Lower Extremities

Exercises to Manage Your Back Pain

  • back pain exercise

Do you suffer from back pain? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world experience back pain on a regular basis.

While there are many different causes of back pain, one of the best ways to manage it is through exercise.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best exercises for relieving back pain. We’ll also provide tips on how to stay safe while exercising and some other options you can consider if you’re still experiencing pain.

The Importance of Exercise for Preventing and Treating Back Pain

If you’ve found this article, you’re probably looking for a solution to back pain that you’ve had for a while. But regular exercise is one of the best ways to prevent back pain from happening in the first place.

Exercise helps to prevent back pain in several ways:

  • It strengthens your core and the muscles that support your spine.
  • It helps you maintain a healthy weight, avoiding excess pressure on your spine.
  • It improves your posture.
  • It increases blood flow and flexibility in your muscles and joints.
  • It can help to reduce stress, which can contribute to or exacerbate back pain.

All of these things together can help you to avoid some of the most common causes of back pain, including muscle strain, poor posture, and obesity.

If you’re already experiencing back pain, exercise can still help. While it may seem counterintuitive to move when your back is hurting, exercise is often one of the best things you can do for back pain relief.

When you’re in pain, your natural inclination may be to rest and avoid movement. But this can actually make your pain worse. Exercise helps to loosen tight muscles, increase blood flow, and reduce inflammation.

All of these things together can help to speed up your recovery and get you back to your normal activities as soon as possible.

Of course, it’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine, especially if you’re already in pain.

Lower Back Strengthening Exercises

Lower back pain is one of the most common types of back pain. Weak core muscles and poor posture when sitting at a desk or driving can put your lower spine under pressure and cause pain.

There are several exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles in your lower back and core. This will help to take the pressure off of your spine and reduce the risk of strain or injury.

Superman Pose

Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Raise your arms and legs a few inches off the ground and hold for three to five seconds.

Pelvic Tilts

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Flatten your back against the ground and hold for five seconds.

Bridge Pose

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Raise your hips off the ground until your thighs are in line with your torso. Hold for three to five seconds.

Squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides. Lower your hips and buttocks toward the ground as if you were going to sit in a chair. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground and hold for three to five seconds.

Stretches for Back Pain Relief

In addition to strengthening exercises, there are also several stretches you can do to relieve back pain. These stretches can help to loosen tight muscles and improve your range of motion.

Shoulder Shrugs

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Slowly raise your shoulders as high as you can before lowering them back down.

Neck Rolls

Sit up straight in a chair or stand with your shoulders relaxed. Slowly lower your chin to your chest and then roll your head until your ear is over your right shoulder. Pause for a couple of seconds before rolling back down and repeating in the opposite direction.

Overhead Arm Reach

Sit upright in a chair with your feet on the floor. Slowly reach your right arm above your head and reach to the left until you feel the stretch in your shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, lower, and repeat on your other side.

Cat-Cow Pose

Start on your hands and knees with your back in a neutral position. As you inhale, arch your back and look up to the ceiling. As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin towards your chest. Repeat this sequence a few times.

Knee to Chest Stretch

Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Place your hands around your right knee and pull it towards your chest. Hold for a few seconds before releasing and repeating on the other side.

Walking & Aerobic Exercise for Back Pain

In addition to specific back pain exercises and stretches, it’s also important to stay active in general. Walking is one of the best exercises for back pain relief. It’s low-impact and accessible to anyone, whatever your fitness level.

Walking is excellent for strengthening your back and leg muscles, improving your posture, and reducing stress.

Start with short walks around the block. You can gradually increase the distance and intensity of your walks as you start to feel better. Just be sure to listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.

Swimming is another great option for aerobic exercise because it’s low-impact and easy on the joints. Start with a few laps around the pool and build up from there.

Exercises to Avoid with Back Pain

While there are many exercises that can help relieve back pain, there are also several exercises that should be avoided. These exercises can put additional strain on the spine and make your pain worse.

  • Sit-ups and traditional crunches: These exercises can strain your back and neck.
  • Standing toe touches: This exercise can overextend the lower back, especially if you’re using a “bouncing” motion to touch your toes.
  • Leg lifts: Lifting both your legs straight up in the air can easily strain your lower back if your muscles are not strong enough to support the motion.
  • High-impact aerobics: Exercise like running and jumping can jar the spine and make the pain worse.

Tips for Staying Safe While Exercising

Exercise is a great way to relieve back pain, but it can also lead to further injury if you’re not careful. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe while you’re working out:

  • Warm-up before you start your workout or do stretches. This will help loosen your muscles and prepare them for activity. You can warm up with 5 minutes of gentle cardio exercise like a brisk walk.
  • Listen to your body. Don’t do anything that’s painful or makes your pain worse. If an exercise is too difficult, try an easier version or skip it altogether.
  • Exercise regularly to maintain muscle strength and flexibility. This will help reduce the risk of further injury and keep your back healthy in the long term.
  • Use proper form when exercising to avoid injuries. Make sure you’re using the right technique for each exercise. If you’re not sure, ask a certified trainer or your doctor for help.

If your pain isn’t improving or is severely affecting your life, consider seeing a pain specialist. These doctors can help to find the root cause of your back pain and work with you to develop a treatment plan.

The pain specialists at Carolinas Pain Center are experts in diagnosing and treating all types of back pain. We offer a wide range of treatments, from medication to physical therapy, alternative therapies, and surgery. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We can help you find relief so you can get back to living your life.

Common Causes of Knee Pain

  • knee pain

The knee is one of the most complex joints in your body. It’s made up of four bones, three joints, and relies on 12 different muscles to function. Unfortunately, the knee is also a common source of pain, typically among adults. The pain could result from aging, being overweight, or general wear and tear. When it comes to the latter, athletes and people with jobs that require lots of standing are especially vulnerable.

The five most common causes of knee pain include sprained or strained ligaments, cartilage tears, arthritis, tendon tears, and fractures. Whether your pain is the result of aging, an injury, or your athleticism, it must be addressed. That’s why this article will discuss various knee problems, their causes, how to prevent knee problems, and when to seek medical treatment. This information is especially relevant to those experiencing knee pain and those at risk, such as athletes and older adults.

 

Common Knee Problems

As stated above, the most common knee problems are related to an injury of some sort. This injury could be as minor as a sprain or as severe as a torn ACL or a fracture. Regardless, if you don’t receive treatment for your knee injury, your symptoms may gradually worsen, and the damage could become more challenging to treat.

Outside of ACL injuries and fractures, your knee problem could be the result of a torn meniscus, knee bursitis, patellar tendinitis, or a symptom of one of 100 or more different types of arthritis. 

The type of pain you’re experiencing can indicate the cause. For example, if you’re suffering from pain on the inner side of the knee, you’ve likely suffered a sports injury or fall of some sort. On the other hand, if your knee has just suddenly started hurting, general wear and tear from physical activity or an active job is the most probable cause.

You should note that knee pain in ladies versus men is typically the same. The only notable difference between men and women regarding knee issues is that women are more vulnerable to ACL injuries. This is because women’s knees are more likely to tilt inward, putting more stress on the ACL. That said, all athletes should take the time to learn about ACL injuries and how to identify them. 

 

Diagnosing Knee Problems

While you can get a general idea of what’s causing your pain via a knee pain symptom checker, a medical examination is required to diagnose a knee injury properly. A medical professional may use an X-ray, MRI, CT scan, or arthroscopy to determine the exact cause of your symptoms. They can then use this information to suggest an appropriate knee pain treatment suited to your needs.

 

When To Seek Medical Treatment for Knee Pain

knee pain doctor

Several symptoms indicate that you should seek professional medical treatment for your knee pain. For example, please get in touch with your doctor if you’re unable to fully extend or flex your knee, can’t bear weight on your knee, or feel as though your knee is going to give out. 

You should also see a professional if you experience marked knee swelling, see an obvious deformity in the area, have a fever in addition to knee pain, or have severe knee pain in connection with an injury. The duration of your knee pain is also relevant. For example, athletes should speak to a medical professional for knee pain lasting over 48 hours. Other adults should seek out professional advice if symptoms persist for three weeks.  

 

Treating Knee Pain

There is a lot of misinformation out there about how to treat knee pain, whether you’re looking for professional medical treatments or at-home remedies. By answering these frequently asked questions about treating knee pain, we will address some misinformation while offering practical tips along the way.

How can I get rid of knee pain?

Suppose you’re experiencing knee pain from a minor injury or an arthritis flare-up. In that case, you may be able to manage symptoms by resting your knee, applying ice to swollen areas, wearing a compression bandage, or keeping your knee elevated.

What should I eat for knee pain?

If you’re already experiencing knee problems, changing your diet won’t offer a cure or any immediate relief. However, eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, nutrients, and fiber may reduce pain and increase mobility in your joints over time. In addition, we recommend increasing your intake of foods like cold-water fish, colorful fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.

Which medicine is best for knee pain?

With some over-the-counter medications, such as Advil and Aleve, you can ease knee pain. You could also try applying a cream with a numbing agent, like lidocaine or capsaicin. 

Can drinking water help knee pain?

Drinking water will not cure knee pain or joint pain in general. That said, it can improve the health of your joints, so long as you’re drinking lots of water while pursuing other knee pain treatment options. 

Only a healthcare provider is qualified to suggest a treatment plan for your knee pain if medical intervention is necessary. There are many different ways of treating knee pain, including physical therapy, steroid injections, genicular nerve blocks, Traumeel/Zeel injections, prolotherapy, and more. Whether or not you need non-operative or surgical treatment will depend on the type and severity of your knee condition.

Preventing Knee Pain

knee pain prevention

 

There are several ways of preventing knee pain. They include maintaining a healthy weight and exercising to build your muscles to support your knees. In addition, if you play sports, you should ensure that you’re in shape and prepared to meet the physical demands of that sport. Finally, to avoid accidentally injuring yourself, you should know the proper techniques and movement patterns associated with that sport.

 

 

 

 

Address Your Knee Pain at Carolinas Pain Center

Has your knee pain reached the point that you need to contact a healthcare provider? If so, look no further than Carolinas Pain Center. Knee pain is one of the many conditions we diagnose and treat through individualized services. Our team can offer a wide range of treatments to safely and effectively address your knee pain with our multidisciplinary approach.

If you’d like to book an appointment or have any questions for our team, please feel free to call 704-500-2332, email info@carolinaspaincenter.com, or complete our contact form. You can also learn more about your treatment options from other helpful resources on our website.

Is Walking Good for Knee Pain?

  • knee pain

If you’re suffering from debilitating knee pain, moving — much less walking — could be the furthest thing on your mind. However, depending on the cause of your knee pain, a bit of exercise like walking could do you a world of good.

When the cause of your knee pain is an injury, like a sprained, dislocated, or fractured knee, applying RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) during the first 48 hours and getting adequate rest are crucial for recovery. But for those with chronic knee pain (as in the case of arthritis), walking may help alleviate the aches that bother you every day.

So, if you’re looking to integrate some light exercise like walking into your daily routine, you’re on the right track. In this post, we’ll talk about the effects of knee pain on daily life, the benefits of walking for knee pain, and tips to go about it in a safe and effective manner.

 

How Knee Pain Affects You

When chronic knee pain takes over your life, it can keep you from enjoying simple, everyday activities. Since knee pain limits your range of motion, standing up, kneeling, and simply getting around your home can be quite challenging. This is why gradually integrating a bit of movement in the affected area can work wonders — and one way to do this is by walking.

Granted, the beginning could make you feel a little bit stiff or sore — especially after a period of minimal movement or near-total inactivity — but walking can actually help with your knee pain. However, before embarking on any type of exercise or fitness routine, you need to ensure your physician has approved your decision to start walking.

 

Benefits of Walking for Knee Pain

So, is walking good for knee pain?

Our short answer is: Yes, walking can help ease chronic knee pain.

Walking is a simple yet effective low-impact activity for knee pain sufferers, including those diagnosed with knee arthritis. As a gentle form of exercise, walking does not put undue stress on the joints. Moreover, it can help increase the range of motion in the affected area and prevent it from becoming overly stiff.

knee pain

 

Other benefits of engaging in regular knee walking exercises include the following:

  • It helps lubricate and rebuild joints.
  • It improves blood circulation in the legs.
  • It strengthens the thigh and calf muscles.
  • It leads to healthy weight loss, which, in turn, reduces stress on the knees.
  • It helps improve balance and coordination.

 

 

How do I stop knee pain when walking?

Even if you’re excited to start walking again, one big concern here would be how to reduce knee pain while walking. Therefore, taking baby steps is key. So, take it easy in the beginning.

What exercise is good for knee pain?

Aside from walking, other low-impact exercises you should try include stretching, swimming, and water aerobics. These are all effective for relieving knee pain and work great to strengthen your leg muscles gently. As you gain leg strength, you can also start using an exercise bike or elliptical trainer to complement your other activities.

 

Tips for Walking to Relieve Knee Pain

Walking with knee pain — especially in the beginning — can be quite challenging and physically taxing. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from starting, as walking can be the solution you need to overcome chronic knee pain.

Before going “all-out” with your walking, work on minimizing knee pain first by doing the following:

  • Practice walking barefoot at home.
  • Maintain a good posture.
  • Wear flexible, comfortable, lightweight, but supportive footwear that easily bends in the forefoot area while practicing.
  • Warm-up first by gently massaging your knees and doing some simple stretching exercises.
  • Limit the duration of your walks in the beginning and do so on even or level terrain.
  • If you need to, use a cane or walking poles to reduce the stress of walking on your knees.
  • Gradually integrate lower body strengthening exercises as you build up strength and start walking more.

As you gain more confidence and strength in your legs and experience less knee pain, you can lengthen your walking time and start covering more challenging terrain.

Does knee pain go away?

Yes, knee pain can go away, but it depends on what’s causing it and what steps you’re taking to alleviate your condition. With regular exercise, you’ll be losing weight and developing stronger leg muscles — so walking can help provide relief from knee pain.

Pre-Walk

Pre-walk preparation is crucial to enjoy and benefit from your exercise. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Take everything you need to enjoy your walk, and this should include drinking water and light snacks.

You could also warm up your knees with a light massage or by using a hot pack. You could also do some light stretches to prepare your legs for the walk ahead.

How Much to Walk

walking for knee pain

 

When you’re just starting out with walking, do so at least three times a week. Depending on your condition or level of knee pain, you can start by walking three sets of 10-minute walks (with breaks in between) within a day. Then, gradually build this up to a single 30-minute walk per day.

You can increase the intensity, speed, and duration of your walk as you progress further. You can also start walking on more challenging terrain as the condition of your knees improves.

 

 

Is too much walking bad for the knees?

As they say, anything in excess is dangerous — and this applies to walking with knee pain, too. This is especially true if you’ve only just begun your walking routine. So, don’t sabotage your efforts by pushing yourself too hard prematurely. It’s best to comply with your doctor’s or therapist’s recommendations to get the best results.

Post-Walk

After your walk, cool down by walking at a slower, more relaxed pace for 5 to 10 minutes. You can also do some post-walking leg stretches to reduce post-exercise soreness. If you have knee arthritis, you can prevent inflammation by cooling your knees with ice packs for 20 minutes.

 

Overcome Knee Pain by Walking

Walking for knee pain is an effective way of strengthening your knees and legs and improving your quality of life. Safely begin walking by following the tips shared here.

If you suffer from chronic pain, you can access helpful resources on our website or get in touch with us directly at Carolinas Pain Center.

Tips for Dealing with Chronic Pain

  • chronic pain

Pain occurs when receptor nerve cells send messages to your brain that your body is hurting. The cause of pain is often obvious, such as a visible bruise or cut. This type of discomfort is called acute pain. Individuals can also suffer from chronic pain, which is ongoing discomfort that may not have a visible source. You may not know how to control pain of this variety. 

You can suffer from chronic pain due to disease, fatigue, internal injuries from an accident, or psychological issues.

Chronic pain is a significant problem because it can affect your mental and emotional well-being and harm your career and relationships. You may find it hard to be happy and enjoy life with chronic pain.

Furthermore, this pain can be debilitating, but it may not qualify as a disability according to insurance companies or employers.

Here is what you need to know about handling chronic pain and what your rights are if you suffer from debilitating discomfort.

What Is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is different from acute pain because of its duration. Pain becomes chronic when it continues beyond the expected recovery period.

Chronic pain can be constant, or it can come and go repeatedly. It is often difficult to treat, and physicians may focus on offering temporary symptom relief.

Migraines are one of the most common forms of chronic pain. These chronic headaches come and go, and physicians often have difficulty isolating their cause.

Conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia can also cause debilitating pain. Occasionally, the chronic discomfort is due to an underlying disease, such as cancer or diabetes.

Finally, muscle or tissue damage from accidents, burns, or other types of trauma can cause chronic pain.

Is Chronic Pain a Disability?

chronic pain disability

 

Chronic pain is a disability if it keeps you from doing the activities necessary for daily living, like walking, driving, and doing basic housework.

Unfortunately, chronic pain itself does not qualify you for disability help, such as Social Security benefits. You may be eligible based on the underlying cause of the pain. However, you have to provide documentation of treatments, diagnoses, prescriptions, and the persistence and intensity of the pain.

In most circumstances, you also need to show that the pain has kept you from working or performing daily tasks. The pain needs to last for a year or more before insurers and the Social Security Administration consider it a disability.

 

Pain Coping Strategies

Chronic pain can be stressful and lead to psychological issues and low quality of life. However, you can use proven pain coping strategies, along with treatment, to improve your functionality. 

Here are some ideas for how to control pain: 

chronic pain

  1. Get physically active.
  2. Attend counseling if you feel the pain is affecting your mental health.
  3. Work with a psychologist to learn how to deal with pain so that it does not harm your mental health.
  4. Try alternative treatments, such as acupuncture or massage, for untreatable conditions like arthritis or migraines.
  5. Find a support group for people with similar problems.
  6. Be mindful at home and work of activities that trigger your pain.
  7. Take pain relievers prescribed by your doctor.
  8. Get adequate rest each night and maintain a healthy diet.

 

 

You can also ask your doctor about possible diet changes or other lifestyle choices that can help in coping with chronic pain.

How to Get Help for Your Chronic Pain

The key to treating and coping with chronic pain is to find a physician who is willing to work on a personalized plan that fits your specific situation and needs.

Carolinas Pain Center can tailor chronic pain coping strategies and a treatment program to fit your individual needs. We offer an interdisciplinary approach that relies on medication — modern and traditional — so that you can deal with the pain and have the best chance of getting back to a normal life. Contact Carolinas Pain Center to find out more about our chronic pain services.

Hip Pain- Common causes, why and what to do 

  • Hip Pain Causes

Hip Pain- Common causes, why and what to do?

The hip joint is a very strong ball and socket type of joint. It is highly mobile and frictionless due to the cartilage and fluid present in the cavity of the joint. Although it is very tough and durable, it can also be damaged due to wear and tear over time. Moreover, hip pain can also be caused by an injury to the hip joint that may be an accident or trauma to the hips. 

Mellisa S. Discusses Knee Pain

Mellisa S. Discusses Knee Pain

Working at Carolinas Pain Center has been a learning experience for me. I have always had knee pain but working at CPC has shown me that this is not normal. There are different treatments for knee pain.

Pelvic Pain

  • Pelvic Pain
Pain in the lower abdomen and groin areas can be incapacitating. While this pain can often have a surgical solution, it is not uncommon for the pain to persist even after surgery. It can affect such simple tasks as walking or sitting, making exercise or recreation almost impossible. In some cases, even sexual activity may become affected. The goal of treatment for this kind of pain at Carolinas Pain Center is to determine the cause, whether due to injury, infection, inflammation or nerve trauma, and then to apply a specialized, multidisciplinary approach to pain management that will have you leading a normal life as quickly as possible.

Lower Extremity Pain

  • Lower Extremity Pain

Pain in legs, hips, knees, ankles, and feet can be life-disrupting. Simple daily tasks become excruciating, and exercise or recreation must take a backseat for awhile. Pain in the lower extremities can have causes ranging from wear-and-tear due to normal motion and function, to trauma or infection. This pain is manageable, and the Carolinas Pain Center can help you get it under control.