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How Smoking Can Cause Spinal Fusion Failure

How Smoking Can Cause Spinal Fusion Failure

Smoking killed my mom’s older sister, Aunt Bertha. Even now, so many years later, my mom still remembers with a hurt heart  my Aunt Bertha’s last days on Earth. Even as her face turned blue from the lost of oxygen and her lungs were dying, my aunt still wanted her cigarette. Her death was not peaceful. My aunt Bertha’s story is not unique, but fortunately  more people are becoming aware  that cigarette smoking is associated with an increased risk of lung problems. However, most people don’t know that smoking is also bad for your bones and can result in such things as spinal fusion  failure.

A Man Prepares For Surgery
Stop Smoking Before Surgery

Here Are Some Stats to Think About

Currently, there are more than 50 million smokers in this country, and approximately 800 billion cigarettes are smoked each year. Smoking is now the leading avoidable cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. According to one report, over 500,000 deaths per year in the United States alone can be attributed to smoking[1]

However, how smoking can cause spinal fusion failure is also becoming a major issue for those needing back fusion surgery.

This post examines the issue in depth with the hope that if you or a loved one is in need of a spinal fusion surgery you understand completely  how smoking can effect  the outcome.

With that said, let’s jump in and discuss what exactly is spinal fusion surgery?

Spinal Fusion shown With Rods
A Spinal Fusion

In that procedure, surgeons remove discs between two or more vertebrae. The bones in the spine are then attached with hardware and treated with growth factors. As the spine heals, new bone begins to form, and the vertebrae fuse together.[2]

 

Orthopedic  Patients and Spinal Fusion Surgery

It’s becoming increasingly clear that orthopedic patients who smoke have worse outcomes than those who don’t. The clinical effects of  smoking on bone and wound healing include longer times to union, higher rates of nonunion, and higher rates of infection and wound complications.[3]

Here is an Illustrative Story of a Smoker With a  Spinal Fusion Problem.

“I had spinal fusion on L4/L5 with bone graph and cadaver bone. I’m almost 3 months post op. While I feel better I still have pain and have muscle spasms. My Dr. said my fusion is not fusing . My hardware is 4 screws and 2 rods. I did smoke until weeks b4 surgery and quit..well I started back (5 cigarettes a day)”—smoker from spinal fusion forum

In a study of more than 75,000 Canadian adults, daily smoking was associated with increased odds of having chronic LBP; this is consistent with the results of similar studies that were conducted in the USA [4]

At Jefferson Medical College/Rothman Institute, reviewed several studies that highlighted the effects of smoking on fracture healing, reconstructive procedures, and wound healing.

” Smoking is the only significant predictor of nonunion in open tibial fractures,” said Dr. Hilibrand. “Spinal fusion studies have found higher nonunion rates among smokers, compared to nonsmokers. [5]

 

3 factors That May Determine How Smoking Prevents Fusion of The Spine

  • Low Level of Vitamin D
  • Smoking reduces bone mineral content
  • Smoking accelerates spinal degenerative processes [6]

In the last post I covered how Vitamin D Deficiency can cause back pain. Well, researchers  have found that the main risk factors for inadequate   Vitamin D were smoking.There is now enough evidence that shows a link between low Vitamin D and poor outcomes following spinal fusion. In other words, the vertebrae didn’t fuse. The evidence is so strong that some doctors are recommending that patients having orthopedic surgery ensure they’re getting enough  vitamin D.

Smoking  Can Cause Spinal Fusion Failure by Reducing Bone Mineral Content

Smoking has been shown to adversely affect bone mineral density, lumbar disk disease, the rate of hip fractures, and the dynamics of bone and wound healing. I should point out that  scientific and clinical information on smoking and its consequences suggests differing degrees of correlation between smoking and orthopedic conditions. Some studies say there is a strong correlation and some say the correlation may not be impactful on some people. most available data however do suggest a real and reproducible relationship between smoking and slow bone healing. In a word, smoking makes it much harder for a spine to fuse.

Effect of Nicotine on Spinal Disc Cells: a Cellular Mechanism For Disc Degeneration

When studies confirm that smoking is a strong risk factor  for back pain, the most widely accepted explanations for the association between smoking and disc degeneration is malnutrition  of spinal disc cells. In other words, nicotine, a constituent of tobacco smoke, present in most body fluids of smokers may be the culprit  that prevents nutrients from reaching spinal disc cells. In essence, the bone graft does not get enough nutrients due to a lack of blood supply and, therefore, does not grow and cannot form a fusion.

Return-to-Work Study of Smokers Vs. Non-smokers

A study by Glassman, Anagnost et al. (200) investigated the effects of smoking and smoking cessation on spinal fusion out comes. As part of their analysis, they looked at the return to work rate in smokers versus non-smokers, all of whom had s successful spinal fusion surgery ( they had a solid fusion). The investigators found the following return to work rates:

  • 51% for patients who never quit smoking before or after surgery
  • 68% for patients who quit smoking for longer than one month after surgery
  • 77% for patients who quit smoking for longer than 6 months after surgery
  • 71% for patients who were non-smokers [7]

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Conclusion

I don’t want anyone walking away feeling that this post offers a conclusive  connection between smoking and  lower back pain. The truth is that  few reports have demonstrated a definitive   relationship between  smoking dose and lumbar disk herniation (LDH), a cause of lower back or sciatic pain. There are other factors to  also consider such as how big, how tall, how strenuous  one works. One has to also look at the contribution of genetics to LBP. This post was focused more on the risk of smoking as it relates to spinal fusing. Smoking has been found to accelerate the rate of disc degeneration and this might contribute to ongoing spine problems even after a spine fusion. If you or a loved one is in need of spinal fusion surgery,  the doctor  may have to postpone the operation.   I present this information so that you or a loved one takes the time to stop smoking  before the due date of the operation and perhaps 6 weeks after the operation.

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I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

References

1

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2001 Jan-Feb;9(1):9-17.

The musculossleletal effects of smoking.

Porter SE, Hanley EN Jr.

2

Kelly, Frank B. “Ask, advise, refer to improve surgical outcomes: perioperative smoking cessation forum reviews the evidence” AAOS NOW, 2012, p. 1+

3

“LOW Vitamin D Common In Spine Surgery Patients.” States News Service, 3 Nov. 2111

4

http://www.cimonline.ca/index.php/cim/article/view/6924/3908

5 See Note 2

6

Chiang, Shang-Lin, et al “Cigarette smoking dose as a predictor of need for surgical intervention in patients with lumbar disk herniation.” Journal of Medical Sciences, vol. 34, no. 1, 2014, p. 23.

7

https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/stop-smoking/reasons-quit-smoking-spinal-fusion

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How Vitamin D Deficiency Can Cause Back Pain

How  Vitamin D Deficiency Can Cause Back Pain?

Does this sound familiar ? Your back is killing you even though  you’re sticking to your exercise regimen and physiotherapy. I mean you have done   the heat and ice thing, and still your back hurts.  What gives? You might be suffering, especially if you are an older woman, from Vitamin D deficiency. Doctors have revealed that “ 83% patients who experiencing back pain with no obvious causes for more than six months have an abnormally low level of the sunshine vitamin”. [1] In this post I’ll examine the question of how Vitamin D  deficiency can cause back pain, and what you can do about it.

A woman touches the area of her back where she feels pain
This woman is showing the location of her pain

So, without further introduction, let’s jump in with a discussion of what exactly is Vitamin D deficiency.

What is Vitamin D ?

This is a photo Showing Vitamin D Capsules Pouring Out of a Brown Bottle
A Bottle Pouring Out Vitamin D Capsules

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is stored in the body’s fatty tissue. People normally get Vitamin D through exposure to the sunlight, which triggers Vitamin D production in the skin.

How Can You Have Vitamin D Deficiency?

Vitamin D is the only vitamin made by your own body. Other vitamins, like A, B, and C only come from food and supplements. You probably don’t get enough vitamin D if:

  • You spend little time in the sun or use a strong sunblock
  • Have very dark skin
  • Have certain medical conditions such as diseases of the digestive system that interfere with fat and vitamin D absorption
  • Are very overweight, because vitamin D can get “trapped” in body fat and be less available for the needs of the body [2]

Overweight and Vitamin D Deficiency

Photo of a Man in Red Tee Shirt and Blue Pants Bending Over From Back Pain
An overweight man bends over from back pain

This point is worth examining further because  it happens to a lot of people, especially women. Here is an account, by the Times of India, that speaks directly to the issue. It is reported by spine surgeon Shailesh Hadgaonkar on a patient named Meena. “ Meana (34), an engineer and mother of two children, was disabled with significant back pain after the second child’s delivery. She was overweight and slightly depressed with disabling back pain.”[3]

Doctors started her on a program of weight control, medication, and physiotherapy. She did regular walks, spine-strengthening exercises and aerobics. She lost a good amount of weight. Doctor Hadgaonkar also noted that Meena “…also had vitamin D deficiency causing fatigue and pain, which was corrected with good sunlight exposure for 20-30 minutes for 4-5 days a week and some medications.” [4]

Stress Symptoms Reported by People With Vitamin D Deficiency

A recent study of patients being treated for Vitamin D deficiency reported the stress levels as follows:

  • 95 Vitamin D deficiency patients reported severe stress (31%)
  • 100 Vitamin D deficiency patients reported moderate stress (37%)
  • 73 Vitamin D deficiency patients reported mild stress (24%)
  • 19 Vitamin D deficiency patients reported no stress (6 %) [5]

Pain Symptoms Reported by People With Vitamin D Deficiency

A follow up study of patients being treated for Vitamin D deficiency reported the pain levels as follows:

  • 538 Vitamin D deficiency patients reported severe pain(30%)
  • 679 Vitamin D deficiency patients reported moderate pain (38%)
  • 356 Vitamin D deficiency patients reported mild pain (20%)
  • 171 Vitamin D deficiency patients reported no pain (9%) [6]

Fatigue and Depression symptoms showed similar results to the two studies above. Meaning  more people experienced  severe or moderate fatigue or depression than those that experienced mild or no symptoms. The link with depression was also reported in the May 2008 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry–among 1,282 men and women ages 65 to 95, Vitamin D levels were 14 percent lower in those with depression. [7]

With depression, the fact that Vitamin D aids calcium absorption may be a factor. Calcium deficiency has been linked to depression and study participants who were depressed had higher levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), which can indicate low calcium. [8]

Treatments taken by people with vitamin D deficiency—Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)

Vitamin D3 is the form of Vitamin D called cholecalciferol. Cholecalciferol is the most widely known of the Vitamin D series and is a fat soluble vitamin that is stored to some degree in the body. It is used as a dietary supplement, for the treatment of Vitamin D deficiency, or to prevent a deficiency.

Most popular supplements are: Spring Valley Vitamin D3 Nature’s Way Vitamin D3 and Kirkland Signature Vitamin D3

Women and Vitamin D Deficiency

As I stated in  the beginning of this post, women, especially older ones, tend to experience  pain at a greater level than men. According to an article in the may issue of  Journal of The American Geriatric Society (Vol 56, No 5), lower concentrations  of Vitamin D are associated with significant back pain in older women but not in men in the same age group.[9]

A Difference Between The Sexes and Vitamin D Deficiency

The study’s goal was to examine associations between Vitamin D status and musculoskeletal pain in older adults and whether they differ by sex. Results showed 58% of the women had at least moderate pain in some location, compared with 27% of the men. However, Vitamin D deficiency was not associated with lower extremity pain or dual-region pain, although it was associated with a significantly higher prevalence of at least moderate back pain without lower extremity pain in women but not in men. Researchers say the gender difference in the results may be due to women being at higher risk of osteomalacia–softening of the bones due to low Vitamin D, which commonly presents as chronic low back pain.[10]

The bottom line is this, because Vitamin D deficiency and chronic pain are fairly prevalent in older adults, the researchers say these findings suggest it may be worthwhile to query older adults about their pain and screen older women with significant back pain for Vitamin D deficiency.

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Conclusion

As stated before, most of our Vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight. However, as we age our skin synthesizes Vitamin D less efficiently. Once more, if you’re confined to your home, or you live in northern latitudes where there’s less sunlight, you’ll be at greater risk of low Vitamin D levels. This means you might need Vitamin D supplements. The recommended daily intake for Vitamin D is 400 international units (IU) at 50-70 years and 600 IU at age 71 and older. That said,  you should always check with your doctor because  excess vitamin D can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

 

References

1

“suffering from nagging back pain? Better to check vitamin D count.” Times of India, 18 Oct. 2017

2

https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/bone-health/vitamin-d-and-calcium

3

“suffering from nagging back pain? Better to check vitamin D count.” Times of India, 18 Oct. 2017

4

Ibid

5

https://www.patientslikeme.com/

6

https://www.patientslikeme.com/

7

“vitamin D may be ‘the vitamin of the decade’.” Food& Fitness Advisor, Aug. 20008, p. 1+

8

Ibid

9

“suffering from nagging back pain? Better to check vitamin D count.” Times of India, 18 Oct. 2017

10

Ibid

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How to Use Pilates Exercises to Relieve Back Pain

How to Use Pilates Exercises to Relieve Back Pain

Imagine going through a phase  of having (literally) to crawl out of bed in the morning and pull yourself upright on the nearest chair, and then struggling to get dressed because you can’t reach your feet. This happened to a friend of mine who was subsequently diagnosed with a slipped disk (L3/L4).

Man Bending in Pain From a Slipped Disk
A Photo of a Man Suffering From a Slipped Disk

Today he is  largely pain free, and what worked as part of his recovery was doing core  strength  exercises, and especially Pilates. Pilates exercises for lower back pain may be something that  you may want to consider if you are suffering  from back problems and need follow up treatment after rehab.  However, it’s understandable if you have questions as to what these exercises are and how they can help you.

So let’s have a look at Pilates exercises for back pain in more detail, and then you’ll learn how to get  relief.

Read on…

What Are Pilates and How Do They Prevent Back Pain?

Pilates is an exercise program that focuses on the core postural  muscles that help keep the body balanced and are essential to providing support for the spine. Im particular, “Pilates exercises tack awareness of neutral alignment of the spine and strengthening  the deep postural muscles that support this alignment, which are important  to help alleviate and prevent pain.” [1]

This is just another way of saying that Pilates movements focus on building the core—the muscles throughout the abdomen, those supporting the spine, and others involved with supporting the center of the body.

Pilates-Based Exercises as a Treatment Option for Lumber-Spine Problems

As stated, people with back pain and poor posture can benefit from Pilates exercise, but proper technique is key. You may have to modify exercises to allow for your abilities and needs in the recovery process. Before you begin Pilates-based exercises at home, It’s  a good idea to review your techniques with a certified Pilates instructor. As a general rule, back patients should avoid exercises that push the spine into extremes of flexion or extension, or combine flexion with side bending or twisting the spine. These motions place excessive stress on the intervertebral discs.

In other words, you don’t want to twist yourself into a human pretzel.

That said, lets look at a common back problem that can be alleviated by post rehab  Pilates exercises— sciatica.

SCIATICA

The sciatic nerve runs from the low back/pelvic area through the hip and buttocks region and down each leg. It controls various muscles in the legs and is also responsible for sensation in aspects of the thighs, legs and feet. According to the Mayo Clinic, sciatica refers to “pain that radiates along the path of this nerve–from your back into your buttock and leg. The discomfort can range from mild to incapacitating, and may be accompanied by tingling, numbness or muscle weakness” [2]

Here are Some of The Symptoms:

  • Pain From The Low Back to The Knee
  • Pain From The The Buttocks Region to The Outside of The Calf and into The Top of The Foot
  • Pain From The Inside of The Calf to The Sole of The Foot
  • Numbness Along The Nerve Pathway
  • Tingling or “pins and needles,” in The Feet
  • A Loss of Bladder or Bowel Control

Pilates for sciatica helps build up the deep muscles that can help provide support to the sciatic nerve.

Post Rehab  Pilate Exercises to Relieve Sciatica

Generally, individuals with sciatica find extension positions (standing, lying prone) most comfortable. Some individuals, however, find comfort in a flexed (knees-to-chest) posture. Your doctor, after testing and looking at your history,  will  recommend exercises to help your  posture, strengthen the muscles of the back and abdomen, and improve flexibility in the muscles of the hip and knee.

Here are Some of The Common Pilate Exercises to Prevent Back Pain

Opposite-Arm-and-Leg Lift (3 sets, 10 reps each side)

  • Lie on The Stomach With Arms extended Overhead. Exhale While Lifting The Right Arm and Left Leg.
Photo of a Woman Performing Opposite Arm-Legs Stretch
Woman Shows How to Perform Opposite Arm-Legs Stretch

Inhale while lowering the arm and leg.

Exhale and Switch to The Opposite Arm and Leg.

Four Points (3 sets, 10 reps each side)

  • Begin on hands and knees with the spine in a neutral position. Exhale while extending the right arm and left leg and lifting them off the mat until they are parallel to the floor.
This is a Photo of a Man in The Four Points Stretch Position
Man Shows How to Perform Four Points Stretch

Inhale and return to the starting position.

Exhale and switch to the opposite arm and leg.

Piriformsis Stretch (3 sets, 15-30 seconds each side)

  • Begin on hands and knees and bring the right foot in front of the left thigh until the lower right leg is perpendicular to the torso and resting on the mat.
This is a Photo of A woman Performing Piriformis Stretch
Woman Shows How to Perform Piriformis Stretch

Extend the left leg straight back on the mat.

Sit  tall, using the arms for balance. Hold, then switch sides. (3

sets, 15-30 seconds each side)

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Conclusion

It’s not surprising that back pain patients across the globe are always on the lookout for ways to both prevent and treat recurring pain. As more people look into the best  exercise to keep their backs healthy, they are faced with the question as to which  exercises are most effective. Recently there has been a trend towards yoga for back pain. However, some people are now considering another option  – Pilates. As a general rule, if one needs to relax his or her muscles then Yoga may be the way to go. If the problem is a weak core that can not support the back, then one would be better served  exploring Pilates exercises  to relieve  back pain. As this post has shown, Pilates’ premise involves building strength from the inside out, with strong abdominal and back muscles leading to overall physical strength. That’s why it can be so effective for a condition like sciatica.

I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

References

1

https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/yoga-pilates-tai-chi/pilates-exercise-and-back-pain

2

(Mayo Clinic 2005b)

3

Catherine Fiscella, “Help for low-back pain: these Pilates-based exercises can be a safe and effective alternative for clients with lumbar-spine disorders” Idea Fitness Journal. 2.8 (Sept. 2005): p34+.

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How to Prevent Lower Back Pain Cold

How to Prevent Lower Back Pain Cold

Product: ThermaCare Lower Back & Hip Heat Wraps

Price: $ 50.97

Size: Large-XL

Weight capacity: 2.3 pounds

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon

Warranty: Check with Company

Rating: 8 out of 10

Introduction

What would you do if you were always cold even when it’s a 100 degrees  outside?

I can imagine you looking at me like I’m growing a third  eye. Here’s the deal. Some people with back pain, even in warm weather  where you and I may be drenched in sweat, have a hard time keeping warm. It’s as if the cold has seeped into their  bones never to go away. It’s back pain related cold intolerance. In other words, lower back pain cold.

Woman in a gray and white jacket hugs heater
Woman wearing jacket hugs heater

When Back Pain Gives You Cold Intolerance

I have to admit that I didn’t always appreciate  how difficult it is to live with cold intolerance  as a result of back pain. I will wear short sleeves and my mom, a back pain sufferer, will  be in her sweat pants.  I have to say that  over the years my perspective has definitely  changed. The other day, for example, my mom was lying on the couch but had forgotten to completely cover herself with the nice comfy blanket that I bought for her.  I arrived in time to see her grimace in pain. I knew exactly what was happening. She was having another bout of lower back pain cold.

The Difficulty of Living With Lower Back Pain Cold

When She feels cold on her back, after few minutes it starts to hurt badly. That intense  pain can  make her shake her body. It’s as if someone is rubbing her nerves with ice cubes. The worse part is that when she’s cold like that it will take her a long time to feel warm. This means she’ll have a hard time getting to sleep, and that can only add to her discomfort.

Stop Living with Lower Back Pain Cold

Maybe this isn’t an imaginary  situation for you. Perhaps you have back pain that result in you body  trembling a bit if  the temperature takes a sudden dip, or the so called refreshing night breeze feels more like some one gave you an unwelcome  ice bucket.

You  don’t know what to do. You don’t want to be tied to a heating pad, but you need something for your sore back that will allow you to carry on with your business. You feel desperate.

The Solution to Lower Back Pain Cold

A man wears ThermaCare Heat Wrap on skin
Man Wearing ThermaCare Heat wrap

Here is where ThermaCare Lower Back & Hip Heat Wraps can help. They are designed to fit your lower back and thin enough to wear discreetly under your clothing, ThermaCare allows you to move freely while delivering therapeutic heat to relax your tight back muscles. This means you’re not stuck in the house  with your heating pad. You can go  and live your life.

 

Benefits of Back ThermCare Lower Back& Heat Wraps


Thermacare Heat Wraps are specially-designed with patented heat cells that deeply penetrate heat to relax sore, tight muscles. Providing pain relief when needed the most, the long-lasting heat wrap provides up to eight hours of superior heat and pain relief. Includes one large/extra-large lower back and hip heat wraps for a one-time use.

 

Makes it Practical to Manage Lower Back Cold

The wraps are ultra thin which means they can be worn underclothing. So, for example,  let’s say you work in the woods in cold weather—you can pack some of the wraps in your survival pack and off you go.

If you play golf the ThermaCare  Heat Wraps can also come in handy. This is what  one player stated in a golf forum about using ThermaCare: “ It helped me stay loose.  They are like a disposable heat wrap.  I used to have great difficulty getting loose – I’d need to wear them in 100 degree weather.”

Helpful Portable Heat to Fight  Lower Back Cold

Here is the gist. when you have back pain-related cold intolerance it takes you a long time to warm up no matter what the weather is like. ThermaCare makes it possible for you to feel good so you are not stuck in your house. You can travel without worry and have the peace of mind that you won’t make your condition worse—only better.

Pros

  • Patented heat cells get right to the source, to stop pain and accelerate healing
  • Specially designed to fit your back and hip area
  • Enhanced elasticity for a better fit
  • Allows you to move freely while delivering therapeutic heat
  • Portable heat
  • Thin enough to wear discreetly under clothing

Cons

  • This product can cause burns if not used properly.  If over 55  this means you should wear ThermaCare  over a layer of clothing, not directly against your skin. For most people this is not a big deal, but it is something to think about.
  • You can’t use it while you’re sleeping. However, by that time you would have already be experiencing  relief  from pain as it works for 8 hours.

Conclusion

I recommend the ThermaCare Lower Back  and Hip Heat wraps because I think they are situations  when taking pills doesn’t help deal with lower back pain cold. Oral pain medications have to be ingested and provide relief by working through the bloodstream. ThermaCare provides pain relief by working directly at the site of the pain, relaxing the muscle and increasing local blood flow. Having said that, you should ask a doctor  before use if you have diabetes; poor circulation or heart disease; rheumatoid arthritis; or are pregnant. Do not wear while sleeping.  If you use caution, however,  this product can make it possible for you to enjoy your daily activities  pain free.

Are you tired of begging to head inside the house when everyone is having fun? Take part in the joy                     to get relief from your lower back cold.

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I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

 

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How to Prevent Golf Back Pain With Aspen Quickdraw Pro Back Brace

How to Prevent Golf Back Pain With Aspen Quickdraw Pro Back Brace

Product:Aspen, Quickdraw PRO, Back Brace

Price: $ 69.99

Size: Medium

Weight capacity:2.4 ounces

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon

Warranty: Check with Company

Rating: 8 out of 10

Introduction

Imagine this situation. You’re a good golfer, unlike my friend who laments that his swing has gone to shit. “Man Sometimes when I’m swinging that club, I feel like a lame horse who doesn’t know he should be put down”, he curses to himself. “Maybe I’ll just quit for awhile”, he says.

You on the other hand are a pretty good golfer, maybe not top PGA but good enough to be playing in an upcoming tournament. It’s a really big deal to you…It’s your masters. However, you’re dealing with a strained lower back.

You are Doing Your Warmups

You know all about the importance of stretching before taking a swing, the same way you warm up your car in cold weather , and that’s exactly what you  do every time as a routine You are also using heat and cold, and you’re feeling a lot better. However, your back still hurts and you need to be ready for your big moment.

You need support for your back, but you don’t want to be so stiff that you’ll feel like a mummy.

Man Wearing Aspen QuickDraw Back Brace Under Tee Shirt
How to Wear Your Aspen QuickDraw Back Brace

You need a back brace that is light and supportive yet allows  you to freely twist and turn.

 

A Man, With Bare Back, Shows How to Adjust Aspen QuickDraw Back Brace
How to Adjust Your Aspen QuickDraw Back Brace

Benefits of Back Brace for Golf Pain

Wearing a belt while playing golf can help reduce over-extension of the lower back, which is often associated  with causing golf back pain.  I know what you’re thinking. You’d never be caught dead in one of those ugly stiff corset. Not to worry. I’m talking about a brace that provides stability while you perform your normal activities like walking or bending. What I’m talking about and what you need is a brace that will simply limit an access of spinal movement  so your back will get a chance to heal.

You need a brace that will bear part of the load to take stress off the  lower back. You need a brace that will allow you to finish 18 holes of golf without pain.

The Aspen, Quickdraw PRO, Back Brace is a  brace with you in mind.  As a golf player you might be aware of how golf legend Payne Stewart used a brace for  back support. He didn’t want  his swing to be restricted  by  pain  that would come  as a result of constantly  moving his body.  At the same time he wanted a brace that was a perfect fit for his body.

I imagine that you have the same concern. Well, the Quickdraw Pro  brilliantly addresses the issue.

Its patented tightening system allows you to tighten the upper and lower area independently to get the perfect fit.  This tightening system is ideal for golfers such as yourself because they can adjust the tightness of the brace to allow them to swing freely. You will also find the perfect fit for your body shape.

See How it Works

You Won’t look like You’re Wearing a Brace

As a golfer you know how the slightest thing can be an annoying distraction. You’re setting up for your shot and some nitwit decides it’s the prefect time to try his brand new camera. The only  thing worse than some guy  with a camera fixation is some neat freak starring at you because you’re wearing a brace that’s too bulky and is noticeable under your clothing.  No such worry with the Aspen back brace. It’s slim fitting and easy to hide. You can also wear it hours at a time because it’s made of material that won’t irritate your skin.

Who  Else Can Use The Aspen Quickdraw Pro Back Brace

  • Caregivers. Wearing the brace  belt protects their lower back and lower abdomen from injury during tasks such as pulling patients from the bed.
  • People who can’t walk or stand without support
  • Anyone who does outdoor work that involves  a lot of twisting
  • People with  spinal stenosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The result being that their back always  bothers them.
  • Any one with with continued, deep, crippling back pain

Product Features

  • In-elastic materials and 4 to 1 mechanically advantaged tightening system for effective compression
  • Independent upper and lower tightening system for a precise fit
  • Backed by clinical research

Pros:

  • Upper and lower tightening system for ideal fit
  • Suitable for different body shapes
  • Slim fitting design, unnoticeable  under clothing
  • Won’t irritate the skin
  • Has clinical studies proving effectiveness
  • Comes in 7 Sizes
  • Black and white Colors

Cons:

  • Some people complain that it won’t stay in place, but those are few

 

Conclusion

If you want to know how to play 18 holes of golf with a strained back  you came to the right place. The Aspen quickdraw back brace has been well reviewed by not just golfers, but ordinary people who are looking for  a non-intrusive brace that will allow them to engage in rigors  daily activities. So, for example, you  wearing  it during your  spring cleanup chores involving raking, pruning, and heavier lifting and dragging will  eliminate added strain on your back muscles. I recommend the Aspen quickdraw back brace because  it helps so many people. It has even  helped that friend  of mine who complained that his swing had gone to shit. He hit 18 holes of golf with no problem. Amazing what supporting your back can do.

How long are you going to cut your golf game short because  of back pain?                       to stop the pain and complete those 18 holes.  You’ll feel great.

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How to Prevent Golf-Related Back Pain

How to Prevent Golf-Related Back Pain

There was a time when some people considered golf more  of a hubby for out of shape  athletes wannabes  than a real sport. But things sure have changed. Golf is in, blossoming into a popular sport that attracts followers worldwide. With the increasing popularity of golf comes the question of how to prevent golf-related back pain.

Media Coverage of Golf Spreads Golf-Related Back Pain Awareness

Media coverage of star athletes such as Tiger Woods and Michelle Wei is also helping turn golf into a sport that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Swinging the club on the open green, hitting the perfect shot,  and playing in the warm sun seems a perfect way to spend the day for many people.

Woman in Tee shirt and Glasses Playing Golf During Day Time
Woman Playing Golf During Day Time

In the united states it is estimated that more than 27 million people play golf. Overall, golf may be considered a rather benign activity, if overuse can be avoided. If not, golf can result in serious, chronic back pain.

The Statics of Golf-Related Back Pain

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 102,000 golf-related injuries treated in doctors’ offices, clinics and emergency rooms in 2004, which incurred a total cost of approximately $2.5 billion in medical, work-loss, pain and suffering and legal costs.[1]

The low back is the most common injury location for  golf-related injury. Most injuries occur as a result of the golf swing, and occur mostly at impact.

Key Areas of Preventing Golf-Related Back Pain

Four key areas of preventing injury for the sport of golf include: warming up, swing, bio-mechanics, and carrying the golf bag. Follow these  tips and you’ll avoid golf-related back pain and spend more time on the greens than the club house.

Warm-up Before Playing to Prevent Golf-Related Back Pain

Are you one of those golf players who has no warm-up or stretching routine? Are you a “grip it and rip it” type of player? Well, you need to stop what you’re doing unless you want to end up with excruciating back pain that will take you out of the game.
It’s normal  that you would want  to control the flight path of the ball through the air. After all, that’s what you see great players doing right? However, understand that those players don’t show a few minutes before tee time and just bash the ball. They leave plenty of time to warm up. You don’t want to just arrive at the greens, pull out your driver and proceed to hit the cover of the ball—doing so will most likely result in you spraining your back and getting back pain.

Bottom line is this: Before going out to play, spend 5-10 minutes in the clubhouse stretching. Focus on the lower back, shoulders and forearms. It is also important to warm-up and stretch any other musculoskeletal problem areas. Check out the video below for more information.

Bad Golf Swing and Golf-Related Back Pain

Most golf injuries occur as a result of the golf swing, and occur mostly at impact. Think about this: A typical golf swing creates sufficient stress (e.g. compressive load) on the lumbar spine to potentially injure the intervertebral discs.[2]

This is another way of talking about what is often referred to as repetitive strain syndromes. In other words, you  are swinging the club in such a way that you  are putting extreme strain on muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and bones.

Minimizing Golf-Related Back injury Caused By a Poor Swing

You can performing these simple exercises to help strengthen lower back muscles:

Rowing: firmly tie the ends of rubber tubing. Place it around an object that is shoulder height like a door hinge. Standing with your arms straight out in front of you, grasp the tubing and slowly pull it toward your chest. Release slowly. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions.

Pull-Downs: with the rubber tubing still around the door hinge, kneel and hold the tubing over your head. Pull down slowly toward your chest, bending your elbows as you lower your arms . Raise the tubing slowly over your head. Pull down slowly toward your chest, bending your elbows as you lower your arms. Raise the tubing slowly over your head. Perform  three sets of 10 repetitions, at least three times a week. [3]

 

Bio-mechanically Set up to Reduce Risk of Golf-Related Back Pain

A Man, Showing Perfect posture, Sets Up for A Golf Shot
Man Showing The Perfect Golf Posture

This is the recommended set up:

* During the set-up, the spine needs to be held relatively straight

(neutral) alignment. The trunk will still have to tilt forward

25-30 degrees when setting up to hit the ball, but this movement

should come mostly from flexion of the hip joints.

* In order for the hips to powerfully rotate through the backswing

and follow-through, BOTH feet need to be rotated outwards

approximately 25-30 degrees at set-up.

* A knee bend of about 25-30 degrees is also necessary to allow the

club head to be brought down to the ball without excessively flexing

the spine. [4]

Carrying The Golf Bag Safely to Prevent Golf-Related Low Back Pain

Repeated bending over to pick up a golf bag can stress the low back and lead to muscle strain. It’s a really good idea to pay someone else to do it. Hey, that’s a lot better than ruining your back. However, if you insist on carrying your own bag make sure to use one that has dual straps. This will enable you to evenly divide the weight across the back and reduce the chances of developing low back pain from an uneven load. Use proper back mechanics while lifting your bag (bend through the knees).

Do not hunch over the ball too much; it may predispose you to neck strain and rotator cuff tendinitis.

Conclusion

I hope the tips that I have given you will be helpful in avoiding golf-related back pain That said, I think if you are a beginner it would be a great idea to work with a golf pro when starting out. Most aspects of a golf swing are not natural or intuitive  like kicking a soccer ball.

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I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

References

1

“Keep Golf Injuries from Sending You to the Clubhouse; orthopedic surgeons offer tips to minimize golf-related injuries”. Business Wire, May 11, 2006.

2

“Golf-related low back pain: a review of causative factors and prevention strategies”. Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 5, no. 4, 2014

3

See note 1

4.

See note 2