You should never do these three things with back pain

You should never do these three things with back pain

Back pain: we all know it. The fact that we don’t have to lift heavy boxes is nothing new. But doctors have another important message for people with back pain: Don’t bend, lift or twist.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, people with back pain who bend, lift and twist may be at risk for a herniated disc, in which the discs that act as cushions between the vertebrae in the spine rupture or slip. This can happen after the intervertebral discs first swell and the herniation puts pressure on the nerves in the spinal canal.

Back pain

“Many patients with back pain may already have damage to their intervertebral discs. They may not have as much damage as people with a hernia, but they are certainly at risk for developing it,” said Arthur Jenkins, MD, neurosurgeon and spine surgeon. Article written by huffpost.

“A herniated disc usually occurs when the outer annulus of the disc becomes damaged, allowing the inner nucleus to push outward under pressure,” explains Jenkins. Bending, lifting, and twisting can increase this risk. “Any type of movement increases pressure in the disc space and can lead to a herniated disc, but all three at once are the worst.”

Small actions

The risk of developing a hernia can increase with the smallest actions, for example lifting a car seat from the car or carrying luggage while travelling. “In the case of a car seat, the parent must lift the car seat and turn it out. This also usually involves some reclining, as the car seat is often below chest height. Almost any time you have to twist your body, it can cause problems, Jenkins concludes.

Use your legs and steady yourself

Jenkins also knows that it’s nearly impossible to stop moving completely. Therefore, the doctor advises that instead of bending, lifting and twisting, you should follow the following steps:

  • Look directly at what you want to lift, rather than turning or twisting toward it.
  • Use your legs (not your back) to lift and tighten your abdominal muscles at the same time.
  • When you pick something up from the ground, steady yourself. For example, place your hands on something nearby and extend one leg straight out. This makes you bend your spine less.
  • Keep your back and abdominal muscles strong, if your body allows it. “I notice that my back hurts less when I do my core exercises regularly. If I forget for a week or so, sometimes my back will remind me. When I start doing back exercises again, I feel better.”

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