Although doctors of chiropractic treat more than just back pain, many patients initially visit a chiropractor looking for relief from this common condition. In fact, about 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time according to the American Chiropractic Association. Back pain is also considered the leading cause of disability in Americans under the age of 45.
Interesting Facts about Back Pain (according to the ACA)
- Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.
- Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
- Back pain is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders.
- Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots or bone loss.
With today’s growing emphasis on quality care, clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness, spinal manipulation is receiving increased attention. Spinal manipulation is a safe and effective non-drug spine pain treatment. It reduces pain (decreasing the need for medication in some cases), rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.
Tips to Prevent Back Pain according to ACA:
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
- Remain active—under the supervision of your chiropractor.
- Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
- Warm up or stretch before exercising or 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.
- When lifting an object, lift with your knees. Keep the object close to your body and do not twist.
- Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
- Work with your chiropractor to ensure that your workstation is ergonomically correct.
It is important to make an informed decision about your back care. To learn more about back care treatment options, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (717) 766-4000!