Back pain sends more patients to doctors than any condition other than the common cold. 56% of people with lower back pain say that symptoms disrupt their daily routines including sleep and exercise.
Back pain is rarely one catastrophic event but several situations combining to create pain. And it turns out that some seemingly insignificant everyday habits can take a big toll on your back over time.
The following habits are most responsible for the cumulative effects on the back over time.
1. You are a desk jockey. Let’s be honest: Maintaining proper posture is probably the last thing you’re thinking about when under a major work deadline. And on a jam-packed day, regular stretching breaks may not seem like a wise way to spend your time. But skipping these habits may cause your back to suffer. That’s because back muscles will weaken if you don’t use them; inactive joints lose lubrication and age more quickly. Over time the stress of poor posture can actually change the anatomical characteristics of the spine. When sitting, make sure your hips are slightly higher than your knees.
Hamstring strains frequently occur with eccentric contractions (eg. landing from a jump) or excessive range of motion (as in dashing for a bus if you don’t normally run). Given the large size of this muscle group, a hamstring strain can be one of the most debilitating of sport injuries as well as one of the hardest to rehabilitate. Strains are more likely to occur if: a) you neglect your warm-up; b) you have tight or weak hamstrings in comparison to the quadriceps (most often seen in runners and cyclists); c) you suffer from poor posture; d) you have leg length inequalities; or e) you suffer from ‘weekend warrior’ syndrome, turning out to exercise only once or twice a week.
Do you suffer with foot or heel pain that is worse first thing in the morning? Does it affect your gait and limit your running?
You may be suffering from plantar fasciitis – a syndrome in which the plantar fascia, or band of tissue that runs from the heel along the arch of the foot, becomes irritated and painful. This strong tight tissue contributes to maintaining the normal arch of the foot. It is also one of the major transmitters of weight across the foot as you walk or run.
It is largely believed that this condition is due to repetitive trauma or microtrauma at the origin of the plantar fascia and is aggravated by the presence of a low arch, also known as overpronation, or a high arch, known as oversupination.
The term "wellness" seems to be used almost everywhere today. Most notably it can be found on the signs of health care facilities housing various practitioners from acupuncturists to naturopaths and even physicians. But what does wellness really mean? Is it just the absence of disease? And if so, why is it still gaining popularity today?
Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. It has been used in the context of alternative medicine since Halbert L. Dunn, M.D., began using the phrase high level wellness in the 1950s. The modern concept of wellness did not, however, become popular until the 1970s.
I am frequently asked as to whether to use ice or heat on a specific injury, and it really depends on what type of injury you are presented with.
An acute injury is typically characterized by sharp or throbbing pain, swelling and loss of function, usually apparent as stiffness. This acute phase of injury can last up to three to four days, and the primary goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation and pain to allow the tissues to heal. You may have heard of the acronym ‘RICE’, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Each of these steps help to promote healing during this phase.