One of the most common complaints people suffer from, often on a daily basis, is back pain, yet many of us choose to put up with the pain rather than seek a solution. We think that back pain is inevitable or that treatment will involve some sort of painful or invasive surgery. While this may be true for some back pain, there are treatments for other types that are preventative, effective and non-invasive.
Causes and treatments
There are several causes for the types of back pain that most of us suffer at some point or another. Perhaps the best known and most often experienced is the pain caused by poor posture when working at a desk. Modern office life means that many of us sit at a computer all day – that can be between 7 and 9 hours – which means that our shoulders become hunched and our backs curved as we lean toward the screen. According to Chiropractor Atlanta, this puts a great deal of strain on our necks and shoulders, leading to pain in our backs. Simple preventative measures can help and these include getting out of your chair and moving around at least once every hour for about fifteen minutes, as well as ensuring the computer screen is at the correct eye level and that you are sitting correctly, with arms at a 90-degree angle and feet flat on the floor.
Another cause of back pain is a weak core. The core is what holds your body together; your back, your pelvis, even the muscles in your backside, and of course, your abs. The core is the part of your body that allows you to twist, squat and stand upright. You can increase the strength of your core and thereby that of your back by engaging in exercises that target this area, and these include lunges, squats and plank movements. Just performing these kind of moves a few times a week will strengthen your core and reduce back pain.
It may surprise you to know but even how you sleep can cause back pain. If you normally sleep on your stomach, then you are putting extra pressure on your joints and muscles because you are making your spine curve inwards, whereas sleeping on your back or side allows your spine to assume a neutral position. If you cannot alter your sleeping position, put a thin pillow beneath your hips to relieve the pressure here and opt for a mattress that offers medium support.
Posture is another major cause of back pain, specifically poor posture. Just as most of us adopt a poor posture in front of the computer, many of us do so when slouched on the sofa, watching television. We begin to hunch and round our shoulders, even when walking, or even start favoring one side of our body over the other so that we become just a little bit crooked. Sometimes, poor posture is just out of habit or laziness, but it could also be because your spine has become misaligned. In cases like this, all that is needed is a case of spinal realignment performed by a qualified chiropractor. A chiropractor adjusts your spine to correct the cause of your back pain, rather than just offering a solution that treats the symptoms.
If you are female, then chances are fashion is playing its part in your back problem. Most of us understand that high heels may look good but are bad for us, throwing our bodies forward so that we put extra pressure on our backs just to stay upright, not to mention the aches they can cause in our feet and our calves. However, flat shoes can also cause back pain if they do not offer any kind of arch support. Flip flops and sandals are notorious for not providing arch support, so it is a good idea to wear different types of shoes on alternate days to avoid putting too much strain on any one area. Too heavy shoulder bags are another cause of back pain, pulling shoulders down on one side. The answer is to remove as much as possible from your purse so that it is lighter to carry and to swap shoulders every other day. Bags with a wider strap or a messenger purse are better alternatives.
Back pain can arise because of several reasons, but many of them are preventable when common sense gets involved. Make changes to the way you work and sleep, and vary the accessories you wear to prevent back pain becoming a chronic condition.