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Preventing Lower Back Pain

Did you know that back pain will affect at least 8 out of 10 people in their lifetime?  Is it that human beings are fundamentally flawed?  Or is it perhaps something more subtle that makes us so susceptible to this common ailment?

Have a look at the following prevention tips and see if you recognize a common theme:

  • POSTURE:  Don’t slouch when sitting.  Sit in chairs with good lumbar support.  Avoid sitting when you can.  Get up regularly when sitting for longer periods to walk and/or gently stretch.
  • EXERCISE:  Get regular light to moderate exercise, including daily walking.  Find something you enjoy to get you moving.  Always stretch before more strenuous exercise.  Core strength exercise programs are extremely helpful in avoiding back problems.
  • LIFTING:  Always bend with your knees and not your back, especially when lifting any weight.  Use leg power not back power to lift.  Avoid stooping, and get good at squatting and crouching.
  • FEET:  Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.  Watch out for flat feet.  Invest in corrective orthotics (insoles) if you have either high arch or low arch feet.
  • SLEEP:  Sleep on your side.  Avoid stomach sleeping positions.  Sleep on a firm (but quilted) surface.  Avoid soft or old mattresses.  Most importantly, get enough sleep!
  • HABITS:  Try to control your weight using common sense diet and daily exercise.  Cut out excess sugar where possible.  Quit or reduce smoking as it wreaks silent havoc on your entire body and is highly correlated with high susceptibility to back pain, chronic conditions, and musculo-skeletal injuries.
  • STRESS:  Reduce stress in any way you can.  Use exercise to blow off nervous energy.
  • STATE OF MIND:  Have a positive outlook and attitude.  Seek positive social activities that make you feel good.  Find as many ways as possible to enjoy life.

So what do all these preventative actions have in common?  LIFESTYLE.  You see, back pain is more a question of lifestyle than anything else.  Sure, we might find it easier to believe that we are somehow genetically or mechanically predisposed, however in over 95% of all back pain cases, this is just simply not the case.  Modern lifestyle, unfortunately, is the culprit.  And the point is not to blame lifestyle but instead to understand that each of us is responsible for our own health and wellbeing.  We each have the power to change our lifestyle and therefore avoid back pain and a whole host of other lifestyle related illnesses at the same time.

So how does Chiropractic fit in to all of this?  Well, Chiropractors do exist to help their patients eliminate and recover from back problems and physical injuries, however, we also seek to inform our patients about the best ways to keep healthy and pain-free once this has been achieved.  So if you have a new, ongoing, or persistent back problem, go see your Chiropractor and get it fixed.  Once it’s sorted, keeping it that way is up to you, and following the tips above is a good start.

Chiropractors are expert Doctors specialising in the diagnosis, treatment, and correction of problems located in the spine, extremities, and neuro-musculo-skeletal framework of the body.

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