Total Back Newsletter

10 Worst Jobs for Low Back Pain

John Naumann Acute Pain, Back Pain, Bulging Disc, Herniated Disc, Neck Pain, Physical Therapy Comments Off on 10 Worst Jobs for Low Back Pain

 

10 worst jobs for back painAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics sprain and strain injuries are the most common injuries and the back is 2nd most common place for injuries.  Over the years jobs have gotten safer to minimize risk but there are certain jobs that are inherently have a higher risk for back injuries.  Here is a list of the top ten jobs that have a high risk for causing back pain.

  1. Truck Drivers – The risk for this group is the combination of prolonged sitting combined with the need to move heavy loads.
  2. Construction workers – The risk is high in this group due to prolonged bent over positions and working with awkward and sometimes heavy loads.
  3. Landscapers – Landscapers often work with a lot of twisting motions and are often working in bent over positions moving heavy dirt, rocks, and plants.
  4. Police officers – Very similar to truck drivers, going from a prolonged seated position in their vehicle to going into explosive movements to apprehend suspects.
  5. Firefighters – The equipment that firefighters have to carry can be awkward and require forceful movements, increasing the risk of injury.
  6. EMT – The need to go from a seated position to transferring people can lead to back pain
  7. Farmers – Farmers often have to work with heavy equipment and also do a lot of prolonged sitting on their machinery.
  8. Auto mechanics –  Prolonged bent over positions and awkward positions in confined spaces can lead to back pain
  9. Nurses – Nurses are often responsible to transfer, bathe, and dress patients.  This often leads to awkward positioning and can lead to back pain.
  10. Office workers – Believe it or not, working at a computer workstation most of your day is bad for the back and can lead to back pain.

As you can see, the jobs that go from a prolonged seated posture to moving heavy loads or awkward movements are the most likely to cause back pain.  Make sure you stretch before going from a seated posture to lifting and you will reduce the risk of injury.  Are you dealing with back pain?  Contact us 480-633-8293.


March Madness Contest 2016

John Naumann Uncategorized Comments Off on March Madness Contest 2016

Welcome to The Center For Total Back Care’s 1st Annual March Madness Contest!

march madness

Contest Rules:

  • Visit our contest page each Monday during March Madness (March 14, March 21, and March 28) for our update game picks.
  • Simply choose the winner of each match-up
  • Each match-up winner you pick will get you one ticket into our March Madness Contest Raffle (The more wins you pick, the better the chance for you to win!)

 

Final Week Entries in by April 2nd!

Grand Prize – $100 Visa Card

Consolation Prize – 2 Movie Tickets

 

March Madness














Stop Back Pain at Work

John Naumann Back Pain, Uncategorized Comments Off on Stop Back Pain at Work

Zinc coating - forward posture strapping to crane (1) 2011-02-25_12-44-31_521

Back Pain at Work: Tips to Stop work-related back pain

Back pain at work is nothing new.  No one is immune whether you work in an office or in construction, everyone could experience back pain at one time or another on the job.  Prevention is the key.  Here are some tips:

Office Job related Back Pain

Office related back pain often comes from long hours of poor static postures.  Use this tips to help address your poor static posture.

  1. Set up your work area to promote a proper seated posture. (Refer to “5 tips to make sure your workstation is set up properly”)
  2. Take stretch breaks.  Try these stretches below to break up tension created by static posture.
    1. Chin Tuck Stretch
    2. Trapezius Stretch
    3. Chest Stretch
Labor Job related Back Pain

People that work in labor related jobs have the advantage of moving continuously, which encourages good blood flow to muscles and tissues.  The challenges people in labor positions is preparing their body for the task at hand.  Here are some tips to address preparing the body for labor tasks

  1. When arriving on a job site take 5 minutes to go through “Dynamic Stretching”.  Dynamic stretching is the type of stretching an athlete will go through to prepare for their training or competition.  Labor Jobs are the Industrial Athletes!  Try these stretches below to avoid labor related injuries
    1. Lunge with twist
    2. Walking hamstring stretch
    3. Air Squats (perform 10)
    4. Shoulder stretch

Preventing back pain at work can be as easy as taking a few minutes to stretch!


Managing Back Pain during Pregnancy

John Naumann Acute Pain, Back Pain, Uncategorized Comments Off on Managing Back Pain during Pregnancy
Back pain during pregnancy

Wikimedia, Silhouette of Pregnant Woman

One of the most common complaints of women during pregnancy is back pain.  Back pain during pregnancy is almost a forgone conclusion, considering all the changes that are going on in the body to prepare for birth. First you have a new life growing in your body which will throw off your body’s center of mass encouraging poor posture. Next the ligaments in the pelvis begin to loosen to prepare for the birth, this further challenges balance and posture.

Here are a couple of tips to help address back pain during pregnancy:

  1. If working at a computer all day, make sure to have it set up to encourage proper posture.  Many businesses work with ergonomists to help their employees.
  2. Try sleeping on the left side.  This increases blood circulation from mother to child and will alleviate back pain. Stick pillow under belly and between knees as needed to relieve back stress.
  3. Wear proper shoes.  It’s time to put the heels away and wear more comfortable, posture supportive, shoes.
  4. Avoid bending at waist to pick things up.  Many pregnant women in the later trimesters have to squat to pick things up anyways.  Continue to keep the legs strong by exercising such as walks and performing air squats (place hands on supportive surface for balance.  Proper lifting mechanics can reduce the risk of injury to back, especially during pregnancy.

If you or someone you know is experiencing back pain during pregnancy, feel free to contact us at 480-633-8293.


Lift like an infant to protect your back

John Naumann Back Pain, Bulging Disc Comments Off on Lift like an infant to protect your back

baby-lifting-weightsLift like an infant to protect your back?  Are you crazy?!?

So what does “lifting like an infant” do to protect your back?  Well, have you every tossed a ball to a 2-year-old and watch them pick the ball up?  They walk up to the ball really close and perfectly squat down to pick up the ball up, keeping it close to the body as they stand.  Nobody taught them this is the right way to do it, they just naturally do it!

We actually “un-learn” how to properly lift by getting lazy and this comes from our improved balance as we get older.  If you roll the same ball to a bunch of 6 year olds, almost every one of them would invariably bend at the waist to pick up the ball and put more strain on their back.  We learn that we can do it this way and create the bad habit at an early age.

So go back to what was natural and lift like an infant to protect your back!baby-squat


Prevent Back Pain from Golf

John Naumann Back Pain, Uncategorized Comments Off on Prevent Back Pain from Golf

Golf without back pain

How to prevent back pain from golf

The weather is perfect, the golf courses are green and calling many out to hit the links!  Don’t let back pain keep you from enjoying your round.  Follow these simple tips for a pain-free golf:

  1. Check your bag – Make sure your bag is not overloaded with unnecessary equipment.  Sunny days don’t need you to bring the umbrella or rain jacket.  Unload old golf balls that you will not use and carry just enough to cover round of golf.  Remove unnecessary golf clubs that you won’t use on the course.
  2. Warm-up before teeing off – Going directly to the tee from your car, pulling out the driver, and then proceeding to try to hit the cover off the ball is probably the surest way to sprain one’s back muscles and result in low back pain. Instead, go through a warm-up before starting to golf—including stretching and easy swings—is critical for the muscles to get ready for the game.Your stretching should emphasize the shoulder, torso, and hip regions as well as the hamstring muscles.
    • The shoulder and torso may be stretched by holding a golf club behind the neck and shoulders and then rotating the torso.
    • The hips maybe stretched by pulling the knee to the chest.
    • The hamstrings maybe stretched by bending over and trying to touch the toes.
  3. Take some practice swings – Take a few smooth complete swings.  Feel your body as you go through the complete motion and recognize where you are tight.  Continue to take the practice swings until you feel no resistance.  If necessary stop and revisit the stretches to give a little more focus.
  4. Carrying the golf bag – Carrying the traditional golf bag over one shoulder is very bad for the back.  If you must carry the bag, look for bags that specialize in having 2 straps to distribute the weight across the shoulders.  These bags are also much lighter than the standard golf cart bags.
  5. Walk when you can – Walking is a great way to stay loose when playing a long round of golf.  Many golf course off the option to walk and you can rent a push/pull cart.  It is a great way to get exercise too, since many golf courses can be up to a 5 mile walk.  
  6. Get a lesson – Proper mechanics in your golf swing can make the golf round a much more enjoyable experience and also make sure you aren’t putting any unnecessary stresses on you joints and back.  

Now get out there and enjoy that round of golf!


Moving? Follow these tips to protect your back

John Naumann Acute Pain, Back Pain, Stretching Comments Off on Moving? Follow these tips to protect your back

Are you moving?  Follow these tips to protect your back!

Men-moving-a-dresser

Back injuries are the most common injuries people experience when moving.  Proper preparation can make your moving experience a happy and safe one.

Moving? Follow these tips to protect your back:

  1. Wear proper footwear – Wear shoes that are not open toed and provide good grip on various surfaces
  2. Wear gloves – Proper gloves can improve grip and protect your hands when lifting objects
  3. Proper packing – Do not overload, everyone is different but load to a weight that you can handle for multiple repetitions.
  4. Use assistive devices – Use a dolly or hand truck to move heavier objects.
  5. Recruit help – Enlist friends and family when possible to help reduce the lifting load you are taking on.
  6. Keep it close – Avoid reaching and twisting, this is a sure fire way to hurt your back
  7. Use the legs – Warm the legs up by going into full squats to stretch out your hips and low back. Keep your back flat when you lift.
  8. Go Light-Heavy-Light– Warming your muscles up is one of the most important things you can do to protect your back. Start by lifting and moving a few light items first and then, while you are still fresh, move the heavy items. Finish your move by bringing in the rest of the light items.
  9. Stretch – Taking time to stretch at the end of your move will help loosen the tightening muscles and help reduce discomfort the next day. Check out these stretches.
    1. Hamstring Stretch
    2. Piriformis Stretch
    3. Prayer Stretch
    4. Prone Press-up

 

 

 


Best Way to Treat Back Pain, New Study Review

John Naumann Acute Pain, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Med-X, Physical Therapy Comments Off on Best Way to Treat Back Pain, New Study Review

Lower Back PainThe Best Way to Treat Back Pain

New study review suggests we may be wasting our money on back belts, shoe inserts, and other back care items.  The findings support the most effective way of treating and preventing back pain is exercise.

About 80 percent of U.S. adults will experience an episode of low back pain at some point in their lives, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. [Lower Back Pain: Causes, Relief and Treatment]

To evaluate which preventive methods for low back pain are effective in easing its discomfort, the researchers analyzed data from 23 studies with a total of nearly 31,000 participants. The analysis found that exercise alone could reduce a person’s risk of low- back pain by 35 percent, and it could also cut the use of sick time by 78 percent over the course of a year.

People who participated in an exercise program and also received additional educational instruction were 45 percent less likely to have low back pain over the course of one year, compared with people who were not involved in both programs, according to the research, published online today (Jan. 11) in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. [This is by far the best way to prevent low back pain, Huffington Post]

These findings support The Center for Total Back Care’s approach to treating and helping prevent back pain.  We found the Med-X system in conjunction with traditional rehabilitation, is the most effective way to treat neck and back pain.  To learn more about our approach to spinal care, contact us at (480) 633-8293.


Treatment For A Herniated Disc

Dr. Jolley Herniated Disc, Med-X, Treatment, VAX-D Comments Off on Treatment For A Herniated Disc

herniated-disc-diagram

photo via

Treatment for a Herniated Disc

Pain in the spine is the most common symptom of a herniated disc. But is herniated disc just limited to this?  Are there more facts you need to learn about herniated disc? This post will clarify many of your questions about a herniated disc and give you the most effective management of a herniated disc.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

Herniated disc is a condition that affects the cushions in between the vertebrae that makes up your spine.The cushions are called the spinal disc. A spinal disc has two main parts. It has a fibrous exterior (annulus fibrosis) made of a several layers and a soft interior (nucleus pulposus) made of a gel-like material. Each disc functions to cushion the spine, absorb shock, and maintain spacing between the vertebrae.  If there is a crack in the exterior of the disc, the jelly substance inside the spinal disc seeps out – which thereby arises to a condition called herniated disc. Imagine stepping on a jelly doughnut- this is what a herniated disc looks like.This causes irritation in the nearby nerves which results in pain, numbness and weakness in the adjacent body parts.

What Are The Symptoms Of a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc can be asymptomatic (shows no symptoms). Only a few people report signs and symptoms of this condition. Below are the major signs and symptoms of a herniated disc that you need to be aware of:

  • Pain localized to the spine

Many times a herniated disc can result in pain in the spine without radiation into the arm or leg.  Usually if you are not responding to conservative care and MRI will be performed to see if there is underlying pathology such as a herniated or bulging disc.

  • Pain in the arm or leg

The location of the pain depends on the location of the herniated disc. If herniation occurs in the neck, pain can be felt in the shoulders and arms. On the other hand, herniation in the lower back results to pain in the buttocks, thighs and legs. This pain will usually worsen sitting, movement especially bending or twisting, coughing or sneezing.

  • Tingling or numbness in the legs

Seeping out of the jellylike of the disc causes irritation of the nerves around it. As a result, tingling sensation around the affected area can be felt.

  • Weakness of muscles

If there is actual compression of the nerve root the muscles innervated by the affected nerves also get affected. This results to weakness or numbness of such muscles which may cause you to lose balance or your grip.

What Are The Warning Signs That Would Call For Immediate Medical Attention?

Be sure to seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Pain that travels to the extremities
  • Progressive muscle weakness
  • Numbness

 

What Causes a Herniated Disc?

It is hard to pinpoint the exact cause of a disk herniation because it usually occurs over time.  There is some indication that it is hereditary which means it is passed from parent to offspring.  Usually it is the result of the aging process and the constant wear and tear over the years. It can also be as a result of muscle weakness in the deep muscles of the spine caused by repetitive trauma although this muscle weakness may also be a consequence of the herniated disc.  A healthy spinal disc can be injured by a specific incident, but this is very rare and would require a significant trauma such as a fall from a distance landing on your buttocks.  An injury such as this would more likely result in a compression fracture to one of the vertebra, rather than a herniated disc. A herniated disc is usually asymptomatic and becomes actively inflamed by movements such as bending twisting or lifting over your head.  This can be a result of something as simple as bending over to tie your shoe or pick up the soap in the shower, or coughing or sneezing.

How Is It Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of herniated disc involves a combination of the following:

  • History
  • Careful physical examination
  • MRI
  • Electromyography (EMG)

 

Treatment for Herniated Disc

There are several treatment options for herniated discs. At the Center for Total Back Care, the most effective approach is non-surgical decompression called the VAX-D. VAX-D, otherwise known as Vertebral Axial Decompression, has really two effects on the disc: 1) It increases nutrition to the disc through a process called imbibition (diffusion of nutrients from the vertebra above and below the disc through normal spinal movement) and; 2) By causing a negative pressure in the disc, a vacuum is formed in the disc causing the disc material to resorb. When you have a herniated disc the muscles around the disc become weak.  This has a negative effect on the ability to transport nutrients into the disc through your normal activities of daily living or demands of employment by the process of imbibition as described above.  Strengthening of the deep spinal muscles is a critical component of treatment for a herniated disc.  This must be done to not only stabilize the spine but also to restore the normal imbibition process. This is most effectively performed by utilizing the MedX Medical Spinal Testing and Rehabilitation equipment offered at this clinic. See videos below showing the Med-x and VAX-D treatments.

The  Center for Total Back Care was the first clinic in the Valley to offer VAX-D treatment.  We have been using it since 1998 and through extensive experience, gained over the years, have been able to develop evaluation and treatment protocols that help us identify which patients are candidates for VAX-D and which patients would respond to a specific rehabilitation program utilizing the MedX Medical Spinal Testing and Rehabilitation equipment.

If you are enduring the suffering associated with a herniated disc, have been told you need surgery, or are simply not happy with the treatment you are now receiving, it’s about time you give it the attention it deserves. Contact the Center for Total Back Care today so we can develop the most suitable treatment and rehabilitation program for you and get back to a pain-free life as soon as possible. If you are unsure as to what treatment would be best for your case, come talk to us. Call today and schedule a free consultation. There is no obligation!  Call us at 480-633-8293!


Treatment For A Pinched Nerve

Dr. Jolley Med-X, Pinched Nerve, Treatment, VAX-D Comments Off on Treatment For A Pinched Nerve

 pinched-nerve

Treatment For A Pinched Nerve

Pain can result from a condition called a pinched nerve, a layman’s term for nerve compression. If you experience pain, don’t just ignore this symptom. Oftentimes, pain is a warning signal that there is something wrong. When you have a pinched nerve, signals are sent to the brain through your spinal cord which interprets it as pain. The earlier you report your symptoms, the better the prognosis will be and the best chance for relief.

If ever you are wondering if your pain and other discomforts are associated with a pinched nerve, let this post be your guide. Here, we’ll talk about what a pinched nerve is as well as its risk factors, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

What Is A Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve is a term used for the discomfort, pain, and numbness that result from pressure on a nerve.  This pressure leads to irritation and damage. Most often, this is associated with the nerve roots that come from the spine and is usually diagnosed as radiculopathy (cervical radiculopathy or sciatica), but any nerve in your body can be affected by this condition.  In the majority of cases due to herniated or bulging discs the pain in the arm or leg is due to irritation of the nerve root by the chemicals that are released as a result of the inflammation in the damaged disc.

What Are The Risk Factors?

Almost anything that causes an increased pressure to your nerves may cause a pinched nerve. Some of the common causes or risk factors are:

  • Disc herniation
  • Bulging or herniated disc
  • Muscle spasm
  • Spinal arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Water retention especially those associated with thyroid conditions
  • Pregnancy
  • Repetitive activities (typing, texting, massaging, etc.)
  • Poor postures or body positioning

 

What Are The Causes Of A Pinched Nerve?

Pressure on a nerve root or peripheral nerve can result in irritation and denervation (loss of nerve supply) to the muscles supplied by the nerve. When this happens, the nerve cannot function properly which can lead to pain, numbness, tingling and if not addressed weakness and atrophy of the muscles supplied by the nerve or nerve root.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Pinched Nerve?

A person with a pinched nerve may experience one or more of the following around the affected area:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Radiating pain (pain that travels from one area to another)
  • Burning sensation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle atrophy or wasting

 

How Is A Pinched Nerve Diagnosed?

A qualified health care professional can make a diagnosis of a pinched nerve after performing the following:

  • History
  • Careful physical examination
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • MRI
  • CT Scan

 

What Is The Treatment For A Pinched Nerve?

Treatment of a pinched nerve varies depending on the location and cause. Elimination of the cause will usually result in relief of the signs and symptoms as long as it is addressed in a timely manner. Elimination of the cause is often challenging and often requires multiple treatment modalities. These include:

  • Resting the affected area will often prevent further irritation of the nerve but will not address the cause.
  • Physical therapy. Conservative care such as physical therapy is usually an effective treatment and should be tried before more invasive treatments.
  • Spinal Manipulation. This is one of the most effective treatments, but should be used in a very judicious manner and by someone who has extensive experience utilizing this modality.
  • VAX-D (Vetebral Axial Decompression). If the pain is a result of a herniated, bulging or degenerative disc this treatment will help heal the damaged discs often resulting in a complete resolution of symptoms. (see video below for example of VAX-D treatment)
  • MedX Lumbar and Cervical Extension Machines. These tools can isolate the affected muscles of the spine, help determine the source of pain or weakness, and then we can customize the exercise, range of motion and resistance that will strengthen this weakness. (see video below for example of Med-X treatment)
  • Pain Management. Specific injections including epidurals or trigger point injections are effective in reducing the pain and inflammation and facilitating more functional treatments such as those described above.
  • Usually surgery should be a last resort, however if the problem is due to bony compression from spinal degenerative changes or stenosis; or you are noting progressive weakness and/or atrophy in the affected muscles or a foot drop, a surgeon should be consulted.


Because treatment of a pinched nerve usually requires multiple treatment modalities it is best to choose a treatment facility that offers multiple treatments such as the Center for Total Back Care. If you are tired of struggling with the pain associated with a pinched nerve and cannot find relief, don’t give up. At the Center for Total Back Care, we can provide you with a safe and effective treatment and rehabilitation program to help eliminate your pain. Simply book a free consultation with us so we can identify the most effective treatment for you. Call us at 480-633-8293 now!

 

 


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