October is National Chiropractic Health Month, which makes it a good time to think about back pain. But here’s truth: Any time is the right time to think about the health of your back, and to know what you can do avoid injuries, increase flexibility, and strengthen the muscles that contribute to proper posture and back health.
After all, back pain is one of the primary drivers of doctor’s visits and sick days, and among the reasons why healthcare providers prescribe painkillers, including controversial opioids. And if you’ve ever experienced it, you know that every month can be back pain month.
The numbers show that most people have had a bout of back pain at one time or another. A survey conducted by the Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that more than 80 percent of Americans will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. “Considering the social and economic costs of chronic low back pain, these findings are alarming,” said the study’s leader, Timothy S. Carey, M.D., director of the Sheps Center and Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of medicine and social medicine in the UNC School of Medicine. “Low back pain is the second most common cause of disability in the United States.”
There are numerous cause of back pain, ranging from common sprains and strains, to more serious conditions such as intervertebral disc degeneration, herniated or ruptured discs to sciatica, and more. It’s no wonder, then, that back pain is one of “the most common causes of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days.”
For back pain, prevention is the best option.
So, what do we do, especially at a time when people are rightly concerned about developing a reliance on or addiction to powerful opioid painkillers? A safer strategy for back pain, as well neck, shoulder and joint pain, is a proactive, comprehensive approach, a regimen and plan that attempts to get ahead of it or manage it. As a result, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends focusing on back-health “basics,” stressing of overall wellness and injury prevention to maintain spinal and joint health daily every day.
This might include:
- Core strengthening exercises and stretching (Under a healthcare provider’s supervision)
- A mindful approach to posture and alignment
- Attention to chairs and workplace ergonomics
- Reviewing bed firmness and sleeping positions that might cause pain
And a person to have on your team to help you manage your routine and lessen aches and ailments would be a chiropractor.
Chiropractors: A drug–free approach to reduce or eliminate pain.
By focusing on musculoskeletal system and nervous system disorders, chiropractors promote overall health and increase mobility and function. Although we’re known for our expertise in spinal manipulation, and hands-on care, we’re also trained to provide and recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, and offer and nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling. From backs, to arms and legs, to headaches, we treat and consider the whole body.
If you or a loved one are experiencing or concerned about recurring back pain, and would like to consider a drug-free approach to manage it, contact Eastside Chiropractic Center at: