Most Americans will experience back pain at some time or another. Why does it happen and what can we do about it? Well, there are a lot of causes, but the most predominant cause is inactivity. The joints in our spines were made to move and motion is key to there proper function. Motion is what hydrates and nourishes the discs between the spinal bones. Sedentary lifestyle causes dehydrated and malnourished discs in the spine, this in turn decreases the spaces where the nerves exit the spine (foramina). Add to this the fact that your spine is probably not in its proper position after years and years of physical, emotional and chemical stress and “TA-DA”, back pain.
So, what can you do? Well, first of all – MOVE! I don’t mean pack up and get out of Dodge, just your body in space, for a period of time. Your boss may not enjoy you taking frequent breaks, but s/he will appreciate the increased productivity associated with better blood flow and less pain. Combining movement and stretches will help to get nutrients into the discs. Do some hamstring stretches (bend at the waist and touch your toes), some deep knee bends, and side stretches every couple of hours.
Another tip – Drink more water. (this means drink more water, not drink more of other liquids). Most people drink coffee, which is a diuretic. With no water to counteract the diuretic effect of the coffee you will quickly become dehydrated. As noted above, dehydration is a causative factor in back pain. Sports drinks have become very popular in recent years (just take a look at all of their marketing… TV, magazines, on-line). With the increased expenditure in marketing their products, it seems that cuts have been made in the quality arena. One company cells electrolytes in separate packets to add to the drink that is bottled and sold on the shelf. The original sports drinks were great – little sugar, lots of electrolytes. Now they are full of sugar and little else. Check out the labels.
Another tip for preventing back pain – get adjusted! Our health as a nation would be greatly improved if we were to focus a little on prevention as opposed to our current model of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Far too often we do nothing to improve our health situation, ignore symptoms when they come up and then wonder how we got so sick after decades of these types of lifestyle choices. James Chestnutt frequently makes the statement, “We’re committing suicide by lifestyle choice”. Agreed. Back to the adjustments… regular spinal care is a great way to prevent back pain (and keep your body tuned up, functioning properly). If you would like to find chiropractors in Clayton, NC don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance.