As most students in college can attest to, I was in graduate school sitting in a classroom for hours on end through lectures wondering “when can I get up for a break and move around?” These countless hours eventually led to poor posture habits and back pain that I had never experienced before in my life. Slumping down, hunching over, and crossing my legs continuously all contributed to microtrauma, an unresolved spinal misalignment, and lower back pain.
This is just one example of many that illustrates how our spine can be affected by the poor posture habits developed that ultimately lead to back pain and launch you on a quest for natural back pain relief.
The options for back pain are typically as follows; medications that have nasty side effects like stomach ulcers and constipation, physical therapy exercises and stretches that encourage balance in the muscle structures of the body, and/or undergoing various procedures that involve anesthesia, needles, and surgery.
Another option is to be evaluated for spinal misalignment to see if you are a good candidate for spinal manipulation by a Chiropractor. When present, a spinal misalignment can irritate nerves and cause pain and muscle spasms. All the mentioned treatments above have an appropriate time and place in healthcare, however it is ideal to get to the root of the problem before you end up under the knife. Chiropractic is an effective and safe treatment option for many people.
So, what causes spinal misalignment and how do I know if I have one?
Any large or small trauma (birth, car accident, sports injury) can lead to a spinal misalignment. Once you have a spinal misalignment, your nerves get irritated and your body tries to “fix” that by compensating to move away from the pain. This leads to poor posture and muscle imbalance. If the muscle spasm is the only part being treated and the spasm continues to come back, you are essentially just patching the problem. To get to the root of the problem you must look to the spine and see where there may be a misalignment.
How do I look at my spine?
Chiropractors have different ways of evaluating spinal misalignment, however the most accurate is through Chiropractic analysis of an x-ray. Medical doctors are trained to look for broken bones, bone spurs, and other life threatening or chronic issues on x-ray. Chiropractors can identify those things too; however, we are also trained to compare a patient’s spine to normal spinal curvature and alignment.
At Health Star Clinic, we can take digital x-rays with lower radiation exposure than traditional x-ray machines to see what’s going on in there! We often find that your pelvis (many people call this your hips), which is like the foundation of a house, has a tilt to one side or is higher on one side. As you know, if the foundation of a house is not stable, the entire structure of the rest of the home suffers. The same is true with your spine, and especially in cases of lower back pain.
I hear many patients who believe their pain is just a factor of age. Some of this can be “normal” wear and tear, but a lot of times I see one side that is worse off than the other. If it was just due to normal aging, then wouldn’t both of your knees have approximately the same amount of arthritis and wouldn’t they both hurt and look approximately the same on x-ray? Poor posture habits and spinal misalignment create the extra wear and tear. The pain created by added stress and micro damage to certain areas of your body over time and without treatment only gets worse.
Ok, so if I have a spinal misalignment how do you treat it?
- We use a VibraCussor massage tool that helps loosen and relax the muscles before the spinal manipulation.
- We use Arthrostim adjusting instruments that provide an alternative to traditional hands on manipulation. It is a safe and gentle way to introduce movement into the spine using many rapid pulsations instead of one big push that is introduced by hand.
- We use our hands to perform spinal manipulations to get movement into the spine.
- Most importantly, nothing we do should hurt. If something is hurting my patient, I need to know. The most common side effect of Chiropractic manipulation is being a little sore the next day, like you were at the gym and had a good workout the day before.
How often will I have to come for treatment?
- In the beginning, we see patients more frequently. This is so that we can re-train your body and correct the bad posture habits your body has learned over the years. Healing is a process and there is not one time quick fix.
- After a series of treatments, we will re-evaluate your condition and at that time, if you are progressing, we will enter you into the second phase of care where you come less often.
- If you have underlying arthritis or other conditions, it may be all about getting you out of pain and then managing your condition.
- This can usually be done with a monthly visit or “tune up” for your body to make sure you are staying on track and holding your corrections.
- Each Chiropractic manipulation is typically less than 10 minutes. If additional therapies are needed, the average visit time is 30 minutes.
Natural back pain relief without the use of drugs or surgery – can be achieved here at Health Star Clinic. Whether you have been involved in a major trauma or you are trying to get rid of the pain caused by poor posture habits and small traumas over the years, our experienced Chiropractors understand back pain and can evaluate for spinal misalignments.
We create customized treatment plans that can include a combination of treatments to help each patient reach their health care needs and goals. Imagine being able to sit through a lecture or a work day pain free, being able to pick up the gardening tools and get back out in the sunshine and fresh air, and to throw the football around with your son or grandson on the weekend. Whatever physical goals you want to achieve in life, the team at Health Star Clinic wants to help you get there.
Chiropractic treatment is one of the many treatments we offer that has been extremely effective for thousands of our patients suffering from back pain over the years. So why not contact Health Star Clinic today? Trust me, your back will thank you.
Candice Cobb, D.C.
Health Star Clinic