Low Back Pain – Risks & Treatment Options
The risk of suffering from low back pain in Americans continues to rise. The American Spinal Decompression Association reports that low back pain affects 80% of Americans sometime during their lives. Back pain is often recurrent and the pain associated with back pain tends to intensify with time. A sedentary lifestyle and manual labor can increase the risk of back pain. Low back pain is prevalent in adults aged 30-70; however, it can occur at any age.
Duke Medical Center reported that the cost of health care expenses associated with low back pain is more than $90 billion annually. When a patient suffers from low back pain, they will have medical expenses that may include medications, rehabilitation services, surgeries and a loss of income.
Sedentary Lifestyle Factors Increase Low Back Pain Risk
Many Americans spend eight or more hours each day in a desk chair. Studies have shown that sitting all the day can damage the tissues and bones in the back. When you sit for long periods of time, the curve of the spine becomes distorted, which means that your back muscles have to work hard to keep your back in shape.
Sitting causes the muscles in the back to become stiff and weak. Additionally, circulation in the back decreases which prevents oxygen from reaching your muscles. Sitting places pressure on the nerves from the spine and places pressure on the spinal column. This excess pressure can increase the risk of a herniated disc.
If you work at a desk all day, there are several things you can do to help prevent low back pain and spinal injuries. A standing desk will let you change positions throughout the day to help prevent low back pain. By standing, you can relieve the pressure off your spine and increase blood flow to the area. If a standing desk is not available, do these three things to help reduce the risk of developing low back pain and spine injuries.
Concentrate on Maintaining Good Posture
Sit up straight and keep your back against the back of the chair to help support your back and minimize the risk of back pain. Adjust your chair so you can comfortably reach your work area. Ensure that your feet rest comfortably on the floor and your legs are at a 90-degree angle to keep pressure off the lower spine.
Stand Up Each Hour
Get up and walk around your office each hour to stretch out your back muscles and increase circulation. If you are unable to walk around, stand up and continue working for at least 15 minutes. While you are standing, do a few squats to help loosen up your back muscles, hamstring muscles and quadriceps.
Do Seated Exercises
Seated exercises will help stretch out tired back muscles and relieve the pressure from sitting all day. Do seated-leg lifts to stretch out your lower back and hips. Stretch your arms above your head and do some neck rolls to help stretch out your shoulders, upper back and neck.
Functional Chiropractic Care Can Relieve Low Back Pain
If you are suffering from low back pain, a functional chiropractor can help resolve your pain. Functional chiropractic care begins with determining the cause of your back pain. It begins with a complete physical exam. At your appointment, you will be asked to complete a full medical history. The doctor may then order imaging tests, such as x-rays, to determine if you have any subluxations in the spine.
Subluxations are misalignments of the vertebrae. These can cause a loss of function, pain, inflammation and numbness due to pinched nerves leaving the spinal column. If a subluxation has occurred, the functional chiropractor will utilize spinal manipulation to help correct these misalignments to help relieve back pain and restore mobility caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
Cold Laser Therapy
If the imaging tests reveal damaged nerves or muscles, the functional chiropractor may recommend pulsed cold laser therapy. Pulsed cold laser therapy uses low-level lasers to deeply penetrate the back tissues. These lasers help to increase blood flow to the damaged muscles, disc and nerves in the back and promote healing. Cold Laser Therapy is a non-invasive medical procedure that has been used for many years to help relieve pain and relieve inflammation.
Proper Hydration Can Ease Back Pain
Back pain often causes inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury. However, inflammation can also become chronic, when this occurs, it can cause chronic pain. You can help relieve inflammation by getting to the root cause of back pain and ensuring you are hydrated. Drinking water helps to ensure the tissues in the body are lubricated and cushioned, which helps the joints glide smoothly. Patients with optimal hydration levels experience less back pain than dehydrated patients; therefore, it is essential that you drink enough water each day.
Strong Core Muscles Prevent Back Injuries
If you do not have strong core muscles, you will be more prone to low back pain; therefore, you must learn how to tighten and tone your core muscles properly. Many people think that doing random sit ups is enough to keep their core muscles in shape. Unfortunately, this is not the case. You must learn how to efficiently strengthen your core using a variety of exercise.
The best exercise programs to strengthen and tone core muscles focus on proper body alignment. This means that you do not need to perform multiple crunches and sit ups to get a strong core. Instead, opt for yoga or Pilates. These exercises help to strengthen the muscles in the back, abdomen and obliques to create a tight girdle that helps keep the body straight and decreases the risk of back injury.
Many people believe that back pain will go away on its own without any treatment. However, most patients who do not seek treatment will continue to experience back pain until they get tired of suffering. A conventional medical physician will use medications, painful injections, physical therapy and surgery to try to relieve back pain while a functional chiropractor will get to the root of the problem and use non-invasive therapies to help heal the cause of your back pain.
Suffering from chronic back pain? Tried of prescription medications? Looking for a better option? Our Functional Chiropractor can help. He specializes in back pain and other chronic ailments. Call today at 571-529-6699.