Back pain is a very common complaint received in the medical field. In fact, approximately 80% of Americans will have back pain sometime in their lifetime. When back pain arises, your entire body is jeopardized causing shooting pain every movement you make. Although there are many treatments for back pain, there are also ways to prevent it. One of the best ways to prevent and reduce back pain is to improve your posture.
You have been told your entire life to pull back your shoulders and straighten your back to improve your posture, but did you know there is a medical reason behind this sound advice? This is because poor posture places excess pressure on our spines. When our spines are straight, there is 100mm of pressure placed on them; however, when you bend your back and slouch, you put over 200mm of pressure on your spine. Over time, this excessive pressure wears on your spine causing the back and pain we have all come to dread.
How Poor Posture Affects the Spine
Poor posture is a leading cause of back pain and can lead to more serious injuries down the road. Over time, the pressure placed on our spines due to poor posture causes the spinal discs and vertebrae to wear down and lose their ability to serve as shock absorbers. When this cushioning is worn down, the spinal discs are pushed back from their normal position creating herniated or bulging discs. These discs than aggravate nearby nerves causing back pain. Over time, these bulging discs will get worse if pressure from poor posture continues to affect them. When a bulging pr herniated disc occurs, it is recommended to consult a chiropractor to treat your condition and ensure no further damage is done to the spine.
Ways to Improve Posture
In order to prevent and reduce back pain, you must first improve your posture. The good news is there are a number of ways you can improve your posture throughout the day. Whether you are sitting at work, standing for long periods of time, or lifting heavy objects, there are simple changes you can make to relieve the pressure that poor posture puts on your spine.
Most Americans spend hours a day sitting at a desk for work. Since sitting in a solitary position for extended periods of time promotes poor posture, a large portion of a person’s day is putting excessive pressure on their spines. While sitting, keep your knees slightly higher than your hips, and make sure your head is back and back is straight. If your work has you sitting for long periods of time, take short breaks to walk around and stretch your neck and back.
When standing for long periods of time, keep one foot slightly in front of the other with your knees slightly bent. When you stand for long periods of time, the muscles in your lower back become strained, which over time leads to lower back pain. Also be sure to adjust your position when standing for long periods of time.
Reaching and Bending
A lot of back pain originates after someone incorrectly lifts a heavy object. In order to avoid a tweak in your back from bending to pick up an object, avoid bending from the waist. Instead, bend your knees keeping them close to your body and lift with your legs. Keep your back straight and as vertical as possible while lifting. When reaching, do not over extend your body as it places more strain on your shoulder, neck, and spine. Instead, use a stool when items are high out of reach and keep a vertical back.
Chiropractic Treatment for Back Pain
If you have back pain and want to avoid invasive surgery or prescription medication, it is a good idea to receive chiropractic treatment. Chiropractors can provide relief to a wide variety of back pain related injuries by utilizing the body to heal itself. A chiropractor will treat your back pain using chiropractic adjustments and other non-invasive treatments like massage therapy, ice or heat therapy, and therapeutic exercise. In addition to treating back pain, chiropractors will also be able to provide advice on what you can do to reduce back pain in the future, including nutritional recommendations and at-home exercise routines.
Back pain is a very common ailment that most every American will deal with one time or another in their lifetime. However, there are many things you can do to prevent and reduce back pain. The easiest lifestyle change you can make to prevent or reduce back pain is to improve your posture. Simply making a conscious effort to straighten your back throughout the day can do wonders to relieve excess pressure placed on your spine. If you do get back pain, consult a chiropractor to naturally treat your pain and discover ways to prevent the pain from returning in the future.
About the Author:
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field. Visit his website at ichiropractic.net.