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
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
February 27, 2012 02:59 PM
Sometimes, when it comes to our health, the numbers can be a wake-up call. In this article, you will find some back pain facts and statistics that might open your eyes to the importance of taking care of your back. Getting informed on the condition could be the first step toward preventing it. Here’s a quick look at back pain and why we should be concerned: http://www.chiropractors.org/resources/back-pain/back-pain-facts-and-statistics.htmPosted by: Dr. Greg Baldy
February 20, 2012 12:04 PM
If you were in a room with 100 people, and were asked to predict how many of these people would likely develop back pain significant enough to cause them to miss work at some point in their life, what would be your answer? If you said “80” you would be pretty darn close! Now the next question is, without speaking to any of them, how can you pick out the people who are most likely to develop this back pain? While no one can necessarily predict who amongst the more than 80% of Americans will develop back pain, we do have some very reliable indicators that we use as specialists of the spine to assess a person for potential back pain problems.
Let’s try this. Do you get your teeth checked at least once a year? Is this because you have a toothache, or your gums are bleeding? No, it’s because you have learned that you don’t want your teeth to fall out before you reach the ripe old age of 100, right?
Do you get your oil changed in your car at least twice a year or do we wait till the engine warning light comes on? No, of course not. Why do we take it in before the warning light comes on? So that your car will run more efficiently, will perform better, and will last a lot longer. Now, how about your eyes? Do you get your eyes checked once a year? Or do we wait till things get blurry, and we begin to go blind. Of course not, we get them checked to avoid those things, and to keep our eyes healthy for anything we need to correct to make them work more efficiently.
So why is it that so many Americans over look their spine? The truth of the matter is, most of us don’t know much about the spine and how important it really is. Your spine is what actually allows us to walk upright and erect. Our spines are essentially the foundation of our bodies. It also protects the whole nervous system, which controls everything in our body from our heart, to our lungs and breathing, to our muscles, and joints.
Picture the foundation for a house. Can a house stand tall without a good frame and wall structure? If there are cracks in the foundation, the house begins to deteriorate quickly and fall apart. When our spinal bones become dysfunctional, much like a house, we start to “fall apart”, or deteriorate prematurely. As a result, we start to develop headaches, back pains, and tend to suffer injuries more easily. We also develop premature degeneration or arthritis.
Sports injuries, auto accidents, genetics conditions such as scoliosis, and even giving birth to a child, can cause your spine to compensate for these injuries and develop back pain and spinal problems. Certain compensations our bodies start to develop over time are; rounded and uneven shoulders, unlevel hips, short leg syndrome, and Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD). These are just a few you can look for when evaluating yourself or a family member.
Rounded shoulders are extremely common for computer users. Picture yourself sitting in front of a computer right now and 2 hrs later you are still sitting there. Your shoulders automatically want to roll inward and your head gets too far forward. This puts strain on your upper back, and causes back pain. This poor posture leads to headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and even numbness or tingling in the arms and hands.
Uneven shoulders are also typically a sign of muscular imbalance or spinal dysfunction. Try this at home. Stand in front of a mirror; if one shoulder appears higher than the other, then most likely you have uneven shoulders and are experiencing a shoulder imbalance. This can lead to neck pain, arm pain, and even upper back pain and headaches.
Unlevel hips can throw the entire bodies mechanics off. If one hip is higher than the other, you start walking differently to compensate. Oftentimes, one of your legs will feel shorter than the other, and this can lead to leg pain, hip pain, back and neck pain. When one of your hips is higher than the other, your body will start compensating, therefore causing everything else in your body to function improperly. One way of seeing if you have uneven hips, other than having your Chiropractor perform an exam on you, is to look for abnormal shoe wear. Typically you will have a lot of wear and tear on the outside edges of the heel.
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is not a really “disease” but more of a degeneration condition of your spine. As we age, so does our spine. We start to lose the fluid that’s in-between our discs and when this happens; our discs become less flexible, and begin to deteriorate. Sometimes we even don’t feel pain, but typical early symptoms are popping or grinding of the joints, back pain or stiffness, and decreased flexibility. However your Chiropractor can see DDD on an X-ray, by looking at the disc spaces.
So don’t wait until it’s too late. If you are outside the Raleigh area, call your local Chiropractor today to get checked. Why Wait? We all know the risks of letting your car go past that 3,000 mile mark, or going 5 years without getting your teeth checked. Why wait until your body “fails to start” or “falls apart” before getting checked for spinal problems. If you begin to experience numbness, tingling, aches and pains in your spine or legs at any time, call your Chiropractor immediately. These are all warning signs, (your oil lights on!!) It’s your body’s way of telling you there is a potential problem. If you are in the Raleigh, NC area, we’d love to see what we can do to help you.
Please visit our website at http://www.chiropartners.com/dr-greg-baldy for more information. Feel free to call or email us w any further questions.Posted by: Dr. Greg Baldy
February 06, 2012 03:00 PM
A few interesting facts about back pain:
•One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
•Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
•Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
•Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
•Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.
For further information, continue reading at http://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=68Posted by: Dr. Greg Baldy