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Busting the Top Myths Surrounding Back Pain

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Has the past year found you sitting at your desk longer than before? Or perhaps, life in a pandemic has meant you’re now more active than ever. Unfortunately, whatever your activity level, back pain doesn’t discriminate.

And even though you’re more likely to experience back pain as you age, it’s safe to say that most people will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

Over the years, you may have heard a few theories about what actually causes back pain and what to do when the pain interferes in your daily life. But do you have the right facts?

Here are some common myths surrounding back pain and the truth behind them.

1. This pain is so intense, I should probably head straight to the emergency room.

Evidence shows that most low back pain cases are manageable and do not require an emergency visit.

When should you go to the ER? Go to the emergency room if you are experiencing a loss of sensation in the saddle area or you have lost bowel or bladder control. Otherwise, your best first step is to find a musculoskeletal expert such as a chiropractor to diagnose and treat the cause of your low back pain. If the cause of your pain is serious enough to warrant the emergency room, these specialists will immediately send you there.

When pain affects your quality of life you want help today, not tomorrow. Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage has extended hours, and our staff will do their best to get you in today. Call us at 905-427-3202 to book an appointment.

2. If I’m in a lot of pain, there must be a lot of damage.

Pain is a sensation that acts as a warning system for your brain. Many things can cause that warning system to go off. A musculoskeletal expert can help you figure out if your pain is related to your joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments or nerves. It’s important to remember that intense pain doesn’t necessarily mean that there is significant damage.

3. All I need is to stretch my back.

Before you stretch, it’s important to get checked out to see if stretching is the right thing to do. Depending on the reason your back is hurting, certain stretches can make things worse. For example, if you have a disc problem, then you may want to avoid stretches that flex the spine and put additional pressure on the discs. A chiropractor can help you get to the root cause and show you which exercises and stretches will help.

4. Applying heat will help relieve my back pain.

Applying heat may make the inflammation of your joint, surrounding muscles and ligaments worse. Ice is the way to go for at least the first three days of short-term (acute) pain.

5. Pain is the main indication that something is wrong.

Your back may be in trouble and you may not feel it. Restricted movement or discomfort in your arms, legs and shoulders are also indications of spinal problems.

6. I need an X-ray, CT or MRI to figure out why I have back pain.

The reality is that most causes of acute low back pain will not show up on an X-ray, CT or an MRI. A qualified healthcare provider is trained to know when you should have diagnostic imaging done, and they have a series of other tests they can do to help you get to the bottom of what is going on.

7. Now that my back pain is gone, I can stop doing my exercises.

Once the pain stops, many people stop doing the things that helped them get rid of the pain. It is important to make healthy back care and exercise a part of your regular routine. Otherwise, your back pain is likely to return.

If you’re experiencing back pain, consider visiting the chiropractic and massage therapy team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage. We help our patients build better pathways to overall wellness, as well as provide relief from back pain and muscle aches. Contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.

With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association

Suffering from Lower Back Pain? Give Yoga a Try!

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If you suffer from lower back pain, the relief you’ve been looking for may be a little farther than the medicine cabinet, but as close as your local community centre.

With so many of us spending an increasing amount of time hunched over a computer keyboard, it’s not surprising that our back often suffers. While it may be difficult to fight the urge to reach for a quick-fix in the form of pain-numbing pills, medication only offers short-term relief without solving the problem.

Aside from headaches, low back pain is one of the most common complaints of Canadians today. In addition to stress-related causes, this pain may also be due to overuse or injuries such as those occurring after rigorous physical activity, or a mild-to-serious car accident.

Together with chiropractic, yoga offers another way to prevent low back pain by strengthening your core muscles.

Yoga consists of an extensive set of exercises (or poses) designed to promote muscle strength, flexibility and proper breathing. It has been studied as a treatment for lower back pain; carpal tunnel syndrome; osteoarthritis of the hands; depression; asthma; hypertension; and many more conditions.

There are various poses which can help relieve low back pain, and even just a few minutes of yoga on a regular basis can reduce pain and strengthen your core abdominal muscles.

As well as strengthening core muscles, yoga is also helpful if there are psychological factors involved in your back pain. The act of doing these poses promotes relaxation and calmness, which relieves the mental stress and anxiety that might have eventually lead to more back pain.

In addition to the mind-body connection, yoga also focuses on the spine.

In accordance with Dr. Noble and Dr. Fera’s chiropractic principles, many of the body’s aches and pains can be attributed to the misalignment of vertebrae. Yoga is a proven natural way to decrease your back pain, strengthen your core, and improve your overall sense of well-being. Doing yoga properly and having regular chiropractic care ensures a reduction of pain and treatment.

Yoga can be an effective and gentle tool to help manage your low back pain. Its many benefits include relief from pain, stress and anxiety – it’s also fun and challenging!

Yoga can help you reduce muscle tension, increase flexibility and strength while improving your balance. Warm up before trying yoga, as you want to help your back pain, not make it worse.

Here is a list of yoga poses that are great for beginners and can be done at home! Always listen to your body and do not continue a pose if it is painful. If you’re unsure if yoga is right for you or feel pain once you try it, talk to your chiropractor.

Downward Dog strengthens the shoulders, core, back and legs while promoting back flexibility.

Warrior Pose helps separate hip and leg movement from pelvic and low back mobility.

Cobra Pose helps strengthen your shoulders and back while promoting flexibility in the upper back.

Pyramid Pose strengthens your legs and spine and teaches body awareness on how to hinge and move from the hip joint.

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The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage encourages you to improve your overall health by making exercise a part of your daily routine. If you want to learn more about managing your health with exercise, contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.

 

 

With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association and the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative.

Do You Suffer from Low Back Pain?

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Low back pain pickering chiropractor

Involuntary spasms in your lower back? A dull throbbing ache? Shooting pain down your leg? You are most likely suffering from low back pain (LBP).

If you’ve never had low back pain, chances are you will at some point in your life. Just check these statistics:

  • In a six-month period, five in 10 Canadians suffered low back pain
  • Up to 85% of working people can expect to experience low back pain during their lifetime
  • In Canada, the low back pain-related estimate of the medical costs ranges between 6 and 12 billion dollars annually

Low Back Pain Causes

Low-back-pain-ajax-chiropractor

Low back pain is a complex condition with multiple contributors to pain, including physical, social and psychological factors. Lifestyle factors, such as obesity and being sedentary are associated with the occurrence of low back pain as well.

Our backs play a supportive role for our bodies – at rest and in motion. Extra body weight puts greater demand on our spines and other joints. Research shows that a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) increases the risk of suffering low back pain. With growing rates of obesity, Canadians are increasing their chances of developing low back pain.

In addition, we are more sedentary than ever before. In industrialized countries, 75% of workers sit for long periods of time. Prolonged sitting may negatively affect your muscles and joints and lead to deconditioning (decline in physical functioning), fatigue and stress on the spinal discs causing pain in the lower back. In an effort to combat sitting, newer products such as standing desks, have been increasing in popularity. However, recent research produced at the University of Waterloo also found that standing desks may lead to lower back pain as well. The key takeaway message as discussed by Daniel Viggiani, lead author, is that regardless of whether you are sitting or standing at work, make sure to move around and shift your posture often.

Responses to the Low Back Pain Epidemic

Low back pain has also been one of the key drivers for opioid prescription. With increasing awareness of its risks, limited efficacy and potential for misuse, emerging evidence has suggested that medication should not be the mainstay in the treatment of low back pain. Instead, recent guidelines recommend self-management, manual therapy, physical activity and psychological therapies. There is a shift in placing less emphasis on pharmacological and surgical interventions in the care of low back pain.

Canadian chiropractors are trained to assess and diagnose back pain, as well as offer comprehensive treatment plans. Typically, plans are holistic. A chiropractor addresses all contributing factors of low back pain, such as joint dysfunction, injury, ergonomics, exercise and overall health and then develops a customized program to relieve pain, increase mobility and get you back on your feet. Chiropractic treatment is a drugless and non-invasive treatment option.

How Chiropractic Expertise Can Help Low Back Pain

Chiropractic treatment relieves low back pain using effective clinical tools like manipulation, mobilization, soft tissue therapy, exercise, patient education, modalities (i.e. ultrasound, laser) and rehabilitation. Extensively trained in spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), chiropractors are proficient in providing specialized care which has been proven effective in reducing pain, improving function, and decreasing the chances of low back pain becoming a chronic condition.

Click here to read more about how chiropractic expertise in treating low back pain can ease pain and lower your risk of recurrence.

Ajax chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera can provide education on your spine and posture, as well as create a personalized treatment plan including back exercises and ergonomic solutions for your workstation. Therapeutic massage therapy is also available at our clinic by Ajax massage therapists Rolf Castanheiro and Jessica Raedisch. Call 905-427-3202 to book an appointment.

Article credit: Canadian Chiropractic Association