Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

March 15, 2013 at 11:27pm

South Sound Sidekick: How to take care of your back and rectum

DR. SOREM: He practices the plank position whenever he can.

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South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. It posts every Friday. Today, Chiropractic physician Monti Sorem, DC, CSCS, EMT-IV, NSCA - who works at Elite Sports and Spine in Bellevue - has back care advice.

Monti Sorem writes,

Whether you are an office worker for the state, the local bartender at your favorite downtown watering hole, a weekend warrior, or over-the-hill class champion, you will experience back pain at some time. 

Depending on activities of daily living, fitness levels and anatomical structure put more at risk than others. Having back pain occasionally is normal, but when it becomes chronic and affects your everyday life, work or sport, than it is an issue. When there is transient pain after activity, it is a signal that your muscles and joints are giving in. If you are in pain, stop doing what you did or train your body to handle what you put it through. 

What you DO NOT want to do is try to cover up chronic pain, ignoring it, then go to lift the case of beer that just got delivered to the back door and prolapsing your rectum. OK, so that is an extreme case but it could happen. Some more common injuries are to the ligaments to the spine, muscles of the spine and the intervertebral discs - the cushion between the spine bones.  Believe you me; you don't want a disc injury. In my professional life these are difficult cases and everyone has a very individual experience with pain and disability. Once that disc is injured, you will have continued problems in the future and realistically your spine is a ticking bomb. 

So here it my short version of advice to take care of your back and rectum for that matter:

  • First thing upon waking, before getting up to relieve yourself, do the cat camel exercise shown in the video below.
  • Think about your movements. That is, be deliberate with them as opposed to mindless movement, especially with moving objects such as picking up the garbage bag or picking up kids.
  • Yes, the old saying "bend with your knees" is still kind of relevant, but really keep your back straight and hinge at the hips (helps to stick your butt backward).  I call this giving yourself a J-Lo booty.
  • Do a few movements to work on core strength when the commercials come on of your favorite TV show.
  • Watch my favorite low back expert Dr. Stuart McGill and this web video.  Yes he does have a mustache that reminds you of a 70s adult film star, but info is great.

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