Are You Experiencing Back Pain?
When asked what a chiropractor does, most people immediately think of someone who helps with back pain. While a chiropractor works on every part of the skeletal-muscular and nervous systems, back pain is a common reason people seek chiropractic help.
It’s easy to forget how important your back is until it’s hurt. Your back is the primary support for your entire body. It is your spine that keeps you upright and allows you to bend and turn. Your legs and feet move your body around, but your back literally carries you.
Back Injuries and Chronic Back Aches
With your back so involved in so many daily movements and activities, it can be affected by many types of injuries – even by injuries to other parts of your body. Being knocked in the arm or leg can also affect your back. Tripping and falling on the sidewalk can hurt your back, as can being knocked in the head. Back injuries can lead to spinal misalignment, torn muscles, disc herniation, and pinched nerves.
Even without an acute injury, many people experience chronic back aches. Chronic back pain can be caused by stress, poor posture, obesity, aging, repetitive motions, and constant strain. Problems in other areas of the body, such as the hips, neck, or legs, can also put stress on the back and cause pain.
Back pain can occur from lifting an object that is too heavy or from improper posture when lifting. Constant sitting, with no breaks, or sitting with bad posture or on an unsupportive chair can cause back pain. Even twisting in just the wrong way can cause pain in the back.
Lower and Upper Back Pain
One of the most common forms of back pain is in the lower back. The lower back takes a lot of stress and strain and is affected by improper movements and lifting. The problem may be centered in the spine, or caused by muscle tension. Lower back pain might also result from hips out of line or from an inflamed sciatic nerve.
Upper back pain can also be a problem. This may be caused by neck and shoulder tension, carrying heavy shoulder bags, improperly carrying children, obesity, tension from constant driving or computer use, or improper posture when sleeping on an unsupportive mattress, among other causes.
Back pain might involve the spinal column, individual vertebrae and their connections, muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. Because the entire back is connected, a problem in one location might affect the back in other ways. Sometimes, even an old injury that was never treated can contribute to chronic back pain.
Treating the Source of the Pain
Whether back pain is chronic or acute, chiropractic care can help. The chiropractor will first assess the cause and location of the back pain. Depending on the nature of the problem, different chiropractic techniques will be used. This might include manipulation, helping to realign the spine and relieve pressure on the nerves. Chiropractic care will also involve restoring range of motion. Soft tissue techniques, as well as ice or heat therapy, may be needed to help restore mobility and to help the body heal naturally.
Your chiropractor will also assess the day-to-day strains on your back, helping you with gentle stretching, mobility exercises, and any needed lifestyle changes. Chiropractic care will help with restoring proper posture, reducing stress, and understanding the effects of nutrition on the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Proper back care may include some at-home exercises.