Top 3 Reasons for Low Back Pain

By: Eric Brocka, D.C.

Low back pain is almost a guarantee for everyone to have at some point in their lives. Whether it is from picking up something the wrong way, or simply just from wear and tear of old age. A majority of the patients that I treat are suffering from low back pain. There are countless reasons somebody can get lower back pain; however, I am going to give you the top three reasons people are coming into my office.

1. Lifting

There are many times throughout each day that you may find yourself lifting objects, whether they are big or small. This could be as simple as picking up a box of copy paper or as strenuous as moving heavy boxes to your new home. Lifting of any sort can cause low back pain if you’re not carefully planning out your lift before performing it.

The key to preventing an injury while lifting is to lift the objects with a safe technique that will protect your lower back. I'm sure you have heard the saying, "Lift with your legs!" This is true, but there is more to it than that. Have you ever bent down to pick something up and felt a twinge of pain instantly in your back? That means you either picked up the object with your back muscles, or you didn’t evenly distribute your weight.  Make sure you keep your lower back in its normal posture while bending at the knees and hips.  In addition, keep the object in close to your body and balance the weight evenly.

 

Form is very important to lifting. If not executed correctly you will put unwanted weight onto your spine, causing your disc to have more pressure than normal which in the long run can result in disc bulge or herniation—or in simpler words, cause the cushion between the bone to pop out and touch your nerves.  Symptoms differ from patient to patient; including pain in your back, down your buttocks, or even your leg.

 

2. Sitting

 

I am aware that a lot of office jobs include sitting for extended periods of time, so I am going to offer some suggestions to make those long days hurt a little less. Many businesses are switching to the ergonomic standing desks. This is very beneficial because sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time can cause some discomfort, especially with poor posture. It is hard for us to focus on our posture when we have work to think about, but trust me these changes will be very beneficial. When you are sitting at your desk, try to sit upright. Don't slouch over just because it might be more comfortable. Slouching will affect the entire spine and can cause issues in your neck as well. When you are hunched over, your body is stretching some muscles too far and tightening other muscles. Being in that position for a long period of time will ultimately result in overstretching and possible muscle spasms. Sit nice and tall and let your shoulders drop and relax.

 

I usually recommend that my patients take a break every hour to stand and stretch out as well. Just walk to the windows and peek outside or make your way to the water fountain for a quick drink. Anything to keep some movement involved in your daily routine. Sitting tends to add extra pressure on your intervertebral discs, so doing anything to keep some movement involved in your daily routine is important. And remember, keep checking your posture.

3. Twisting

The primary function of the lower back spine is to bend. Each vertebra has facets that keep the spine from rotating too much to keep some stability. Because these are present, excessive twisting of the lower back can cause some irritation and inflammation in the area.  A lot of repetitive twisting can eventually cause wear and tear on your lower back discs and ligaments. Sometimes the bones will rotate out of place causing muscles in your lower back to stretch. Golf is one example of extensive rotation of the lower back. With each swing the lower back is twisting more and more. If your lower back seems to be in pain from any continuous twisting motions, be sure to come see us.


Chiropractic Involvement for Relief of the Pain

Even the best of us can't have proper form all of the time. This makes us more likely to throw things out of place from time to time. The best thing to do for some immediate relief is to ice the low back. This will help it be more tolerable until you can be seen by a Chiropractor for a further diagnosis. Chiropractic adjustments and myofascial release, which is used to loosen up tight muscles, can be very effective in the relief of low back pain. Not all chiropractors work on muscles as part of their treatment, but here at Hiawatha Chiropractic we like to focus on your back as a whole unit; containing both your spine and muscles. So if you're looking for a good Chiropractor in the Cedar Rapids area give us a call! Your road to health is right around the corner here at Hiawatha Chiropractic!

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