Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Build Your Lower Back

You may not realize it, but your lower back is of significant importance.  Consider what happens when you tweak your back or sustain some sort of injury: it is often difficult to move, and you find pain radiating through your spine, hips, buttocks, thighs and other areas.  It is often not until you injure this area that you realize the role that your back plays in employing flexibility, motion and heavy use throughout our everyday lives.  Why not take the time to build strength in this area just as you would for your legs or any other part of the body?

          In addition to exercises, there are common sense routines that you can practice on a daily basis.  If you work in an office setting and your job requires a lot of sitting, make sure to get up and walk around for a few minutes every half hour or so.  Studies have shown that individuals who sit for eight hours or more a day have shorter lifespans, so make the most of your day by walking as much as possible.  If you have a pedometer handy, shoot for anywhere between ten-thousand to thirty-thousand steps; you can start with ten minute walks and work your way up to a half hour at a time. 

          One exercise that is extremely efficient in working out the lower back muscles is called the “hip bridge”.  While lying face-up on the floor, keep your knees bent in a comfortable position with your feet flat on the floor.  As you flex your abdominal muscles, lift from your hips until there is a straight line between the knees and shoulders. At the apex, hold for three seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.  Repeat the exercise for a total of eight to ten times and complete it for two to three sets.  Put both of these plans into action and you will undoubtedly be able to build your lower back strength bit by bit.

          If you suffer from back pain in New York City, take the time to consult a professional and find long-term answers for your nagging lower back injury.

Does Your Lower Back Pain Point To A Deeper Issue?

You’ve just gotten home from another hour and a half stint at your local gym, and you are quite certain that your back is one sit-up away from permanently splitting your upper torso from your legs.  With pain this severe, there could be a number of factors contributing; but let’s take the time to break down the pain and approach it in an orderly fashion.

To begin with, lower back pain is often caused by damage to the vertebral discs. Traumatic injury could be the exact cause, but it could also simply be the effects of natural wear and tear as you age.  If you cannot think of a specific injury you could have obtained, natural wear could be the result.  While it is important to keep exercising on a regular basis, it would be a wise move to first plan a visit to the doctor to determine if there are any immediate health dangers.  It would not serve you in the long run to exacerbate a lower back injury and ignore the problem.  A NYC back pain specialist will be able to help pinpoint and treat your existing injury.

You should also evaluate if there is a history of chronic back problems in your family; having this knowledge could help you to better understand what the condition may be, what to watch out for and how to treat it. Seeking treatment for lower back pain with a professional is always the best course of action to take, however.  If you take action immediately and look for a long-term solution, you do not have to dramatically alter your lifestyle; there are always answers for any lower back injury, so don’t hesitate to find out what your lower back pain could be!


Call us at 212-604-1300 or request more information by clicking here. At New York Pain Care our goal is to get you started on a personalized treatment plan to find relief!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How Jason Pierre-Paul Will Get Back in the Game

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul underwent surgery on June 4 to fix a herniated disc in his back. He suffered from lower back pain since last season, causing his performance to suffer. After multiple injections and core strengthening exercises failed to fully alleviate the pain, the 24-year-old decided surgery was the best option.

As a result, Pierre-Paul will have a 12-week recovery, and that recovery period may take longer. He will miss the entire 2013 preseason, though it is hoped that he will return for Week 1 against Dallas.

He is now in the early stages of recovery, and was back in New York in June.

After a surgery such as Pierre-Paul’s, called “discectomy,” patients are encouraged to get up and walk around a few hours after surgery. Outpatient physical therapy usually starts 2-3 weeks after surgery, and Pierre-Paul is probably eagerly working away, trying to ready himself for the upcoming season. Physical therapy normally lasts from 6-8 weeks.

While many can get back to work in a few weeks, manual laborers and athletes have a longer time off work. Full recovery is expected in 4 months, but Pierre-Paul hopes to be back on the field in 3.

While physical therapy usually involves a patient relearning his or her life with safe back positions and habits, Pierre-Paul’s therapy will probably be more intense, as he is a football player and already much stronger than the average person.

It’s the last year of his rookie contract, so he’ll be itching to get back on the turf. As he gradually gets stronger, he can add more and more of his daily routine back into his life. In order to be ready to play, he will have to exercise, targeting the muscles of his back to strengthen them.

By working with a backpain doctor in NYC, Pierre-Paul can get back to where he was previously. He played an entire 16-game season in 2012 fighting back pain, so the team and fans can be sure he’ll fight hard to get back into shape.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin was frustrated at the end of last season with Pierre-Paul, as his back problems caused him to get slightly out of shape. Of course it’s frustrating as an athlete to be out of the running due to surgery, but Pierre-Paul and the team look forward with hope that he’ll return at his full former strength.

In the meantime, Mathias Kiwanuka will play as defensive end. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” he said. “I’m sure he’ll (Pierre-Paul) be back, ready to go at a certain point. But we’re not going to rush him back for anything.”

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Avoid Being Taken Out of the Game by Back Pain by Doing These 5 Back Strengthening Exercises

Back pain is a sometimes debilitating problem for people of all walks of life and every profession. While you should always seek a professional’s help with bad back pain, there are some ways you can minimize the risk of discomfort.

Strengthening your back is the best defense, and there are several easy exercises you can do at home.

Basic Spinal Twist
This stretch is one of the easiest for your lower back. It makes a great warm-up or cool-down exercise.

Lie on your back, arms stretched out from your body. Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor. Lower your knees to the right; get as close to the floor as is comfortable. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds. Raise your knees and lower them to the left side. Repeat this three to five times.

Bird Dog
This stretch mimics a hunting dog pointing at its prey. Start on all fours, knees hip-width apart, hands under your shoulders. Squeeze your abs toward your spine.

Without rotating your back or hips, extend your right arm forward and your left leg back. Hold this position for up to ten seconds, depending on your strength. Lower back to starting point, and repeat with opposite arm and leg. Repeat five times on each side.

Hip Bridge
This stretch is perfect for those who spend hours sitting in a chair. Start off lying on your back, arms by your sides, feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart. Squeeze your buttocks and lift your hips from the floor to create a straight line from knees to shoulders. Hold for two seconds, then slowly lower back to the floor. Repeat 10-15 times.

To make this harder, lift one leg and hold it straight toward the ceiling. This, along with holding the pose for longer, creates a more challenging exercise.

Reverse Fly
This exercise works the upper back and shoulders, and is more difficult. It requires dumbbells, so be sure to start light and increase the weight as you become stronger.

Stand with a slight bend in your knees and bend forward at the waist. Keeping your back flat, contract the muscles of your upper back and bring your arms up to shoulder height. Pause, then bring the arms back down slowly. Concentrate on bringing your shoulder blades together.

Start with five repetitions, then move up to 10.

Alternating Superman
Make sure you have a comfortable surface to lie on, such as a yoga mat.

Lie flat on the floor with your arms above your head. To perform this exercise, lift your right arm and left leg off the floor, squeezing your buttocks and abs. Pause, and return to the floor. Ten repetitions are a good starting point. 

Back pain can become a serious issue. Make sure you talk to a specialist for pain management in NY, TX, IL, or wherever you come from if your pain continues. These five back exercises will help prevent and ease your back pain by stretching and strengthening the muscles contributing to poor posture and spinal stability.