Saturday, September 18, 2010

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Friday, December 5, 2008

How to prevent back pain

Many of the cases of back pain in our office are preventable. Some do come in because of accidents or falls in which they have a new injury, but commonly we see chronic, long-standing back pain. There are many different causes of back pain, and I will address some of the more common preventable causes. This article from the Philadelphia Daily News is a very good introduction to some causes.

The overall problem is deconditiong, essentially a decrease in physical fitness. People who are overweight are more susceptible to back pain. People who are inactive are more susceptible to back pain. Sedentary people are more susceptible to back pain. People who smoke, drink, or take large amounts of caffeine are also more susceptible to pain.

The key to avoiding back pack pain is remaining active, and keeping movement in the lower back. People who participate in general low impact exercise tend to have a lower incidence of low back pain. Simple exercises like walking and jogging are helpful. It is important that exercise is consistent. Most people who set out to do an exercise program often start to ambitious. To begin with, start by walking (or lift light weights, or whatever you like to do) for up to 30 minutes 3 times a week. This should help to avoid the common burnout that occurs with most people who start exercises programs. Swimming is one of the best exercises for people with back pain, or wishing to prevent back pain. The low impact supplied by the water takes stress off the joints, and the added resistance is beneficial in building strength and well toned muscles.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Back Surgery?

I came across this video on Fox News.

This is good information. Reading a little more, this sounds pretty good. One of the problems I see with people who have had back surgery is that there is often significant damage to the surrounding tissues that continue to cause pain, or actually cause a more intense pain. As we can decrease the damage and inflammation at the location of the procedure, we are more likely to recover faster as did these people in the video.

Unfortunately, still many people have surgery before going through the proper steps. Many will not believe that it is relatively normal to have intense back pain for several days. Keep in mind that when you are dealing with progressive neurological deficit is when you traditionally should consider surgery. There are other reasons, but typically those are the types of conditions that will require the operation.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bicyling to work

In the summertime people praised us for riding our bikes to work.  "How great!" or "Good for you!" they would exclaim.  As the weather got colder and we entered fall we would frequently be asked how many more days we would be riding.  I would answer, "Everyday."  This typically receives an awkward laugh and smile, as if it is impossible to ride a bike to work year round.  I am serious though.  Everyday.  I rode to school throughout the winter in both Utah and New York, and it hasn't been that bad.  This morning we rode in the snow to the Southside, and it is quite amazing.  

Summer riding is nice in good weather.  You can feel the cool wind through your helmet and appreciate all the greenery here in Pittsburgh.

Winter riding is different.  You can still feel the cool wind.  As long as I work the layers appropriately though, I am not cold.  More often, I am warm.  I have a couple of phases of layering depending on how cold the weather is.  So far, I am only in phase one.  Layers are the key.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Boston Qualifier

Congratulations to our most recent Boston Qualifier. Good luck in April!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Race Weekend 2

Akron went pretty well. Also congratulations to all those from De Novo who finished the Great Race! We are so proud of all of you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Race Weekend

I am finishing up my taper for the Akron Marathon this weekend.  One more run, and then the race.  It's so exciting.  Also, some clients will be running the Great Race here in Pittsburgh on Sunday.  Everyone is ready to go.  All the training is complete, and now we get to enjoy the experience and see how fast we can run.