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Health Tips For All Ages

Do you feel you can be a Chiropractic candidate or not?  Here are some signs of a Chiropractic candidate:

* Low Back Pain * Headaches
* Shoulder Pain * Arthritis
* Dizziness * Sore Elbows
* Neck Pain * Indigestion
* Numb Hands and Feet * Bursitis
* Pain Down Legs * Muscle Spasms
* Numb Fingers * Hip pain
* Tight Muscles * Aching Feet

If you have any of these symptoms, you should contact us and make an appointment to see why you are having these symptoms. The sooner you come in, the sooner you will start feeling better.

Housework Can Be a Pain in Your Back

Unless you are careful, routine activities around the home such as; washing dishes, vacuuming, or even talking on the phone can strain your back. However, you can protect your back by knowing the correct way to go about doing these types of activities.

Lifting

Whether you are picking up your child or a heavy bucket of water, you need to do it the proper way to avoid injury. When lifting, bend from the knees, not the waist. As you lift, hold the item as close to your body as possible. If you have to turn to place it, step in the direction of the turn, so you are not twisting your body and straining your spine.

Back Saving Tips from the American Chiropractic Association:

  1. When you wash the dishes, open the cabinet beneath the sink, bend on one knee and put your foot on the self under the sink. Lean against the counter so some of your weight is supported in front.
  2. When ironing, raise one foot a bit. Place it on a small stool or a book to take some strain off your back.
  3. To vacuum, use a “fencer’s stance.” Put all your weight on one foot, then step forward and back with the other foot as you push the vacuum forward and back. Use the back foot as a pivot when you turn.
  4. While talking on the phone, don’t cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder. That can lock up the spinal joints in the neck and upper back, and cause pain. Instead, hold the phone with your hand or use the speaker phone.
  5. While watching television or relaxing, don’t use the sofa arm as a pillow. The angle is much too sharp for your neck.
  6. Use a cold pack if your back begins to hurt. Wrap an ice pack in a towel moistened with warm water. The warmth gives you way to gradual cold, which will likely alleviate the discomfort. (Don’t use ice, try frozen veggies)
  7. If pain persists for more than a day or two, or if you experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or legs, see a Chiropractic doctor. A doctor of Chiropractic is an expert in spinal health and can help identify and treat your problem.

Traveling

Traveling can be rough on the body. Whether you are traveling long hours in a car or on an airplane, your body can be left stressed, tired, stiff, and sore. “Prolonged sitting can wreak havoc on your body,” says Dr. Scott Bautch, immediate past president of the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) Council on Occupational Health. “Even if you travel in the most comfortable car or opt to fly first class, certain pressures and forces from awkward positions can result in restricted blood flow. One of the biggest insults to your system from prolonged sitting is the buildup of pressure in the blood vessels in your lower legs. Contracting and relaxing the muscles helps the blood flow properly.”

Dr. Bautch and the ACA’s Tips and advice to fight the pains of travel before they occur.

In the Car:

  1. Adjust your seat so you are as close to the steering wheel as comfortably possible. Your knees should be slightly higher than your hips. Place four fingers behind the back of your thigh closest to your knee. If you cannot easily slide your fingers in and out of the space, you need to re-adjust your seat.
  2. Consider a back support. Using a support behind your back may reduce the risk of low-back strain, pain, or injury. The widest part of the support should be between the bottom of your rib cage and your waistline.
  3. To minimize arm and hand tension while driving, hold the steering wheel at approximately 3 o’clock and 7 o’clock, periodically switching to 10 o’clock and 5 o’clock.
  4. Exercise your legs while driving to reduce the risk of swelling, fatigue, or discomfort. Open your toes as wide as you can, and count to 10. Count to 5 while you tighten your calf muscle, then your thigh muscles, then your gluteal muscles. Roll your shoulders forward and back, making sure to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road.
  5. Do not grip the steering wheel. Instead, tighten and loosen your grip to improve hand circulation and decrease muscle fatigue in the arms, wrists, and hands.
  6. While always being careful to keep your eyes on the road, vary your focal point while driving to reduce the risk of eye fatigue and tension headaches.
  7. Take rest breaks. Never underestimate the potential consequences of fatigue to yourself, your passengers, and other drivers.

In an Airplane:

  1. Stand up straight and feel the normal “S” curve of your spine. Then use rolled up pillows or blankets to maintain the curve when you sit in your seat. Tuck a pillow behind your back and just above the beltline and lay another pillow across the gap between your neck and the headrest. If the seat is hollowed from wear, use the folded blankets to raise your buttocks a little.
  2. When stowing belongings under the seat, do not force the object with an awkward motion using your legs, feet, or arms. This may cause muscle strain or spasms in the upper thighs and lower back muscles. Instead, sit in your seat first, and using your hands and feet, gently guide your bags under the seat directly in front of you.
  3. Check all bags heavier than 5-10 percent of your body weight. Overhead lifting of any significant amount of weight should be avoided to reduce the risk of pain in the lower back or neck. While lifting your bags, stand right in front of the overhead compartment so the spine is not rotated. Do not lift your bags over your head or turn or twist your head and neck in the process.
  4. While seated, vary your position occasionally to improve circulation and avoid leg cramps. Massage legs and calves. Bring your legs in, and move your knees up and down. Prop your legs up on a book or bag under your seat.
  5. Do not sit directly under the air controls. The draft can increase tension in your neck and shoulder muscles.

Safe Travel for Children:

  1. Always use a car seat when traveling with children below the age of 4 and weighing less than 40 pounds.
  2. Ask the airline for their policy on child car seat safety. Car seats for infants and toddlers provide added resistance to turbulent skies, and are safer than the lap of a parent in the event of an unfortunate accident.
  3. Make sure the car seat is appropriate for the age and size of the child. A newborn infant requires a different seat than a 3-year old toddler.
  4. Car seats for infants should always face the rear. In this position, the forces and impact of a crash will spread more evenly along the back and shoulders, providing more protection for the neck.
  5. Car seats should always be placed in the back seat of the car, ideally in the center. This is especially important in cars equipped with air bags. If an air bag becomes deployed, the force could seriously injure or kill a child or infant placed in the front seat.
  6. Make sure the car seat is properly secured to the seat of the vehicle and is placed at a 45-degree angle to support the head of the infant or child.

Chiropractic Care for Ear Problems

Ear problems can be excruciatingly painful, especially in children. Ear infections (otitis media) are the most common illness affecting babies and young children and the number one reason for visits to the pediatrician. Almost half of all children will have one middle ear infection before they are a year old, and two-thirds of them will have had at least one such infection by the age of 3. The symptoms can include ear pain, fever, and irritability. Otitis media can be either bacterial or viral, and frequently result from another illness such as a cold. For many children, it can become a chronic problem, requiring treatment year after year, putting the child at risk for permanent hearing damage, associated speech and developmental problems.

Standard treatment for most cases of otitis media is with antibiotics, which is only good if the cause is bacterial. However, any research studies have shown that antibiotics are often not much more effective than the body’s own immune system and repeated doses of antibiotics can lead to drug resistant bacteria that sneer at the drugs, while leaving the child in pain.

Frequent ear infections are also 2nd most common reason for surgery in children under the age of 2 (with circumcision being the 1st). In severe cases (i.e. when fluids from an ear infection haven’t cleared from the ear after several months, and hearing is affected), specialists sometimes prescribe myringotomy and tympanostomy, more commonly known as “ear tubes”.      During the surgical procedure, a small opening is made in the eardrum to place a tube inside. The tube relieves pressure in the ear and prevents repeated fluid buildup with the continuous venting of fresh air. In most cases, the membrane pushes the tube out after a couple of months and the hole in the eardrum closes. Although the treatment is effective, it has to be repeated in some 20 to 30 percent of cases and this kind of surgery requires general anesthesia, which is never a minor thing in a small child. If the infection persists even after the tube placement and removal, children sometimes undergo adenoidectomy (surgical removal of the adenoids), which is an option that is effective mostly through the first year after surgery.

Before another round of antibiotics or the drastic step in surgery, more and more parents are considering Chiropractic to help children with chronic ear infections.

Dr. Joan Fallon, a chiropractor who practices in Yonkers, NY, has published research showing that after receiving a series of chiropractic adjustments; nearly 80% of the children treated were free of ear infections for at least a 6 month period following their initial visits. “Chiropractic mobilizes drainage of the ear in children, and if they can continue to drain without buildup of fluid and subsequent infection, they build up their own antibodies and recover more quickly,” explains Dr. Fallon.

Dr. Fallon uses primarily upper-cervical manipulation on children with otitis media, focusing particularly on the occiput (back of the skull) or atlas (first vertebra in the neck). “Adjusting the occiput, in particular, will get the middle ear to drain. Depending on how chronic it has been and where they are in their cycle of antibiotics, children generally need to get through one bout of fluid and fight it off themselves.” That means, that for the average child between 6 and 8 treatments are necessary. If a child’s case is acute, Dr. Fallon will check the ear every day, using a tympanogram, to measure the ear and track the movement of the eardrum to make sure that it’s draining. Chiropractic care can help to stop and aid in the prevention of ear infections. “It’s safe and effective and something that parents should try. Certainly before inserting tubes in their children’s ears,” says Dr. Fallon.

The Keys To Good Health Is Exercise

Physical exercise is important to our well-being. The human body needs to be exercised to keep it running optimally. Walking is one of the best exercises and only requires a good pair of walking shoes.

Benefits Of Walking:

  1. Improves cardiovascular endurance
  2. Tones muscles of the lower body
  3. Burns calories: about 80 if walking 2 miles per hour, and about 107 if walking 4.5 miles per hour
  4. Reduces risk of heart disease

Shoes

Make sure the shoes your purchase fit properly. The balls of your feet should rest exactly at the point where the toe end of the shoe bends during walking. Avoid high-top shoes, which often cover the entire ankle, limiting your foot’s ability to move freely and naturally. Instead opt for shoes that offer your ankle a fuller range of motion. Select shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb the impact of your walking.

Getting Started

Walking just 12 minutes every other day can offer important health benefits. Walking 20 minutes every other day is even better, but in order to increase your longevity, try to eventually work up to 30 minutes, five days a week.
Tips To Help You Get Started

  1. Move your arms freely in coordination with the opposite leg.
  2. Don’t stoop your head or look down as you walk. This will challenge the normal forward curve of your neck, which will cause you to carry your weight improperly.
  3. Don’t carry weights or dumbbells while walking. If you do carry weights while walking, be sure that they are light enough that they do not interfere with the “rhythm” of your arms and legs. In order to counterbalance the body, when your right arm moves forward, the left leg should be moving forward.
  4. Expect a little soreness in the thighs and calves for the first week or two. If you experience more than soreness, check with your doctor of Chiropractic.
  5. Walk briskly.

If you have not previously been physically active, you should consult your doctor before starting to exercise.

Hydration

Drink 10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day to help keep the kidneys active, dilute and remove toxins from the body, and replace lost fluids. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and alcohol are dehydrators and should not be substituted for water. If you perspire while walking, you may need to drink even more water.

Surfaces

Some walking surfaces are better than others on your musculoskeletal system. Walking on a cushioned or rubberized track is ideal because the cushioning of this type of track absorbs most of the impact of your walking. Many recreation centers offer this type of track free of charge. Grass is another good surface, but watch for holes or dips in the ground. Walking on a surface with no give, such as concrete or a mall floor, is not your best choice because this type of surface will not absorb much of the impact your body will experience. If you do choose to walk on such surfaces, be extra careful to select highly cushioned shoes.

Do You Want Quality Sleep?

Surveys have shown that between 40-60 percent of the general population has trouble sleeping. Daily stress and worries, pressures from job and family, body aches and pains caused my uncomfortable beds or pillows, and a host of other issues can keep a person from getting enough quality sleep.

Sleep is critical for good health and functioning. “Sleep is one of the most important functions of the brain.” Says Frederick R. Carrick, DC, PhD, president of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Neurology. Through sleep, our bodies recharge and renew for the next day’s challenges.

Doctors of Chiropractic, wellness experts, can provide patients with a different approach to their sleeping problems without the use of sleeping pills, which do leave many people in a mental haze the next morning.

Tips Recommended For The Sleep Deprived

  1. Exercise regularly. Exercising in the morning is best, but if you do exercise in the evening, do at least 2 or 3 hours before bedtime because if you exercise any later, your heart rate can affect your sleep.
  2. Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages (i.e. soda or coffee) or avoid them altogether late in the day and near bedtime. For each cup of coffee or soda you drink, you should be drinking an equal amount of water.
  3. If you have trouble sleeping and then get thirsty, drink tap water at room temperature because cold water might disturb the digestive system.
  4. Eat an early dinner. Eating after 6pm may interfere with sleep as your body works to digest the food you’ve eaten.
  5. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. The routine will help your body know when it is time to rest.
  6. Keep your bedroom at a cool, comfortable temperature and try to make it as dark as possible when you are ready for bed.

Creating a comfortable place to sleep by choosing the correct mattress and pillow is also essential to getting the quality sleep that your body needs to function at its best.

Mattress Facts:

  1. A mattress should provide uniform support from head to toe. If there are gaps between your body and the mattress (i.e. at the waist), you are not getting the full support that you need.
  2. If you do have pain and your mattress is too soft, you might want to firm up the support of your mattress by placing a board underneath it. Keep the board underneath just until the pain goes way because such firmness is not good for “routine” sleeping.
  3. Every few months, turn your mattress clockwise or upside down, this way the body indentations are kept to a minimum. It is also good to rotate the mattress frame every so often to reduce wear and tear.
  4. If you are waking up uncomfortably, you might want to invest in a new mattress. There is no standard life span for a mattress; it all depends on how much it is being used.
  5. Be aware that changes in your life can signal the need for a new mattress (i.e. if you lost or gained weight, if a medical condition has changed the way you sleep).
  6. If you are not in the market for a new mattress and your current mattress is too firm, you can soften it up by putting 1-to-2 inch-thick padding on top of it. These products are found at any bedding or mattress stores.

Pillow Facts:

  1. Be selective. When lying on your side, your head and neck should remain level with your mid and lower spine. When lying on your back, your head and neck should remain level with your upper back and spine. Your pillow should not be so thick that it causes your head and neck to be propped up or angles sharply away from your body.
  2. Be wary of pillows that are made out of mushy foam materials. The weight of your head can displace this kind of foam, leaving little support. Chooser firmer foam and materials that press back and support the head.
  3. If you find yourself sleeping on your side with one hand propped under your pillow, that’s a clue that you’re not getting the support you need from that pillow.
  4. There is no such thing as a universal fit with a pillow. Find one that is consitent with the shape and size of your body.

Chiropractic Care Can Help!

If you continue to experience pain and discomfort at night or have difficulty falling asleep, visit your Doctor of Chiropractic. Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to treat spinal problems that can interfere with a restful night’s sleep. They can also offer nutritional and ergonomic advice that can help improve the quality of your sleep.
Nutrition Advice For A Healthy You

There is no better way to rejuvenate your health than by eating more nutritiously. A few simple changes in your diet and lifestyle can have a positive impact on your health and can also prevent a variety of health problems in the future. The traditional coffee and doughnuts for breakfast, a hamburger for lunch or no lunch, candy, cookies, and a soda for a snack, then followed by a huge dinner with more protein then a person needs are unhealthy dietary choices. As a result, younger people are starting to suffer from heart disease; not only because of poor diet, but also because of an epidemic of inactivity.

Many Doctors of Chiropractic urge patients to stop smoking, eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and augment their balanced diet with appropriate nutritional supplements, to reverse this alarming trend.

What Can You Do?

Change Your Lifestyle

  1. Exercise at least 20-30 minutes 3 or 4 days a week.
  2. Eat more sparingly. Food preparation methods in restaurants often involve high amounts and the wrong types of fats and sugar.
  3. Brown bag your lunch to control your fat and sugar content while adding fruits, vegetables, and grains.
  4. Limit your intake of alcohol and quit smoking. Drinking alcohol excessively and/or smoking hinder your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from your food.

Change Your Diet

  1. Eat more raw foods. Cooking and canning destroys much of the nutrition in foods. With the exception of canned tomatoes, which can help prevent prostate cancer. Fresh fruits and vegetables always have more natural vitamins and minerals.
  2. Select organically grown food when possible because they have lower amount s of toxic elements such as pesticides and heavy metals.
  3. Consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. Whole grain breads and cereals, beans, nuts, and some fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber. High-fiber diets can help prevent digestive disorders, heart disease, and colon cancer.
  4. Drink 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

Vegetarian Diets

Research shows that good vegetarian diet as part of a comprehensive health program can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. However, fried foods, hydrogenated fats, and commercial meat substitutes may contain more sugar and fat than meat-eater would consume.
Tips For A Vegetarian Diets:

  1. Don’t rely on fruits and vegetables at the expense of grains and legumes. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to consume a wide range of nutrients.
  2. Tiredness, malaise, and anemia can be signs of deficiencies. Have your B12 and iron levels checked at least once a year.
  3. Consume fortified foods or take supplements to obtain the nutrients you no longer get from animal based products such as vitamin B12.
  4. Before eliminating animal products from the diet, learn to do it right. Children, pregnant and breast feeding women, and people recovering from illness should consult their health care practitioners.

Supplements

According to the U.S. food and Drug Administration, dietary supplements are not substitutes for foods, nor can a person sustain good health by just taking vitamin and mineral supplements. When taken properly, supplements can play an important role in achieving maximum health.

Supplement Tips:

  1. Remember to consume dark green vegetables, oils, nuts, and seeds, which are sources of magnesium, fatty acids, and many of the vitamins and minerals.
  2. Don’t “self-prescribe.” Consult a health practitioner, such as a Doctor of Chiropractic, to determine what supplements are best for you. If you have symptoms such as headaches, chronic fatigue, or cardiac problems, seek professional advice from a health care provider who specializes in nutrition.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis was a disease that people thought only affected the elderly. We particularly associated Osteoporosis with older women whose backs were slightly hunched over or those who could no longer stand up straight. Today, the truth is that an estimated 20 million American women suffer from Osteoporosis, and 80% of them don’t even know it.

Osteoporosis is a chronic, progressive condition that steals bone from the body, which can lead to hip, spine, and wrist fractures. Older people can suffer with disability and even death from Osteoporosis related fractures. Alarmingly, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 8 men will suffer from an Osteoporosis related fracture in his or her lifetime. Many people confuse Osteoporosis will Arthritis and wait for swollen joints and discomfort before being tested. Although, Osteoporosis is painless until a bone fracture occurs, it is important to find out how healthy your bones are now to avoid this brittle bone disease.

Tips From The American Chiropractic Association:

  1. Start a regular exercise program
  2. Although weight lifting exercises are generally recommended, those with Osteoporosis should consult a health care provider.
  3. Those with severe Osteoporosis and who have suffered from fractures may find Tai Chi, a form of martial arts, to be beneficial strength training exercise system.
  4. People suffering from Osteoporosis, should be careful when bending and lifting heavy objects, including grandchildren. Bend from the knees, not the waist, when lifting, and try to avoid hunching while sitting or standing.
  5. Include calcium in your daily diet. The National Institutes of Health’s recommendations are 1,000mg per day for post-menopausal women taking estrogen, 1,500mg per day for postmenopausal women not taking estrogen, and 1,500mg per day for men and women over the age of 65.
  6. If you are looking for a calcium supplement, try one that’s highly absorbable such as microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate (MCHC), or one of the malates, fumarates, succinates, glutarates, or citrates. Don’t over do it! Taking more than the recommended amount of calcium may cause kidney stones.
  7. Considering taking additional nutritional supplements such as Vitamin D, C, magnesium, zinc, and silica after consulting with your Doctor of Chiropractic.
  8. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Try broccoli, kale, collard greens, cabbage and turnip greens. Experiment with tofu, salmon, sardines and grains. Low-fat milk and/or yogurt ass 600mg of calcium to your daily diet.
  9. Drink 8 eight ounces of glasses of water a day.
  10. Watch your animal protein intake.

Arthritis

Years ago, doctors hardly ever told rheumatoid arthritis to hike or swim. Arthritis was considered an inherent part if the aging process and a signal to a patient that it’s time to slow down. However, recent research and clinical findings show that there is much more to life for arthritis patients than the traditional recommendation of bed rest and drug therapy.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The word “arthritis” means “joint inflammation” and is often used in reference to rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases include more than 100 conditions, including gout, Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and many more. Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1% of the U.S. population (about 2.1 million people). Rheumatoid arthritis often begins in middle age and is more frequent in the older generation; however, it can also start at a young age.

Listed below are several features that distinguish Rheumatoid arthritis from other kinds of arthritis:

  1. Tender, warm, and swollen joints
  2. Fatigue, sometimes fever, and a general sense of not feeling well.
  3. Pain and stiffness lasts for more than 30 minutes after a long rest.
  4. The condition is symmetrical. If one hand is affected, the other one is too.
  5. The wrist and finger joints closest to the hand are most frequently affected. Neck, shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and feet joints can also be affected.
  6. The disease can last for years and can affect other parts of the body, not only the joints.

Some people suffer from mild arthritis that lasts from a few months to a few years and then goes away. Mild or moderate arthritis have periods of worsening symptoms (flares) and periods of remissions, when the patient feels better. People with severe arthritis feel pain most of the time and the pain lasts for many years and can cause joint damage and disability.

Should Arthritis Patients Exercise?

Exercise is critical in successful arthritis management. Exercise will maintain healthy and strong muscles, joint mobility, flexibility, endurance, and helps control weight. Rest helps to decrease active joint inflammation, pain, and fatigue. For the best results, arthritis patients need a good balance between the two: more rest during the active phase of arthritis, and more exercise during remission. During acute systematic flares or local joint flares, patients should put joints gently through their full range of motion once a day with periods of rest. To see how much rest is best during flares, patients should talk to their health care provider.

Types of Exercise Benefits Frequency of Exercise
Range of motion exercisesi.e. stretching and dance Help maintain normal joint movement and increase joint flexibility. Can be done daily and should be done at least every other day.
Strengthening exercisesi.e. weight lifting Help improve muscle strength, which is important to support and protect joints affected by arthritis Should be done every other day, unless pain and swelling are severe.
Aerobic or endurance exercisesi.e. walking, bicycle riding, and swimming  Help improve the cardiovascular system and muscle tone and control weight. Swimming is especially valuable because of its minimal risk of stress injuries and low impact on the body. Should be done for 20 – 30 minutes 3 times a week unless pain and swelling are severe.

Range of motion exercises such as dance or stretching, will help maintain normal joint movement and increase joint flexibility. Strengthening exercises (i.e. weight lifting) will improve muscle strength, which is important to support and protect joints affected by arthritis and should be done every day, unless pain swelling is severe. Aerobic or endurance exercises (i.e. walking, bicycle riding, and swimming) will help improve the cardiovascular system and muscle tone and control weight. Swimming is especially valuable because of its minimal risk of stress injuries and low impact on the body, and should be done for 20 to 30 minutes 3 times a week unless pain and swelling are severe.

Patients should talk to their health care provider, if they experience these symptoms:

  1. Unusual or persistent fatigue
  2. Increased weakness
  3. Decreased range of motion
  4. Increased joint swelling
  5. Pain that lasts more than one hour after exercising

Doctors of Chiropractic will help arthritis patients develop or adjust their exercise programs to achieve maximum health benefits with minimal discomfort and will identify the activities that are off limits for this particular arthritis patient.

What Can Your Chiropractor Do For You?

If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor can help you plan an individualized exercise program.

  1. Help you restore the lost range of motion in your joints
  2. Improve your flexibility and endurance
  3. Increase your muscle tone and strength

Doctors of Chiropractic can also give you nutrition and supplementation advice that can be helpful in controlling and reducing joint inflammation.

Back Pain

Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic (i.e. not caused by serious conditions such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture, or cancer). 80% of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.

What Causes Back Pain?

The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements (i.e. picking a pencil up from the floor) can have painful results. Arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

The spine is quite good at dealing with these often “pulled” muscles, which usually heal within in day or two. Some pain, however, continues and what makes some pain last longer is not entirely understood. Researchers suspect that some reasons might be stress, mood changes, and the fear of further injury. Sometimes a painful injury or disease changes the way the pain signals are sent through the body, and even after the problem had gone away or is inactive, the pain signals still reach the brain. It is as if the pain develops a memory that keeps being replayed.

Will Back Pain Go Away On Its Own?

Until recently, researchers believed that back pain will “heal” on its own. We have learned that this is not true. A recent study showed that when back pain is not treated, it may go away temporarily, but will most likely return. The study demonstrated that in more than 33% of the people who experience low-back pain, the pain lasts for more than 30 days. Only 9% of the people who had low-back pain for more than 30 days were pain free 5 years later. However, other studies have showed that low-back pain does not go away on its own and should not be ignored.

How To Prevent Long-Term Back Pain?

If your back pain is not resolving quickly, visit your Doctor of Chiropractic. Your pain will often result from mechanical problems that your doctor can address. Many Chiropractic patients with long-lasting or recurring back pain feel an improvement shortly after they start their Chiropractic treatment. The relief that they feel after a month of treatment is often greater than after seeing a family physician.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment such as bed rest.

Back Pain Prevention

  1. Don’t lift by bending over. Instead, bend your hips and knees and then squat to pick up the object. Keep your back straight, and hold the object close to your body.
  2. Don’t twist your body while lifting.
  3. Push, rather than pull when you must move heavy objects.
  4. If you must sit for long periods, take frequent breaks and stretch.
  5. Wear flat shoes or shoes with low heels.
  6. Exercise regularly. An inactive lifestyle contributes to lower-back pain.

What Information Should I Tell My Doctor Of Chiropractic?

Before any treatment session, always tell your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  1. Pain goes down your leg below your knee
  2. Your leg, foot, groin, or rectal area feels numb
  3. You have a fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, weakness, or sweating
  4. You lose bowel control
  5. Your pain is caused by injury
  6. Your pain is so intense you can’t move around
  7. Your pain doesn’t seem to be getting better quickly