One-third of people in the United States suffer from some type of back pain. This number is expected to increase over the next few years due to the number of desk jobs people have and our generally inactive lifestyle. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for people to seek care from their primary care physician or miss days of work. Almost everyone has had back pain at one time or another.
Back Pain Symptoms
- Achy muscles
- Pain that radiates down your leg
- Stiffness along with inability to be flexible or have great range of motion
- Stabbing or shooting pain
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain that comes on all of a sudden and lasts less than six weeks is referred to as acute back pain. It might have been brought on by lifting something heavy or by falling. If you experience back pain that lasts for more than three months, it is referred to as chronic, and it is not as common as acute.
Here are some conditions that are connected to back pain:
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can impact the lower back. In some people, arthritis causes the space around the spinal cord to narrow, leading to pain. This is called spinal stenosis.
- Osteoporosis: If your bones become brittle and porous, your spine can develop compression fractures.
- Skeletal irregularities: Scoliosis is one example. It is a condition in which your spine curves to one side. It is not always painful, but severe cases usually are.
- Muscle or ligament strain: A sudden awkward movement or lifting heavy objects repeatedly can strain the muscles and ligaments of the back. This is especially true if you are in poor physical shape. The strain might lead to muscle spasms.
- Ruptured or bulging disks: In between each vertebra there is a spongy soft material that is called a disk. It absorbs shocks from any jarring of the bones. However, over time, the material in the disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. This does not always lead to pain and is sometimes discovered in spinal x-rays that are being done for some other reason.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help ensure you will have less back pain.
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and back pain download our complimentary e-book Natural and Drug-Free Ways to End Your Back Pain and Sciatica by clicking the image below.
How to Wake Up with Less Back Pain
Joseph McNamara, a chiropractor neurologist in Cumming, Georgia, relays that people often have more pain at night and in the morning because their joints are staying still for a long period of time. This means that the brain does not send extra blood to the area. Finding a proper way to sleep can be helpful to relieve pressure on your spine by keeping it in a neutral position. This allows you to wake up feeling less stiffness and pain. However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how to sleep better if you suffer from back pain. Sometimes you have to see what works best for you. Here are some suggestions to try according to the experts.
- Stomach sleepers: If you love to sleep on your stomach, then you will not be happy to hear it is the worst possible way for you to sleep if you have back pain. You can compare sleeping on your stomach to looking over your shoulder for 8 hours at a time because your head needs to be twisted to one side in order for you to breathe properly. Another problem is that the spine becomes hyperextended, which aggravates the low back pain.
If you absolutely cannot sleep any other way, consider rotating slightly to the side and using a thin pillow to prop you up as much as is comfortable for you.
- Side sleepers: Side sleeping can easily become good for your back if you make a few adjustments. For one thing, be sure to put a thin pillow in between your legs to keep the top leg from dropping to the mattress so as not to allow the pelvis to twist. The pillow should be small enough not to feel awkward, but big enough to keep you from rolling onto your back or stomach. Your head pillow is vital also. Make sure it is not thicker than the distance from your neck to your shoulder. Likewise, a pillow should not be too thin, allowing your head to drop to the bed and kinking your neck.
- Back sleepers: You win the grand prize if you sleep mostly on your back! This is the best way of sleeping to reduce back pain. However, laying flat on your back can put stress on the lower discs of your back because you are flattening out the natural curve of the low back. Propping a pillow below the knees is the way to go. This promotes the natural curve of the spine, allowing the back to relax.
How NUCCA Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Helps with Back Pain
If you are experiencing any type of back pain, it is a good idea to visit us here at Balanced Living Chiropractic. We understand how your posture can affect your back and lead to back pain if your spine is not in proper alignment. This often begins in the top part of the neck. The C1 and C2 vertebrae set a standard for the proper alignment of the rest of the back. If they are out of alignment by just one-quarter of a millimeter, the entire back compensates for this, leading to pain.
We will examine your neck for small misalignments and then begin to work on getting the bones lined back up properly. This involves using a gentle method rather than popping or cracking the back or neck. Instead, we encourage the bones to move back into place on their own. This allows for a longer-lasting adjustment. Many patients have reported seeing relief for their back pain after only a couple of adjustments.
To schedule a complimentary NUCCA consultation, call 248-652-7225 or just click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com