For some people back pain is little more than discomfort, whereas for others it can leave them immobile. Lower back pain, being an extremely debilitating condition, needs to be treated at the earliest possible time. It is recognised that care of lower back pain should be sought within the first month of the pain showing itself to be most effective.
Lower back pain is experienced by up to 80% of people at some stage of their lives and, although it is believed by many that its main cause is injury through accident, the most common reason is that of stress to the muscles and joints of the back through normal, everyday activities (or inactivities). These can be: sitting badly or for too long in one position; poor general posture; incorrect lifting, bending and even sleeping.
The lower back area supports most of our body weight and, as a consequence, relies heavily on the strength of the vertebrae in our spine. To have these vertebrae out of position (or subluxated) for even a short period of time can lead to anything from mild discomfort to severe disablement. If the spine is not in correct alignment, areas of weakness can occur, resulting in irritation of nerves in the spine, or in a bulging disc, which places pressure on the spinal cord.
Pain is a warning from the brain that something within the structure of the skeleton (or the brain) is not functioning as it should. Through chiropractic care the appropriate adjustment is carefully applied depending on the location and type of pain. It is worth remembering that even though pain can subside within a few days it may still be symptomatic of an underlying condition and should be checked by a qualified health professional without delay.
Masking the symptoms (pain) of lower back problems doesn’t solve the real problem – that of ‘what has caused the pain to appear in the first place’? Treating the symptoms should only ever be a very short-term measure to diminish the pain and to make you more comfortable until you can get the cause addressed.
On the positive side…and until you are checked by a professional chiropractor or health care provider, here are a few things you can do and questions to ask yourself in order to help prevent lower back pain.
- Avoid sudden bending, twisting or sharp movement
- Check that you are adopting a correct posture during the day
- How is your posture while sitting at work? Is your spine curved or (relatively) straight? (This includes things like a supportive chair, a well-placed computer monitor and a workstation layout that does not require a lot of twisting and turning)
- How firm is the mattress on your bed?
- Do you get regular exercise? Even a low-impact exercise such as walking for a half hour each day will loosen muscles in the back and thus keep them active
- Don’t take to your bed – this is the least likely treatment to get rid of your lower back pain
- Don’t wear shoes with high heels
- Do wear comfortable flat or low-heeled shoes
Remember that a visit to your chiropractor often provides more immediate relief. It appears to be most helpful in the first month after of the onset of back pain.
Chiropractors work on the principle of reducing interference so the nervous system and body can work better. Providing that any symptom or condition is occurring as a result of nerve interference from vertebral subluxation, there is a very good chance that it will improve with chiropractic care.