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Thread: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    Michaeleen Doucleff
    February 26, 2018

    To see if you're bending correctly, try a simple experiment.
    "Stand up and put your hands on your waist," says Jean Couch, who has been helping people get out of back pain for 25 years at her studio in Palo Alto, Calif.
    "Now imagine I've dropped a feather in front of your feet and asked to pick it up," Couch says. "Usually everybody immediately moves their heads and looks down."
    That little look down bends your spine and triggers your stomach to do a little crunch. "You've already started to bend incorrectly — at your waist," Couch says. "Almost everyone in the U.S. bends at the stomach."

    Read more: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...e-their-spines
    Last edited by Islander; 03-09-18 at 01:41 PM. Reason: added author

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    That's good advice, and it's included in my collection of exercises to relieve back pain. The problem is, bending like that does put a lot of stress on my knees.
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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    I think I need to practise in front of a mirror to get the hang of it! I'm not sure if I'm doing it right or not.

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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    ...The problem is, bending like that does put a lot of stress on my knees.
    I learned a long time ago that it's the proper and adequate bending of the knees when bending over (or reaching) that helps prevent the pulling of one's lower back muscle (lumbago). If I get careless, then I lay down flat on my back and raise one leg at a time towards my chin as if marching, repeating periodically as necessary, which helps to alleviate that lower back injury.

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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    That's fine when both of your knees are working. As we age, that's not always the case!

    I have a series of exercises to strengthen my back. 13 minutes every day.
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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    That's fine when both of your knees are working. As we age, that's not always the case! I have a series of exercises to strengthen my back. 13 minutes every day.
    I'm not (necessarily) suggesting deep knee bends, just SLIGHTLY bending one's knees when bending forward or over or reaching can help prevent lower back trouble.

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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    I bend my knees quite a bit when bending down. When recovering from a hip fracture recently, a physio showed me how to bend - not that I was allowed to do it much or often. It was like doing a gentle squat, with the knees open. I couldn't get the hang of it till she said "bend like you are about to sit down". This meant sticking my bum out as I bent over. It works for me!
    Last edited by Julieanne; 03-12-18 at 11:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    Quote Originally Posted by grulla View Post
    I'm not (necessarily) suggesting deep knee bends, just SLIGHTLY bending one's knees when bending forward or over or reaching can help prevent lower back trouble.
    Ha. When it's a piece of paper or a quarter on the floor, you have to bend deeply!
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    Bending the knees can be difficult for some, regardless of age. As a young man engaged in the martial arts, I always experienced problems with my knees. After taking a sports medicine course, I realized that the amount of synovial fluid surrounding the knee joint (the largest joint in the body) varies from person to person. If you have too little, bending of the knees causes friction and some pain. Conversely, if you have too much, it is likely your knees will swell easily after repeated bending. So, tight, painful knees may have less to do with the aging process and more to do with how much, or how little, synovial fluid you have surrounding your knees.

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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    So, can it be improved? Or is this something that's simply out of our control?
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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    Ha. When it's a piece of paper or a quarter on the floor, you have to bend deeply!
    Bending one's back properly and safely to prevent lower back injury is one matter, and being capable of bending over due to age related difficulties can be another matter. I have gotten to the point that I can get up off of the ground if I have something, like a table, to hold on to, but if I'm in an open area, getting up off the ground is becoming a daunting challenge It's a good thing I have lost close to 40 lbs. since I retired in 2010, or I don't know what I would have done to get up off the ground...probably have to call for a backhoe...lol.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    So, can it be improved? Or is this something that's simply out of our control?
    Great question: Answer: It can be improved. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a key ingredient in synovial fluid surrounding the knee joint. The more HA you have, the more synovial fluid. Some people are able to reduce knee pain and increase knee joint flexibility by increasing their intake of HA. It's found in varying amounts in green leafy veggies, root veggies, and some soy-based foods. In recent years, it has been found that "bone broth" contains large amounts of HA. I consumed HA supplements, but they didn't do much for my problem. So, it's not completely beyond our control. It just....depends!!

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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    I remember reading something about Hyaluronic acid a year or so ago. IIRC my doctor mentioned it in reference to joint issues. Of course I can't recall the details except to say that consuming it orally was the least effective method. After reading what I could find about it, I decided to pursue other areas because HA seemed to have the least promise.
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    Default Re: Lost art Of Bending Over - How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines

    As far as I know, from my experience in the past, Hyaluronic acid indeed is a thing, but a synthetic form of it can be injected into a joint when the natural supply is in short supply. In the US, the FDA in its wisdom has approved this one for the knee joint. On other joints it can be used, but no insurance will pay for it. Orally it is worthless.

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