Did you know that back pain is the 2nd most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections? In fact, some experts say as many as 80% of us will experience a back problem at some time in our lives. Simply walking around doing day-to-day stuff puts intense pressure on the spine, and if you throw in some improper lifting, reaching or sitting, you have all of the ingredients for some back pain of your own.
The standard medical route usually has a default of surgery to address the pain, and the most popular nonsurgical medical treatment during the past 10 years for “chronic, nonspecific” low back pain has been injection therapy or shots into the lower back of various substances — usually cortisone but also liquid ibuprofen, morphine and vitamin B12. This spring, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that researchers from the Netherlands found that there is almost no evidence that the shots ease most people’s pain long-term, even after multiple injections. Other recent studies have concluded that injections also do not significantly reduce the likelihood of back surgery later. So why go the standard medical route for a biomechanical issue?
More than 30 million Americans sought chiropractic care last year alone, and at Carlson Chiropractic Center, we have a thorough knowledge of the structure and functioning of the human body and can take steps to correct problems using spinal adjustments, dietary and lifestyle advice, and other natural tools. And research has shown that manipulative therapy and spinal manipulation are not only safe and effective, but a recent medical study has also pointed out that manual manipulation offers better short-term relief of chronic back pain than medication.
There are also things that you can do, and given that most of us experience back pain at least once in our lives, we should all take these steps to prevent or lessen the severity of most back pain episodes. The American Chiropractic Association recommends that you:
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
- Remain active—under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
- Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
- Warm up or stretch before exercising or doing other physical activities, such as gardening.
- Maintain proper posture.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
- Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
- Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
- Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, producing oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues. Just remember, though, if you’re in pain, we can help. Just give us a call, and we can help you get back to making the most of your life naturally!