Solving Back Problems

bad backDo you have chronic back problems? Well, the answer may be that you need to work on “your front.”

I believe that having a strong core is not only good for your tennis game, it also helps hold your back in place to reduce injuries. As part of my training routine, I do a pilates move of stomach crunches usually three times a week.

• Lying on my back with hands clasped behind my head, I pull up and do a bicycle motion with my legs
• And (just about) touch my right elbow to my left knee
• Then left elbow to right knee
• That is one repetition
• Having done this for several years now, I have built up to comfortably do three sets of 50 reps each

A supporting medical opinion follows:

Ronald Tolchin, DO, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
The muscles around your spine and in your abdomen contribute to lower back health. Loose or weak abdominal muscles can cause lower back pain by encouraging a forward-leaning posture. Abdominals work in conjunction with back muscles when bending, straightening or lifting. This is why weak, damaged or separate abdominal muscles can be associated with lower back pain.

But you can protect back muscles by strengthening your abdominals through exercise. The abdominals are relatively small, so there is less of a possibility of overtraining as with exercises that involve weights. Keep in mind, though, that you can strain abdominals by overdoing exercises

But to be “fair and balanced,” here is a counter opinion:

Gerald M. Silverman, Chiropractic Medicine,
The idea that lower back pain comes from weak abdominal or stomach muscles is probably one of the longest running and most widely held back pain myths among patients and many therapists, yet the basis for it remains unproven. The myth itself is illogical. It may have started from a notion that by increasing the strength of your stomach muscles, you can increase pressure in the abdomen and thereby increase support for the spine. Sorry, but you cannot. Your stomach muscles function to support the contents of your abdomen, not your back. The good news is that weak abdominal muscles have never had, and will never have, anything to do with lower back pain. Strong abs are no guarantee of a pain-free back, and weak abs are no predictor of a painful back

Myth or no myth, my back has been solid for many years; so I will stick with my routine.

Your back problems and solutions??

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3 thoughts on “Solving Back Problems

  1. I agree in part with both Drs. Tolchin and Silverman.
    Strong abdominal muscles don’t necessarily prevent back pain, but they certainly help in general. The abdominal muscles serve to keep the abdominal organs in place. When these muscles are weak, the abdomen protrudes causing a shift in balance which puts extra strain on the back. Just trying to maintain an erect posture when the abdomen protrudes creates extra tension on the back muscles.
    Sensible, low impact exercises are good for all the body’s muscles.

    Dr. Fenster, thanks…see you soon! george

  2. I think that Jerome is right you need to strengthen your core muscles in order to solve the back pain issue but there are other reason that your back can hurt which have to do with your kidney s and kidney stones etc. so you have to gage what the pain feels like so you know whether to go to the doctor or not. Be careful is the biggest thing I can say.

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