Does Your Back Require Treatment?
By Paul Rothbart
Moving furniture, shoveling snow, maybe a little roughhousing with the kids. Any of these can cause a little soreness in the back. No big deal, some rest, ice, maybe a heating pad. Good as new in the morning right? Not necessarily. Back pain could be a sign of more serious trouble that requires treatment, perhaps by a chiropractor. But, how do you know? Taking the time and spending the money to get it checked only to find out it's just overwork can be embarrassing. But ignoring an injury can have major consequences. Here are some things to help determine if it's time to make that appointment.
Factors of Higher Risk
Although back pain can strike anyone, there are factors that could mean you are at higher risk of injury. Back pain is more frequent in those middle aged and beyond. Being overweight and not getting enough exercise will weaken muscles and increase the load they must bear. This is a combination that very often stresses the back. Lifting incorrectly, bending from the back rather than using the much stronger legs is just asking for an injury. Interestingly enough, people who suffer from depression and anxiety as well as smokers appear to be at greater risk for back pain. If you are in any of these categories, carefully monitoring any discomfort in the back is a good idea
When Medical Attention Is Needed
Minor back pain does usually go away with rest. But if the pain lasts more than a few weeks, it's time to get help. Severe pain is another sign of a more serious condition as well as pain that spreads down the legs. If it reaches below the knees, that is a symptom of a very serious problem. Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs requires immediate medical attention. If you have any of these symptoms, you should be examined. A chiropractor can make an evaluation and may be able to relieve the pain and fix the problem. If it requires a different type of treatment, you will be referred to a good doctor in that field.
If you are fortunate enough not to have back pain, take the steps to keep it that way. If you are overweight, get to a healthy weight and maintain it. Get regular exercise and strengthen core muscles in the low back and also the abdomen. Always use proper lifting techniques and get help if the load is very heavy. Good posture also goes a long way toward a strong and healthy back. Having an evaluation from a licensed chiropractor may also help. Any problems in the spine can be identified and fixed. This may prevent pain from developing.
Back pain is pretty common. It's not always serious, but if it is, it will require treatment. Know the signs and seek help if they are present. Stopping in at The Joint Chiropractic for an evaluation may be very helpful in relieving pain and avoiding it in the future.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Arlington, Tex.