Chiropractors/Strengthen lower back

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Question
My construction job, for the past 30 years, has involved setting up heavy ladders and climbing those ladders. I'm 56, Male, 190#, my BMI is 27, and I'm reasonably muscular. Working on dropping 30#. I've always had minimal issues with my back. Starting this past winter, as I work outside in the northern climates, I've chosen to become a "working snowbird", and spend the worst winter 4 months in Florida, where I do light handyman work.

First of April, when I returned to my "north job", I found that the ladders had become 25# heavier, and that I've developed a soreness in my back. When I do the lifting, it feels like other parts of my body are trying to compensate for the weakness in my back, as I lift. The soreness gets worse through the work day. Doesn't bother me at night, I can "work it out" fairly easily in the morning, but by the end of the day, it's pretty sore, and when I get out of my truck after driving home, it's sometimes hard to stand and walk. I'm generally not using any Ibuprofin, etc to treat the pain, I figure that the pain is talking to me and I'd better listen. What can I do now amidst the work schedule to strengthen my back, and what should I do in winters to keep it stronger?

Answer
Jeff, please excuse my absence from the forum for a while.

Regarding your question: What can I do to strengthen my back... the consensus generally is that a weak core muscle group is a contributor to lower back painful conditions. There are many exercises that help to strengthen the core. I generally teach my patients to perform simple exercises that do not put the lower back at risk. These include stomach crunches, abdominal splinting, and pelvic bridging. I also am an advocate of stretching several muscle groups, including the hamstrings, hip flexors. I like to have my patients perform knee to chest stretches, supine hamstring stretches, and simple lower back rotational stretches.  The key is consistency over a long period of time. One big problem is that when the pain starts to go away, patients tend to think that they are cured, and then they discontinue the exercises.

I must advise you, however, that you should consult with a local professional and try to get to the source of your painful condition. Many times it is more than just being out of shape. You should undergo a good physical examination that helps you to determine if there are any underlying spinal conditions that are causing your pain.

I hope that this gives you some ideas of what you can do to get some help. Best of luck,

Keith Biggs BS, DC

Chiropractors

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Keith E. Biggs, DC

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding chiropractic care and diagnosis, exercise rehabilitation, spine therapy, disc injuries, back pain, neck pain, headaches, sports injuries, car accident injuries, physical therapeutics, acupuncture, homeopathy, clinical nutrition, decompression traction, acupressure, acugraphing, orthotics, arch supports, carpal tunnel, sciatica, degenerative joint disease, arthritis, weight loss, etc.

Experience

I have been in private practice for more than 20 years in Mesa, AZ. In my practice I have seen thousands of patients with many different conditions. Every patient is unique and requires individualized attention and care. I pride myself in attentive and appropriate care for every individual that comes to my office

Organizations
Arizona Chiropractic Society

Publications
Biggschiropractic.blogspot.com therapeuticfoods.blogspot.com

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Chiropractic, Cum Laude,Logan College of Chiropractic, 1987. Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, Logan College of Chiropractic. Licensed to practice Chiropractic in Arizona. Certification in Acupuncture. Certification in Physiotherapy and Traction.

Past/Present Clients
I have treated thousands of people in my private practice during the past 21 years, and in the process, I have learned so much. Practice guidelines and patient privacy laws prohibit the naming of past patients.

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