Back pain affects about 80% of people at some point in life. Whether you are dealing with chronic back pain or your pain just started, you are no doubt looking for answers. What has caused your back pain? Is there a natural way to get relief so you don’t feel compelled to reach for NSAIDs on a regular basis? We’re going to take a look at a few of the primary back pain causes and then a natural way to feel better.
#1 Poor Posture
When a person is experiencing back pain, the first thing he or she should do is take a look at posture. The spine is designed to distribute weight evenly. However, this only happens if the ears are directly above the shoulders, the shoulders are directly above the hips, and the hips are directly above the heels (when standing). Try checking your posture in a mirror to see how you are doing both when sitting and standing. Have a friend or family member help you since you will want to help your head straight and that can make it tough to look at yourself in a mirror from the side. While correcting your posture may not remove all of your pain, it can remove an underlying cause that is contributing to the pain.
#2 Lifting Improperly
If you are bending at the waist to lift rather than at the knees, this can be causing structural damage to the soft tissue that surrounds and supports the spine. These structural changes can lead to misalignments, disc herniation, or pressure on nerves such as the sciatic nerve. In the case of sciatic nerve irritation, back pain can be accompanied by a tingling or numbness that travels all the way down one of the legs depending on the location of the nerve compression. In severe cases, sciatica can even affect bladder and bowel function.
While not all cases of sciatica go back to lifting the wrong way, this is one of the potential underlying complications. Be sure to get help lifting when something is too heavy for you to carry alone, and always keep weight as close to your body as possible.
#3 Carrying a Heavy Bag on One Shoulder
One of the toughest things for your spine to deal with is an uneven distribution of weight. This is why posture is so important. But if you are carrying a heavy bag over just one shoulder, this can throw off the balance of the body and cause changes to soft tissue in order to support the spine in a stressed position.
If you carry a heavy briefcase or purse, be sure to keep it as high on the shoulder as possible to reduce strain. If you can carry something that evenly distributes the weight, such as a backpack, it can be a good change to make. Remember to use the backpack properly. Slinging it over one shoulder will make the backpack no better than a shoulder bag.
#4 Car Accidents and Other Trauma
Many ongoing back problems stem from car accidents and other forms of trauma. While you may not have suffered a direct injury to the back, head and neck injuries (like a concussion or whiplash) can lead to long-term effects on the spine. Misalignments in the top bones of the neck can cause changes that run all the way down the spine and lead to everything from neck and shoulder pain to mid back pain and sciatica.
If you have suffered a head or neck injury, it is important to have the upper neck checked by a specialist. Upper cervical chiropractors focus on the C1 and C2 vertebrae, located at the base of the skull, making this chiropractic subspecialty a perfect source of care following an injury.
When a person has an abnormal curve to his or her spine, this can lead to pain, postural issues, and problems with gait. Screening for scoliosis takes place in school because the earlier you learn of the issue, the easier it is to treat. Upper cervical chiropractic has been a viable alternative to surgery in some case studies. For example, one 15-year-old female was suffering from a 44-degree Cobb angle scoliosis. Just 5 months of upper cervical chiropractic reduced the number to 32 degrees and allowed her to avoid surgery. At 4 years of care, the angle was further reduced to 25 degrees, and the case study was concluded.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Back Pain
If you are presently dealing with back pain, upper cervical chiropractic may hold the natural solution you have been searching for. When the top bones in the neck are out of alignment, they have a trickledown effect on the rest of the spine. The location where the greatest changes take place is where the pain usually occurs. That means a misalignment at the base of your skull could be at the heart of even a lower back problem like sciatica.
To learn more, contact an upper cervical practitioner in your area today. The search feature on this website can help you to locate one of our preferred doctors. A no-obligation consultation may be your first step on the path to better overall spine health and could even help you to get rid of back pain. So don’t delay – lasting and natural relief from back pain may be closer than you think.