Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world, and long-term back issues can lead to disability. What are some of the most common causes of back pain and how can you find relief? Consider the following list of the top seven causes of middle and upper back pain.
#1 Improper Posture
This is often the biggest culprit when it comes to back pain. Poor posture is rampant in the business world where people sit all day long using mobile devices, looking at monitors that are below eye level, and hold phones between their shoulder and ear. We also spend long hours commuting and often engage in poor posture during the drive as well. All of this can lead to misalignments and pain once the back locks in a stressed position.
#2 Lifting with the Back
You’ve probably heard the saying “lift with your knees not with your back” over and over throughout your life. It is a good adage. Unfortunately, most people have a tendency to ignore it. Lifting the wrong way accounts for a lot of issues with back pain by causing both misalignments and injuries.
#3 Carrying a Heavy Purse or Bag
One of the big mistakes we make when carrying a bag all day long is keeping it slung over one shoulder. This uneven distribution of weight leads to poor posture, spinal misalignments, and back pain. Try to use a bag that allows for even weight distribution or avoid packing the bag with too much weight if you have to carry it on one side.
This is important for kids too. Backpacks can get really heavy. Get children backpacks that evenly distribute the weight and encourage them to wear the bag properly rather than hefting it over one shoulder.
#4 Accidents or Injuries
This is a major cause of long-term back problems. The fact is that the accident or injury itself doesn’t have to be that serious to cause long-term injury. Any time you experience trauma that affects your head or neck, you should have the top bones in the spine checked by an upper cervical chiropractor to ensure proper alignment. A misalignment in one of these two bones can create changes throughout the spine and lead to long-term back pain among other symptoms.
Osteoporosis is a condition of the bones that leads to them becoming weaker. The part of the spine that is affected the most is where pain will present. However, the changes often begin to take place higher on the spine and work their way down. When osteoporosis becomes advanced, it can lead to fractures in the vertebrae. This can increase poor posture and pain and lead to even faster degeneration, so it is important to stay ahead of degenerative spinal conditions.
If you have ever seen what the spine is supposed to look like from the side, you have probably noted the S curve. Between the shoulders, the spine curves out a little. However, if the spine curves out too far, the condition is called kyphosis. This can relate to problems in the upper spine such as upper cervical misalignments or degenerative conditions like osteoporosis. Kyphosis gives a person a “hunchback” look, and it can cause pain, stiffness, and even affect how a person walks.
This is another abnormal curvature of the spine that can lead to long-term problems with posture, gait, and pain. The good news is that the earlier you catch scoliosis the more options there are for getting help. That is why children are often screened for it in school.
According to one case study involving a 15-year-old girl, upper cervical chiropractic care was able to reduce a 44-degree Cobb angle scoliosis (which normally requires surgery) to a 32-degree angle in just 5 months. After 4 years, the degree was further reduced to 25 and surgery was no longer recommended for the patient who was a young woman at that point.
Hope for Those Suffering from Back Pain
If you are among the millions who suffer from back pain, then you will be happy to know that upper cervical chiropractic care can help more than just those with scoliosis. This specialty in the chiropractic field focuses on the adjustment of the C1 and C2, the top two bones in the spine that are located at the base of the skull. Misalignments in this area can have far-reaching effects on the body and can particularly affect the rest of the spine since the bones and soft tissue have a built-in tendency to shift to keep the head level.
Upper cervical chiropractors take precise measurements of the C1 and C2 using modern diagnostic imaging techniques. This allows us to provide gentle adjustments that are tailored to each patient’s needs. If you have experienced general chiropractic, but not upper cervical, you are in for a surprise. Our adjustments are low-force and require little to no pressure. Some practitioners even use an adjusting instrument instead of their hands.
The results, however, speak for themselves. And unlike painkillers which come along with side effects and provide little long-term benefit, upper cervical chiropractic care is safe and effective on a long-term basis because it gets to the root of many back problems. To learn more, contact a practitioner in your local area to schedule a no-obligation consultation.