has written more than twenty computer
software manuals, numerous newspaper
articles, including a
monthly health column
for The Sarasota
She's the author of two books
Living With Big Cats:
The Story of
Jungle Larry, Safari
For ordering information, click here.
To read more about these books,
participate in an ongoing
joke contest, surf on over to
The author currently lives on Florida's Space Coast.
Shara signed with a New York Literary agency in December.
"Back" to Health
How to Avoid Spraining Your Back
- (Part 2 of 5)
Like cardiovascular problems,
which develop slowly over time, so do
spinal pain and problems. As you sit in front of your computer, faulty
body mechanics occur. We are far more likely to ignore back pain and
"carry on" than we are, for instance, if we have a sprained ankle. When
you do develop spinal pain, it is the body's way of saying: "I am unable
to cope any longer."
Dr. Don Fitz-Ritson, Clinical Director at the Posture Research
Institute, has been treating backs and necks for 19 years. He has found
over 80% of people with back conditions would improve if the back
muscles were exposed to a variety of activity and movement.
Common Ligament Stretching Situations
Dr. Don explains the following five situations that contribute to a
The one-leg stance. We often place all our weight on one leg when we
have to stand up for long periods. Usually, we do this on the same leg,
out of habit. Two-thirds of our body weight then stretches the ligaments
on one side of the pelvis, causing spinal distortion and postural
misalignment. Eventually these ligaments may become as severely
distorted as from a serious, sudden injury to the back.
Extended periods of standing. Most people find it tiring to remain
standing for any length of time. Waiting in lines, shopping, a cocktail
party or many work-situations can require standing in place. When this
happens, the muscles that hold us erect soon tire and we slump into poor
posture. Now our entire weight is pulling against ligaments, especially
those in the pelvis and lower back. The years take their toll on these
ligaments. They become stretched and weakened so that they cannot
properly control our joints with the tight support our bodies require.
It can become uncomfortable, even painful, from the strain of standing
Work Strain. Many occupations or work situations require lifting,
bending or twisting, keeping the back under constant or repeated strain.
Anyone from a farmer to a ballet dancer can develop over-stretched
ligaments from these occupational hazards. When over-stretched ligaments
no longer hold the back joints in proper position, a serious back-sprain
condition results. Again we have spinal curvature, poor posture, and
The Games We Play. Because our backs are vulnerable to strain, good
healthy exercise that is keeping us fit and trim can be damaging to back
joints. Just think of the exaggerated moves required in racquet sports,
bowling, golf, football, skiing and other activities. We like to know
that we are strengthening our muscles and making our bodies strong. But
there is no way to make ligaments stronger. They can only stretch and
weaken if we don't protect them when engaging in sports.
Obesity. Every extra pound we carry puts added strain on our backs.
This is especially true of the large stomach. This weight tips the
pelvis forward and strains the back by forcing the lower vertebrae into
an unnatural position.
To protect your back, try to be conscious of these potential habits, and
Dr. Don sells the BackMagic Belt. You may read research about the
product at http://www.backmagic.com
Medical and chiropractic treatments
Do you ever suffer from back pain? If so, I'd like to hear about your experiences, treatments and tips. E-mail me at email@example.com
Back to the top / The New Sideroad / Go to the latest column
Issue # 15
Tuesday, Feb. 10, 1998
"Back" to Health
Part 1 of 5- Looking After Your Back
Humour and Health
Part 1 of 5
- "Think You're Funny?" (A look at laughter.)
Part 2 of 5
- What the Experts Say. . .
Part 3 of 5
- A Matter of Perspective
Part 4 of 5
- Humour as a Coping Mechanism
Part 5 of 5
- Wooten on Humour and Coping
Overcoming Sleep Disorders
Part 1 of 4
- how your mattress can make all the difference.
Part 2 of 4
- strategies to help you sleep.
Part 3 of 4
- more strategies to help you sleep.
Part 4 of 4
- what is a sleep log and how does it work?
Stats indicate that for those over the age of 50, one of every two women
and one in eight men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture. Our
sedentary lifestyle puts us at risk for this disease. Yet osteoporosis
is not inevitable. Here's some information on
this disease and how we can prevent it.
Part 1 of 4 -
- details the likelihood of developing this disease, and its dangers and consequences.
Part 2 of 4 -
- presents the risk factors of osteoporosis and some of our
misconceptions about the disease.
Part 3 of 4 -
- insights into diagnosis, and basic management techniques.
Part 4 of 4 -
- new medical treatments to stop osteoporosis, and safety in the home of osteoporosis sufferers.