5 Ways to Relieve Neck and Back Pain | In Motion Physical Therapy

One expert on the spine says that the most common recommendations to avoid this type of pain do not work, and reveals those that do work.

Back pain is one of the most frequent among the adult population and for this reason many spend a fortune on treatments. It is estimated that between 80 and 90 percent have suffered it at some point and it is the main cause of disability in the world. In his book The Mechanic of the Back, Stuart McGill, professor of biomechanics of the spine at the University of Waterloo, Canada, states that the main cause of the increase in cases is the current pace of life. If the pain persists, contact the Back Pain doctor Texarkana.

But many doctors are not well informed about how to treat these problems correctly. He adds that each case is different and deserves a personalized solution, but the current health system only offers appointments of 10 to 15 minutes and in that period it is very difficult for patients to receive an accurate diagnosis. The expert explains that there are two types of spinal columns: those that bend and flex like the branches of a willow tree, which allow you to easily and painlessly practice stretching, yoga or Pilates exercises. The others are thicker and less flexible, like those of an oak tree, and their owners are more prone to back pain. Excessive push-ups, twists, and spinal overloads, such as those found in gym routines, can be detrimental to them.

Faced with this situation, based on his more than 400 scientific investigations, McGill created his own method, widely described in his recent book. These are five basic rules and three types of exercises required to maintain a healthy back.

1. Pilates and yoga don’t heal

Not all types of physical training suit every skeleton. In his research, McGill has found no strong evidence that yoga and Pilates are for everyone. “A good instructor will advise each student individually, but these practices will not be the ideal cure for back pain,” says McGill.

2. Walking fast works

The basic exercise to eliminate any back, lumbar or cervical pain is walking daily. And in doing so the pain is relieved quickly because “with each step the legs rise and swing in such a way that they produce gentle muscle contractions. This prevents the pelvis from sagging and reduces the load on the spine ”, says the author. If the person feels pain in this area, he should gradually increase the rate until it is relieved.

3. Avoid doing sit-ups

McGill’s findings show that statistically there is a greater chance of developing a back problem if the spine is subjected to exercises that put the muscles of the abdomen to work. He also opposes the so-called roll-up of Pilates, as it is an “exaggerated movement that puts an additional load on the discs of the vertebrae”.

4. Run

While running has a bad rap for your joints and spine, McGill says it’s ideal for a long-term, healthy back. According to several studies done with high-performance athletes, there is a lower incidence of back pain in athletes than in soccer players or weightlifters because running involves making a forward movement “without having to stoop, stretch or contort too much.”

5. Be careful with stretching

Many trainers insist on stretching programs to maintain flexibility and mobility in the spine. However, McGill says these routines provide only temporary relief, damage discs, and cause more severe pain in the long run. That’s why he recommends avoiding any stretch that involves pulling the knees up or flexing the spine. Ideally, keep it in a neutral position and never force it.