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Lower Back Pain – Are Your Shoes to Blame for Spinal Stenosis Symptoms?

shoes and back pain from spinal stenosis

Love your spine? Don't wear these shoes.

When lower back pain strikes it might be tempting to think that a disc herniation, spinal tumor or other such calamity has occurred. However, have you considered the idea that your shoes may be to blame for your spinal stenosis symptoms?

Anyone with a job that entails standing for long periods of time, or who regularly has to carry considerable weight at work or at home is particularly vulnerable to the effects of poor footwear. Read on to find out how shoes affect your spine and what makes for good footwear to avoid back problems like spinal stenosis. Continue reading “Lower Back Pain – Are Your Shoes to Blame for Spinal Stenosis Symptoms?” »

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Autologous Bone Marrow Grafts Promising for Low Back Pain

bone marrow stem cell transplant for low back painThere were many exciting presentations and posters at the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) this month including one looking at using stem cell injections for low back pain. Results from patients two years after receiving autologous bone marrow grafts were promising and the researcher presenting the findings hoped to encourage others to carry out long-term studies of the therapy for low back pain, a notoriously difficult condition to treat and often the result of spinal stenosis from degenerative processes in the back. Continue reading “Autologous Bone Marrow Grafts Promising for Low Back Pain” »

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Neural Foraminal Stenosis – What is it?

neural foraminal stenosisSpinal stenosis comes in many forms, causing a variety of symptoms and with a range of causes. Neural foraminal stenosis is a specific type of spinal stenosis that involves the narrowing of the spaces through which nerve roots exit the spinal column. A reduction in this space does not necessarily cause symptoms but, where nerve compression does occur, pain, weakness, numbness and paralysis can all result from severe neural foraminal stenosis. Continue reading “Neural Foraminal Stenosis – What is it?” »

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Four Simple Stretches to Relieve Back Pain from Running

piriformis stretch lying down back pain from running

A supine piriformis stretch for back pain from running.

Sometimes all it takes is a few simple stretches to avoid back pain when running so make sure you make time to warm up, tone up and really get your muscles ready for action. A diagnosis of spinal stenosis does not immediately discount the idea of running to stay fit and healthy and it can be of great benefit to those with back pain as it boosts general health and may improve mood and quality of life overall.

Taking some precautions, such as getting the all-clear from your physician first, and carrying out the following stretches can reduce your risk of back pain when running.

Piriformis (sciatica) stretch

The piriformis muscle in your thigh, instead of lumbar spinal stenosis, can be the real culprit behind sciatica, so make sure to stretch out these muscles before you start pounding the pavement.

To do this, lie on your back and cross your left leg over your right leg. Pull up your right knee closer to your chest until you feel a stretch in the buttock and/or hip of the left leg. Hold the stretch for twenty seconds and then switch sides. Do four sets for each leg.

hamstring stretch for back pain when running

Hamstring Stretch

The hamstrings are those muscles in the back of your legs that are a frequent cause of strain and pain in soccer players. To warm up these muscles lie on your back and place your hands beneath you left knee. Raise the leg slowly, keeping it straight, until you feel a pull in the hamstring at the back of your leg. Hold for twenty seconds and repeat four times each side.

The Hook

Lie face up with your knees bent and your arms out to the side for stability and leverage. Bend your knees to one side and your head to the other, holding for ten seconds (or building to that time) and repeating five times for each side. This exercise pretty much stretches everything but may not be advised for those with degenerative disc disease or a bulging or herniated disc in the spine so check with your physician and/or physical therapist first.

Core Muscles

Lying on your back with your knees bent, making sure your back is flat to the ground with no arching, first lift one foot off the floor until your leg is at a right angle to your body, then lift the opposite leg to do the same. Keep your abdomen pulled in and your back flat to the ground while doing this. Slowly bend one leg again and straighten it as you lower it back to the ground. Do the same with the opposite leg and repeat the movement ten times, alternating sides. If your back hurts while doing this exercise then keep your knees bent rather than straightening them perpendicular to the body.

These exercises can help you limber up for your running regime and avoid running-related back pain but it is important to seek medical attention for persistent or severe pain and to talk to your physician in advance about any new physical activities if you have a pre-existing back condition.

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Why Your Back Hurts After Running and What to do About it.

running with spinal stenosis back painJoggers’ nipple is not the only thing you need to worry about as you dig out your running shoes this spring. Back pain after running is a common complaint and causes many a would be running fanatic to hang up their shoes for good. Is this really necessary or are there things you can do to avoid running-related back pain even when you have spinal stenosis? Continue reading “Why Your Back Hurts After Running and What to do About it.” »

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Degenerative Disc Disease Causes

Degenerative disc disease causesWhat causes degenerative disc disease (DDD) can be difficult to pinpoint, as most of the degenerative changes that take place in the spine are interrelated. However, DDD is most commonly defined by an accelerated version of the natural, age-related wear and tear of the intervertebral discs, which, when healthy, act as water-saturated shock-absorbers for the spine.

Over time, discs can lose their water content, become brittle, lose height, and become more susceptible to bulging or herniating. Disc wear and tear is particularly likely to develop in the lumbar spine (lower back), as this area is responsible for bearing the weight of the body and supporting a wide range of movements. Cervical degenerative disc disease is also quite common as the neck is particularly mobile and so many twists and turns can cause damage to the intervertebral discs.

Continue reading “Degenerative Disc Disease Causes” »