Book Review: Secrets to Preventing Back and Neck Pain
Since you are on SpineUniverse, I don't have to tell you how prevalent back pain is. (80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives.) Our site is dedicated to helping people understand their back pain and find relief from it.
To that end, I recently read a book by Dr. Josh Zumstein, a chiropractor with a master's degree in sports and rehab science. He is the founder of The Back Safety and Wellness Consultants. Secrets to Preventing Back and Neck Pain: 60 Ways to Protect Your Spine gives you 60 (yes, 60) practical tips to avoid back pain in the first place, or as in my case, prevent further damage.
He breaks the book into 3 sections: lifestyle, tasks, and exercises.
In the lifestyle section, he provides practical advice for everyday activities like how to stand properly in a line at a store or proper sitting technique for your office. He also discusses how to use a phone headset and even how to get in and out of a car successfully. You will be surprised how many little things you are doing to hurt your spine.
Section 2 looks at individual activities like bending over to grab something, picking up your child or grocery bags, and mowing the lawn. What I like about his approach is that even though the advice generally falls into the same category—maintain posture, bend at the knees and avoid twisting, to name a few—he applies these general techniuques to specific situations. He even looks at our children's spine health by teaching you how to properly use a back pack and how heavy it should be (less than 10% of your body weight).
The final section provide a series of exercises for strengthening your spine. He starts this chapter with a disclaimer about not using these stretches unless you have a healthy spine, which to me is a bit of a misnomer as several of these exercises are helping me and I have back pain.
Certainly if you have back pain, talk to your doctor about any exercises or stretches you are doing, but I found some of these stretches, such as planks, spine healthy sit-ups, and bridges to be very useful.
I enjoyed Dr. Zumstein's book. It was a quick read with practical advice for all of us, whether suffering from back pain or not. It's a great primer for getting on the path to a healthy spine.
You can follow Dr. Zumstein on Twitter: @TheBSWC.