Why Spinal Pain is a Mystery Chiropractors Understand
The American Chiropractic Association describes the spine as an elegant looking S-shaped structure, and warns us it is vulnerable to pain, because walking puts a constant loading on the spine. From there the mystery often deepens as pain shows up demanding relief.
The ACA says about 20 percent of 40 year old men and women with back pain have osteoarthritis. That figure jumps to 75 percent when they reach 60.
Each time spinal pain shows up, lives are challenged and the results can be positive or negative depending on the patient’s reaction and the treatments used.
How Trouble Develops
As we age, persistent pressure on the spine wears away the tough cartilage lining the facet joints which then develop inflammation. Spinal trauma from accidents or sports can lead to osteoarthritis. Fibromyalgia, scoliosis, abnormal spinal curve, depression and anxiety can also trigger back pain. Even different leg lengths can contribute to spinal pain.
But regardless of the triggers, chiropractors all agree getting pain under control requires exercise to increase the strength and flexibility of the muscles that surround and support the spine.
Sometimes people become very jumpy seeing spinal pain as something dangerous, to be handled with care as they fear the worst. They become afraid to move and start cutting back on activities, making muscles weak and tight and more sensitive to pain. Chiropractors are careful to rule out fractures, infections and tumors and then they can encourage patients to keep moving to strengthen muscles and regain mobility. Shutting down is the worse thing that they can do if they want to keep their quality of life.
Visiting the Chiropractor for Answers
The initial chiropractor’s visit includes a spinal adjustment, medical history and discussion of daily schedules. The goal of the chiropractor is to help to achieve a healthy spine and nervous system and seek pain relief and mobility without drugs or surgery.
Understanding the pain issues and fears of the patient, the chiropractor will often set up a round of exercises and relaxation techniques to slowly help them regain control of their movements and their lives. The emphasis is on improving muscle strength, joint mobility and flexibility, and the exercises and rest periods are adjusted to the individual and their pain.
Age, severity of pain, and scope of daily activities will all be weighed by the chiropractor as the process helps the patient re-tune everything. Often favored hobbies like fishing, biking or sailing get to stay in the picture, and the patient’s overall health improves as life once more seems good.
If you or someone in your family is experiencing the beginning of spinal pain see your doctor and consider adding a chiropractor to help reshape your life with the goal of mobility, flexibility and retention of daily activities.