Back Pain: What is it and How is it Caused?
It is estimated that at any time, 31 million Americans are having back pain. Chances are you or someone you know will encounter an episode of back pain at some point in your life. But what causes back pain? How is it treated? And what can we do to help prevent it?
Back Pain Caused by Inactivity
Causes of back pain can vary widely. Most of us assume it comes from doing heavy lifting. While that is one possible cause, believe it or not, that does not make up a big portion of the patients we see for back pain. A much more common, and insidious, cause is sitting. Many of our patients spend quite a bit of their day sitting at a desk or computer. Along with being inactive, which can lead to a whole host of health issues, sitting for long periods of time causes us to lose flexibility. Muscles and ligaments of the lower back and pelvis get tight, and shift our normal alignment out of place. This can lead to altered movement patterns which can lead to injuries even while doing everyday activities.
Another cause of back pain that often goes overlooked are repetitive motion activities. When most of us think of repetitive motion, we think of hand and wrist injuries such as carpal tunnel. But activities that require frequent bending forward can be equally bothersome. The frequent flattening of our normal curve in the back can put tremendous stress on our spines over time.
Preventing Back Pain: Chiropractic, Physical Therapy & Therapeutic Massage
Fortunately, there is a lot that can be done to help prevent back pain. Proper ergonomics with our seated positions are important. This includes lumbar support for our chairs, correct height of our computer monitors, and alignment of our chair height to the desk. Also remember to check your car seat to make sure it is upright with proper support. Bending with your legs to reach objects on floor level is essential, even when lifting light weights.
The good news is, no matter how it was caused, back pain generally responds well to chiropractic treatment. By gently realigning the vertebrae, or the bones in the back, we can improve joint motion. If there is a significant amount of trigger points, or tender nodules in the muscles, deep tissue massage can help address that component as well. Once the pain is under control, physical therapy is important to retrain and strengthen the area to help keep the back feeling and functioning better.
Call our North Olmsted, Ohio chiropractic care clinic today to schedule an evaluation and see if we can help with your back pain.