Back pain is not fun at all. It is the reason why 80% of adults deal with discomfort at one point or another. Most of the time, it happens when one of the delicate structures of the back encounters a problem—either the joints, muscles, bones, ligaments, or discs. In between our vertebrae are spinal discs that cushion the joints and serves as shock-absorbers when the spine moves. Having back pain can limit your movements and cause extreme inconvenience. Worse, it can get in the way of your productivity and living.
Truths About Back Pain
Before we discuss the steps you can do by yourself to ease your back pain, here are some critical facts on the effects of back pain to patients and the economy. Back pain is more common than we can imagine, and it leaves a huge impact on society.
- Back pain afflicts men and women equally.
- It is the number one cause of work-related disability.
- The intensity of backache can be anywhere between dull ache to crippling sharp pain.
- Low back pain is the sole primary reason for disability around the world.
- America spends at least $50 billion each year on back pain care and treatment.
- Back pain is the second top reason why people go to the doctor (next to upper respiratory infections)
- Injury or accident (such as from incorrect lifting of a heavy object) may instantly result in back pain. However, the problem may also only show up later when changes gradually happen in the spine.
Genetics and aging are two inevitable factors that play a role in the emergence of back pain. While it is true that no one cannot avoid the natural aging process or your genotype, it does not automatically mean you are destined to live with back pain. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you age well and protect your spine with the best possible outcome.
What Can You Do to Relieve Your Back Pain?
Excess weight due to obesity can add more stress to the components of the spine. It can hurt the joints of your ankles and knees just the same. Shedding some extra pounds can help decrease your risk of getting back pain and will do your health a favor.
If your job involves constant lifting, bending, or twisting, the chance of your back getting injured is very high. Be sure you’re lifting items properly by bending at the knees and hips (rather than bending at the waist). In addition, avoid twisting while your spine is under a heavy load, such as when you are holding or lifting a very heavy thing.
What can a lack of exercise do to your back? Being sedentary for a long time can result in two things: 1) you eventually developing a chronic back pain, or 2) your existing back pain getting worse than ever. Many jobs nowadays require employees to sit or stand for extended hours. If your work happens to be one, you are making a mistake by not incorporating exercise into your daily routine.
Furthermore, major daily activities such as watching TV, reading, playing video games, using smartphones, and even socializing are all generally done while sitting. Standing up from your chair and taking short breaks to stretch can help lower your risk of developing back pain.
If you have been sedentary for a long time, you can return to regular movements by working out gentle, low impact exercises. For example, pedaling a stationary bike, doing some housework, or walking your dog. However, you must begin slowly to avoid wearing out your back muscles and bones. If you are in the office, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Besides damaging your respiratory and cardiovascular systems, smoking can also hurt your back. Smoking contributes to early disc degeneration. It also compromises normal blood flow, which blocks oxygen and nutrients from reaching the tissues of the spine. As a result, the structures of the back may not function as they should.
Last but not least, (and the most important), always practice good posture. Bad posture, such as slouching over the keyboard or forwarding your head to stare down at your phone, is often the culprit for many back problems. Be mindful when you begin to slump and correct it right away to strengthen your back muscles and save yourself from pain down the road.
Back Pain Relief with the Help of a Professional
While you can do a lot on your own to ease your back pain, it would also help to consult with a professional to get to the underlying cause of the problem. Upper cervical chiropractors can help anyone with spinal issues restore their normal body function and quality of life.
Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on fixing misalignment of the top two bones in the spine—the atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae. You’re probably curious how resolving problems at the top of the neck can stop issues lower down in the spine. When the two vertebrae shift out of alignment, it causes compensations all over the rest of the spine. Because the head is not balanced over the spine, it can result in uneven shoulders and hips. This can lead to an abnormal pressure on one side and you carrying your weight disproportionately. This can ultimately bring on back pain.
Being under upper cervical chiropractic care has many benefits, but the best one for back pain sufferers is the fact that it is precise, gentle, and its results are often positive. Instead of chasing around symptoms or simply aiming for the painful spots in the spine, upper cervical chiropractic work on the root of the problem, offering a natural and lasting solution.