Information About the Back.
The back is a complex piece of machinery. Comprised of vertebrae, ligaments, cartilage, disks and muscles, the back supports your entire body. And to make its job more rigorous, your back only gets to rest when you’re lying down. It’s no wonder people have so many back problems.
“You can help prevent back problems by maintaining flexibility and strength in your whole body and practicing good body mechanics,” explains Marcy Dickey, D.O., orthopedic surgeon with Robinson Memorial Hospital. “Good body mechanics are the way you lift, push, pull and sit to minimize strain on the back.”
The most well-known example is to lift with your legs not with your back.
“Once you’ve picked up the object, hold the weight close to your body,” she says. “This puts less strain on the back.”
Still, lifting can be difficult.
“No one can lift with the proper position all the time,” says Ryan Tessean, physical therapist at Robinson Memorial Hospital. “But try to stay as close to the proper position as you can.”
People often have trouble maintaining good body mechanics while they’re at work because they’re stuck in one or two positions for hours at a time. This causes muscle fatigue and can hurt the back.
Tessean offers these tips for keeping your back safe at work:
- Be aware of your posture. Slumping strains your back.
- While standing, put one foot up on a rung of a chair or table leg. This opens up the vertebrae and releases pressure in the lower back.
- Take a 60-second break every hour to stretch and change position. This will help you have fewer injuries.
Back to the Basics
How well do you know your back?
Take this quiz to test your knowledge.
T|F When I “stand up straight” my spine should be a straight line.
T|F Sitting for long periods can cause back pain.
T|F Sit-ups and crunches can help keep my back healthy.
T|F Turning at my waist is great for my back because it stretches it out.
False. A healthy back curves in three places: your neck, middle back and lower back. Standing up straight maintains these curves and keeps your back in balance.
True. Sitting can actually place more strain on your back than standing--especially if you slouch. “Slouching places extra stress on the spine,” says Tessean, , “and eventually your back will begin to ache.”
True. When done correctly, sit-ups and crunches make your abdominal muscles stronger. Your spine is supported by back, abdominal, hip and leg muscles. If these muscles aren’t in shape, your back won’t retain its natural curves.
False. “Picking up 100 pounds and turning at your waist is the worst thing you can do,” says Tessean. “Instead of twisting, move your feet when you turn.”
For other tips and questions, contact The RehabCenter at Robinson Memorial Hospital at 330-297-2770.
Incontinence is the “leaking” of urine or bowel contents due to pelvic floor muscle weakness. Incontinence may effect men or women of all ages and occupations.
Incontinence is common; however, it is not a normal part of aging. More than 13 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence (UI), typically 85 percent of the UI cases are women.
Urinary incontinence may lead to abnormal skin and wound issues, reduced daily mobility for fear of being to far from bathroom, declining strength and balance, and increased frequency of falls.
Pelvic floor dysfunction can be due to a variety of reasons including weak muscles pain, soft tissue involvement and joint involvement of the pelvic region. This might be associated with or due to other medical conditions such as: old fractures, multiple vaginal childbirths, radical prostatectomy and or cancer.
If incontinence affects your lifestyle, causes embarrassment, or is a financial burden, then incontinence is a problem for you. Therapy might be able to decrease or eliminate your symptoms and problems.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
Stress Incontinence – is the most common cause of incontinence in women. It is characterized by leakage from the bladder when coughing laughing, sneezing, or other movements that put pressure on the bladder.
Urge Incontinence – one is unable to suppress the urge to go to the bathroom and experiences urinary urgency, frequent urination, and nocturia greater than twice a night.
Overflow Incontinence – the individual is unable to empty the bladder fully, and the overflow “dribbles” out. The patient lacks the sensation of fullness or emptying.
Mixed Incontinence – the individual has a combination of the stress and urge incontinence.
A personalized treatment program will be developed by the therapist to meet your individual needs and concerns.
The program uses a variety of therapeutic interventions to address your needs including:
Clinical Dual channel EMG Biofeedback
Personalized home exercise program
Pelvic floor muscle exercise program for stretching and strengthening
Bladder training program
Educational handouts and information
Educational information regarding diet, fluid management and bladder irritants
Biofeedback unit for home training
Referral to the Program
Typically one is referred to the program following a medical work-up by a physician. This is necessary to identify the underlying reasons for the incontinence and to eliminate other possible conditions.
To schedule an appointment at the RehabCenter following consultation with the urologist call: 330-297-2770.
You might need therapy
- Experience difficulty with leakage, bladder control, or urination
- Experience leakage of urine when laughing, coughing or yelling
- Cannot suppress the urge to go to the bathroom, experience urinary urgency, increased frequency, or nocturia
- Feel that you cannot empty the bladder, have no sensation that the bladder is full or empty, and experience “dribbling”
- You are getting up more than twice a night to use the bathroom
- There is a family history of incontinence
- There were multiple childbirths with or without complications
- Experience pain with urination, have “irritable bladder”
If any of these statements apply to you then you might have an incontinence problem. Therapy might be able to address your needs.