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Nabo News: new insights into chronic back pain

Can vertebrae-friendly strength training help with spinal pain?

When Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or Thomas Müller race across the soccer field to capture the balls, they place a heavy strain on their backs. Soccer is not only one of the most injury-prone types of sport, but also one which places a lot of strain on the spine. Overstretching the lumbar and cervical spine, sudden stops, and dynamic rotational movements place a disproportional strain on the body.

For this reason, vertebrae-friendly strength training is always on the training agenda for professional footballers, so that they can strengthen their abdominal and back muscles, in particular. Backstroke swimming is a measure that is also frequently used to prevent back and spinal disorders. Despite all these precautions, many soccer players at both a professional and amateur level suffer from back pain.

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Couldn’t go to the soccer World Cup because of back pain

At just 31 years old, the soccer player Franck Ribéry missed out on the soccer World Cup in Brazil because of back pain. His ‘Equipe Tricolore’, the French national team, had to travel to South America without him in 2014. Increasingly younger People are also complaining of back pain, regardless of whether they practice physically demanding sports. These include children and adolescents as well as adults aged 20 to 30 years old.

Scientists attribute this to several factors, as Farid Zitoun, himself an active athlete and naturopath from Bottrop, knows: "Postural damage due to sitting around for too long or misalignments due to incorrect motor movements over a long period of time can be possible causes. The correct way of sitting, standing, lying, lifting, carrying or stooping needs to be learned."

nabomed health knowledge: the correct way of sitting needs to be learned

Scientists could help patients

One recent study found that even chronic back pain can be alleviated if patients have the right knowledge. Instead of the usual physiotherapy, the subjects of the study received intensive training on the causes of pain, the chronification, and typical consequences such as hypervigilance (the patient pays more and more attention to his pain), catastrophizing (the patient continually puts his ongoing pain at the center of his life) and kinesiophobia (the Person unconsciously develops a fear of the pain and applies avoidance strategies).

Over several months, the subjects also had to undergo cognitive training, with which they had to gradually discard their pain avoidance behavior and improve their mobility. The pain was not completely eliminated after one year, but the functional limitations were alleviated.

Cognitive training can also improve the mobility of the back

Christian Rüger, complementary-medicine practitioner from Bottrop’s naturopathic practice, adds that: "Knowledge helps. This is especially true in the case of chronic pain - both for the patients and for the physicians. It is therefore all the more important that both sides spend a lot of time together to explore possible causes and to discuss the treatment."

 Back Pain Center in Essen is looking for study participants

Chronic pain can have different causes. However, it is frequently the case that no reason can be found for the pain suffered by those affected. Scientists are therefore constantly working to better understand the causes of pain in the Human body. Thus, the researchers at the Back Pain Center of the Department of Neurology in Essen are always on the lookout for volunteers who can make themselves available for their studies.

Psychological factors may also play a role in chronic pain

The aim of the investigations is to gain a better understanding of the brain processes underlying the individual pain experience, and thus to be able to improve the long-term treatment strategies for acute and chronic pain. The significance of psychological factors on the perception of pain is also important here, i.e. the question of how thinking, feeling and acting influence the experience of pain and pain processing in the brain.

 Get informed and register now

Those who would like to support science and participate in such a study, can find further information at Subjects who are of full age and have been suffering from chronic back pain in the lumbar region for at least three months are sought here. Healthy People can also sign up for the control group.

Naturopaths and vloggers, Zitoun & Rüger on the subject of back health

Stay or get healthy

There are helpful tips and advice on dealing with back pain from the two vloggers from the Ruhr area, Zitoun and Rüger in the latest #nabomade health video on Vimeo: and in the current Naturheilzentrum blog on the topic "Actively fight against back pain with tips and tricks!"


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*important note: till now, the statements met here concerning the effect and the interdependencies of the therapies and means are not accepted generally among scientific experts,particularly the orthodox medicine.


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