By Michaeleen Doucleff
To see if you’re bending correctly, try a simple experiment.
“Stand up and put your hands on your waist,” says Jean Couch, who has been helping people get out of back pain for 25 years at her studio in Palo Alto, Calif.
“Now imagine I’ve dropped a feather in front of your feet and asked to pick it up,” Couch says. “Usually everybody immediately moves their heads and looks down.”
That little look down bends your spine and triggers your stomach to do a little crunch. “You’ve already started to bend incorrectly — at your waist,” Couch says. “Almost everyone in the U.S. bends at the stomach.”
In the process, our backs curve into the letter “C” — or, as Couch says, “We all look like really folded cashews.”
In other words, when we bend over in the U.S., most of us look like nuts!
But in many parts of the world, people don’t look like cashews when they bend over. Instead, you see something very different.
I first noticed this mysterious bending style back in 2014 while covering the Ebola outbreak. We were driving on a back road in the rainforest of Liberia and every now and then, we would pass women working in their gardens. The women had striking silhouettes: They were bent over with their backs nearly straight. But they weren’t squatting with a vertical back. Instead, their backs were parallel to the ground. They looked like tables.
After returning home, I started seeing this “table” bending in photos all around the world — an older woman planting rice in Madagascar, a Mayan woman bending over at a market in Guatemala and women farming grass in northern India. This bending seemed to be common in many places, except in Western societies.
“The anthropologists have noted exactly what you’re saying for years,” says Stuart McGill, at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, who has been studying the biomechanics of the spine for more than three decades.
“It’s called hip hinging,” McGill says. “And I’ve spent my career trying to prove it’s a better way of bending than what we do.” (more…)
Source Chiropractic Science
Dr. Haldeman is a pioneer of chiropractic science and a world leader in spine research. Dr. Haldeman holds the positions of Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, and Clinical Professor, Department of Neurology, University of California, Irvine.
He is Past President of the North American Spine Society, the American Back Society, the North American Academy of Manipulative Therapy, and the Orange County Neurological Society, and is currently Chairman Emeritus of the Research Council of the World Federation of Chiropractic. He is certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, the American Board of Electroencephalography and Neurophysiology and the American Board of Clinical Physiology. He also served on the US department of Health AHCPR Clinical Guidelines Committee on Acute Low Back Problems in Adults as well as four other Clinical Guidelines Committees. He presided over The Bone and Joint Decade 2000 to 2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders.
You can find the podcast here.
He also happens to be the uncle of innovator Elon Musk.
Every November the United States remembers Camelot: a shining time of promise led by John F. Kennedy, the nation’s youngest president brought to an abrupt and bloody end on this day in 1963. While conspiracy theorists debate who pulled the trigger, there’s another culprit that often goes unmentioned: Kennedy’s lifelong struggle with back pain.
It was his habit of wearing a tightly laced back brace that may have kept him from recoiling to the floor of his car after the assassin’s first bullet struck him in the neck.
“The brace was a firmly bound corset, around his hips and lower back and higher up,” said Dr. Thomas Pait, a spinal neurosurgeon who co-authored a paper about Kennedy’s failed back surgeries and other treatments such as manipulation under anesthesia. “He tightly laced it and put a wide Ace bandage around in a figure eight around his trunk. If you think about it, if you have that brace all the way up your chest, above your nipples, and real tight, are you going to be able to bend forward?”
Read more on the CNN website.
Source Regina Leader-Post
Dr. Scott Haldeman is a board certified Neurologist in active clinical practice in Santa Ana, California. He currently is a distinguished Professor at the University of California, the Chairman of the Research Council for the World Federation of Chiropractic and the Founder/President of World Spine Care.
Accomplished in his own right, he also happens to be the uncle of one of the worlds great innovators, Elon Musk. Read how the young Musk spent time on the Haldeman family farm in Saskatchewan. Both Scott’s father and his grandmother (Musk’s great-grandmother) were chiropractors. In fact, Almeda Haldeman became Canada’s first known chiropractor in the early 1900’s.
You can read the rest of the story here.
Information on the Haldeman’s and other chiropractic pioneers can be found in Dr J.C. Keating’s notes in our Chiropractic History section.
Commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat back pain provide little benefit and may make things worse according to new research from The George Institute for Global Health.
The findings of the systematic review, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, reveal only one in six patients treated with the pills, also known as NSAIDs, achieve any significant reduction in pain.
The study is the latest work from The George Institute questioning the effectiveness of existing medicines for treating back pain. Earlier research has already demonstrated paracetamol does not speed recovery or reduce pain for acute low back pain, and opioids provide minimal benefit over placebo.
Lead author Associate Professor Manuela Ferreira says the study highlights an urgent need to develop new therapies to treat back pain which affects 80 per cent of Australians during their lifetime.
A/Prof Ferreira, Senior Research Fellow at The George Institute and at the Institute of Bone and Joint Research, said: “Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is commonly managed by prescribing medicines such as anti-inflammatories. But our results show anti-inflammatory drugs actually only provide very limited short term pain relief. They do reduce the level of pain, but only very slightly, and arguably not of any clinical significance.”
A/Prof Ferreira added: “When you factor in the side effects which are very common, it becomes clear that these drugs are not the answer to providing pain relief to the many millions of Australians who suffer from this debilitating condition every year.”
The team at The George Institute, which examined 35 trials involving more than 6000 people, also found patients taking anti-inflammatories were 2.5 times more likely to suffer from gastro-intestinal problems such as stomach ulcers and bleeding.
Research Fellow Gustavo Machado, of The George Institute and the School of Medicine at the University of Sydney, said: “Millions of Australians are taking drugs that not only don’t work very well, they’re causing harm. We need treatments that will actually provide substantial relief of these people’s symptoms.
“Better still we need a stronger focus on preventing back pain in the first place. We know that education and exercise programs can substantially reduce the risk of developing low back pain.”
Most clinical guidelines currently recommend NSAIDs as the second line analgesics after paracetamol, with opioids coming at third choice.