Do you need a spinal check?
Have you seen that a number of clinical practices are offering promotions that push the “Free Spinal Check!"?
Before you go and take them up on the offer, I have a question for you -- Do you have back pain?
If you answered "no" then I’d advise you strongly to read this first. Why, you ask? Won't it stop me getting back pain?
The answer is no, in fact research has shown it may even increase your likelihood. So, we thought we'd put together a little list of facts you should know about your back so you can be better informed in regards to preventing back pain;
- Back pain is a normal human experience, in most cases it will settle by itself - just keep moving (1).
If you get back pain it's not because;
- You haven't seen a physio or chiro or 'insert health practitioner';
- Because you have bad posture - postures get sensitised when your back is upset, there is no ‘ideal’ posture, everyone has an individual posture - there is no link between posture and the likelihood of having pain in the future (2);
- Because you bend your spine when you bend forward to pick up your keys – your spine is designed to bend, in fact, avoidance of bending it may be far more of an issue than trying to keep it straight all the time, any motion is lotion! (3);
- Because you have a weak core - this is one of the biggest old wives tales we have going, there is not one muscle more important than any other when it comes to back pain, just do exercises you enjoy and gradually increase the load or volume and you'll continue to have a very strong spine (4).
- Because your scan showed you had a disc bulge - disc bulges are normal and are present in people without pain. In fact, by the age of 40 if you don't have one you're the outlier (5)!
- Oh, and an x-ray is almost never required, in fact, early imaging has been shown to increase the likelihood that your back pain sticks around, and often provides no useful information (6).
So what then do I do?!
- Keep moving, move more, if you're going to be sitting for a while, try break it up and move that body. Back pain in most cases comes on because structures become sensitive (not damaged!), they normally just require more movement.
But what type of exercise is best?
- The exercise you enjoy doing the most, as long as you are gradual with it and over time increase the intensity, difficulty & duration, your body will adapt and become more equipped to deal with any stimulus. Pilates is no better than any other type of exercise for back pain. Whatever you do, the more you gradually load it over time, the better!
- If you do get back pain that you feel needs some help then don't go to a practice that pushes fear stories to get your money -- back pain is a highly mistreated issue and in most cases the answer is far more simple than you'd think.
- We have a 100% money back guarantee at The Biomechanics. That's how much we believe in our service. We pride ourselves on running an ethical business model that truly empowers people to regain control and get on with the activities they want to be doing!
Do you want more information about your back or any other issue you are experiencing? call us on – 1300 920 520
1. Waddell, G. and A.K. Burton, Occupational health guidelines for the management of low back pain at work: evidence review. Occup Med (Lond), 2001. 51(2): p. 124-35.
2. Dankaerts, W., et al., Altered patterns of superficial trunk muscle activation during sitting in nonspecific chronic low back pain patients: importance of subclassification. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2006. 31(17): p. 2017-23.
3. Arjmand, N. and A. Shirazi-Adl, Biomechanics of changes in lumbar posture in static lifting. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2005. 30(23): p. 2637-48.
4. Smith, B.E., C. Littlewood, and S. May, An update of stabilisation exercises for low back pain: a systematic review with meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskelet Disord, 2014. 15: p. 416.
5. Boden, S.D., et al., Abnormal magnetic-resonance scans of the lumbar spine in asymptomatic subjects. A prospective investigation. J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1990. 72(3): p. 403-8.
6. Kendrick, D., et al., Radiography of the lumbar spine in primary care patients with low back pain: randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 2001. 322(7283): p. 400-5.