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Back Pain Management - Muscle Imbalance and Bad Posture

Updated on October 16, 2012
Back Pain Relief
Back Pain Relief

Back Pain a Problem of our Modern Society

Back pain is one of the most frequent health issues. About 90% of the adults experience back pain in their life and 50% experience recurring back pain. The most common back pain lower back pain, or lumbago, and is the fifth most common reason for a doctor appointment. The cause of the pain can be different and many times the source of pain cannot be diagnosed accurately without invasive procedures.

Lumbago - Lower Back Pain

The most common back pain lower back pain, or lumbago, and is the fifth most common reason for a doctor appointment. The cause of the pain can be different and many times the source of pain cannot be diagnosed accurately without invasive procedures. The spine is a complex system of nerves, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. The decline of any of these structures will cause problems in all off the others.

Many times the lumbago's cause is a problem with the alignment of the vertebrae. One vertebra might be slightly misaligned pressing on a nerve and causing pain. The noninvasive solution is the realignment of the vertebrae, with a little separation of the vertebrae, and back muscles strengthening. A stretching device will slightly pull your spine correcting the spaces between your vertebrae. At the same time, the muscles will regain some of the lost strength and flexibility.

Adjustable Back Stretching Device

Low Physical Activity and Bad Posture Can Lead to Back Pain

One common dysfunction is the weakening of back muscles. This is usually related to the absence of physical exercise. A very common cause of back pain is muscle imbalance. The decline takes place in time after repeated and prolonged unnatural body postures or moves, for example after a long period of limping. What happens is that the muscles on one side of the body get atrophied while on the other side they get stronger and are in constant strain. This applies an uneven force on spine and triggers back pain.

Muscle imbalance can be most of the times diagnosed by palpating the muscles. An experienced massage therapist, or a physiotherapist, will see if your muscles are unusual and treat it accordingly. The most frequent and visible symptom is uneven back muscles, or uneven tension on your back muscles. That means that the same muscle on one side is stronger or more tense than on the other side. Massage can be an effective help to alleviate this pain. The main focus of massage therapy in these cases is to relax the strained muscles and invigorate the atrophied ones. Usually after a few sessions the results are clear. Physiotherapy, however is the most appropriate for long term results. While a back massage will relive the symptoms and get you back to a functioning state, it will not fix your muscles. The muscles need physical exercise to get back to normal.

Specific exercises can be extremely helpful for alleviating back pain and maintaining a good muscle tonus. The best way to get the perfect set of exercises is to consult a physiotherapist. Nonetheless, if you cannot see a specialist, swimming is one of the greatest ways to get back in shape without damaging articulations.

Devices that can help re-align your spine and massage your muscles are available. The Spine-Worx is such a back realignment device.

Pregnancy and Post Pregnancy Period and Back Pain

An unusual position for a prolonged period of time can generate a change of the natural condition of muscles. This can happen, for example, during pregnancy, because of the unusual body modifications or after breast-feeding because of the body’s adjusted position while feeding. For pregnancy - related back pain the best approach is prevention. The pregnant should have massage therapy during the pregnancy period after the third or fourth month. If preventative massage is not available, or is not recommended because of specific conditions, massage can help to reduce the recovery period after giving birth. Women who breast-feed can develop hunchback because of the breastfeeding position. If is not taken care of, the hunchback can stick for a few years after stopping the breastfeed. A combination of stretching with relaxation massage can be used to maintain the upper back muscles’ natural condition. Preventative massage is recommended. This will prevent the atrophy of these muscles and keep the spine straight. If preventative massage is not available, therapeutic massage will help restore the flexibility of muscles but some exercises will be required as well.

Stability Ball for Your Back

Balance Balls Can Help Your Back

The balance ball helps strengthening back muscles and puts an even amount of force on both sides of your back. By forcing you to maintain a certain position, will promote proper spinal alignment and a good posture leading to a healthy, pain-free back.

There are a few products that use the same concept for correcting your back problems. The simplest one is just a large ball, also called a yoga ball, or a balance yoga ball. A more complex device is the balance ball chair, which will do the same thing as the ball but will provide a little more control over your body, and it has the look of a chair.

If you buy a ball or a ball chair, you need to change the setup of your desk, monitor, keyboard mouse, etc... This new setup will likely lower your position at your desk. The

Tips for adjusting your position when sitting on a ball or a ball chair:

  • Open your chest and pull your shoulders back.
  • Don't lean on the on the back rest of your ball chair too long.
  • Try to ignore the muscle pain of the few first days, it will be less painful during the next days until the pain will disappear.
  • When assembling the ball chair, attach the two wheels with locks at the back side of the chair so you don't accidentally touch the locks.
  • Be prepared to have a sore bottom after the first day. Don't stop using it the soreness will go away. in a day or two.

Correct Your Posture DVD Videos

Bad Posture Is Less Painful?

Many people would like to change their bad posture, and even start with little exercises, but soon they find out that a good posture is painful. That is correct, for someone who had a bad posture for many years, the muscles modified and stretched in an unnatural way, so when you try to assume a correct position those muscles hurt, or require a lot of effort to maintain a correct posture. Whatever you do do not stop adjusting to a good posture. Think about this: It took years for your tendons, muscles and ligaments to shrink, or stretch to a bad position; do you think it's going to be that easy to correct them? Again, do not stop your exercises. If you find it too painful or too hard to do the exercises, adjust your exercise frequency, duration and intensity so it's less painful, and progressively intensify them.

A professional such as a physiotherapist, a Chiropractor, or Kinesiologist can help you define the areas that need to be corrected and give you a set of exercises to correct your posture. An Alexander technique practitioner can asses your posture and movement habits a guide you to regain your correct position.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for the tips on dealing with back pain.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Very helpful information. I pinned it on my health and aging board. That was a very helpful comment that Rohit said, I think that could be the problem I have with my old joints.

    • Dorian Bodnariuc profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 3 years ago from Kanata, Ontario, Canada

      Rohit, good point. The same applies for atmospheric pressure changes.

      That means that a cream that relaxes the blood vessels would be great for temperature drops.

    • profile image

      rohit kumar 3 years ago

      When the temperature of the atmosphere falls, the blood vessels that carry blood to the joints constrict, because of this fall in the temperature of the blood also will be reduced in that part and this will stiffen the nerves thus causing joint pain.