low back pain

A solution or opioids?

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Why were opioids recommended over solutions that were safe, effective, and non-addictive?  Most of us can say we know someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis, or at the very least we have all heard of it. Unfortunately opioids were recommended over solutions including; Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Physical Therapy and Massage Therapy.

Do you know what the big difference between the opioid epidemic of the 1970’s and now?  the 1970’s epidemic was caused by an increase in illegal heroin distribution.   Today’s crisis, we now know was caused by misleading pharmaceutical advertising. There were studies done in which low risk of addiction was demonstrated.  These medications turned out to be more addictive.

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Do you know what the most common reason for an opioid drug prescription is? Most of us would guess back pain, right? It’s true, non cancerous chronic back pain was the top reason for prescribing opioids.

We are at the point now where we not only have to solve the pain problem, but also solve the addiction problem. Many states are actually suing drug makers, and expanding access to chiropractic care. This is because chiropractic care is a safe, effective, and non additive solution.

Did you know that it also makes a difference who you see first for your back pain? For example, if you see a surgeon for your back pain, the likelihood of having surgery is 42.7%.  If you see a chiropractor first, that percentage goes down to 1.5%! Chiropractic also has the highest customer satisfaction level too, surpassing prescriptions, therapy and surgery. The satisfaction rate with chiropractic is 83%. With such a high satisfaction rate, it’s no wonder that our military had the largest expansion of access for chiropractic this year!  The


Pain can slow you down…but why?

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We’ve all been slowed down by pain, right? But have you ever stopped and thought about why?

What is the purpose of pain?
Contrary to what you may believe, the purpose of pain isn’t to annoy you, although slowing down might be a good idea. The goal of pain is to keep you alive. Pain lets you know that you have tissue damage, which could end up ultimately being fatal. It’s a good warning system.

Is having a high pain tolerance a good or bad thing?
-Unfortunately people who can only feel high levels of pain are less likely to change their behavior. This can allow more tissue to be damaged which might lead to disability or ultimately death. In rare cases  kids are born without the ability to feel pain. They often have shorter life spans. Think of a child with a small infection on a cut or scrape. Normally you address the infection because you feel pain and inflammation. Without feeling these symptoms, that infection could be fatal.
-Other times, some people’s definition of a high pain tolerance actually means that they ignore pain. This is also unhealthy. Ignoring pain can create some severe mental and physical health problems.

Speaking of mental health problems, what do you think can occur from ignoring pain? Depression and anxiety are the most common. Also you are more likely to have to smoke cigarettes, vape, or have a drug or alcohol problem.

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Along with mental problems, what physical problems are caused by ignoring pain? Digestive disorders, ulcers, acid re-flux and GERD are common. Sleep disorders such as insomnia or frequently waking up can occur as well.

Tissue damage in your body does more than just send pain signals to the brain. Tissue damage also sends messages of irritation, but not signals that you can physically feel. This can cause the brain to behave in a state of stress. Long term stress in the brain can lead to abnormal function of the heart, digestive tract, and hormones. If you know someone that has been ignoring their pain or have been covering it up with medication, let them know that it’s best to find out why the pain is there and correct the cause of the issue.

 

 


Do this, not that for joint pain.

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Last week in the office we spoke with our patients about healthy foods to eat to avoid inflammation. Inflammation can not only be uncomfortable due to the bloating it causes, but also painful.

Other than the foods you eat, it may surprise you that many of our daily activities are causing us to be in pain as well. Most people associate their sore back and neck to the jog they completed this morning, or when they helped their friend move last weekend. While exercising without proper stretching and poor lifting form can cause pain, there are things we do each day that are contributing to our back and next pain as well.

How many of us have desk jobs? We spend 8 hours, 5 days week sitting at our desk and then we can’t wait to get home and plop down on the couch to watch TV or read a good book. And let’s be honest, isn’t the perfect Saturday one where we didn’t even have to change out of our pajamas? Netflix marathon, anyone?

What most of us don’t realize is that prolonged sitting all day, followed by more sitting/slouching at night is wreaking havoc on our backs. The leading cause of back pain is a sedentary lifestyle with poor posture.

A few of the most common posture mistakes happen when we’re:

Looking down at your phone screen, iPad or Kindle.
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Leaning forward playing video games in front of the big screen.
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Sitting at a computer desk.
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Talking on the phone (holding our phones to our ears).
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Let’s be honest – how many of us are guilty? Now that we’ve determined how easy it is to fall into posture habits that harm our back. Lets work on getting back on track! First and foremost, get moving! If you have a desk job, consider getting up once every 1/2 hour and walk around the office. When using your iPad or Kindle, how about getting a case that allows you to position the screen at different angles. You can adjust as needed. When sitting at the computer desk, avoid strain on your shoulders and upper back by keeping the keyboard and mouse closer to you.

Those are just a few suggestions on how to ease the strain on your back, but another huge aspect is exercise in general. Exercising not only reduces stiffness in your back, it also stretches, strengthens and repairs muscles that help support your back.

If you’re experiencing low back pain, then it’s time to come on in for a check. Chiropractors work hard not only to treat your pain but help find the cause of it. As with many other areas of your life prevention is key. Just like checking up with the dentist every six months and doing a yearly physical, a check up with your chiropractor can help keep you and your back in tip top shape! Visiting the chiropractor regularly can help to keep your spine in perfect alignment and prevent future aches and pains. We also retrain your muscles so you can hold the correct alignment longer.

PHOTO CREDIT:Start Standing