10 General Tips for a Healthy Back

Low back pain is one of the most common condition in society today. Low  back pain accounts for more than 7,000,000 new cases and 250,000 surgeries each year. In fact, nearly all of us will experience some degree of back pain at least once in our lifetime. There are many causes of lower back pain but the most common cause is mechanical stress. Mechanical stress can be considered the action of movement under the presence of weight. For instance, when you bend forward with the knees straight, pick up an object, and twist while lifting that object, you apply a great deal of mechanical stress to the lower back. This is especially true if you lift the object with your arms away from your body.

The lower back is especially susceptible to this malady. This is because the lower back receives more weight and has less support from the mid-back region, due to the lack of ribs. To make matters worse, the lowest part of the lower back usually houses the largest nerve with the smallest space for that nerve to exit the spine. This nerve, is called the L5/S1 or Sciatic Nerve. It can be the source of lower back and/or leg pain (commonly called sciatica) when the lower back is out of alignment, becomes diseased, or the muscles and tissues surrounding the spine become inflamed.

Back pain can range from mild stiffness to the inability to move, bend, or walk, without great difficulty. Back pain can be constant or may be intermittent (come and go.), there may also be numbness or tingling, a sensation of heat, or weakness in one or both legs due to irritation of the sciatic nerve by something like a disc that is bulging to the side.  Whatever the symptoms, back pain is the sign that something is wrong and if mild symptoms persist or worsen over two or three days, you should seek professional help. If your pain happened due to an injury, you should seek attention as soon as possible. Treatment outcome is often greatly improved by treating pain from an injury as soon as possible.

A Doctor of Chiropractic is trained and licensed in the diagnosis the mechanical types of back pain, which usually presents as when the bones of the spine, called vertebrae, are out of alignment.. Through careful history, examination, and the aid of x-rays, or in rare cases, if needed, computer tomography, or MRI. A Doctor of Chiropractic can often determine the cause of your back pain and recommend a treatment program.

Chiropractors commonly adjust (manipulate) misaligned vertebra (the bones of the spine) to relieve back pain. When the alignment of the vertebrae is improved, the stress on the soft tissue and nerves in the surrounding area is relieved, which allows the natural healing process of the body to overtake the adverse effects of the misalignment. Continued treatment, good posture, proper rest, and exercise will help the healing process continue.

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