Lower Back Pain Advice

We posted many blogs from Dr. Kevin McIntyre of Burlington Sports Therapy. In one of his recent posts, he mentioned how he himself was experiencing back pain and wrote about the steps to take when you have back pain. He talked about speaking with a health professional and what to do before you get a chance to see your doctor in person. Some of his advice included:

  • See your doctor in person, and don’t just rely on Google.
  • Use cold therapy for the back, not heat therapy.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  • Keep moving, don’t stay bed-ridden. In fact, keep moving instead of staying in one position, such as sitting, for long periods of time.
  • Don’t stretch until you see your doctor.

Check out the full article to learn about the recommended steps to take when you’re experiencing lower back pain. As suggested in the article, seeing your doctor is the most important course of action when you have back pain. Feel free to browse our selection of back braces and learn more about back injuries as well!

Treatment for SI Joint Pain (Sacroiliac Joint Pain)

A few days ago we wrote about SI joint pain which can be a source of pain in the lower back. Here are some products that we offer to help relieve SI joint pain:

DonJoy SI Belt – This back brace is designed especially to help relieve SI joint pain. It’s very comfortable and low profile so you can wear it under your clothing. The DonJoy SI Belt provides stability to the sacroiliac joint and the amount of support your receive can be easily adjusted.

DonJoy Back Brace – This is another back brace that’s great for SI joint pain and other types of lower back pain. You can adjust the amount of compression the brace provides by simply pulling a side handle. It’s also very lightweight and is one of our leading back braces for low back pain.

Aircast Back Cryo/Cuff with Cooler – A common treatment for SI joint pain and other joint aches is with cold therapy. Cryotherapy helps to numb away pain and reduces inflammation in the muscles and joints. The Aircast Back Cryo/Cuff with Cooler helps make it easier by providing long-term cold therapy and complete coverage of the back.

There are many causes of lower back pain and also many SI joint pain treatments. If you experience lower back pain, check with your doctor to find the source of the pain and to seek appropriate treatment for your condition.

Quick Tips to Prevent Back Pain

Back pain is one of the leading causes of job-related injuries in the United States. What most people don’t know is that in many cases, back pain may be avoided. Here are some quick tips on how to prevent back pain.

  • When carrying groceries or other heavy items, separate out the bags so you’re not carrying too many items at once. Taking one minute to make an extra trip to the car could help achy muscles and a sore back!
  • Exercise your abdominal and back muscles. Strengthening this area of your body helps support your back and spine, reducing your chances of pain and injury.
  • Stretch your back, especially before and after sports and other physical activities.
  • When lifting heavy objects, use the strength in your knees to pick up the item. Keep your abdominal muscles flexed and hold the item close to your body. Try to keep your back straight as you carry the item.
  • Ask for help from a friend when moving heavy furniture, or hire movers as they have the right tools and techniques for lifting large objects.
  • Wear a back brace during physical activity. Back braces help remind you to lift properly, and they provide compression and support for your lower back as you lift. (Try the DonJoy Back Brace for a great all-around lower back support.)
  • Use proper posture when sitting, standing and walking. The back has an easier time carrying your weight when it’s straight.
  • Wear proper shoes with adequate support. Avoid wearing high heels whenever possible.
  • Eat healthy foods to maintain a good weight, and for nutrition.

These simple tips can help save your back from future pain! If you experience back pain or think you might have injured your back, check with your doctor for the best treatment for your injury.

Prevent Back Pain From Gardening

Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She recently tore her ACL and will be sharing her experiences with us as she works towards getting back into sports.

I still remember when I was younger how a pair of elderly ladies commented about the way I was bent over in the flowerbed, “Oh, your back will be regretting that one day.” I had no idea what they meant.

Now that I’m recovering from my ACL reconstruction surgery, I’m more aware of how the various activities I participate in can affect my body – especially gardening. Since I’ve had some free time during my ACL recovery, I’ve looked up some ways to prevent back pain from gardening.

  • Keep your back straight. When you’re weeding, get down on your knees or kneel on one leg. Lean forward to get the weeds and keep your back hollow. Don’t stoop over. Think of your torso as one solid unit.
  • Use a gardening stool. If you suffer from knee pain or can’t kneel, this is a good alternative. Try to keep your back hollow as you work. This is how I’ve managed to tone down the weeds in my yard, even though I’ve only been out of surgery for a month!
  • Wear a back brace. A back brace provides compression and helps keep your spine in the proper position. It also serves as a reminder to keep your back straight.
  • Warm up and stretch before gardening. I know you’re not going for a jog, but it will keep your muscles limber as you move around in the yard.
  • Mix up what you’re doing. Change up your activities in the garden. Weed for 10 minutes, then water some plants, then trim the suckers off your tree, etc. It gets hot out there so it’s a good excuse for a water break!
  • Get the right tools. I spent hours trying to dig up some weeds. Then my mother-in-law hacked at the ground with a pickaxe and the weeds came up out of the loosened dirt with no problem. Sounds silly, but it saved me from having to bend over for long periods of time.

Long hours in the hot sun, stooped over and pulling at weeds, or digging up rocks to plant some new flowers… all of this can have a negative effect on my back. I’m hoping the measures I take now will help in the long run!

About.com – Back & Neck
Virginia Tech

Back Injuries in Ice Hockey

Hockey is a fast-paced, full contact sport, which makes hockey players prone to injuries. What most people may not be aware of, is that back injuries are prevalent among hockey players, even for those who play in leagues that don’t allow contact or body checking (using the body to knock an opponent with the puck against the boards or to the ice).

Hockey players are constantly bent over, looking down at the puck, aiming, and hitting it. This constant bending motion can cause aches and pains in the lower back. And of course, ice is slippery, so there is always the risk of back injury from slipping and falling. For hockey leagues that do allow contact, impact with other players can twist your back and cause injury.

Hockey braces can help prevent back injuries on the rink. Here are two back braces our brace coaches recommend for hockey: