April 08, 2013 11:30 PM
Although chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from back pain.
Some interesting facts about back pain:
- Half of all working Americans experience it each year.
- It is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is second only to upper-respiratory infections as the most common reason for doctor’s visits.
- Most cases are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer, but are purely mechanical.
- As much as 80% of the population is estimated to experience a back problem during their lifetime.
What Causes Back Pain?
There is not one simple answer since the back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. It can be a simple, everyday movement or a sports related injury. There are a variety of things that can lead to back pain such as spraining ligaments, straining muscles, rupturing disks, and irritating joints. In addition,arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. A person may also experience back pain from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.
Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems
Manipulation, though largely ignored by most providers in the health care community, has been used by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for a century. With healthcare’s growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, manipulation is receiving more attention.
Pain treatment by chiropractic spinal manipulation is safe and effective. Chiropractic manipulation reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest. In fact, after an extensive study conducted by a federal government research organization called the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, it was recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And, it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.
Tips for Preventing Back Pain
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
- Remain active—under the supervision of your chiropractor.
- Warm up or stretch before exercising or any physical activities, even yard work.
- Maintain proper posture. To ensure this in your work space, work with your chiropractor to create an ergonomically correct computer workstation.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
- Sleep on a medium firm mattress to minimize any curve in your spine.
- Lift with your knees, remembering to keep the object close to your body and not twist when lifting.
- Quit smoking. Among the many disadvantages of smoking, be aware that it impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
For more information about this article, please visit The American Chiropractic Association at http://www.acatoday.orgPosted by: Dr. Betsy Case-Luca
March 07, 2013 04:31 PM
Inflammation (swelling, redness, pain) of any part of your body is your immune system’s response to an infection, injury or irritation. Now we’re learning that foods we eat can contribute to a similar inflammatory response!
While we usually think of inflammation as something outside the body, inflammation inside the body can cause strokes, heart disease and a variety of other ailments. Nicholas Perricone, MD, author of a number of anti-aging books, proposes that inflammation may well be the force behind premature aging. He and other researchers believe that widespread inflammation is largely the result of our diet and may be the main factor in the rise of a number of degenerative diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s.
If your diet consists mostly of foods cooked at high temperatures (most “fast food” falls into this category) and foods that are high in sugar and hydrogenated or refined oils (potato chips, margarine and baked goods), you are more likely to be experiencing inflammation.
What types of foods should you eat to combat inflammation? Dr. Perricone and others recommend:
- Fruits, such as apples, berries, fresh pineapple, lemons, limes
- Vegetables, such as onions, tomatoes, greens (spinach, broccoli, kale), bell peppers, garlic
- Spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, basil, mint, parsley, rosemary
- Nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds
- Fish, such as halibut, salmon, sardines, oysters
- Olive oil
- Beverages, such as green tea, black tea, red wine and lots of water!
- Dark chocolate
Fortunately, we can control inflammation in our body by watching the foods we eat. Try to introduce at least one anti-inflammatory food into every meal. Many quickly notice relief from some of the painful symptoms that have been bothering them. Plus, as an added bonus, they’re better able to maintain a healthier weight!
Source: Inflammatory Foods
For more information about diet and inflammation, see:Posted by: Dr. Ira Rubin
February 08, 2013 02:28 PM
DIET VS. EXERCISE…There is no contest, diet wins. You all know how much importance I place on regular exercise, BUT whether you are trying to improve body composition, or decrease your risk of certain diseases, diet is more valuable than exercise. I recently heard a saying about how some people exercise to lose weight but still have a lousy diet. The saying was "you can't out exercise a bad diet" and I agree. As you also may know, I favor a diet heavy in vegetables, animal protein and fruit with very limited grains & dairy and extremely limited sugar, processed foods and trans fats. Sprouts, especially those from cruciferous vegetables are PACKED with nutritional value. Here is a link to learn more about sprouts and nutrition -http://nutritionfacts.org/
Clearly, if you want to be as healthy as possible, you will eat a healthy diet AND exercise. And don't forget to get chiropractic adjustments on a wellness care basis.Posted by: Dr. Michael Krasnov
January 23, 2013 11:49 AM
Winter weather has finally arrived. Not only do the colder temperatures affect our hydration levels and muscle tone, but also increase the chance of a fall on ice or slip in slush.
Falling on ice, in particular, can be dangerous because of significant shock to your spine which can move vertebrae out of place. You may not even feel the impact immediately. Don’t ignore the warning signs! If you have a fall and things just “don’t feel quite right” call for an appointment with your chiropractor earlier rather than later. If you wait too long, your back might seize up during a routine task like bending over to pick something up. Then your injury becomes much more acute, and can take longer to correct. The earlier you recognize and get treatment, the less the damage and the quicker you will feel relief.
Sometimes injury occurs when you don’t actually fall, but just come close. You slip and grab onto something quickly to prevent a fall. This causes your muscles to tense up, and potentially pull. Injury can result. If this happens, it is definitely time to call your chiropractor.Posted by: Dr. Brook Wallace
January 16, 2013 09:51 AM
Make a resolution to have a pain-free year. By keeping a few tips in mind, you can maintain healthy joints and prevent injuries.
1. Keep moving! Be sure to move your joints through their full range of motion (with stretching and exercise) for several important reasons. By keeping active and utilizing the full range of motion of your joints, you increase the blood flow to those areas. If a joint sits idle for extended periods of time, it can reduce its function, sometimes significantly.
2. Eat well! You’ve heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” If you are consuming a healthy diet and proper nutrition plus avoiding tobacco, your joints will be able to absorb the nutrients they need for long-term stability and also resistance to wear and tear.
3. LML-largest muscles lift! Be certain to use the largest muscle or muscles in the area when lifting heavy objects. For example, bend your knees and allow your thigh muscles (quadriceps) to bear the brunt of lifting something off the ground.
4. Mobility is key! When you sit in a particular position for too long, your muscles will get tired and your joints are more likely to sustain an injury. If your job has you working at a desk most or all of the day, get up from your chair every two hours for a walk, drink of water, restroom break…whatever gets you mobile. Also, consider adding the proper support to your desk chair (lumbar support, seat cushion, etc.)
5. Avoid stress injuries! Even though you should rotate your joints fully during exercise and stretching, it is best to maintain their natural posture or halfway to the joint’s range of motion when performing routine tasks. Keep in mind that repetitive stress injuries happen when joints are held in extreme ranges of motion for prolonged periods.Posted by: Dr. Nick Ferez