05/01/2015 Gavin

New Year… New Back?

And so, another New Year rolls in.  Will it be “same old, same old”?  Or is this the year for changes?  Will this be the “Year of the New Back“?

I often have patients ask me if I can give them a new back.  And I suppose the obvious answer is “no”.  But maybe that’s not true; maybe a new back is possible…

Your body is undergoing constant change.  Bones are remodelling all the time.  Nerves are making and breaking connections all the time.  Muscles grow and muscles waste through lack of use.  At a cellular level, your body is very different now compared with January 2014.  The body’s ability to re-new itself could be used to your advantage.

What if you didn’t sit still as much?  What if – instead of sitting for more than an hour at a time – every 20-30 minutes you did a little bit of movement, and changed your posture for a few minutes before going back to the usual one?  What would happen?  Well, the forces working in your lower back would change, meaning that you’d be less likely to have a constant strain on the usual victims of your less-than-perfect posture.  Your discs, ligaments and other tissues will re-model differently, depending on the forces active upon them.

What if you varied your physical activity?  What if you did more?  We know that brisk walking is excellent therapy for lower backs… it helps to keep them lubricated and moves the forces around so that there isn’t a constant strain on any one part.

What if you worked more to improve the endurance of your lower back muscles?  This can certainly be done, and we know that if your lower back muscles have a higher level of endurance then they’re less likely to be tired and you’re less likely to strain something.  Guess what?  By exercising the muscles appropriately (don’t do it wrongly!), you can certainly improve their endurance.

So, it won’t cost you $6 million (reference to Lee Majors’ dodgy 1970’s character who was part man / part machine)… but you can have a new back.  You just need some new ways!  If you’d like help developing those new ways, give us a ring.

Happy 2015!!

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