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Thrown Out Your Back? Flexibility May Decrease Your Back Pain

Summary: Stretching can help prevent and also reduce your back pain.
Air Date: 9/18/14
Duration: 10
Host: Mike Smith, MD
Guest Bio: Tom Garzillo, DC, CLCP
Tom GarzilloDr. Tom Garzillo graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College in 1986 and is author of the ebook, Jailbreak from Back Pain.

His interviews and presentations for newspaper, radio, and television address back pain from a health, fitness, injury rehabilitation, and prevention perspective.

He has created and implemented programs for corporations and employees as well as co-authored the published research study "Does Obesity Cause Low Back Pain."

He is currently serving as a South Central Region board member for the national Arthritis Foundation. His personal background includes coaching college, high school, and youth athletes, a WTF international certification as a First Dan (first degree Black Belt) in Tae Kwon Do, as well as a Dallas Masters Track and Field Club member and nationally ranked competitor.
  • Book Title: Jailbreak From Back Pain
Thrown Out Your Back? Flexibility May Decrease Your Back Pain
If you've slept wrong, twisted the wrong way during a yoga session or lifted too much weight, you might have experienced some back pain.

When you have back pain, it makes everything else miserable. Something as easy as taking a shower can turn into a challenging obstacle course.

Your back is a complicated structure made up of bones, muscles and tissues, all which help support your upper body weight as well as act like a shield for your spinal cord.

According to American Spinal Decompression Association, low back pain affects 80 percent of people at some point in their life. In fact, back pain is one of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor and according to the U.S. Department of Labor; back pain is the most common reason for workplace limitation or disability.

Depending on the severity of your back pain, treatments can include seeing a chiropractor, participating in physical therapy, having surgery, acupuncture, or pain medication. You may think that lying in bed or on the couch will help heal your back a lot faster. However, lying down for several hours is the worst thing you can do for your back because it further increases inflammation and causes stiffness.

What can you do to reduce your risk of encountering back pain?

By increasing your flexibility, you can not only reduce the pain you experience, but you may be able to prevent it in the first place. Doing something like toe touches and some basic yoga poses can reduce inflammation and strengthen your back. The yoga cat-cow pose is a great option. For this pose, you get into a table top position and slowly arch your back like a cat while lowering your head. Then, lower your back as you raise your head toward the ceiling.

When should you consider seeing someone for your back pain?

If you've had pain in your back for more than a couple of days, you may want to consider seeking professional help to get it checked out.

Dr. Tom Garzillo joins Dr. Mike to discuss why back pain is so common, treatment options available if you've hurt your back, and why staying flexible can help prevent and improve back pain.
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