As a practicing chiropractor for over 35 years I have seen thousands of patients seeking care for their back discomfort. Fortunately, I have been able to help the vast majority gain relief of their spinal pain. Once back problems are relieved, I encourage patients to take necessary steps to keep it from returning. This article will discuss steps one can take for the prevention of back and spinal pain.
Experts note that 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. 60% of opioid medication prescriptions, as Percocet and OxyContin, are taken for spinal neck and lower back discomfort. Deaths from unintentional drug overdoses in the USA, primarily driven from opioid overdoses, are the second leading cause of accidental death. Clearly, we need to take simple, yet effective preventative measures to control spinal pain.
I like my patients to consider focusing their efforts toward these three approaches to prevent recurring back discomfort: proper exercise, proper posture support when sitting and sleeping and chiropractic preventative care.
Proper exercises to prevent spinal pain are easy, take little time and require no specialized equipment. I counsel every patient I see to perform some simple stretching exercises in the morning that involve neck and low back muscle warm-ups. For the purposes of this article, I won’t delve into specific exercises, but can say a morning exercise routine should be very gentle and low risk. More vigorous exercise should be performed later in the day. Also, anyone who knows me, will confirm that my favorite exercise is walking. Walking with good, upright, erect posture while swinging the arms appropriately is what human beings have done for millennia and what we are designed for. Additionally, as much as possible, walking should be performed on softer services, like trails and high school tracks.
Proper posture support is vitally important in the prevention of spinal pain. A good quality mattress may be one of the most important investments a person can make. Most traditional spring mattresses have seen their best days after approximately eight years of usage and need to be replaced with a new mattress. I am a supporter of adjustable air mattresses in addition to regular spring mattresses.
Because we sit so much for school and work, we must also have a good quality supportive chair to support our spine. One must spend some time trying different types of chairs that give proper economic support. If possible, it is highly recommended utilizing a variable desk-top so that standing while doing desk and computer work is an option.
Finally, chiropractic care to keep proper movement and alignment of the spine, would be desirable in the quest to prevent discomfort of the back and neck. Chiropractors use gentle, safe, effective spinal manipulation to keep structures of the spine healthy. We all know that if our car is out of alignment our tires will wear out more quickly. If our spine is out of alignment, mechanical stress will cause early spinal degeneration which may lead to back and neck maladies. Chiropractic care provides a clear and strong advantage to prevent spine pain. Following these steps and approaches will allow many people, if not the majority, to live life free of chronic pain and disability due to spinal problems.