Back pain is so prevalent that it affects a whopping 80 percent of adults. If you are one of these individuals, then you have probably heard plenty of advice on ways to care for and improve your back issues. While most health conditions effect one gender more than another, back pain impacts men and women equally, with pain varying from a dull ache to sharp and debilitating pain. Knowing what is and is not back pain can be very helpful for people who are motivated to find a solution for their pain. Below is a list of the most commonly misunderstood facts about back pain. Hopefully it will help you feel better faster and avoid future problems.
Myth #1: Back pain only gets worse when you get older.
Being concerned that back pain will only increase in severity over time is not an uncommon thought. This is a common fear for many sufferers of back pain whose condition arises in their 30s or 40s. They may conclude that they will simply continue feeling miserable all their lives. Considering that disc degeneration is usually very gradual over time, making sure that your spine health is optimal will help you to prevent back problems as time goes on. Drinking plenty of water, ending smoking habits, and focusing on proper spinal movement and alignment are all great ways to keep you spin healthy for the long haul.
Myth #2: A singular event is the leading cause of back pain.
Injuring your back from a fall or lifting something heavy improperly does lead to back pain, but most back pain problems happen because of wear and tear over time. Very often, back pain develops because of repeated improper use that may never have had any associated consequences previously. For example, something like picking up a bag of groceries or bending down to tie your shoe may be the final straw for your back. In these types of situations, the problem is very likely caused by progressive degeneration that has been happening (multiple times pain-free) over a length of time.
Myth #3: Resting and sitting around is the best way to help me heal and prevent more pain.
Trying to protect your back too much can actually cause an increased risk of injury and pain. Taking a long period of bed rest or refraining from activity can decondition the spine even more as well as increase your chances of suffering from chronic pain. The best way to help improve your spinal health is to strengthen it and to train yourself to move properly. A rule of thumb to remember when it comes to your back’s health is that limited exercise and an overall sedentary lifestyle will hinder instead of benefit you.
Myth #4: Practicing poor posture and experiencing pain are unrelated.
Poor posture and poor ergonomics have a direct correlation to back pain and are probably among the most common causes of constant back pain that does not improve. If you are like many people who are required to spend most of your day in a seated position, you may be surprised how slouched your shoulders are and how persistently your head pokes forward. All of this places an enormous amount of pressure on your spine and spinal discs. If you have a more physical type of job, lifting and bending with poor technique is very often what is behind back pain. It is highly recommended that you set up your workstation with proper ergonomics and take the time to learn correct lifting techniques to help protect your back.
Myth #5: A back belt will protect my back from injury.
Back belts are a commonly used device by people who are required to lift frequently throughout the day for work or by people who have already sustained a back injury and who are in need of extra support. Unfortunately, there actually is no evidence showing that a back belt decreases you chances of injury. In fact, due to the false sense of security people get from using them (leading to lifting heavier objects than they should), it can actually do more harm than good, as well as encouraging weak muscles to stay weak.
Improving You Back Pain
There are numerous possible causes of back pain with the majority of back pain being mechanical in nature. This means that the issue is with how the components of the back function together. The spine is made up of bones, discs, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Even if only one part of the puzzle doesn’t fit together correctly, it can cause much pain and dysfunction.
In order to improve your condition, it is highly necessary to find out what is the underlying root of your pain. The most commonly prescribed methods for treating back pain include medications, typically pain-killers and anti-inflammatories, cortisone shots, and other therapies. It’s true that these provide quick relief in the moment, but it is only temporary unless the root cause is finally addressed.
Looking for a Long-Term Solution That Actually Works?
This is a desire we hear from our patients, and it just happens to be our focus and our goal: to locate the cause of your back pain and solve it. Upper cervical chiropractic care is a unique niche within the chiropractic profession that specializes in the upper two vertebrae of the spine. Even pain that is located somewhere else on the spine could be affected by a misalignment of the atlas bone at the top of the neck. This unique part of the spine that is situated at the junction between the head and neck is called the upper cervical spine. Its unique design and function make it particularly susceptible to misaligning because it is a freely moving part that allows our head the ability to move in many directions.
If the atlas misaligns, it can lead to a chain reaction of postural compensations, starting from the head being carried off tilt, so that the shoulders and hips must move to accommodate it. As time goes on, unequal muscle tension develops in the back from side to side, increasing the pressure on spinal joints and discs and causing irritation to the spinal nerves. With a gentle adjustment to correct the alignment of the atlas, the body will naturally return to its proper balance, which will relieve the tension on bones, muscles, and nerves. Upper cervical chiropractic care does not use force to manipulate the spine, causing the popping or cracking normally associated with a spinal adjustment. Instead, our method not only increases the comfort of our patients but also produces positive results.