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Back pain

Almost everybody is affected at some stage. You too?

Back pain is the most widespread condition. About 540 million people all over the world have experienced this pain at least once in their lifetime. There are various reasons for back pain but they can be difficult to determine. In most cases, back pain is only a “temporary health problem”, but very frequently associated with severe pain nonetheless.  

It is often “home-made” and can be ascribed to wrong or sudden movements, one-sided strain or a lack of exercise. In some cases, however, it may be caused by serious illnesses. Other factors such as stress or excess weight must not be ignored in this context either. Therefore get active today and support your back as much as you can – a strong back is less prone to problems.

The spine

A supportive column with complex tasks

The spine is the central axis of the human body, and it connects all parts of the skeleton. It supports the body and is responsible for its movement at the same time. The spine allows humans a straight posture and upright gait.  

Despite its complex structure including very small parts, the spine is strong enough to bear the load of the head, torso and arms at the same time.  

Even the smallest changes in the spine, in the form of misalignments, wear or injuries, can cause severe pain which must be taken seriously. Clarification from a specialist is necessary in order to counteract a worsening or chronification of the condition. 

 

Structure 
 

The spine consists of 24 moveable vertebrae, two fused vertebrae (the sacral bone and tailbone (coccyx)) as well as the intervertebral discs. It is stabilised by various ligaments, ligamentous systems and muscles that surround the bony spinal structure. 

The intervertebral discs consist of elastic fibres and a soft, gelatinous nucleus pulposus. They are located between each moveable vertebrae and act as elastic links between the vertebral bodies, allowing the mobility of the spine. 

The characteristic shape of the spine, the double S shape, helps to absorb impact and to evenly distribute applied forces across the entire body.

  • Thoracic spine 
    Together with the ribs, twelve robust vertebrae form the rib cage that protects the heart and the lungs. The thoracic vertebrae and ribs are equipped with joints that ensure the mobility of the rib cage, meaning it can expand and contract during breathing.

 

  • Lumbar spine
    The lumbar spine bears a large proportion of the body weight. The five lumbar vertebrae are very strong and resilient, yet highly flexible. They allow for bending movements in different directions.

 

  • Cervical spine
    The seven cervical vertebrae carry the entire weight of the head, they keep it upright and enable movement. 

 

  • Sacral bone and tailbone
    The spine ends in the sacral bone and tailbone. The sacrum develops during the human growth stage as five vertebrae fuse together. The tailbone is located right under the sacral bone and is the insertion point of some of the pelvic muscles and ligaments.
Spine side view

The most common disorders and injuries

Are you affected by back pain, too?

spine with hip bone

Do you know the trigger? If not, you are part of the majority of people who have “non-specific” back pain. 

Back pain is “unspecific” or “non-specific” when there is no clear physical cause such as an illness. In most of these cases, the  pain originates from the back muscles which are weakened or not developed sufficiently. Only in a very low percentage of cases, around 4 to 7 %, does a physical trigger exist. This pain is considered as “specific”. Causes can be disorders of the spine (e. g. herniated discs, deformation of the spine) or inflammatory processes in the spinal region. 

With increasing age, specific back pain occurs more regularly, for example, based on spinal wear. Non-specific pain becomes less frequent but can often be more pronounced.

Low back pain / lumbago

The lumbar spine is affected very frequently by pain because the  force applied to the spine and the load to be supported are largest  here. This low back pain can range from mild to severe and  occur for a few days or even permanently (chronic). 

Low back pain can have various causes. The trigger is often a sudden  movement, a twist or lifting and carrying heavy objects, but  also tense muscles based on excessive stress, incorrect posture,  congenital  misalignments of the spine, herniated discs or shifting of the vertebral bodies. 

A severe kind of low back pain is known as lumbago, where sudden severe and cramp-like pain occurs in the lumbar spine and the back muscles that may even trigger temporary immobility. 

If the pain in the lumbar spine persists for several days, it can become chronic and cause permanent problems. In this case, it‘s called chronic low back pain.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis of the spine is a chronic, degenerative disease of the intervertebral joints. A reduction in the joint cartilage due to wear and tear often leads to nerve irritation, which in turn often gives rise to pain.

Herniated disc

With a herniated disc, the disc’s nucleus pulposus (the soft centre of the disc) breaches the annulus fibrosus (the tough exterior) and slips out of place. The gelatinous substance can press against the surrounding nerves and cause pain.

Osteoporosis 

Osteoporosis is a disorder of the bone metabolism. Bone mass declines significantly and this results in changes to the bone structure. This is commonly referred to as “bone loss.” Bones become porous, lose their stability and can break more easily.

Say goodbye to back pain

Tips for living without back pain

Get active:
Walk or use a bicycle on short journeys. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Have a good stretch, e. g. before getting out of bed or after long periods of sitting down.


Lift correctly:
Position your legs hip-width apart and squat. Use the strength of your legs to straighten up. Keep the weight close to your body and avoid one-sided strain.

 

Carry correctly:
Avoid one-sided carrying. If possible, use a backpack or shopping trolley with wheels. When carrying bags, balance the weight between two bags, carrying one with each hand.

 

Sit correctly:
The upper body should be erect and straight, and the pelvis tilted slightly forwards. Change your sitting position from time to time – lean slightly forwards or back, then make a conscious effort to sit straight again.


Maintain a healthy diet:
Every additional pound also puts extra strain on your back. Include a lot of calcium in your diet, for example from milk, cheese, broccoli or kale.
 

Man exercising with JuzoPro Lumbal

 

Sample exercises for a healthy and strong back

 

Often, the reason for pain is that the back muscles are insufficiently developed. This problem is aggravated when the muscles are rested for too long. In order to counteract back pain, you should start with gentle physical activity as soon as the pain permits it. 

You can strengthen your back and abdominal muscles with the following exercises. A mobile back and well-trained abdominal muscles with strong, stretched muscles, ligaments and fasciae are much less prone to back pain. 

In case of acute complaints, consult your doctor to find out which type of exercise, if any, is suitable for you. It is important for the following exercises that you establish basic tension in your body by stabilising your stomach and back. Pull the stomach inwards, towards the lumbar spine, without holding your breath. Once you can feel that your stomach is getting firm, you are carrying out the exercise correctly. In order to maintain regularity, do the exercises 3 to 5 times per week.


Back training 1: Bridge

 

6 to 8 repetitions

 

  • bend your knees
  • establish basic tension
  • position your arms next to your body
  • lift your buttocks until the thighs form a straight line with the torso, then slowly lower your buttocks again
Back training bridge

Back training cat-cow

Back training 2: Cat and Cow


6 to 8 repetitions 

 

  • position yourself on all fours 
  • slightly bend your elbows 
  • on the outbreath, push your back up and arch it 
  • on the inbreath, do the opposite and drop your stomach 
    towards the floor

Ab muscle training 1: Bicycle Crunch


6 to 8 repetitions 

 

  • lift your legs at a right angle
  • establish basic tension
  • position your hands on the side of your head
  • the head is the extension of the spine
  • alternately, touch your right knee with your left elbow, then left knee with right elbow, while the opposite leg lowers
Ab muscle training bicycle crunch

JuzoPro back orthoses, your strong companion for everyday life

Back orthosis

Lumbar orthoses support the back in the event of acute as well as chronic pain. With additional stabilisation and support in the lumbar region, pain reduction can be achieved. 

In order to counteract recurring pain, they can also be worn when there is strain on the back.

 

Gentle to very strong support 

The individual indication forms the basis for selecting the corresponding orthosis. Depending on the product, it can provide relief or correction of relief postures or incorrect postures. JuzoPro lumbar orthoses combine extraordinary wearing comfort and ease of use with optimum medical effectiveness. Thanks to four different versions from Light to Strong, the required support can be adapted depending on individual needs and on the diagnosis.

JuzoPro Lumbal Light

JuzoPro Lumbal Light

 

The JuzoPro Lumbal Light provides patients with gentle and lasting support. Wearing the stabilisation orthosis supports an upright posture and can prevent tension. Particularly if the back muscles in the lumbar area are developed more on one side than the other or if they are too weak, the orthosis can be worn during any everyday activities that put a strain on the back.

JuzoPro Lumbal

 

Thanks to the firm Xtra fabric of the JuzoPro Lumbal, the lumbar orthosis exerts gentle to moderate compression on the patient’s lumbar region. A removable sacral pad with firm friction nubs additionally massages the muscles and tissues and loosens hardened fasciae. The orthosis can be used for most lumbar problems and offers relieving and pain-alleviating effect.

JuzoPro Lumbal
JuzoPro Lumbal Plus

JuzoPro Lumbal Plus

 

The JuzoPro Lumbal Plus lumbar orthosis is mainly used in cases of severe, persistently recurring pain. At the beginning of treatment, in particular, this orthosis can offer strong stabilisation. The 
additional tensioning strap and sacral pad can be removed later corresponding to the progress in treatment. This increases freedom of movement in the lumbar region and supports mobilisation.

JuzoPro Lumbal Strong

 

The JuzoPro Lumbal Strong lumbar orthosis is perfect for severe pain based on incorrect posture, joint wear or chronic irritation. Thanks to the high-waist design and its double cross straps, compression is evenly exerted across the entire lumbar region. The very firm stabilisation rods can be removed and re-shaped to provide relief or correction, depending on the requirement.

JuzoPro Lumbal Strong

The Xtra fabric  

All Juzo Xtra products provide maximum wearing comfort, for everyday activities as well as sports.