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Greetings to all on this beautiful June day!
My story this month is regarding a patient experiencing severe back and leg pain, with tingling in both legs, for three years. He was frustrated and angry and didn't want to come to physical therapy. He had been seeing a number of physicians and a chiropractor without any sustainable relief for three long years. He could no longer take the pain and wanted surgery.  After he shared his frustration and story, I informed him that I would do my evaluation, and if I thought I would not be able to help him, I'd call his physician and advocate for him to get the surgery he most desperately wanted.
As I began my examination, he informed me that he had been working out with his personal trainer. He told me he had done everything possible to help heal his condition. I asked him to show me one repetition of each of his exercises. As I watched, I saw how his exercises were making his condition worse. As I took him through my examination, I noticed I could reduce his leg pain and tingling. This was a surprise! How could I find positions to help someone who had suffered with pain for 3 years and was wanting back surgery?
I was able to show him what he was doing to aggravate his pain. We discussed his job and what he was doing to make his back and leg pain worse. Following the examination and treatment, his leg pain had lessened. He actually changed his mind about surgery. He now understood what was going on with his disc and nerve impingement and was ready to give therapy a shot.
Well, much to his surprise, with proper understanding on how he could help himself and our treatment he is now working out without any leg or back pain. He is shocked at how good he feels and how he can now control his back pain. He is on a proper exercise program and understands how he contributed to his problem, by performing exercises which were making his disc and back worse.
We see patients with back problems every day. We enjoy educating each patient on ways they can control and rid themselves of back pain. We realize the complexities of back pain, but are not overwhelmed with them. We have been in this community for 29 years helping thousands and have had so much success that we are confident in our examinations and treatments.
If you have back pain that is frustrating and painful, please call and have us examine you. You may be able to reduce and control this pain more easily than you may realize!        

Health Information
7 Tips to Avoid Aches and Pains While Gardening

Common gardening activities, such as digging, planting, weeding, mulching, and raking can cause stress and strain on muscles and joints.
The following tips can help minimize aches and pains:

1. Get moving before you garden.

A 10 minute brisk walk and stretches for the spine and limbs are good ways to warm up.

2. Change positions frequently to avoid stiffness or cramping.

Be aware of how your body feels as you work in your garden. If a part of your body starts to ache, take a break, stretch that body part in the opposite direction it was in, or switch to a different gardening activity. For example, if you've been leaning forward for more than a few minutes, and your back starts to ache, slowly stand up, and gently lean backwards a few times.

3. Use a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move heavy planting materials or tools.

Lift with your knees and use good posture while moving a cart or wheelbarrow.

4. Give your knees a break.

Use knee pads or a gardening pad. If kneeling or leaning down to the ground causes significant pain in your back or knees, consider using elevated planters to do your gardening. If kneeling on both knees causes discomfort in your back, try kneeling on one and keep the other foot on the ground.

5. Maintain good posture.

Use good body mechanics when you pick something up or pull on something, such as a weed. Bend your knees, tighten your abdominals, and keep your back straight as you lift or pull things. Avoid twisting your spine or knees when moving things to the side; instead, move your feet or pivot on your toes to turn your full body as one unit.

6. Take breaks.

If you haven't done gardening or other yard work in a while, plan to work in short stints, building in time for breaks before you start feeling aches and pains.

7. Keep moving after you garden.

End your gardening session with some gentle backward bending of your low back, a short walk and light stretching, similar to stretches done before starting.

Author: Andrea Avruskin PT, DPT

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