If you are currently suffering from back pain and looking for a natural way to find relief, you may be happy to learn that by breaking three common modern habits, you may be able to reduce much of your suffering. We’ll review these three back wrenching habits, and then we’ll take a look at a natural form of care that has been providing relief for many types of spinal pain ranging from neck and back pain to sciatica.
1st Habit to Break – Smoking
According to some researchers, tobacco addiction increases your risk of back pain by as much as 300%. What is the link between smoking and back pain? Smoking affects blood circulation and the soft tissue that supports your spine relies on adequate blood flow to keep the vertebrae healthy. It is no wonder then that one study revealed habitual smokers had significantly less disc material remaining between vertebrae in the neck when compared to the discs of those who have never smoked.
Smoking clearly has significant effects on the spine, so if you needed one more reason to quit in 2018, this is it. Smoking may be increasing your back pain and causing long-term damage that could lead to even worse spinal issues in the future.
2nd Habit to Break – Overuse of Mobile Devices
Technology has had one of the most significant effects on spine health in modern times. This is in part due to the fact that we check our mobile devices obsessively. If you find that you look down at your phone every few minutes, what effect is this having on your spine?
The average human head weighs 10-12 pounds, but when you tilt your head forward at even just a 15-degree angle, you are increasing the pressure on your spine to about 27 pounds. If you are looking down at a 60-degree angle (which is common when using a smartphone) that adds up to a whopping 60 pounds of pressure. By repeating this motion throughout the day, we are putting years’ worth of strain on our spine every year. It is no wonder some 30 and 40-year-olds walk around like 80 and 90-year-olds.
How can you kick the habit? Trying having technology-free time every day. Whether you choose meals or even just the first hour in the morning and the last hour at night, you’ll be doing your back a favor. And even when you are checking your phone, try to set specific times to look. For example, set 2-3 times per day when you check social media rather than doing so anytime you get the urge. If you need to be accessible throughout the day, limit the apps on your phone that can push notifications so you don’t have to constantly check and see what the latest ding or buzz was all about.
3rd Habit to Break – Sitting Too Much
Both for work and recreation, people have become far too sedentary for proper back health. Working in an office may seem safer on your back than a job doing manual labor, but it really isn’t. It may even be worse. Sitting all day in uncomfortable chairs, using improper posture, and looking at monitors that are positioned too low is a sure way to end up with a bad back. Plus, we often spend long hours in the car commuting back and forth to work. Then we get home and binge-watch our favorite shows. It’s a recipe for early-onset spinal arthritis.
How can you break the cycle? Try to stand up and stretch at least once every hour while at the office. Do what you can to limit commute times (i.e., move closer to work, carpool so you can use the HOV lane, or head into work early so you can leave early and miss rush hour both ways). Finally, make sure that at least 15-30 minutes a day of your recreation time is spent exercising. Focus particularly on strengthening your core because this will help you to maintain a healthier back.
A Natural Way to Find Back Pain Relief
Most people have to push through the pain for work and other responsibilities. So what do they do? Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers start to follow a person around. However, even these seemingly safe OTC drugs have side effects, especially when they are used too frequently or over a long period of time. Many patients begin to experience stomach problems or even headaches, two common side effects of medication overuse. We’d like to introduce you to a safer alternative to pain relievers – upper cervical chiropractic care.
What is upper cervical chiropractic? It is a subspecialty of chiropractic that focuses on the top bones of the spine. How can correcting a misalignment at the top of the neck help with back pain? Spinal health flows from the top down. This is because the C1 and C2 balance the head. If a misalignment occurs, the rest of the spine will shift to keep the head level. Where the greatest compensations take place is where the pain will occur. Often this is in the lower back.
Upper cervical chiropractic involves precise measurements taken using diagnostic imaging techniques in order to provide gentle adjustments that are tailored to each patient’s needs. If you are suffering from back pain, find a practitioner in your local area. A consultation will help you to learn if upper cervical chiropractic is the right option for you.