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Back Injuries - I learned something interesting

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
We all know how important it is to have strong core muscles, and that back injuries and/or pain are helped by exercising the core muscles. But my physiotherapist (the angel) told me something interesting today that I didn't realize. If you've had a back injury, your core muscles in front do not remember to tighten automatically when you pick up, say, a piece of cat fur on the carpet.

You consciously tighten the muscles to pick up heavy things, but after a back injury, they have forgotten how to tighten with light objects. And how to contract and keep breathing.

So I am doing exercises to practice breathing and tightening my core muscles. It's kind of like rubbing your stomach and patting your head.

If you haven't had back injury, breathing and tightening are automatic, but with an injury you have to make your body remember with practice.

Hopes this helps somebody.
post #2 of 10
Good info!! I've been suffering with lower back (or upper buttocks) pain for a couple of days and will have too remember that as I've been picking up both light and medium weighted objects lately.

Thanks
post #3 of 10
My physical therapist said the same thing to me after my car wreck a few yrs back that hurt my neck/back! I had a previous back injury even before that (from falling down some stairs the first time I broke the bottom part, then sprained it a few yrs later when I was cheering.)

Have you tried Yoga? It's really good for your core? I've noticed i've gotten a lot stronger since i've been doing it and my back aches less
post #4 of 10
I have been in two car accidents where I injured my upper back in the first and lower in the second. I don't have pain every day, but when I do it's really hard to function. With all the therapy I had, I never once was told that information.

Thank you for sharing, as it was most helpful
post #5 of 10
Hmm, thats very interesting! Sometimes I forget to breathe, or I'll hold my breath without realizing it, I've always felt kinda stupid, I mean who forgets to breathe!? Food for thought, thanks for sharing!
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I should add that you also have to practice relaxing the muscles, you don't want them contracted all the time.

But this is the reason that someone will hurt his or her back when picking up something light. We think the stomach muscles are contracting automatically and they are not; they need to contract only a small percent but it's needed to support the spine.

Hope this is clear.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
Hmm, thats very interesting! Sometimes I forget to breathe, or I'll hold my breath without realizing it, I've always felt kinda stupid, I mean who forgets to breathe!? Food for thought, thanks for sharing!
I was surprised to find out that holding your breath is a normal reaction to stress.

I've noticed when I contract my core muscles, I tend to hold my breath, so I believe practicing this is going to be helpful. And being conscious of it already helps!
post #7 of 10
That explains how I sent my back in to spasm one by leaning forward slightly to take a picture of the girls and another time turning to flush the toilet...

The past several days I've been pretty sore from doing physical labor at work, but I've been in much more pain from spasms resulting from silly/simple movements.

I've done some pilates in the past and I love how flexible it makes me feel. Unfortunately for me I have a hard time sticking with it long enough to notice how it helps my back out.
post #8 of 10
Yes indeed, that does explain a lot! Thanks so much for that information, m'dear!
post #9 of 10
I suffer from lower back pain due to a curve in my spine. Maybe this would help some! Thanks for sharing!
post #10 of 10
^A stronger core really helps scoliosis. I don't have a single part of my back that is shaped how it should be.

I'm wondering how bad my back is going to end up getting... Right now I can't really do anything that involves using my stomach muscles much. It really really hurts if I do - you don't realize how much you use them until you can't.
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