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There are many benefits of chiropractic care that aren’t well-known – like improving your immune system, enhancing sports performance, reducing allergies and asthma, lifting moods, normalizing blood pressure, reducing dependence on medication, clearing the brain for awesome thinking…OK, you get the idea.

However, the most common reason people make the decision to come to our chiropractic office (and I suspect most others) is low back pain. About 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes, so this is important info for just about everyone.

Here’s the lowdown on low back pain…

Your back is beautifully structured to give you the strength and support you need to keep you upright and moving, twisting and turning, standing and sitting, doing sit ups, driving, surfing, running, lifting, dancing – you name it, your lower back is working it!

Specifically, we’re talking about the lumbar region that includes the five vertebrae (L1 – L5) which support much of the weight of your upper body. The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by rubbery pads called intervertebral discs that act like shock absorbers throughout your spine to cushion the bones as your body moves.

Bands of tissue called ligaments hold the vertebrae in place, and tendons attach the muscles to the spinal column. 31 pairs of nerves are rooted to the spinal column, among other goodies that help keep you alive.

*Pinched Nerve vs Normal Nerve

Miraculous, isn’t it? And it’s not too surprising that any disruption in the way these parts fit together and move could cause some trouble. Added to this are risk factors which contribute to that 80% I mentioned earlier, such as age, fitness level, pregnancy, weight gain, genetics, occupational (like a job that requires heavy lifting or moving, or an inactive job or desk job), mental health (stress, depression, anxiety), working out too much (YES, that can happen!), and backpack overload for children (we need to start early with our children to support strong backs!).

Getting aligned and adjusted by a chiropractor relieves pain and clears the way for our body’s amazing capacity for self-healing to do its job. Wouldn’t it be better to avoid low back pain in the first place?

This is where you come in – you can also help your body heal through PREVENTION. Here are some simple things to be mindful of and good habits to develop…

Strengthen your core. The core is a group of muscles in your torso area that is crucial to supporting your back. It includes your abdominals, back muscles, and the muscles around the pelvis. Ask your chiropractor about some simple exercises and movements that can build those muscles.

Ergonomics:  Pay attention to your posture, how you sit, how you twist as you get out of the car or repeatedly torquing your body to reach for something at work. Repetitive motions can eventually cause low back strain.  Watch how you carry weight and how much you should be carrying, because injuries from this activity often happen in the lower-back area.

Work smart. Support your active body on the job by giving it the right equipment. Remember your grandmother telling your to wear sensible shoes? Turns out to be great advice. If you are using strap belts or braces to support your back as you do manual labor, do some homework on which to get and how to use them – there are pros and cons!

Reduce stress. Stress can cause your muscles to tighten and even spasm. Anything that reduces your body’s stress can help, such as deep relaxation, yoga, listening to soothing music, and getting a good night’s sleep.

If you’re suffering with low back pain, give us a call at 925-385-8353 and set up a time to talk to one of our doctors about getting the relief you need.