Why do I have back pain?
Your spinal column is made up of 24 flexible vertebrae which are stacked up like a pile of donuts. Running through this column is a cable of nerves which is called your spinal cord. The nerves which come out of your spinal cord transmit messages between your brain and the rest of your body. If these nerves become compressed or irritated, the message they transmit is "pain".
Between each vertebrae is a disc which acts like a shock absorber. If a disc flattens or bulges it can irritate the nerve. This is often referred to as a herniated or "slipped" disc.
Another possible source of back pain is the facet joint of the vertebrae. They allow for proper spinal motion. If these joints are not moving correctly, symptoms can occur.
People with chronic back pain tend to utilize their muscles differently, substituting the wrong muscles for lifting tasks. This can accelerate spinal degeneration or create wear and tear.
Studies show that bed rest alone does not improve back pain and may hinder recovery.
Drugs may offer temporary relief from the pain but they do not treat the underlying cause.
Although, necessary in some cases, many surgeries do not relieve the pain or the pain reoccurs within a few years of the operation.
Chiropractic offers safe, effective treatment for back pain, directed towards the source of the pain and not just the symptoms. Many studies have proven the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain and patients often report a high degree of satisfaction with their chiropractic treatment.
How can I avoid back pain?
Along with treating your current condition, Dr. Smistad can offer you solutions which may help you avoid future back pain.
- Stretches and Exercise - Dr. Smistad can show you specific stretches and exercises to increase the flexibility and strength of your back, which can relieve pain and increase stability.
- Posture - Proper posture for sitting, lifting and sleeping can dramatically affect back pain. Dr. Smistad can show you the correct positioning and may offer advice on seat supports, back braces, pillows and mattresses.
- Orthotics and Insoles - Custom foot orthotics may be warranted for individuals with "collapsed" arches or arch imbalances. Others may benefit from insoles, which reduce the impact on the spine.
- Back Packs - How we carry our daily load can greatly reduce strain and fatigue to our spine. Ergonomically designed bags can reduce the strain and evenly distribute heavy loads. It is recommended, to not carry in excess of 15% of your body weight.