Backache is one of the most common complaints in the western world. Relief is often obtained by taking analgesics such as aspirin, or being prescribed pain killers by your G.P.
Once having back trouble it is generally considered as being a recurring condition that has to be endured. However 80% of back trouble could be avoided if the muscles were exercised and worked into toned shape; not just the back muscles but also those of the tummy.
The first step is to confirm with your doctor the type of back problem you have. Then embark on gentle movements to strengthen the muscles of your abdomen and the areas of your back. Simple stretching movements are a good start, it is a fallacy to think that because you have a history of back troubles, exercise should be avoided.
When stretching a muscle the blood supply within is oozed out and a fresh supply is circulated. Accumalated cellular waste matter and toxins are cleansed and nutrients and oxygen are brought in giving optimum supplies within the muscular contracting and relaxing movements. Therefore, to prevent muscle spasms, regular stretching movements can progress to more strenuous movements over time.
Gentle stretching movements not only help to strengthen specific groups of muscle, but can create a more graceful line and posture - Yoga being a good example. A helpful exercise is to lie on the floor and relax. Then tighten the muscles of your Bottom and pull in your tummy muscles, then flatten your back against the floor, hold for a count of five, then relax breathing deeply. Start by just doing it once or twice progressing to morning and evening, feeling comfortable at all times. Stretch into shape your body when rising in the morning, it not only helps with your back and tummy but also gives a lovely sense of wellbeing because you are encouraging every part of your body to be oxygenated with deep breathing and movement.
Working out in a gym using either light weights or going through body movements working against your own body weight can strengthen specific areas. However, do ensure that you have an instructor who understands your problem and can demonstrate exactly how to use the equipment with a program worked out for you personally. With each visit progressive results can be achieved.
The way you sit and stand will also contribute to a spine that lacks strength and resilience. Shoulder stooping, slouching and sitting without proper support to the lower back gives unnecessary stress as too can a soft bed mattress. Lifting heavy objects by bending and using your spine as leverage also spells out trouble.
Prevention is always better than cure. Exercise such as swimming, good posture and a healthy diet rich in vitamin C (the number one vitamin for bones, cartilage and collagen formation which gives strength and elasticity in the connective tissue).
This was taken from an article written in the monthly magazine column of our founder and Harley Street Skin Specialist Elaine Thornhill - dated September 1986
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