Many patients I see in my chiropractic practice have back pain. Some people have short-term sudden discomfort. This is called acute pain. However, some people have back pain constantly for years or suffer frequent long-term episodic pain. This is called chronic pain. Even though pain may exist for many years it can be addressed and helped. This article will discuss chronic spinal pain and approaches to decrease this very common malady.
When I see a patient with chronic pain of the spine, three areas of consideration can be addressed.
First, we look at a person’s body weight. The joints of the spine are called the facet joints. Spinal discs are like pads or shock absorbers between spinal bones which are called vertebrae. The more weight we place on the discs and joints of the spine the greater the chance that these deeper anatomical structures will begin to fail and cause pain. In fact, when we look at spinal x-rays we see actual signs of wear and tear or degeneration. The discs wear down and it appears as “bone on bone.” The disc space will show a reduction of height as the disc wears out. We will also see a buildup of calcium on areas of spinal vertebrae which are referred to as “bone spurs.”
The obvious solution is to help overweight or obese patients lose reasonable amount of weight. While I don’t offer weight reduction programs in my office is very easy for patient to follow a safe, reliable program. I personally like patients to engage in a keto-type plan to address body weight challenges.
A second area of consideration to be addressed to reduce chronic spinal pain is to introduce appropriate body movement. Anyone who has to sit long hours intuitively knows that if they get up and walk for a while, they feel better. When muscles, ligaments and joints are moved in a safe, reasonable manner they send signals to the brain which naturally, lowers and reduces pain signals. If a person can walk comfortably this is, by far, the best exercise to reduce chronic pain of the back. However, if walking is not possible swimming, riding a stationary bike, or water aerobics are certainly acceptable activities.
The third aspect to address for relief of pain of the back is alignment and proper movement of the spine itself. Chiropractic care is the gold standard for helping chronic spine pain. Chiropractors utilize spinal adjustments, sometimes called spinal manipulation, to restore proper alignment and movement of the facet joints of the spine. Adjustments help to reduce chronic irritation of the facet joints and spinal nerves. For 125 years doctors of chiropractic have been able to help those suffering with chronic back pain to achieve pain reduction and relief.
Anyone looking for relief of their chronic, long-term back pain can utilize one or all of the aforementioned approaches in seeking wellness.