Properly Understanding Back Pain

back painLast year, after weeks working to meet a tough writing deadline, my shoulders and upper back were a mess. I’d spent so much time chained to my desk that my poor posture had caught up with me, and I was in serious pain. I knew I wasn’t alone – 31% of Americans say they’re experiencing back pain at any given time, and experts say 80 percent of the population will struggle with it at some point during their lives. Back pain is also the second most common reason that Americans visit their doctors, costing the healthcare system $50 billion annually. 

Most people don’t think about back pain until they have a flare-up, but there are things you can do to prevent back pain. One is to exercise regularly, making sure to focus on strengthening the back and core muscles. You should also always squat and use your legs when lifting a heavy object, rather than bending down. Now add good posture – my biggest problem – and you can prevent a lot of suffering down the road. If all these things sound like simple commonsense, that’s because they are! There’s nothing complicated about preventing back pain, and following these simple tips will improve your spinal health drastically. 

If your back still hurts despite prevention efforts or because of an injury, it’s important to know when symptoms could indicate a serious problem. Lower back pain is probably the biggest complaint, but neck discomfort or pain that radiates in to the arms or legs and numbness, tingling and loss of function are also signs you may have a serious injury. However, it’s essential to remember that most cases of back pain are “mechanical,” caused by something we did or didn’t do – meaning they are not caused by serious disease. Back pain is not a symptom of anything significant, so don’t worry that a tumor is forming in your back!

No matter if your back pain is persistent or comes and goes, you should see a specialist when your symptoms interfere with your ability to work of enjoy leisure activities. If you have pain that is new to you and persistent, it’s also a good idea to consult with a specialist.

Because most people who have back pain will experience more than one episode or flare-up, it’s important to establish a good relationship with a chiropractor you trust. That way, when back pain strike again, you’ll know exactly who to call. Regular adjustment and correction of subluxations can give your back the strength it needs to keep healthy. When the spine is correctly aligned, you are better able to perform daily tasks, move, and be all around mobile. Do not let your back pain slow you down, see your doctor of chiropractic immediately if your pain persists, so that they can pout you on the right track to optimal health and happiness.


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