Welcome to the Family Chiropractic & Massage blog! Here, we will discuss anything and everything that has to do with chiropractic care and wellness. We will share helpful information and hopefully answer any questions you have through our articles. We are a chiropractic clinic that began in 1997 and has since grown to locations in North Charleston, Summerville, and Moncks Corner, South Carolina. We are dedicated to providing tailored care and treatment with traditional and new techniques to help our patients reach their wellness goals. We treat a variety of conditions including neck pain, back pain, injuries, sciatica, scoliosis, and more. Besides chiropractic care, we also offer physiotherapeutic care, rehabilitative care, and massage therapy. Our licensed massage therapists offer all types of massage from deep tissue to compression massage and more. We are strong believers in natural healing! Check out our website to find out more information about the services and care we offer, and contact us today to schedule an appointment with our experienced doctors!

In our last article, we discussed carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the compression of the median nerve as it passes into the hand. This is generally caused by swelling of tissue inside the wrist that puts pressure on the nerve and can cause pain, tingling, and numbness. Chiropractic care can help alleviate, and eventually eliminate, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. If you’re interested in learning more about this condition, we encourage you to read our last blog.

Today, we’ll be discussing bad back habits and how to combat them. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems. According to the CDC, lower back pain was the most common type of pain reported by patients, with 25% of U.S. adults reporting it in the 3 months prior to the study. Experts have said that approximately 75 to 85% of Americans will have some form of back pain in their lifetime. Things such as bad posture can create back pain and other issues over time. But bad posture certainly isn’t the only thing that is bad for your back. Sometimes, a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent or alleviate back pain and contribute to overall wellness. If you are interested in learning more about bad back habits and how to prevent back pain, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!

Sitting and Posture

Sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause back pain. This can be especially true for people who have office or desk jobs. Sitting puts more pressure on the spine than standing, in turn putting pressure on the discs in your back. Additionally, sitting in a slouched or hunched position can also put strain on the discs. If you sit at a desk all day, investing in a good ergonomic chair can be beneficial. An ergonomic chair is a chair best designed to support the body, especially the lower back. Chairs with lower-back support are best, as a cushion causes your lower back to arch slightly so you don’t slump forward. When sitting for long periods of time, be sure to take breaks. Simply getting up and walking around every 30 minutes to an hour can prevent back pain. Your posture is important for weight distribution. It keeps your bones and joints in alignment, and decreases wearing of bone surfaces. When standing for long periods, you should distribute your body weight evenly to the front, back, and sides of the feet. Stand straight and tall with your shoulders back and keep your head level and in line with your body. Pull in your abdomen. Becoming aware of your everyday posture is a key step to promoting overall back health. If you need to, set reminders on your phone for every half hour or so that alert you to stand up straight. This can help keep your posture in check. 

Mattresses and Sleep Posture

A good mattress is important, not just for a good night’s sleep but also for your back. According to a 2015 review published in Sleep Health, a medical journal, a medium-firm mattress appears to be best for your back. Older mattresses can sag and become lumpy, causing your back to contort as you sink into it at night. If you are already experiencing lower back pain, you may want to reevaluate your sleeping positions. One great sleeping position to alleviate back pain is sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees. Putting the pillow between your knees keeps your hips, pelvis, and spine in better alignment. Another position is sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees, which will help keep the natural curve of your back. When sleeping on your back, your weight is evenly distributed, which places less strain on pressure points. It also provides better alignment for your spine and internal organs. Before getting in bed, you can apply an ice pack or cool gel pack to your back for 15 or 20 minutes before you sleep. This can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. 

Diet

You may be surprised, but diet can play a large role in back and spine health. Unhealthy foods can contribute to weight gain, and excess weight can put extra strain on your back. Weight isn’t the only factor at play, though. The bones, muscles, and other structures in the spine require proper nutrition so that they are strong enough to support the body and perform their functions efficiently. Calcium is widely known as the most essential component for bone health. It is found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. It can also be found in green leafy vegetables like kale, and almonds. Adequate calcium intake can prevent osteoporosis, which causes weak and brittle bones. However, calcium alone cannot maintain strong, healthy bones. Magnesium is another key mineral that promotes good bone density and can be found in fish, beans, seeds, nuts, yogurt, avocado, and bananas. Proteins are another vital element to bone health and help maintain, heal, and repair the bones, cartilage, and soft tissue. Protein can be found in lean meats such as beef, lamb, veal, and pork, as well as chicken and nuts including almonds, cashews, and macadamias. 

Stress

When life gets rough, stress can be inevitable. But did you know that stress can manifest physically? This can cause unconscious tightening and tensing of the back muscles and muscles in the shoulders. This is sometimes referred to as Tension Myositis Syndrome. The tension in the muscles along with mental or emotional stress may lead to a person becoming less active, due to their mood. When we are less active, our muscles can weaken and stiffen up even more, eventually causing even more pain. Visiting a chiropractor for an adjustment or a massage can help loosen up the muscles and relieve tension and stress. Other techniques like meditation and yoga may help both physically and mentally. 

Dismissing Back Pain

One of the worst habits you can create is dismissing back pain. When something hurts, your body is trying to tell you something, and you should never ignore it. Any type of pain should be addressed, whether it is through lifestyle changes or speaking with your healthcare provider. Many people with back pain choose to see a chiropractor because of the nonsurgical, natural treatment. A chiropractor can perform a spinal adjustment, which improves alignment and eases pain. A long-term treatment plan can also be created based on the patient’s needs, including chiropractic care and nutritional plans. 

Unfortunately, back pain is very common among adults in the U.S. The good news is that simple lifestyle changes such as good posture and a well-balanced diet can help prevent and alleviate back pain. Seeing a chiropractor has also proven to be effective. We hope you found this article informative, and we encourage you to reach out to us if you have any further questions or concerns. It would be a pleasure to assist you. Here at Family Chiropractic & Massage, we have doctors who have studied a variety of chiropractic techniques to render care to patients with different types of conditions. As people vary, so do the techniques chosen to help each patient get well. We use evidence-based treatment methods to help patients get better faster. If you are suffering from any type of back pain, contact us today to set up an appointment so we can assess your needs and create an effective treatment plan. One of our experienced doctors would love to help get you on the track to living a healthy, pain-free life! Thank you for reading, and we hope you’ll check back for more articles about chiropractic care and all it has to offer!