Before we begin talking about exercises for your back, let's take a moment to remember what our spine and back muscles do. After all, they have an important job: supporting the rest of our body weight.
Our spines have more than 30 small bones (vertebrae) that are stacked together and separated with spongy cartilage that absorbs the pressure from our bodies movements day in and day out. Also, we have a series of muscles in our backs that enable us to stand upright and support the skeletal system so that we can move around. We need both to be in top condition to be who we are as active human beings.
With this in mind, here are a few exercises you can do to strengthen your back and help prevent future injuries.
While many people avoid deadlifts out of fear of getting hurt, they are in fact one of the very best exercises you can do to strengthen your back as hundreds of muscles are involved. When done properly, deadlifts are excellent at building lower back strength and helping to prevent injury.
Like the deadlift, weighted row exercises work out several muscles on your back, from top to bottom. There are a variety of styles, but each is useful for strength building.
Chin Ups and Pull Ups
While these also involve your biceps, chin ups and pull ups train every major muscle in your back. If your own bodyweight is just too much, a healthy alternative for your back is lat pulls. Lat pulls are a variation of doing a pull up, however you can adjust the weight to something you can safely handle.
Seated Cable Rows
This low-impact exercise targets the muscles in your upper back and can be done by anyone regardless of size or age.
Standing Push Downs
This exercise rounds everything out by working your lateral muscles.
Key to Success
The key to all of this, however, is progression. Do not jump into a heavy routine of lifting or you will injure yourself. Start slow and with light weights. Work your way up one set at a time and with gradual weight increases. Taking a slow approach will give you both better results and a more enjoyable experience.
If your lifestyle does not include enough motion, your body cannot function efficiently. You may not be as physically healthy and could suffer from a wide variety of physical ailments. The human body is an amazingly complex system of bones, joints, muscles, and nerves, designed to work together to accomplish one thing: motion. Remember that motion is life. Everything about the human body is designed with motion in mind: nerve fibers stimulate the muscles to contract, muscles contract to move the bones, bones move around joints, and the nerve system controls it all.
As a matter of fact, research has shown that motion is so critical to our body's health that a lack of motion has a detrimental affect on everything from digestion to our emotional state, immune function, our ability to concentrate, how well we sleep and even to how long we live. If your lifestyle does not include enough motion, your body cannot function efficiently.
First, you will not be as physically healthy and will suffer from a wide variety of physical ailments, ranging from headaches to high blood pressure.
Second, you will not be as productive in your life because of reduced energy levels and the lack of ability to mentally focus.
Third, because you have less energy, your activity level will tend to drop off even further over time, creating a downward spiral of reduced energy and less activity until you get to a point where even the demands of a sedentary job leave you physically exhausted at the end of the day.
For more information call Pure Life Chiropractic in Eugene today at (541) 343-5633.
If you've suffered a motor vehicle accident, chances are you may have a combination of injuries -- both known and unknown. Because of this, it is imperative that you get seen as soon as possible to begin treatment. Delaying this only allows the injuries to set in causing chronic pain and potentially other issues, especially if the injury is hidden.
But it was just a little fender bender — I don't think I'm hurt.
It doesn't take a big accident to cause injury. While most people won't dispute the forces involved in a high-speed collision, most don't realize that these forces also apply in low-speed impacts. Let's break it down. A typical vehicle weighs about 2,000 pounds. A collision with a vehicle of this size at 10 miles per hour will result in an average impact force of about 3.7 tons. Consider a larger vehicle of about 3,000 pounds, colliding at the same speed, will produce an even larger impact force of about 5.6 tons In either situation, this is a significant blow to one’s neck and back.
Does it matter what direction I am hit from?
The direction of the force makes a difference to how your body is affected. Whiplash can happen from any angle but is most common from front/back collisions vs. the side. People in rear-end collisions are also at risk of absorbing more force than others because of a principle known as “magnification of acceleration.” This principle, in simple terms, means that the occupants of a car will accelerate much faster than the car being impacted and so will absorb much of the force involved — over 5 tons worth in the example given above. And those who are hit from the side often suffer from being twisted, causing significant back issues.
How can chiropractic help?
Consulting a chiropractor is always a smart move after having a motor vehicle accident. A chiropractor can treat injuries to the neck/whiplash, back, soft tissue, and he or she can help you loosen stiff muscles. Even if you don't hurt right away, it's good to be evaluated because the pain can surface days or even weeks later. And, be sure to inquire about insurance covering the expense of your treatment. All drivers in Oregon are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and this is used to pay for medical expenses.
For more information about how our chiropractors can help treat auto injuries following a car accident, please call Pure Life Chiropractic in Eugene, OR today at (541) 343-5633.
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