Keeping Your Back Healthy and Strong

Back pain is the number one reason for visits to the chiropractor, and the number two reason for visits to general practitioners. Back pain is a serious problem that affects half of all U.S. adults every year, and those figures show no signs of slowing down.

While we know that back pain is a serious concern, most of us don’t go out of our way to reduce the risk. Some say that back care is inconvenient while others believe it won’t happen to them. It seems to be an epidemic that continues to grow out of apathy.

Caring For Your Back

Back problems, like many other health conditions, can be prevented with just a little bit of knowledge. If you want to learn how to ensure your back stays its healthiest, here are a few tips recommended by the American Chiropractic Association:

  • Eat a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Maintain your proper weight and avoid yo-yo dieting
  • Maintain correct posture, whether sitting or standing
  • Throw out those high heels. Comfortable, low-heeled shoes are best for your back
  • Avoid becoming a couch potato.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking results in oxygen deprivation of spinal tissue
  • Stretch before any type of exercise or physical activity
  • Lift with your legs, not your back
  • Read up on ergonomics or talk to your chiropractor about how to make your workstation safer
  • “Medium” is the magic word when it comes to mattress firmness
  • Perform some type of physical activity daily, as allowed by your chiropractor

Treatment for Back Problems

Even if you’ve already suffered a back injury, there’s still hope. Nowadays there are a variety of treatments that can alleviate the pain, or cure back troubles once and for all. These include:

  • Medications. NSAIDs and acetaminophen are commonly used to combat mild-to-moderate back pain. In more severe cases, narcotics may be prescribed by a physician for short periods of time.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy is often used to treat back pain, with great success. A licensed therapist is able to use a variety of tools, including ultrasound and electrical stimulation to improve flexibility and strengthen muscles.
  • Cortisone injections. Injections can provide relief for a few months by decreasing inflammation around the nerve roots.
  • Chiropractic care. Because chiropractic care is a safe, non-invasive way to care for your back, it’s a great complement to traditional therapies. It’s also a great way to keep your back strong and healthy even if you’re not suffering from back pain.

When it comes to your health, the best offense is a good defense.  Warming up before engaging in physical activity, eating well and exercising regularly are all wonderful ways to keep your back (and the rest of your body) in tip-top shape.

 

Story credit: http://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=68

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.