead tosimilar consequences. But sometimes the cause of your back pain isn’tasstraightforward.Backpaincanalsodevelop foranynumberofcommon reasons— things thatyoudo every day without thinking twice. An old desk chair that doesn’t provide much lumbar support can take its toll over time, as can wearing shoes that don’t have much support, or even gaining weight, particularly around the stomach area. How Knowing the Difference Can Help You Find Relief
INSIDE: • Is it Back Pain or Sciatica? • How to Tell the Difference • Relieve Pain In Minutes • Free Therapeutic Massage • Quick & Easy Healthy Recipe • Fun & Games: Crossword Puzzle CALL IN! Call for your FREE BACK PAIN ANALYSIS Call us today to schedule your first step out of pain! (345) 943-8700
One of the biggest problems with back pain is that it lingers. This leads many people to deal with back pain for years on end without seemingly any end in sight. While there is back pain that develops as a result of strainorsprain, there isalsosomethingcalled lowback degenerative disc disease, which happens when the discs inyourspineweaken.This frequentlydevelopsas a result of repetitive back injury and can also develop as a result of age. With degenerative disc disease, the space between the discs begins to collapse and become unstable and will cause back pain to develop. When you work with a physiotherapist to overcome back pain as a result of degenerative disc disease, your physiotherapist will begin by strengthening core musclegroups,which includes theabdominalwall,and will provide you with targeted massage and stretching techniques to alleviate pain. While some back pain is easy to identify as pain, such as is the case with degenerative disc disease, there are other situations in which the pain may be a bit more complicated to understand. One of the most common back issuesexperienced in theUnitedStates issciatica pain, and this sort of pain is often a lot more difficult to identify — especially by those who aren’t familiar with the problem.
Toomanypeopleconsiderbackpainanormalexperience of their lives and don’t immediately seek support that could make the pain an issue of the past. Working with a physiotherapist is, hands down, the best thing that you can do when you are looking to overcome back pain. A physiotherapist can identify the cause of the back pain and present you with helpful strategies that can strengthen your back and reduce the severity of your pain. Physiotherapy for back pain often includes a combinationof targetedmassage,flexibilityand rangeof motion training,musclebuilding,and targetedstretching techniques.Using thesestrategies incombinationwith anti-inflammatory medication, as recommended by your physician, is often considered the most-efficient approach to handling back pain and is recommended by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Understanding Back Pain Beingeducatedaboutyourbackpaincanhelpyoumake the right choices to overcome it as quickly as possible.
HOWTO TELL THE DIFFERENCE
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Back Pain and Sciatica Pain? The answer is that sciatica pain is characterized by the following factors: • Constant pain is only present in one side of the buttocks or leg • The pain becomes worse when you are sitting • The leg pain develops more as a burning, tingling or searing sensation, and not as a plain ache • There is a sharp pain that occurs at times, making it sometimes difficult to stand or walk • The pain is radiating, shooting down the leg and sometimes even into the feet and toes Sciatica pain develops in the nerves that connect the lower back to the legs, and so while the pain itself is generated from the back, a lot of time, the experience of the pain is more largely associated with the upper legs. What’s more, sciatica pain doesn’t always develop like pain in the traditional sense. Sciatica pain instead causes a buildup of tingling, numbness and weakness in the lower back and upper legs, and the pain isn’t consistent either. The sensation will typically run through the leg in waves, causing discomfort at seemingly unpredictable times.
If you are experiencing back pain and you haven’t talked to a medical professional about the concern, then now is the time to take action. Working withaphysiotherapistcancutyour timestrugglingwithbackpain literally inhalf. For more information about how you can overcome back pain, contact us at 345-943-8700.
Refer A Friend Care enough to share how physiotherapy helped you? Who do you know that could benefit from therapy? Send them our way! They will thank you, and so will we.
Relieve Pain In Minutes Try this movement if you are experiencing pain.
Relieves Back Pain
Refer a friend to our clinic and receive a FREE 1/2 Hour Therapeutic Massage .
PRONE ALTERNATE ARM & LEG LIFT Lying flat on your stomach, slowly raise your right leg and left arm off of the ground. Keep your arms and legs straight. Inhale while lifting up. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Exhale while setting down. Repeat using the opposite arm and leg. Alternate 3 times on each side.
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25 Eclipse Drive, P. O. Box 10742 George Town, Grand Cayman, KY1-1007 Phone: (345) 943-8700
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QUICK & EASY HEALTHY RECIPE Sweet Summer Orange Creamsicles
ACROSS 2. The disruption of a joint 4. A common injury for tendons 8. A temporary or permanent loss of functionusuallyassociatedwithnerve involvement 10. Translation or movement of body weight from one side to another, forward, or back 11. The property of being bent or shaped
DOWN 1. Quality of moving freely 3. What is one reason why you might go to the physiotherapist? 5. A muscle group on the back of the thigh that can bend 6. A break of a bone 7. Something inside your leg that is easily sprained or broken 9. An involuntary/automaticresponse to a stimulus
•2 cups unsweetened Greek yogurt •1 orange
•1 cup pineapple chunks •1-2 tsp. vanilla extract •1 tbsp. honey
DIRECTIONS Inahigh-speedblenderorfoodprocessor,combineall ingredients.Process until completely smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until solid. Try swapping the orange with different fruit. Serves 6. HEALTHY HINT! Try blending in spinach for a boost of greens.
Puzzle Courtesy: wordmint.com
Attention Back Pain Sufferers!
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DO KIDS GET BAD BACKS?
prevent overarching of the back, discourage stiffness and encourage proper posture. Strapless and Velcro-fastened footwear is less complicated but demand care. At the same time, many experts encourage young children to walk in bare feet whenever possible. By having direct contact with smooth and uneven surfaces, young feet will develop strong muscles and ligaments, so critical for overall balance. Speak with your physiotherapist if you have any concerns. We can help. 2. Be wary of heavy back packs. Increasingly, a “silent” and seemingly innocent childhood activity is drawing more attention as a cause of major back problems: carrying heavy school backpacks. Pediatricians cite backpacks that exceed 15% of body weight as a reason for increased back strain and other overuse injuries (on the neck and shoulders). The average 10-year- old weighs 31kg, so her/his total backpack should weigh no more than 4.5kg. At the same time, improper use of backpacks (e.g. slinging it over the same shoulder all the time) can cause injury even when the weight is reasonable. Therefore, parents should encourage good carrying habits and other common-sense tips: • Choose a quality canvas backpack with wide padded straps, back support, individual compartments, and weight redistribution features like wheels, hip straps and waist belts. • Show your kids the best way to distribute books and supplies in the backpack. • Consider using a separate bag for the child’s laptop or other heavier electronic items. • Teach them to be prudent with what to bring home from school, and what to take back. • Develop good lifting (e.g. use leg muscles)
and walking habits with weight. • Child should not lean forward when walking; if this is necessary, the backpack is too heavy. • Pro-actively ask your child about back pain. Thankfully, with the advent of laptops, digital tablets and other consumer electronics, the need for carrying heavy hardcover books between home and school is decreasing. But these themselves can add considerable weight. 3. Encourage back-friendly posture. It’s important for kids to develop good posture habits while walking, sitting, running and taking part in any physical activity. Simply “standing up straight” is a good start but consider offering your children an array of balance and flexibility exercises that are fun and easy to perform. We can design a program of body weight activities, as well as ideas that require small, inexpensive equipment. This can be vital for young athletes who put above average pressure on back muscles and their spines on a regular basis. To avoid unnecessary surprises, consider a thorough spinal check for your child on an annual or biennial basis. A qualified physiotherapist can assess posture and general joint movement from head to toe.This is a safe way to identify any back problems and a first step to avoiding headaches, weak abdominal muscles and spinal curvature (rounded back). Parent involvement with children’s lives is the best way to prevent serious back injuries. The world can be a rough place, so providing them with the best equipment and knowledge is their best defense. Use all the tools at your disposal and be aware of any changes in your kid’s walk (i.e. gait) and overall physical performance. Speak with us, your local physiotherapist if you have any questions.
In general, we think that children are impervious to serious injuries, given their boundless energy and great flexibility. However, we cannot take their health for granted. Such is the case with back health, allegedly an adults-only issue but something that demands vigilance and intervention at all ages. Sure, kids bounce up quickly when they fall, but as their bodies mature, they will be motivated to test their physical and athletic limits. Thus, they will become more susceptible to back injuries and putting their quality of life at risk. Therefore, parents and others (teachers, coaches, community leaders, etc.) all share an interest in promoting superior back health. Here are three steps that you can take to help your children (ages 4-12 in particular) to prevent back injuries: 1. Provide children with correct footwear. Children’s back health literally starts at the bottom. Most recognized pediatric associations acknowledge that proper footwear encourages full movement and reduces the risk of back injury. This is especially true for kids involved in sports like gymnastics, basketball, and football. Here are some easy tips to follow: • Make sure the shoes fit! • Shop in-person with your kids and don’t go online to make purchases. • Avoid novelty footwear like flip-flops and high-heeled shoes. • If mass-marketed footwear does not work for your kids, consider special orthotics. Once you outfit your children with the right footwear, don’t forget to teach them how to put them on. In particular, have them lace up while sitting on a chair with their knees raised at a ninety-degree angle. This will
25 Eclipse Drive, P. O. Box 10742 George Town, Grand Cayman, KY1-1007
Phone : (345) 943-8700 Fax : (345) 943-8701
GET TO THE SOURCE OF YOUR PAIN WITHOUT MEDICATION Good posture is an ongoing fight against gravity. Gravity wants to pull you to the floor and your muscles have to counteract that to keep you upright. While your posture may have changed over the years, the good news is that there is a lot that you can do to improve your posture and reduce your back pain: 1. Physiotherapy 5 ESSENTIAL STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE
We are experts in evaluating posture and guiding you on the proper techniques to change your posture and reduce your pain. Call us if you are having frequent aches and pains. We can examine your posture and put you on the right road to a pain-free life. 2. Get up and moving frequently When working at a computer or sitting in front of a TV, studies recommend that you should get up every 30 minutes to walk around for at least one minute. 3. Proper computer setup Make sure that your desk chair and computer are at the proper height. Your monitor should be at arm’s length away, and your wrists should be straight with hands at or below elbow level. Your chair height should be such that your knees are about level with your hips while your feet rest flat on the floor. Having a proper ergonomic set-up is key to maintaining proper posture at work and at home. 4. Sitting properly Sitting upright with your feet on the floor (don’t cross your legs) keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the chair. 4. Exercise frequently Walking, running, stretching, and strengthening certain muscles are very important. Strengthen your back and neck muscles to maintain a better posture.
WHAT ABOUT THE AFFECTS OF A DIGITAL LIFESTYLE? In our era of constantly being on smart phones, tablets, and computers, we often put our necks and backs in positions of prolonged stress. Over time, this contributes to increased stress to our vertebrae, disc and muscles supporting the spine. devices too frequently and for too long. Of course, this posture of bending your neck to look down does not occur only when texting. For years, we’ve all looked down to read. The problem with texting is that it adds one more activity that causes us to look down— and people tend to do it for much longer periods. It is especially concerning because young, growing children could possibly cause permanent damage to their cervical spines that could lead to lifelong neck pain. started with simple postural corrections and stretches. If you have been suffering from back or neck pain, come see one of our physiotherapists for an assessment of what is contributing to your pain. Are you experiencing pain, and want to see what physiotherapy can do for you? Call us today at (345) 943-8700 or visit our website for more information at www.thephysiotherapycenter.com.
Text Neck is the term used to describe the neck pain and damage sustainedfrom lookingdownatyour cell phone, tablet, or other wireless
We often see patients who have suffered from back and neck pain for years who could have been treated very easily when the pain
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