Are Sedentary Lifestyles Leading to More Back Pain?

We commonly associate back pain with injuries – but are we right to do so? While it’s certainly true that people can injure their backs lifting heavy objects or in accidents, evidence is mounting that sitting still
could be even worse for your back than previously realized.

What Does Sitting Have to Do with Back Pain?
Sitting down seems to be a benign activity, but it’s not. As we grow increasingly attached to our computers, tablets, and smart phones, we also spend less time moving our bodies. And it turns out that all that sitting has affected our health. People who move around a lot tend to have better posture than people who don’t. Good posture relies on muscle tone and fitness. People who have a low percentage of muscle in their bodies may lack the strength to keep their backs straight while they sit. The fact that we spend so much of our time hunched over electronic devices hasn’t helped, either. In fact, 2008 marked the coining of a new phrase to describe the wear and tear caused by this phenomenon. It’s called Text Neck, and it could be turning into an epidemic. The human head weighs 12 pounds, but when we curve our necks downward to peer at a screen, the pressure on our spines increases dramatically. Over time, repeated stress on the cervical spine can lead to spinal degeneration and chronic pain.

The Solution is Simple

The solution to our sedentary problem is a simple one. Here are some tips to help you reduce the back pain caused by sitting

  1. Sit up straight with your back against your seat, your shoulders touching the backrest, and your knees lower than your hips. Your feet should be flat on the ground and your elbows should be at a comfortable angle.
  2. Align your computer screen so it is even with your eyebrows. This position ensures that you won’t have to strain your neck or spine to look at the screen.
  3. Take frequent breaks. When you sit for hours at a time, your spine compresses and pain may be the result. By standing up, stretching, or even walking around, you give your back a break.
  4. Get more exercise. You don’t have to exercise every day, but even walking or Yoga can help elongate your spine and reduce pain.

We all have to sit sometimes, but if you sit too much your spine may end up paying the price. Using these simple tips can help you keep your spine in the proper alignment and reduce the risk that you’ll end up with a chronic pain problem.

October is Chiropractic Healthcare Month

Chiropractic medicine is one of the least invasive and most effective ways to treat chronic pain. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way of managing pain without prescription drugs or surgery.

October is Chiropractic Health Care Month. Every year, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) uses the month of October to educate the public about the benefits of chiropractic treatment for chronic pain and spinal issues.

This year, their focus is “Back to Basics,” with the intention of reminding the public of the importance of maintaining good spinal health throughout their lives.

What Does Back to Basics Mean?

Getting back to basics for the ACA means educating people about the important role that spinal health plays in their everyday lives. People who do physical labor must be careful not to hurt their backs, but people in sedentary jobs are at risk, too.

The “Back to Basics” campaign is designed to emphasize simple methods of maintaining good spinal health, preventing spinal injuries, and getting the proper nutrition to live a healthy life.

Chiropractic doctors focus on a holistic approach to healing, preferring non-invasive methods of treating pain. The practice of chiropractic medicine is not new, but now more medical doctors are recommending non-drug treatments for pain, including chiropractic treatments.

New Guidelines for the Use of Opioid Drugs for Pain

As awareness of the growing opioid epidemic increases, a growing number of doctors are hesitant to prescribe pain medication for their patients. Instead, they’re recommending non-invasive treatments that eschew drugs.

The Joint Commission, an organization that accredits all major hospitals in the United States, recently released new guidelines regarding the treatment of pain that will go into effect in January, 2018.

Specifically, they said that hospitals must provide non-drug pain treatments to their patients. They have also provided guidelines for the safe prescription and use of opioid drugs.

This marks a significant change from the way pain was treated just a few years ago. Patients are learning that chiropractic treatments can provide real and lasting relief from pain because chiropractors identify the root cause of pain and treat it instead of masking the pain with drugs – and that means that patients don’t have to deal with the unpleasant side effects and risk of addiction that come with prolonged use of pain medication.

David Herd, DC, is the president of the ACA. He points out, “Almost everyone experiences back pain at some point in their lives, and more people are becoming interested in non-drug approaches to treatment.” Throughout the month of October, the ACA will be educating the public about the benefits of chiropractic care and injury prevention. You can visit their website to learn more.

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