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Types of Back Injuries - Back Basics

Clk2Hm Back pain can range anywhere from a mild annoyance to a totally debilitating pain, even crippling.  To better understand how the Springzback can help, you need to understand the different types and sources of back injuries and conditions.

Gaining a better understanding of what’s going on with your back can leave you much better equipped to prevent, manage and/or alleviate your back pain.

Clicking on the categories below will open additional information:

Back Muscle Inflammation

The most common cause of lower back pain is from muscle inflammation, usually as a result from overuse. Muscle inflammation from overuse is most commonly a result of lactic acid buildup.

This soreness can be quite painful, especially when trying to use the effected muscles and tends to be at its worse in the day following its overuse. Muscle soreness from lactic acid buildup will gradually improve in two to four days.

A more severe inflammation is generally classified as a sprain or strain; often both. When muscle soreness isn’t improving after three or four days, you most likely have a sprain/strain.

Some degree of micro tearing of the muscle fibers usually results from strains/sprains, but these too will usually heal by themselves.With proper care, rest and time, a full recovery can usually be expected from this (usually minor) form of injury without noticeable after effects, but this can take weeks.

Muscle & Ligament Injuries

Larger muscle tears are not as common and usually result from either a strenuous incident or a sudden jerk movement. Even these larger tears can often heal without surgery, but can leave scarring that ultimately inhibits muscle flexibility. Sometimes aggressive massage is required to break up the scar tissue to help restore muscle flexibility.

When a muscle is strong and healthy (as with athletes), sometimes it is the ligament that will stretch, tear or even detach before the muscle itself tears. Detached ligaments often require reattachment surgery. While some types of reattachments have a high success rate, others do not, some cannot even be done.

Misalignment & Pinched Nerves

Another common condition that can cause lower back pain is when vertebrae (back bones) shift out of alignment (displace) and result in a pinched nerve. Misalignments (displacements) can occur from an impact as when struck, but often occur as a result of too much muscle tension pulling on them, especially over extended periods of time.

A number of conditions can cause tissue to compress a nerve, such as poor posture, stress from a repetitive job, sports, or obesity. Once the compression is relieved, back pain diminishes; however, continued pressure can cause permanent nerve damage. Muscles attach between two points and pulls, they cannot push, they can only contract (pull) and relax (release). It is the way various muscles attach to specific points on our skeletal structure that enable us to push with our arms, legs, and backs. Some of these attachment points are to vertebrae, and vertebrae will only tolerate so much force for so long. Some people’s backs (or necks) tolerate a lot, others not so much. Physically, we are certainly not all created equal.

Ultimately, some vertebrae can get pulled out of place. Sometimes it’s a slow slight movement, other times you can actually feel them suddenly shift, even “pop‚” out of place. Stiffness, pain, or other symptoms may follow. Sometimes symptoms follow quickly, other times it may take a day or two before they manifest.

When given a sufficient break from the abusive activities, displaced vertebrae will sometimes self-correct, but often you are left in a weakened state for several weeks following a displacement incident. Other times, professional intervention from a chiropractor, physical therapist or medical doctor may be required to achieve significant relief.

Either way, once displaced, the sooner it gets corrected the better. Like crooked teeth, in time vertebrae will firm up in their new positions making them resist a return to their rightful places. The longer they remain displaced, the more firmly vertebrae take a set into their new positions.

Disc Injuries

If the muscle tension that displaced the vertebrae to begin with continues, muscle inflammation pain and other symptoms can continue to worsen. This is often the case with overuse of the back. Continued abuse can cause your lower back pain to progress to much more serious conditions such as herniated discs.

Discs are the tough cushion material that flexibly maintain proper spacing between the vertebrae. Discs serve several functions, they are necessary for mobility of the spine and they act as shock absorbers while holding the necessary spaces between each of the vertebra. These spaces are critical for providing clearances for the nerves that branch out to the entire body. Even the slightest contact (impingement) with a nerve can cause severe pain.

A disc injury can appear in several forms. Discs can compress, dehydrate, bulge, slip, herniate or rupture. Any one of these disc conditions can result in severe lower back pain due to spinal column nerves coming into direct contact with body tissue such as disc material, bone or muscle.

This is where the most common of the serious back problems stem from: bulging or herniated disc material coming into direct contact with nerves. Extreme disc injuries often result in back surgery; most low back surgeries are the result of herniated discs. Any contact at all with a nerve is painful, and certain movements may either increase or decrease the point of contact.

This is the stabbing pain we often hear described as a knife were being shoved into your back. Nerve impingement is not only painful, it could lead to permanent nerve damage causing chronic and severe muscle inflammation, pain, numbness, weakness and tingling sensations in the legs, and in extreme cases, even paralysis.

Physical therapy and exercise are often recommended before resorting to surgery. NSAIDS and steroids are popular treatments for disc injuries, but as with surgery, carry potential risks and side effects. By strengthening the core and back muscles you can increase lumbar support which helps to properly align the vertebrae thus often alleviating nerve impingement and back pain.

Stoop Labor Work and Back Injuries in the Workplace

If your daily job duties require even a moderate amount of repeated or constant bending (stoop labor), odds are good that you would benefit from using the Springzback.

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Preventing Lower Back Pain

All of the forms of back pain sources that have been described above can result simply from too much lower back muscle tension (strain), Strain resulting from too much bending forward and relying on our backs to endure the task of holding up our overhanging upper body weight has consequences that eventually catch up with many of us.

This isn’t a problem for most when done occasionally; however, if you engage in activities requiring long, constant, and/or highly repetitive bending, you’re exposing yourself to a high risk of back injury.

As you age, this abuse becomes even more likely to catch up with you. This abuse is compounded when you lift or support additional weight from a bent-over position. Because of the length of your back in relation to its muscle attachment points, a factor of about ten applies to the pressure placed on your lower back and its discs.

EXAMPLE: If you had 100 lb. of upper body weight, when you bend over you would impart a 1,000 lb. load on your lower back and its discs. If you lean over and pick up an additional 50 lb. of weight, you would now impart a 1,500 lb. load on your lower back. If you held this 50 lb. away from your body, it would leverage an even greater load effect. Get the picture? Is it any wonder we constantly suffer from lower back pain?

The most important thing to remember when lifting is this: your back should be held straight and your legs should do the lifting, not your back. When you need to bend forward, you should attempt to lean or brace your upper body against something. By bracing your upper body you can minimize and even eliminate the dangerous stress and disc-loading that leads to lower back pain.

Easier said than done you say? This is where the Springzback brace comes in. These braces provide upper body support in almost any situation, thus relieving the strain that would otherwise be forced upon your lower back.

Other ways to Lessen your Back Abuse

There are other was in which you can lessen your back abuse by adjusting your bending and lifting duties such as: cutting back on the frequency of your abuse, taking more rest breaks, taking longer breaks, reducing the amount of weight you lift, and modifying your actual job duties. Unfortunately, most of these are not an option with employers.

Many jobs simply demand more than our backs can safely tolerate unaided, especially on a continuous basis. In most situations, using Springzback to reduce the demands on your back while continuing your back-abusive duties may be the best solution.

Back Injuries in the Workplace - A Long-Standing Issue

Throughout history you can find references to “back-breaking work“, and for as long as man has been performing manual labor, there has been a genuine need for an effective, yet practical back injury prevention device.  The back belt has been a cheap bandage on a serious problem and it has finally been exposed as such.

OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) expects employers to minimize stoop labor exposure, but due to the previous lack of good solutions to many situations, the topic has often been avoided.

The fact remains that many jobs are simply more than our backs can safely tolerate on a day to day basis.  There are ways in which you could lessen your back abuse through altering the way in which you perform your bending and lifting duties, but most are quite unpopular with employers, they include:

    a) cutting back on the frequency of your abuse (daily and weekly basis)
    b) taking more rest breaks
    c) taking longer rest breaks
    d) reducing the amount of weight you’re lifting (including your upper body weight)
    e) modifying the job to reduce the amount of bending or lifting

A few examples of some stoop labor occupations and activities where these back braces could be especially beneficial are as follows:
  • Shoveling
  • Raking
  • Gardening
  • Block / Bricklaying
  • Flooring Installation
  • Factory Assembly Line Work
  • Nursing
  • Surgeons
  • Dentists
  • Utility Work
  • Deliveries
  • Material Handling
  • Loading Docks
  • Roofing
  • Carpenters
  • Mechanics
  • Welders
  • Healthcare Personnel
These assisting braces could help in relieving & protecting backs while performing just about any activity where frequent and/or prolonged abusive lower back bending activities exist.

For those already dealing with back issues, the Springzback could help get them through work shifts without aggravation to their existing conditions, and generally speaking, the longer one goes without re-aggravating their back, the more tolerant their back becomes to further aggravation.

It wasn’t that long ago when employers of back abusive jobs simply relied on their employees to quit when their backs could no longer tolerate their duties; some were even fired. OSHA, Workers’ Compensation and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) have greatly changed this scene.  Now days employers are held liable for the safety and well being of their employees.  Businesses today can face stiff OSHA fines, costly Workers’ Compensation claims, lost production and more when it comes to back injuries; these are significant monetary incentives for businesses to prevent injuries and keep their employees healthy.

For many situations, using a Springzback device to give your back a rest while continuing your back abusive duties would be the most feasible solution.  Do yourself a big favor, don’t wait for your back to get any worse before you take action.  If you think this may be right for you, it probably is!  If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call, you’ll get honest and candid answers.

Just to be clear, we’re not claiming that this product will be the perfect solution for everyone or for every situation, but it could easily be the perfect solution for you, find out today!

For as long as man has been doing physical labor, there has been a genuine need for an effective, practical back injury prevention device – that need can finally be satisfied with the Springzback.  Get your Springzback today!

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trade name of a patented back brace device for relieving back strain while engaged in forward leaning, bending or lifting.