Types of Back pain

As any good chiropractor would tell you, there is no single cause of back pain. This is because back pain can occur due to various reasons, and affect different areas. It is important that you have an understanding of the nature of your ailment before going to the chiropractor for treatment.

Location Of The Pain

Back pain is classified in two categories, depending on where the pain occurs.

Upper Back Pain

Pain in the upper back, shoulders or neck is termed as upper back pain. There can be certain causes of upper back pain, such as stretched tendons or damaged ligaments due to strenuous physical work. Upper back pains aren’t as common as lower back pains, and can be treated by taking pain relievers such as Paracetamol or by visiting a Chiropractor.

Lower Back Pain

Like the name suggests, lower back pains are directed at the base of the back, and occur due to the overstretching of muscles in the lower back or direct injury to that area. This pain can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as lifting something heavy or bending in an awkward position. Treatment for lower back pains is the same as for upper back pains.

Duration Of The Pain

Besides location, pain can also be classified according to duration.

Acute Back Pain

A short term pain, lasting from a few days to weeks, is called an acute back pain. There may be numerous causes of this pain, the most common being blunt trauma caused by Ankylosing spondilytis, arthritis or other medical conditions.

The symptoms of this pain can range from muscular aches and incorrect posture to shooting pains in the buttocks and back of the legs. Acute back pain can lead to serious problems, but is generally harmless, and most people tend to let it heal itself.

Chronic Back Pain

If the pain lasts for more than 3 months, it is termed as chronic back pain. The cause of chronic back pain can rarely be determined without the help of a Chiropractor or other medical professional. This long term pain gets progressively worse with time; immediate treatment is necessary to prevent further complications.

Now that you know what type of back pain you suffer from, you can act on them by looking up for home treatments online, or doing exercises which may stimulate the back. It is also recommended that you visit your nearest chiropractor who could suggest you treatment options.

 

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Spinal Disc Herniation – Disc Injuries and Chiropractic Therapy

Spine and disc injuries are more common in individuals who lie in the 40 to 60 age bracket. While young individuals who engage in different strenuous work activities (which involve the lifting of heavy loads and operating on machinery for long hours) experience spine, neck and disc injuries which cause great pain. These injuries cause hindrance in the movement of the back and the neck, and are aggravated by continuous involvement in different laborious activities. Spinal disc herniation is a medical condition experienced by individuals because of over-exertion on the back and neck parts of the body. Chiropractors offer different treatment methods to relieve the pain and facilitate movement of the affected individual.

What Is Spinal Disc Herniation?

Spinal disc herniation is a medical condition in which a tear appears on the outer fibrous layer of the vertebra disc, which causes the inner soft nucleus material to bulge and squeeze out from the torn area of the disc.

The tear in the disc is usually attributed to old age in individuals, but may also be caused because of any trauma, straining and lifting injuries, experienced by a young individual, because of different work related and other everyday activities. The nature of the tear in the disc might cause inflammation in the surrounding area, which might put pressure on the nerves, resulting in pain for the individual. The bulging out of the inner pulpous material from the ruptured or torn disc results in a pressure on the spine and disc which causes extreme pain.

Spinal disc herniation is also called a slipped disc condition, though the disc is securely intact in between the vertebra. Individuals suffering from a minor case of spinal disc herniation are able to recover within a few weeks, with suitable rest. But, in cases of extreme damage to the spinal disc, the patient sometimes requires surgical treatment, which does not always provide good results.

Patients with acute spinal disc herniation in the upper, central or lower part of their spinal cord require physical therapy and medications for quick recovery.

Chiropractic Therapy for Spinal Disc Injuries

Chiropractors provide treatment and therapy for the effective recovery of individuals suffering from different forms of spine and disc injuries. They mobilize and manipulate the muscles of the spine and the neck, adjusting the different joints and muscles, to relieve the individual of the excruciating pain experienced because of the different musculoskeletal disorders.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: the neck thing. ouch. no really…ouch! by Beth Punches

Chiropractor Rancho Cucamonga shares intermediate level abdominal exercise.

Involves no equipment.
This exercise works the abdominal, oblique internal/external, iliopsoa muscles.
The purpose is to increase abdominal strength and muscular endurance.
The benefits include improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.

Begin lying on floor.
Lift knees so that a 90º position is attained at hip and knees. Place hands beside ears. Activate core.
Lift shoulder off floor approximately 6 inches attempting to bring elbow toward opposite opposite knee so that both simultaneously meet.

Return to start position and repeat on opposite side. Continue alternating sides until recommended repetitions are complete.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

The New Dating Game

I have a friend we’ll call Karen who last dated over twenty years ago. She has found herself newly single and finally ready to enter the dating world again. “I don’t want to go through life alone. I did it once. I can do it again.”

The first thing I suggested was that she put herself in a position to meet people. For the longest time she went from her home to a weekly trip to the grocery store and “church on Sunday” and then complained. “Now that I’m ready to date, I can’t seem to find anyone.”

When I pointed out to Karen that she had very few target-rich environments in her regular schedule. Initially she seemed surprised, but agreed to expand her weekly activities. She started getting a weekly massage, signed up for a gardening class, and volunteered at the library.

Not necessarily the most adventurous activities in some books, but for Karen it put her in contact with people who shared her interests. As she became more involved, she became happier even without meeting someone to date. She almost radiated happiness to the point that people wanted to be with her.

The beauty of Karen’s approach was that life became more of what she was looking for. She found that she enjoyed herself, and wasn’t as worried about looking desperate to find a partner. Then Karen told me something I found to be eye-opening. “I stopped being so picky about who I spend time with. It’s just a date.”

Karen had always been attracted to a certain “type” and when she initially couldn’t find anyone who measured up, she wanted to give up. But she said that once she stopped looking for a type, who might have been all wrong for her anyway, she found that she had a lot more experiences. She has attended baseball games, golf tournaments, gone sailing, and tasted more ethnic food than ever before in her life.

“I go out with a different guy almost every week or two.”

I almost started to become jealous of Karen because she jumped into the new dating field like an old hand. But she said that she had to leave all her past experiences and expectations behind. She now has profiles on several social media sites, a dating profile, and rivals pre-teens in her ability to text now. Before this transformation, she didn’t even have a phone with texting capabilities.

Another piece of advice she shared with me is that she pays her half of the cost of a date. “That way, I can order anything I want without feeling guilty or indebted to someone. I make as much money or more than my dates do, so why not?”

Before too long, Karen made a connection in the waiting room of her weekly massage appointment that is starting to look like it may go somewhere. They have a lot of similar interests, but what really got Karen was the fact that he was attracted to her “love of life” and wanted to get to know someone like that better.

Dating in the 21st century is certainly different than it was a few decades ago, but many things are still the same. Don’t change yourself to please someone else, please yourself. When you’re happy, you’ll likely attract someone who has a similar temperament. Take your time, there really is no rush. But take a page out of Karen’s book and be a little less choosy. She said that the more guys she dated, the better she understood what was really important to her in a partner.

Photo Credit :
Date and Dateless
from Guian Bolisay via Flickr

Back Problems in Teens

Will a chiropractor ever treat an adolescent during his professional career? Junior took a baseball right in the back. Julie fell off the human pyramid during cheerleading practice and landed on her back. Needless to say, parents of athletic adolescents are usually first in line at the chiropractic office.

Can Teens Suffer from Back Problems?

While back problems are more common in adults, they are a rarity in teens since the latter is more flexible and agile. That is why any backaches that accompany any athletic event (such as contact sports) should be immediately checked by a chiropractor.

Back Conditions in Teens

Back conditions that can affect teens or kids include –

  • Any pain that worsens by performing gymnastic activities such as handsprings or the butterfly stroke in swimming may be indicative of spinal conditions such as Spondylolysis. Younger athletes have more chances of developing the condition than older kids who take part in sporting activities.  The condition is often caused by over-use that causes constant trauma and is one of the most common causes of back pain in kids.
  • This is also why the condition has more chances of occurring during a teen’s growth spurt, which is also why it is more common in boys rather than girls. A chiropractor might diagnose Spondylolysis in teens who are aged between 15 and 16. 
  • Any type of backache that causes compromises a teen’s balance or coordination may be caused by a problem in the spinal cord.

Adolescents and teens might put themselves in dangerous situations more than the average five year old, but the fact remains that they are still kids.  In other words, they tend to be more aggressive in their activities than younger children. A four year old will probably not stick his hand in a light socket if he has been electrocuted once. However an adolescent will have to keep stressing his back especially if he is pressured to make a tackle or prevent a touchdown in order for his team to win.

Parents cannot stop commercial advertising or peer pressure that expects their kids to push the envelope, but they can educate on taking better care of themselves. A teenager can always be grounded if he/she doesn’t comply to the rules, but parents will be helpless if a backache worsens or worse, ends up paralyzing their child.

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Treatment and Prevention of Muscle Cramps during Exercise

Muscle cramps that are caused by exercise can be very painful and can cause athletes to drop out of competitions.  Muscle cramps can happen in any types of sports and are usually a result of muscle fatigue, a loss of electrolytes or dehydration.

Cramps are not limited to sports, they can happen even to people who are not involved in any type of sports.  Repetitive cramps can be healed by a chiropractor by aligning the vertebrae correctly in the spine using various techniques.

Causes of Cramps

The American College of Sports Medicine published a review on the causes of muscle cramps during exercise – two possible causes were identified that lead to muscle cramps.

The first was credited to muscle fatigue.  Neuromuscular systems are embedded into muscles to allow control of contraction of the muscles. When this system malfunctions, contraction of muscle takes place and then causes the cramps.

Muscles that are regularly used, such as those of an athlete or a person with a very active lifestyle, are at a higher risk of experiencing cramps or spasms.

The second major cause is a result of an excessive fluid loss from the body (sweat), which decreases the body’s electrolytes level.  This depletes the body of sodium.

Body’s Natural Cooling System

The body is designed to cool itself by sweating when body temperature starts to rise beyond normal levels.   The loss of electrolytes due to sweating can cause depletion of body’s electrolytes and if it is not replenished properly, it will cause cramps.

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals including sodium, chloride, magnesium and potassium. They are dissolved in the body and directly control the required muscle contractions and nerve conductions.

Consuming bananas to treat muscle cramps has no solid ground and there is no evidence to support such a remedy.

Treating Muscle Cramps

– Fatigued Muscles

Treatment of muscle cramps depends upon the initial cause.  For those people who experience a muscle cramp due to a strenuous workload such as exercise or sports, chiropractors recommend treatments such as a massage, application of cold packs to the affected muscles and passive stretching.

Proper rest must be given to those muscles which have experienced an overload due to stress.

– Cramps due to Loss of Electrolytes

For those people who suffer from cramps as a result of excessive sweating and a deficit of sodium, the same methods of treatment can be used besides replenishing the lost fluid levels.

Image Used Under Creative Commons Licensing: 111002-A-XY792-430 by Minnesota National Guard

Spondylolysis and Lower Back Pain

Spondylolysis is one of many conditions that chiropractic practices have to deal with. The condition occurs due to a weakness in the section of the vertebrae that is known as pas interaticularis. This is a thin piece of bone that is responsible for connecting the lower and upper portion of the facet joints. These join in the vertebrae’s upper and lower section to form a comprehensive network of bone that allows the spine to move.

The defect can lead to small fractures in the spine that cause certain vertebrae to slip out of place.

Some chiropractic practices say that Spondylolysis is a hereditary disease especially considering infants who are born with a thin vertebrae, a condition that puts them at a higher risk for fractures.   Repetitive trauma to the lower back may also cause the pars interarticularis to weaken over time.

Symptoms

Those who have spondylolysis do not experience any symptoms and which is exactly why they might not be aware of it once it does occur. Low back pain is the most common symptom once the pain from the condition spreads. It feels like a muscle in the lower back has been sprained and usually gets worse with exercise or activity. It can also occur during a teenager’s growth spurt after puberty which is why the typical age of a person who acquires the condition is usually between 15 to 16 years.

The condition usually occurs in 3 to 4% of the population and is the most common cause of lower back pain in children or people below the age of 26. Spondylolysis is more common in kids or teenagers who take part in vigorous activities that over extend their spines such as weightlifting, gymnastics and football.

Treatment

The condition calls for a more conservative approach. Chiropractic care of Spondylolysis would aim to reduce the pain, let the fracture heal and help return the patient to normal activities. Patients are also advised to refrain from any vigorous physical activities such as exercise or sports to help them heal faster. Treatments for severe cases often involve the use of a back brace or support which helps stabilize the back and prevent lower back pain to aid the healing process.

The condition might not be preventable in some cases however certain steps can be taken to reduce the risk of fractures in the lower back.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Spinal column curvature 2011.png

 

Ergonomics and Employee Productivity

Ergonomics has become a very popular field, which deals with designing suitable furniture, which is comfortable for individuals, both at home and in the office environment. The absence of ergonomically fit furniture and surroundings, results in different muscular problems in individuals like back pain, neck ache, strains, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Chiropractors provide treatment for alleviating the pain caused because of engaging in strenuous activities throughout the day.

How Is Employee Productivity Linked To Ergonomics?

Ergonomics or human factors, focuses on designing furniture and workplaces, so as to ensure convenience and ease for individuals, both at home and at the office. An ergonomically fit work environment is designed to ensure, that the working stations and the furniture used, are in accordance with the industry standards. It facilitates the functioning and activity of employees, engaged in work at the computer or at the factory floor.

Employees working in an environment, in which the work spaces and the computer equipment are stationed within easy reach, and do not cause any strain, will remain fit and healthy, resulting in efficient productivity. A considerable percentage of employees, contract different muscular pains and strains, which affects their work efficiency. In cases of extreme pain, sometimes individuals have to take time off from work in order to regain enough fitness to resume work.

Benefits of Ergonomically Fit Surroundings

An office having a work station and space, specifically designed keeping in mind the ergonomic standards prevalent in the industry, facilitates the factory workers and office employees in performing their duties efficiently and on time. This improves the overall productivity, resulting in increasing profits for the business.

By designing a safe and ergonomically fit factory production site, companies can ensure minimum accidents and absences of workers. The suitably designed production lines, with the appropriate equipment, increase productivity and worker efficiency, and reduce the wastes to a minimum.

The correct usage of lights and space in the workplace improves productivity and minimizes errors, which results in high job satisfaction.

An ergonomically fit work place is not only convenient for the employees and workers, but it also benefits the business by improving the productivity levels of the company. The improved morale and work efficiency of the employees, increases job satisfaction, and also minimizes the risk of accidents and muscular strains, caused because of inconveniently and unsuitably designed work places. Chiropractors provide treatment to employees suffering from various muscular strains and pains, contracted while working in an office.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: US Navy 020614-N-0552D-001 SPAWAR award winning employee.jpg

Chiropractor in Rancho Cucamonga explains knee exercises for beginners.

Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, semitendinosus muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to increase knee strength and muscular endurance.
By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.

Begin lying on floor facing up.
Bend knees so feet are firmly on floor.
Extend arms upward toward ceiling.
Activate core muscles.
Lift hips off floor to attain a bridge position with knees, hips and shoulders in alignment.
Slowly return to start position.
Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.

Initially, you may develop some cramping in the back of your thigh. A simple hamstring stretch before and after may prevent this from occurring.
Slowly return to start position.
Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

Diet for a Herniated Disc – Heal through Nutrition

Chiropractic treatment plans also include diets for herniated discs. A herniated disc is a back condition that occurs when one of the spongy discs that cushion the vertebrae breaks open or bulges. The condition is also known as a ruptured or slipped disc.

As discussed the spine is made up of 24 moveable vertebrae each of which is separated by a soft tissue like shock absorbers that are known as discs.  A traumatized disc inflames painfully. If it is left as it is it can often lead to disc degeneration or bulging. This can irritate the sensitive nerves that pass through the spinal column and is where the pain is at its absolute worst.

While a herniated disc can occur in any part of the spine it is more common in the back. You can prevent yourself from ever having to suffer from a herniated disc if you include the following in your diet –

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids have the ability to form collagen which the body uses to prevent or repair any damage to cartilage or discs that is caused by inflammation.

Glucosamine Sulfate

This nutrient is naturally found in the body and is important for the repair and maintenance of collagen which is the primary component of discs. It needs glucosamine sulfate to create the chemicals that it needs to repair cartilage, ligaments, tendons and synovial fluid that bathe the spinal joints and occurs naturally in the body.

Fiber

Include this nutrient in your diet and you will do your digestion a huge favor. Fiber smoothens out the digestive process and prevents any strain on discs that may place pressure on the abdomen. It also heals the spine at the cellular level. Super foods that contain fiber include shellfish such as crab, fish, prawns and oysters. Other food items that are rich in fiber include fruits and veggies such as beets, stewed or fresh tomatoes, red peppers, black as well as blueberries. Soy products such as tofu, soy cheese and soy milk also contain a high amount of the protein.

Every type of food you consume impacts your health. Give your body the chance to heal faster by watching what you eat. Your back will be better off for it and prevent any herniated disc from cramping (pun intended) your style.

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