Watch Your Back
Could one injury produce other injuries in the same body? A recent study examined workers with injuries in areas other than the low back. They found that those with hand, wrist, ankle, or foot problems compensated with their backs unconsciously, to “make up for” the distant injury. They might twist faster when pulling objects off shelves, or alter their pacing and coordination when leaning over. The next question will be: if the low back is forced to compensate for an ankle injury, would this result in a low back problem as well? It wouldn’t seem quite fair! However, if you’ve injured a wrist or ankle, I might suggest that you take extra good care of your back while you heal!
Straighten Up America
This could be exciting: a new spinal exercise program, called “Straighten Up America,” has just been introduced.
It has been featured at national research conferences, and
taught to members of Congress. It is a 3 minute-long series
of simple exercises, easy to perform, developed by a pair
of expert and review panels (spearheaded by chiropractors!),
and is receiving widespread approval from experts across all
disciplines. If you’re looking for an easy, gentle,
enjoyable way to improve spinal strength and prevent back
pain, or just need a good work break, check this out. You
can access the entire program, currently designed for healthy
adults and children, at the following location: www.life.edu/Chiropractic_and_Wellness/pdf/Straighten_Up_America.pdf.
A couple of years ago, a study in the American Journal of
Public Health reported that gentler manual therapy for the
neck (“mobilization”) is probably just as helpful
as traditional adjusting (i.e. “cracking”) for
neck problems. This year, the lead researchers also concluded
that the gentler therapy causes fewer side-effects, such as
stiffness or headache afterward.
I’m neither surprised nor disturbed to read this research;
in fact, mobilization is my manual therapy of choice for the
neck. I have been very satisfied (as have many patients) with
the results of gentler therapies for the neck. In addition,
many patients who feel nervous about having their necks worked
on have been relieved to find that neck therapy, in my office,
can be gentle enough to fall asleep to!