APM Blog

How is Pain Defined? Acute vs. Chronic
Understanding your pain starts by first defining the most basic aspect of pain: acute pain versus chronic pain.

Advanced Pain Management’s Kim Litwack, PhD has a short and simple way of explaining the difference. Watch her video now.

The standard answer to the question “What is the difference between acute and chronic pain” is this:

Acute pain is pain with a specific, identifiable cause, like a slip or fall. An example of acute pain is the pain you feel when you stub your toe or touch a hot stove. Pain from an acute injury should resolve itself in two to four weeks with the help of rest, ice, heat and a visit to your primary care provider.

Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than 4 to 6 weeks. An acute injury can lead to chronic pain, but sometimes chronic pain does not have an identifiable cause. If your pain persists for four to six weeks, you should see a pain management physician who can help pinpoint the cause of your pain and work with you to find an appropriate treatment plan.  An example of chronic pain is back pain that lasts longer than 4 weeks.

Interested in more information about pain prevention? Subscribe to our blog now to get weekly emails from our team of expert pain management physicians or join the over 23,000 people who subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter. You can also follow our #KnowYourPain series on Twitter or like us on Facebook to stay current with all of our educational resources.

Do you have questions about your pain or about our new #KnowYourPain series? Let us know in the comments!

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Published in Acute and Chronic Pain

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Did you know that back pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States with more than one-half of all working Americans experiencing symptoms each year? In fact, experts say that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives. The good news is that most causes of back pain are not related to serious conditions or incidents such as infection, sports or accident-related fractures or cancer. Most often, symptoms occur from causes that can be prevented or modified such as arthritis, poor posture, obesity, stress and more. When an individual experiences back pain, any one, if not all of the following factors may come to mind:

What is causing my back pain?

The back may be one of the most complex structures in our body and it sustains a tremendous amount of wear and tear with each of the activities we do everyday. In many instances, back pain is the result of overuse or injury. It is not uncommon for pain to arise from poor posture, standing or sitting for long periods of time, smoking, trauma from a fall and much more.

How do I go about diagnosing and treating my back pain?

Diagnosing the cause of back pain can be complicated and should be conducted by an experienced medical professional. Your medical provider will lead you through a series of important questions related to your pain intensity, lifestyle factors and more. A large variety of interventional treatments and minimally invasive procedures will likely be available for most people experiencing back pain, allowing patients to return to work and to their active lifestyles.

What are some ways to keep my back healthy?

Back pain prevention methods at work and home are important steps to understand and keep top of mind to avoid injury and chronic pain. Exercising, eating healthy, practicing good posture and proper lifting techniques are just a few of the ways you can prevent the onset of back pain.

How do I cope with my back pain?

Unfortunately for some, pain management is a part of day-to-day life for the long-term. However, there are many techniques that can be implemented to eliminate pain or at the very least, keep it at a tolerable level. Proper medication compliance, lifestyle factors, exercise and strength, stress and activity level all play a significant role in pain management.

The expert team at Advanced Pain Management is committed to identifying the source of back pain and finding the right treatment options for each individual patient. Understanding and protecting the spine is important to everyone’s wellbeing.

What steps are you taking to prevent back pain or treat symptoms associated with work and lifestyle factors?

Explore each area of diagnosis, treatment and prevention in much greater detail by downloading our newly expanded Back Pain Guide.

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Published in Back Pain
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 10:40

Chronic Pain Resources Online

We recently stumbled across a blog post titled "TOP 5 Chronic Pain Resources That Can Teach You A Thing Or Two About Chronic Pain."  We were very thankful to be included on this post because we do take pride in offering educational information to the public.

Moreover, this got us thinking about the types of sites and information that we use regularly to stay informed about the field of pain and pain management. Listed below are a few helpful websites that were not mentioned above that we wanted to share with you.

  • PainKnowledge.org offers great information on 'In the News' topics, including new treatments and studies that show advancements in the field.
  • PartnersAgainstPain.com has some great tools and tips from other pain sufferers, including great coping techniques and partner resources.  
  • MayDay Pain Project at has links to recent national news on pain treatments including hot topics in the news on  CBS, USA Today headlines and more.

Do you have any websites or resources that you use regularly? Leave a comment and let us know!

Published in Acute and Chronic Pain
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 10:15

3 Pain Fighting Powers of Essential Oils

It has become a commonality in the United States for individuals suffering from sickness and pain to turn to over the counter and prescription medicines for treat various ailments. Next time you feel the need to open a bottle of ibuprofen, try a more invigorating method of managing pain provided by nature, without added chemical content. Essential oils can provide relief for many serious chronic pain sufferers through their ability to penetrate cells quickly, providing oxygen and improving circulation to inflamed joints.  Be sure to talk with your doctor before you try essential oils to understand how to use them appropriately. Learn more of the pain fighting powers of essential oil:

Chronic Pain:
Chronic pain can be a debilitating and frustrating condition that at times, can cause emotional or mental uneasiness, impacting our ability to heal. If pain persists for more than four to six weeks, it is important to seek consultation from an experienced medical professional. There are a number of essential oils that provide relief not only from the discomfort of chronic pain, but also the anxiety and stress that come along with it.

  • Basil: Energizing and uplifting, with anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant and decongestant benefits.
  • Peppermint: Cools and calms the mind with additional anti-inflammatory, gallbladder and pain relieving benefits.
  • Wintergreen: Increases attentiveness with additional neck, nerve, herniated disk and carpal tunnel pain relieving benefits.
  • Clove: Improves memory and assists healing with anti-aging, arthritis and rheumatism benefits.
  • Lavender: Relaxes and balances the body, with anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Sandalwood: Encourages relaxation with additional antidepressant benefits.

Joint & Bone Pain:
There are many causes for joint or bone pain including natural aging, injury or trauma. This type of pain is most common in middle aged or older individuals because as you age, your body goes through changes including a decrease in bone density. While joint and bone pain typically require medical attention, there are essential oils that will assist with managing this type of pain.

  • Helichrysum: Offers anti-inflammatory and nerve regenerating benefits.
  • Idaho Balsam Fir: Eases sore muscles, joints, tendons and back pain.
  • Spruce: Soothes arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, sciatica and bone pain.
  • Palo Santo:  Helps with inflammation.

Muscle Pain
It is not uncommon to experience muscle aches and pain that often go away within a few days. Muscle pain becomes a larger concern when it lingers for a longer time period and particularly when it occurs in the neck and back. In fact, 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives making it one of the most common reasons people visit their doctor or miss work. Muscle pain includes aching, stabbing or shooting pain, and stiff or limited flexibility. If you are experiencing muscle pain, it is recommended that you be evaluated by a physician in addition to trying essential oils that may alleviate some of the discomfort.

  • Roman Chamomile:  Relieves stress and anxiety and offers anti-inflammatory, relaxant and detoxifying benefits.
  • Majoram:  Helps with aches, pains and muscular cramps.
  • Rosemary:  Keeps the mind alert and can help with muscle soreness.
  • Thyme:  Fights fatigue and can help with rheumatism.
  • Vetiver: Helps with joint stiffness and muscle fatigue.

Essential oils are so effective because they by-pass the digestive system and become absorbed directly into the blood stream. With millenniums of successful use, they not only provide enticing, awakening and pleasant aromas, they help fight pain by reducing inflammation, anxiety and stress. Whether you are using essential oils for your health or your home, relieving pain is just one of the amazing powers packed into the little bottle.

How have essential oils helped you fight pain and alleviate stress or anxiety? 

pain guide

Sources Used:

http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/essential-oils-for-pain.html
http://www.thealternativedaily.com/5-amazing-essential-oils-for-chronic-pain-relief/

Published in Acute and Chronic Pain
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 08:16

How Music Therapy Can Help Reduce Pain

Music can move people. It can bring a smile to a face, tears to eyes; music can make us laugh and motivate us to overcome obstacles. But did you know that the power of music can even reduce the perception of pain[1]?

As more and more studies reveal the benefits of music therapy in healthcare, it’s no wonder that this field continues to grow. Music therapy has been shown to lower stress, enhance comfort and manage pain for people of all ages, genders and races.

It can work in many different ways. At its most basic, rhythm's ability to ease pain has been noted among patients in cancer wards and nursing homes[2].

Some medical facilities will use music to elevate patients’ moods, promote movement for physical rehabilitation, calm patients down, counteract apprehension or fear, and lessen muscle tension for the purpose of relaxation. Music with a strong beat can actually stimulate brain waves, including those that govern the autonomic nervous system, which can slow breathing and heart rates.

And while the greatest benefits of music therapy will come in a professional setting with a trained expert, people can use music to assist in relieving daily aches and pains. Music can be used for relaxation, to get an added boost for physical activity, as a catharsis when dealing with emotional stress, and other ways.

There is no one kind of music that everyone finds soothing or beneficial in reducing pain. Start by identifying the type of music that soothes you the most and makes you feel comfortable. This might be anything – classic music, jazz, rock ‘n roll, maybe even rap.

You will likely find that you use different types of music to promote specific types of healthy activities. While one form of music might get you revved up for a walk or run through the neighborhood, another type of music might be perfect to relax your tight muscles after that run. A good balance of physical activity and periods of relaxation can dramatically help reduce the pain people experience.

Music also has the power to improve your state of mind. This helps keep things like depression and anxiety at bay[3]. Having a positive attitude can prove beneficial in decreasing pain.

While listening to music can provide many benefits, actually making the music has been shown to provide even better results. And no, it’s not necessary to be a musician to get involved. Some people find that rhythmically banging on a drum can provide serious returns.

What type of music do you find theraputic? Let us know in the comments section.

Nileshkumar Patel, MD

Nilesh Patel, M.D., works for Advanced Pain Management in Green Bay. He is board certified in both pain management and anesthesiology.


[1]Tan, X., Yowler, C.J., Super, D.M. & Fratianne, R.B. (2010). The efficacy of music therapy protocols for decreasing pain, anxiety, and muscle tension levels during burn dressing changes: a prospective randomized crossover trial. J Burn Care Res., 31(4):590-7.

[2] Magill, L. & Berenson, S. (2008). The conjoint use of music therapy and reflexology with hospitalized advanced stage cancer patients and their families. Palliat Support Care. 6(3):289-96.

[3] Siedliecki, S.L. & Good, M. (2006). Effect of music on power, pain, depression and disability. J Adv Nurs. 54(5):553-62.

Published in Acute and Chronic Pain
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 08:05

A Relaxation Technique: Guided Imagery

Relaxation has many health benefits including: lowering blood pressure, reducing active stress hormones, reducing muscle tension and chronic pain and improving concentration and mood. We understand it can be difficult to find the time to use relaxation so here is a quick relaxation technique that can be used anywhere. 

Guided imagery is a relaxation technique where you use your imagination to picture a time, place or person that makes you feel relaxed. Guided imagery requires you to use all of the senses to relaxation. For example, you could imagine you hear the sounds of birds chirping, a breeze on your skin, the reflection of the sky in the water, the smell the fresh cut grass or the taste of your favorite beverage. This type of relaxation technique can take as little or as much time as you need.

First, find a quiet place and get into a comfortable position. Next choose your setting and then imagine yourself there; use all of your senses. Remember to include as many details as possible. Take a deep breath and let the scene play out.

It is important to remember that there isn’t a right or wrong way to relax; you need to do what works best for you. Relaxation is a skill, and it is important to practice the skill to get better.

 

Sources: 

http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-doing-guided-imagery-to-relax

Published in Acute and Chronic Pain

Toward the end of September and beginning of October, a plethora of crops are ready to harvest. Tomatoes, peppers, melons and squash, including pumpkins, continue to ripen and will fill our harvest baskets until the first killing frost, says gardening expert Melinda Myers. “And, even with cooler temperatures,” she says, “mid-summer plantings of cool crops like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale will mature. Their flavor actually improves after a light frost.” Even late plantings of things like greens, radishes, turnips and beets continue to grow and can be harvested as they mature throughout the fall season.

But before you head out to the garden to start gathering your harvest haul, make sure you know the best way to pick your plants in order to avoid doing damage – to both the plants themselves and to your body.

Grab the Right Tools

“Too often we head to the garden for a few minutes,” says Myers, “and an hour and a half later we are still out there, often without the equipment that protects our bodies.” Don’t fall into that trap. Without the right tools, you run the risk of hurting yourself and damaging your plants to the point where they will no longer keep producing

Consider investing in a sharp knife or garden scissors, which can make harvesting easier and do less damage than picking. For fruit trees, physical therapist Courtney Wack suggests using an apple picker to minimize repetitive hand motions.

When shopping for tools, “buy tools with wider handles, or bulk them up yourself with foam or a washcloth and some tape,” Wack suggests. This, along with stretching out your hands and wrists, can reduce the risk of hand pain later, especially for those suffering from arthritis.

And to reduce the risk of knee pain during prolonged periods of kneeling, a padded knee pad combined with a proper stance can go a long way. With the kneeler in position, drop down onto one knee and keep one foot one the ground to give your back more stability.

Carry Carefully

When it comes to transporting your haul to the house, make sure to do so carefully; fruits and vegetables can easily sustain damage en route, and so can you. “Stack veggies in a shallow basket or crate to minimize bruising,” says Myers. And empty the basket often, both to prevent bruising and because carrying too much weight in front of you can increase the strain on your back.

For greens like lettuce (on which you harvest the outer leaves when they reach 4 to 6 inches) and chard (8 to 10 inches), take a bucket of water into the garden and place the greens into it to keep them fresh.

To haul your harvest back indoors, squat to grab your basket of produce, tightening your core muscles, then lift with your legs. Don’t forget to keep the basket or crate close to you as you walk and avoid twisting at the waist. Or consider looking for a basket or bag you can wear on your back and use both straps to disperse the weight more evenly.

Protecting Perennials

Perennial plants like raspberries, strawberries and fruit trees, along with spring-harvested perennials like asparagus and rhubarb, require their own kind of care to protect them throughout the winter. “Do not fertilize them now,” warns Myers, since “fertilization stimulates late-season growth that can be killed in winter.” After a frost, she advises, remove any diseased or insect-infected leaves, but do not compost. Instead, contact your city for ideas on how to dispose of this type of material.

For protection from animals, consider erecting a fence around your fruit trees and bushes or use a repellent labeled for use on edibles. Scaring the animal away through the use of visual or auditory scare devices is also an option, although it’s not as effective in urban areas. In suburban and rural areas, noise-makers and motion-activated water sprayers may be useful. Or try visual items like reflective tape or predator statues to keep critters at bay. For the best results, use a combination of tactics, monitor them throughout the year and make adjustments as needed.

Pace Yourself

Although it’s tempting, don’t try to harvest all of your plants in one day. Spread it out over multiple days to reduce the risk of overworking yourself and your muscles. If you do pull a long harvesting shift, though, make sure to take frequent breaks, walking around and stretching every 20-30 minutes.

You can also try to enlist the help of a friend – both to share in the work and take home some of the produce. Having a partner means being able to switch between strenuous tasks, like carrying or picking produce, and easier ones, or even allow you time to rest. Besides, says Myers, “most gardeners plant more than they can use.” You’ll be grateful for both the extra help in the garden and the fact that they take some of your bountiful harvest off your hands.

Weed Out The Pain Toolkit Download

Published in Melinda Myers
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 01:19

A Healthy Harvest – For You and Your Plants

Harvest is a wonderful time, but for gardeners it can often be a (literal) pain in the neck – and back and knees. But, with a few easy changes, you can protect yourself – and your plants.

Get Into Position

Harvesting vegetables requires a lot of physical exertion. Carrots and most root crops, for instance, are first dug with a fork and then picked up by hand, either when bending or kneeling.

To reduce the risk of injury, avoid kneeling on both knees and keep one foot on the ground to give your back more stability, while making sure to change positions frequently. If possible, bending should be avoided. When it’s absolutely necessary, bend at the knees and hips and tighten your abs. Or bend at the hips and extend one leg back, keeping your back straight. And take frequent breaks, walking around every 20-30 minutes.

Gardening expert Melinda Myers suggests that next year instead of planting bush beans, which require a lot of bending and searching to find all the ripe beans, consider the taller and easier to pick pole beans. And to do less damage to your plants and ensure that they continue to grow and develop, use a sharp knife and scissors during harvesting.

Perfect Pumpkins

Pumpkin picking requires precision. “Pumpkins are harvested when the rind is firm and glossy, the fruit is full-size and the portion touching the ground turns from cream to orange,” says Myers. Don’t lift it by the stem, since it may break. Instead, squat with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend at the hips and knees and pick up from the base, lifting gradually.  

Pick Your Posture

When it comes to fruit trees, use a ladder or secure step stool to avoid looking up for long periods. Work at waist level whenever possible, looking and reaching in front of you rather than above you. When picking fruit, gently twist it instead of pulling it off. And don’t forget to harvest your plants regularly, says Myers, so there’s less to harvest at one time – and so your plants keep producing.

Weed Out The Pain Toolkit Download

Published in Healthy Living

HikingOutdoorsCases of cabin fever are widespread throughout the Midwest as temperatures finally start rising and people begin emerging from their homes in pursuit of fun, warmer-weather activities. If you are someone who suffers from a back or neck condition, it’s likely that you are familiar with the effect weather (or rather the change in weather) may have on your pain. While the change in weather may cause increased pain for some, it brings relief for others. The one common factor presented with warmer months is the increased opportunity to take part in low-impact, physical activities outdoors.

Not only does exercise stimulate endorphins which have been known to help reduce pain, it also provides greater pain-fighting benefits through strengthening bones, increasing flexibility, building muscle and diminishing stiffness and weakness. Spring is the perfect time to begin or continue a low-impact exercise routine including at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. 
Looking for a new activity? Try a few of these back and neck friendly outdoor activities. Find your favorites and enjoy in the warm months ahead!

Walking:
Did you know that according to the American Heart Association, walking has the lowest dropout rate in comparison to any other physical activity? This is because it can be done anywhere, anytime and with minimal gear needed. With a comfortable pair of sneakers and a safe path – you are well on your way to improved cardiovascular health and reduced pain. Additional health benefits from a regular routine of walking include:

  • Strengthened muscles in the feet, legs, hips, and torso - walking increases the stability of the spine and strengthens the muscles that keep the body in the upright position.

  • Nourished spinal structures - walking for exercise facilitates strong circulation, pumping nutrients into soft tissues and draining toxins.

  • Improved flexibility and posture – walking, along with regular stretching, allows for improved range of motion, can help prevent awkward movements and susceptibility to future injury.

If you are someone who is motivated by exercising with a friend, find a walking buddy, join a walking club and plan walks with co-workers over your lunch hour or facilitate “walking” meetings. 

Cycling:
When done on a well-paved, smooth surface, cycling can offer a number of benefits to for the back and neck as a non-weight bearing exercise. Riding a bicycle is less jarring to the spine than many other forms of aerobic exercise (specifically jogging or aerobics). Stationary bicycling is an additional option that is especially gentle on the spine, and with the many spin classes now available, can offer a vigorous aerobic workout.
Here are a few other cycling benefits and tips to consider:

Benefits

  • Riding a bike improves lower body muscular strength and overall endurance.

  • Biking is a non weight-bearing exercise, so it places less stress on the spine, hips and knees.

  • Cycling is a great cardiovascular and conditioning exercise.

  • Stationary bikes offer benefits when weather conditions prevent access to outdoor roads and trails.

Tips

  • Be sure to use the right kind of bike for the terrain on which you're riding—taking a street bike to off-road trails will be rough. In fact, if you suffer from back pain – avoid rough, off-road trails all together.

  • Have an experienced professional fit you for the proper type and size of bike in order to prevent accidents and injuries.

  • Ride with your back straight—this will prevent lower-back stress.

Looking for the perfect route? Check out these scenic bicycle paths in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Swimming:
For those who love water activities, swimming may be the best forms of low impact aerobic exercise for anyone who suffers from neck or back pain. Unlike other activities, swimming places virtually no impact or stress on the spinal structures. Water supports the body, relieving stress on joints, muscles and bones.
 
Here are a few other reasons why swimming may be the best form of exercise for you:

  • Buoyancy reduces the force of gravity on the body, making it easier to perform various movements. Buoyancy can improve range of motion for any part of the body because it allows for movement without having to battle with gravity.

  • With degrees in the upper 90s, heated pools allow tissues and muscles to relax and become more flexible.

  • While it may sound painful, hydrostatic pressure is actually a good thing. Hydrostatic pressure is the force that water applies to the body and can improve circulation and decrease blood pressure.

Yoga:

Yoga appeals to many back and neck pain sufferers because it is an excellent combination of physical movements, breathing and meditation. The many movements, poses and stretches incorporated into yoga practice has many practical applications for treating chronic back and neck pain conditions.

Classes are easy to find in both Wisconsin and Minnesota and if you are new to yoga, pick a style1 that most appeals to you:

  • Iyengar yoga - Iyengar yoga stresses proper alignment and precise movements, yet it incorporates modifications that often benefit back and neck pain patients whose mobility may be limited as a result of their symptoms.

  • Ashtanga yoga - Emphasizing powerful flowing movements like push-ups and lunges, Ashtanga yoga is appropriately described as "power yoga," and it often appeals to patients who have previously rehabilitated from a back injury.

  • Bikram yoga - Also known as "hot yoga," Bikram yoga is especially popular in cold areas because it takes place in a hot room. The benefit of this type of yoga is that the heat helps increase stretching and flexibility, but you should be careful to stay hydrated and avoid over-stretching muscles that have become looser than normal in the warm environment. Bikram yoga should not be performed by patients with cardiovascular disease. 


  • Viniyoga - Breathing is the focus of viniyoga, with each movement coordinated with an inhale or exhale. Viniyoga is easily adaptable for each person, making it a good option for many types of back pain and neck pain patients, especially those who are just beginning to practice yoga.

Paddle Boarding:

During warm months, have you noticed more and more people standing up on surfboards, paddling to and fro? Paddle boarding is a water activity that has become very popular in recent years. It’s a low-impact exercise that can help improve strength, core stability and balance. It also boasts an added benefit of relieving stress because of the relaxing nature of the activity.

Other benefits include:

  • Variable level of intensity depending on where you are paddling. If you are in the ocean and experiencing waves and current, your workout will be intense. If you are simply drifting on a relatively placid lake, the intensity level will be lower.

  • Paddle boarding engages almost every muscle in the body including leg muscles, arms, back and shoulders to propel the paddleboard in the water. The core and abdominal muscles are constantly at work to maintain your balance.

  • As a low impact physical activity, paddle boarding is relatively easy on the tendons, ligaments and joints.

Ready to jump on a board and get paddling? Check out these great places in Wisconsin and Minnesota to rent boards and start paddling away!

Hiking:

For many of the same reasons walking is such a fantastic physical activity for people who suffer from neck and back pain, hiking can provide many of the same health benefits. One important consideration for those who love hiking is to have good familiarity with your intended route and the terrain’s expected level of difficulty. Pick a distance and surface that are the best fit for you. Remember that if you are embarking on longer hikes, carrying a pack and necessary supplies is a must. The added weight of supplies will increase the level of difficulty for most hikers. Other considerations include:

  • Pick the best type of hiking boots to reduce jarring on your knees, hips and back.

  • Choose a backpack that will fit snug to the body and high on the back to minimize stress on the spine.

  • When calculating intended mileage, account for regular stops.

  • Consider using walking poles or sticks to aid along uneven terrain.

Popular Wisconsin and Minnesota Hiking Trails:

-Travel Wisconsin

-Wisconsin Park System

-Explore Minnesota

-Minnesota Park System

 Warm weather in the Midwest brings opportunities for increased physical activity and fun in the great outdoors. However, if you are someone who is currently experiencing a neck or back condition that causes a moderate to severe level of pain, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider or pain management expert before beginning any new activity. In addition to consulting with your physician, considering easing in to any activity by taking it slow, taking breaks and taking proper precautions such as warming up, stretching, staying hydrated and wearing appropriate clothes or equipment.

Coming soon: Part two of our warm weather guide featuring activities pain sufferers should avoid.

Sources:

 http://www.spine-health.com/blog/yoga-back-pain

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Published in Acute and Chronic Pain
Sunday, 15 October 2017 11:02

Proper Lifting to Avoid Back Pain

Spring is officially here! For many of us, there are spring projects that need to complete. Whether you are planting your flower garden or cleaning and organizing your garage, it is important to make sure you are lifting and moving objects correctly, so you don’t injury your back.Lifting APM Pic

Before you do any heavy lifting, we recommend you think through the task at hand. Decide where you are carrying the object to, if and whether or not you will need help to moving the object. Look for a pathway that is clear from debris and clutter.  We also recommend you do some stretches before lifting.

Stand in front of the object you are going to be moving. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other foot.  Remember to keep a wide base for support.

Slowly squat down and remember to bend at the hips and knees only. Your knees should not move forward beyond the line of your toes.

Don’t forget about your posture! Make sure to look straight ahead while keeping your back straight and your shoulders back.

Lift gradually by stretching your hips and knees. Try to keep the natural curve in your lower back and remember to breathe while lifting.  Remember NOT to twist as you lift.

Hold the object you are carrying as close to your body as possible; this decreases the strain on your lower back.

Take small steps and lead with your hips when changing direction. Keep your shoulders aligned with your hips as you move. When setting the object down, remember to squat with the knees and hips only.

Do you have any tips for lifting? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Sources:

Proper Lifting Technique. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2015.

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Published in Acute and Chronic Pain
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