Isn't most back pain caused by misaligned vertebrae, bulging discs, or pinched nerves?
Though misaligned vertebrae often generate back pain by impinging (pinching) nerves, they are seldom the root cause of pain. The root cause of over 95% of back pain is muscle failure. In a healthy spine, strong muscles, fully hydrated discs, and flexible ligaments so powerfully bind spinal componenents that torsion up to 480 foot/pounds is required to force misalignment of vertebrae. Conversely, in a spine with inadequate muscle tone, vertebrae may misalign with no force beyond a simple twist of the body. Regardless of how a painful spine is treated, from a simple realignment to complex surgery, unless and until spinal muscles are therapeutically restored to full function, a back will never return to complete, dependable function. The patented BackHealth™ Exerciser and copyrighted exercise routine allow safe, precise muscle therapy on safe, precise equipment.
How does an inversion table (hanging by the ankles) compare to BackHealth™ in building a fully functional back?
Hanging by one's ankles removes the force of gravity from the disc, lessening compression. This is a passive process. Conversely, BackHealth™'s exercise program agressively stretches the spine, especially the lumbar region where most of daily stress accumulates. In addition to actually stretching the lumbar region of the spine, BackHealth™'s program builds muscle strength as it re-establishes correct lift dynamics. Starting from the bottom up, correct lift dynamics begin in the calf muscles, include the hamstring groups, the gluteus muscles, and end up with the spinal erector groups and the interspinalis muscles. Neck and shoulder muscles also collaborate in a proper lift dynamic. Inversion accomplishes none of these key remedies. It must be kept in mind that even the golf swing is a modified lift dynamic; few body movements are not. Re-establishment of this dynamic cannot be omitted from real spinal rehabilitation.
What is degenerative disc disease?
Upon hearing the words degenerative disc disease or degenerative disc, most people picture some sort of pathogen attacking one of their spinal discs. This is not the case. A degenerative disc is simply one that is breaking down because the muscles upon which it depends for support no longer have the strength to properly support and protect it. It may also be suffering from lack of nutrition. In an overwhelming percentage of cases, the degenerative process can be reversed by simply strengthening spinal muscles and expanding the disc to its original thickness. How is this done, exactly?
Work routines that used to expose the body to regular exercise have been all but eliminated from the workplace. The average work routine today happens while people are seated in front of a computer screen or managing a machine that actually does the work. We've all been warned about the dangers of a recliner in front of the TV.
Besides having more leisure time, as life progresses people become more efficient in the amount of physical activity expended getting through the day. The point is that at work as well as in the aging process much more physical capacity is given up than is taken away. What is obviously lacking in nearly all cases of disc failure is an exercise routine that maintains the body, and especially the spine, in optimum health. The BackHealthTM Exerciser was developed specifically for this purpose.
When spinal muscles, discs, and ligaments are exposed to a regular and precise exercise routine, the back will prosper, and good health is the reward. This exercise routine must include exposing the spine to its full ranges of motion including stretching the spine, all while strengthening and coordinating spinal muscles. Happily, no area of the body responds as promptly to correct exercise as does the spine. Nature designed backs that way because the spine houses the spinal cord, the system that distributes brain impulses throughout the body. Given even modest care, the spine responds quickly to proper exercise, and good health is not far away.
Clearly and simply stated, disc degeneration is far less a factor of pathogenic influence and infinitely more a factor of inadequate spinal conditioning.
Once a back is injured or has been operated on, will it ever completely heal and become capable of all that it once did?
Most back surgery only involves removal of a small portion of the disc. Everything else is left intact. Almost any back can be raised to a healthier function than it presently enjoys. Provided the BackHealth® exercises are done consistently and correctly, a back can not only be restored, but built beyond any capacity it once had. In extreme cases when vital elements of the spine have been surgically or traumatically altered, the chance exists that they may not return to normalcy. However, a physiologically altered spine is better off exercised inside of its limits than left to deteriorate further. BackHealth™'s Exercise Routine restores almost any injured back to a better level of performance than it would have if it received no exercise attention.
Is walking good for your back?
Exercise generally is good for your body. And, since walking is exercise, we assume that walking is good spinal exercise. For a weak back though, the impact of walking may further compress a disc already suffering from too much compression. Inadequately prepared spinal muscles cannot support the constant pounding of upper-body weight on the lower back during the stride, and the result accumuates in disc compression. Riding a bike is much better for a sore back than walking, especially if the back is arched forward while riding. Bikes glide smoothly along without jarring the spine, and the forward arch while riding stretches the ligaments behind the spine where most disc stress accumulates. But do not expect that riding a bike will cure an injured back. Riding a bike is a great cardiovascular activity, but it is not a spine-specific exercise, and will not yield a complete response.
Do strong abdominal muscles support the back?
Strong abdominal muscles alone are insufficent to maintain the spine at full function and guard against spinal injury. A strong back depends far more upon strong spinal muscles, well-hydrated discs, and elastic ligaments than it does upon strong abdominal muscles. Since the L5-S1 joint is where the spinal column rests upon its sacral base, this joint is the most common joint to cause back problems. So, stabilizing the pelvis increases support for the L5-S1 joint. Should the L5-S1 joint be the principle pain generator in a particular case, exercises that strengthen the abdominal wall without risking further injury to the back may help diminish pain in the lower back by stabilizing the pelvic girdle.
Will back pain improve with bed rest?
After severe injury, a few (2 to 3) days of rest is always helpful. But too much time in bed diminshes muscle tone, and the back's ability to support itself declines rapidly. For every two weeks that muscles do not perform, half their tone is lost. This cycle continues downward until disability is guaranteed. This is a true picture of spinal degeneration whether it takes place over a short span of time, or a longer span of time. Following a back-pain episode, avoid lifting, walking more than a hundred yards a day, sitting for more that fifteen continuous minutes, and sleeping on you stomach. Lay down on your back as often as possible, even at the office, with pillows beneath the knees. Raised knees flatten the lumbar area, and release the tension in spasmodic muscles that are attempting to isolate the paiful area of the spine. This release increases blood flow, and damaged cells will heal more rapidly. Split the day as much as possible, half lying down, half upright. The speed and degree that you spine heals will improve.
Does being overweight cause back problems?
Carrying extra weight does not cause back pain. Weak back muscles and poor conditioning place the spine at risk. The same sedentary life style and poor diet that allow a body to become fat in the first place more greatly contribute to a failing back than the burden of weight. Consider that most fat stores in the lower torso (stomach area). Intestines with their surrounding fat sit in a bowl that is the pelvis. The pelvis sits upon the legs, not the back, and hip joints, knees, ankles, and feet suffer a great deal more from the added strain of extra weight than does the spine. What some call discipline is really courage. Muster the courage to maintain a back-exercise routine and the resolve and discipline to make wise food choices.
Are medicines such as painkillers and muscle relaxants good treatments for a painful back?
While certain chemicals may improve comfort, they have little or no effect upon healing. No person or chemical substance can go inside the spine and rebuild spinal components to their fullest capacity. Chemical substances (medicine) may provide temporary pain relief immediately following an injury by reducing inflammation and lessening the intensity of pain. But, if taken for more than three or four days following injury, painkillers' relieving effects actually prolong recovery because pain is masked while exercise is postponed. As naturally encountered pain intensity decreases, increasing physical activity speeds recovery. Only exercise can build back muscles, re-hydrate discs, and bring about full restoration of spinal function. While painkillers have their place, the devastation of addiction is everpresent. Use caution and prudence whenever putting any chemical substance into your body.
Will surgery fix my back and end the pain?
Surgery can repair a damaged spinal component and relieve pain, but surgery cannot heal the back. Whether spinal damage results from direct trauma or from the spinal-muscle atrophy inherent in a sedentary lifestyle, the same situation that facilitated the problem in the first place may allow it to repeat itself. Truly and completely healing the spine requires rebuilding the spine from within. Spinal healing requires a combination of increased muscle strength, restored lift-dynamic coordination, re-hydrated discs, and revitalized ligaments. No outside force acting upon the spine can renew and re-establish these components. Only the back's owner can perform the exercise routine necessary for their restoration. If these aspects are not restored to full function, pain will return. Notice in the language of most in the back pain business; they talk of treatments, not cures. That is because they cannot cure a weak, dysfunctional back. Treating the pain generators is as far as they can go. Only the patient can heal himself because only he can perform the necessary exercises. Back pain sufferers need the doctor's help in quieting the pain, but they must turn to themselves for complete healing.
Is osteoporosis inevitable in aging women?
With the support of a calcium-rich diet, correct back exercise can reduce the ill effects of osteoporosis. Bone density is the central issue and bone density is positively affected by exercise. Since spinal bone (vertebrae) become inevitable victims of osteoporosis, spine-specific exercise gets two birds with one stone.
Will wearing a back-support belt protect my back from strain and injury?
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health research shows that back-belts do not prevent back problems and may even cause them. There has, however, been one study done recently at a California university showing a slight decrease in injury when the belts are worn, but the study was contaminated because the participants were given special lifting/lowering instructions prior to beginning the research, and the research was funded by belt producers. Apart from the NIOSH study, logic holds that when bodies are supported by an outer structure (the belt), the inner structure of muscle will have no cause to strengthen. Muscles only strengthen as demand upon them increases. The only true method of preventing back injury is to maintain a well exercised, vigorous back. This can be done on the job by performing a daily exercise routine that takes less than five minutes. The safe, precise equipment on this web site provides a safe, precise method to eliminate back injury in the workplace. The Coca-Cola company in joint participation with BackHealth LLC conducted an objective measurement of the effects of precise spinal exercise on spinal injury rates for daily-route drivers. Remember that these truck drivers also unload their delivery trucks by hand. Those drivers who participated in daily exercise on the BackHealth Execiser experienced no injury during the six months the trial was conducted. What does this say about your daily routine?
Do high-heeled shoes cause back pain?
When the pelvis is thrust forward by the effect of high-heeled shoes, the abnormal tilt can affect a disc if the disc is not supported by a dominant muscle system. Also, a back muscle may spasm if too much demand is placed upon it while supporting the back in an abnormal posture. If one wishes to wear shoes that significantly alter the body's natural form, the body makes modifications to compensate for the displaced stresses. Superior conditioning will elevate the spine's potential until almost any activity may be asked of it, including toe-walking in ballerina shoes.
How does spinal health affect athletic performance?
Every impulse to every muscle in every extremity passes through the spinal cord. As these impulses enter and exit the spinal cord, they follow along nerve branches that enter and exit the spinal cord through tunnels positioned between the vertebra. The spinal disc maintaines the proper space between the vertebra, the same space filled by the nerve root. When the disc is allowed to degenerate this space collapses, and nerve roots become pinched (impinged). A pinched nerve root, whether causing pain or not, cannot transmit signals as efficiently as a fully protected nerve root. Athletic performance depends upon accurate and precise signals for accurate and precise results. Want a good golf swing and a smooth dance routine? Exercise your spine with the BackHealth system.
How are men's and women's backs different?
Testosterone causes ligaments, tendons and muscles in some (but not all) men to become tight and inelastic. Estrogen and progesterone loosen and relax women's bodies. So, hormonal conditions may predispose backs to injury. Male spines may be squeezed under the hormonal tightening of muscles and ligaments until a disc fatigues and fails The relaxed state of female backs can result in vertebrae not receiving adequate muscle support and vertebrae may 'float' in excessive degrees until a disc distorts and bulges against a nerve. In rare cases, men's backs can be too loose and women's too tight, so the rule does not hold in every case. Happily, exercise that strengthens and stretches the back solves both problems: tight backs loosen and lose backs tighten. Learn how the BackHealth exercise routine does this.
What is daily shrink?
Daily shrink refers to people being a few centimeters shorter at night than when they began the day. In the past, daily shrink has been attributed almost entirely to disc compression. This is an incomplete conclusion. While daily shrink may include disc compression, it is only minimally caused by it, if caused by it at all. A profile of the natural curvature of the spine follows the shape of a graceful 'S' (lordosis). During the day gravity causes that 'S' to collapse a bit. The cause of that relaxation is not only a compressing disc, but includes fatiguing muscles and ligaments which support each vertebra as it sits upon its disc. The vertebral support of powerful muscles, healthy, hydrated discs and elastic ligaments, reduces the tendency of the spine to sag by maintaining the 'S' curvature of the spine in its maximum uprightness. This correct posture also minimizes a disproportionate amount of stress accumulating in a certain region of the disc, causing its perimeter to bulge (herniate), and pinch a nerve. The BackHealth Exercise Routine wholly maintains the spine in its best condition and performance. For a wonderful surprise, measure your height twice at the end of the day; once before and once after completing the BackHealth Exercise Routine.
What is spinal stenosis?
Sinal stenosis refers to constricting nerve pathways in the spine and is associated with aging. Stenosis becomes less painful when spinal muscles are strengthened and discs are maintained at maximum health. Muscles and discs working together maintain the necessary 'gap', the important nerve space between the vertebrae that stenosis closes. Proper exercise strengthens muscles and hydrates discs thereby minimizing stenotic circumstances.
What is disc hydration?
Spinal discs have no direct blood supply. The tissue composing the inner, spongy disc material (pulposa) is generated by specialized cells within the disc. Since these cells have no direct blood supply from which to draw the elements needed to manufacture their spongy product, they depend upon hydration (wetting) cycles. Like a real sponge, discs hydrate (intake nutritious fluid) when they are expanded, and expel breakdown products when compressed. The rich fluid they depend upon exists in the mucous membrane deposited by the blood stream, and coats the inner cavity of the body including the disc. Generally, only one hydration cycle per day happens, the one when lying down at night. With BackHealth, hydration cycles happen mutiple times daily.
Is the human spine really adequate for walking upright and carrying weight?
The human spine is completely supportive of an erect posture, but sufficient use is required to maintain the spine in superior condion. Historically speaking, human backs have not adapted to the relatively new tasks they are asked to perfom. In recent decades, human backs suddenly found themselves in cushy, sedentary desk jobs and in countless situations of restrained-motion routines, routines void of a balancing variety of exercise. With insufficient and restricted exercise, muscles that support the spinal column do not develop properly or remain toned; discs dehydrate and harden; coordination is lost; and backs gradually collapse upon themselves. If one of today's backs ever achieved full fitness in the first place, in today's workplace settings they quickly lose whatever strength and agility they once had, and a serious back injury becomes only one false move away.