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Back Pain: It's Common, But It Hurts... and the Source Can Be Complicated

As a doctor of chiropractic, we care for many patients with a variety of conditions but many patients seek out chiropractic care looking for relief from from a very common condition and that is "back pain."  It is known that at any given time 31 million Americans experience low-back pain.

The back is a very complicated structure consisting of bones, muscles, ligaments and nerves, which can easily be injured or irritated triggering episodes of back pain. 

In some instances back pain is due to a sports injury, accident or trauma. But, in many instances the trigger for back pain is as simple as bending over to put on socks or tie shoelaces. These patients typically have underlying factors that contribute to these episodes for example: poor posture, arthritic conditions, obesity and psychological stress which can all contribute to back pain.

Here are the back pain facts:

  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work days.

  • Almost half of all adult Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.

  • Americans spend close to 50 billion dollars a year on back pain.

  • Most forms of back pain are non-organic, meaning they are not from disease such as cancer, infection or rheumatoid conditions.

Here are some tips for maintaing a healthy back. Probably the biggest preventative measure is posture. People with poor posture will definitely suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. So when your mom said "stand up straight" that was some of the best advice she gave you. Remain active, another big contributor to back pain is inactivity, or "couch potato syndrome." Regular exercise will keep your body and core muscles strong. Avoid prolonged periods of bed rest if possible, and sleep on a good medium to firm mattress.

Quit smoking, as this is another huge factor for back pain. Smoking causes constriction of the blood vessels which lead to decreased blood flow to the back.  Blood flow is important as it provides nutrition to our muscles and discs. Wear comfortable supportive shoes and maintain correct posture when lifting heavy objects by bending and lifting with your knees not your back.

Of course seek regular chiropractic care, even if you do not suffer with back pain, a trip to the chiropractor several times a year to have a spinal check up is just good over all preventative medicine in order to maintain over all health.

Originally posted on the Northborough Patch

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