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4 Back Pain Prevention Tips from a Chiropractor

Healthy backIf you are suffering from back pain, a chiropractor can asses your condition, answer any questions you may have and recommend an appropriate treatment regimen. However, often enough the source of your back pain is simply due to a poor posture.

An improper posture will exert strain on your muscles and ligaments, which will result in abnormal wear and tear on your joints. Practicing a correct posture will keep your bones properly aligned, which will help to prevent irritating back pain and injuries.

A chiropractor will advise you on the correct postures for sitting, sleeping, standing and various other daily activities.

Sitting

Sit with your neck up, shoulders back and back straight. Always keep your feet flat to the floor, and avoid crossing your legs. If you work in the sitting position for extended periods, take some time every half hour to walk around and stretch for a few minutes.

Driving

If your regular commute is long or your job involves a lot of time behind the wheel, then the seat in your car may be contributing to your back pain. To help reduce your lower back strain, put a lumbar cushion behind your back. Also ensure that your car seat is near enough to your steering wheel that you can comfortable reach the pedals while maintaining support for your back.

Standing

Stand as straight as you can with your head upright and your shoulders back. Maintain a shoulder-width space between your feet, with your stomach pulled in, your knees slightly bent and your weight resting comfortably on the balls of your feet.

Sleeping

Pillows play a crucial role in ensuring a proper sleeping posture. Your pillow should be thick enough that it allows your head to rest comfortably in a natural position. Your shoulders should not be resting on your pillow, only your head. For extra support and pain relief, try placing a pillow under the small of your back and your knees.

Strategies for Maintaining a Healthy Spine and Back

Haelthy backWhile few of us think about our spinal health on a daily basis, studies show that 80-90% of people will be affected by a spinal issue or back pain at one point during their lifetime. Besides the victims of accidents, those with the highest risk are smokers, heavy lifters and people who are overweight. These facts offer strong support for maintaining a healthy spine and back to help avoid injury and pain.

Here are some top strategies for helping to maintain a healthy spine and back.

Diet and Exercise

Identify your ideal body weight, and then stay within 10 pounds of it. Carrying around excess body weight puts stress on every part of your frame, which includes your spine.

Core Muscle Strength

Not only is stomach fat unattractive, but it will also pull your whole body out of alignment, and will have the biggest impact on your lower back.

Sleeping

  • Support your body while you sleep. Pain is never normal, and if you experience pain when you are attempting to sleep, then you need to find a new position that will alleviate the pain.
  • People who sleep on their back put almost 50 additional pounds of pressure on their spine that is reduced by almost half when a supporting pillow is placed under their knees.
  • People who sleep on their side can reduce the pressure on their spine by putting a pillow between their knees.

Standing

  • Standing with your knees locked will put pressure on your lower back. You can relax your stance by placing one foot in front of the other, and bending slightly at your knees.
  • Avoid standing while bent at the waist, as this will place undue stress on your spine at the same time.

Lifting

  • Always use your legs when you lift. Never lift with just your back muscles.
  • Avoid twisting when you lift.
  • If you can push or pull an item instead of lifting it, then do so. Always push before pulling, and always use your leg muscles to lower the back strain.
  • Ask for assistance.
  • When carrying an object, keep it close your body and spread the weight between both of your hands

Sitting

  • Avoid slumping in chairs. Keep your back, shoulders and spine straight. Do not allow your shoulders to become rounded or let your lower back lose the natural curve.
  • Your knees should be a little higher than your hips.
  • Keep your head up and look straight forward.

Bending and Reaching

  • Bend your legs when picking items up from below your waist level. Never bend at your waist.
  • If you reach for an item that is higher than your shoulder height, use a stool. When you strain to reach something that is above your head, you can cause injury to your shoulders, neck and middle-back.
  • Put your body as close to the object as you can for a further reduction to potential strain.

3 Chiropractor Tips for Improving Your Posture

Back pain is a major source of discomfort for millions of Americans. However, very few people know just how much of this pain and discomfort can be the result of your posture. You were actually getting some pretty good advance all those times that you were told to stop slouching and to sit up straight when you were growing up. If you are experiencing chronic back and neck pain or you are having a hard time maintaining your chiropractic adjustments, then these three posture improvement tips may offer a solution for you.

Improving your posture takes attention and dedication, but the potential rewards will make it well worth your time. Spending a little effort to work on your posture will lead to a noticeable reduction in your back and neck pain, as well as an improvement to your overall appearance.

Here are some tried and tested tips from the pros that will help you to improve your posture.

Talk to Your Chiropractor About Posture

The first step to improving your posture is to have a full understanding of what good posture is. Your chiropractor will help you to discover what good posture means for you. Try imagining a line that runs from your shoulders down to your waist, and then attempt to keep that line as tall and straight as you can.

Strengthen Your Core and Use it to Initiate Movement

The core represents the biggest muscle group in the body. Therefore, it is the best place for focusing your posture improvement efforts. Do exercises that will strengthen your abdominal muscles, and then use your strong abs to hold your posture. If you need to tense your glutes, then you are not doing it properly.

If you are having a hard time building your core strength, then think about signing up for some yoga classes. Yoga will build your core strength and improve your flexibility and range of motion, all of which will contribute to an improved posture.

Make Effective Reminders

Make reminders that work for you. These reminders should work into your lifestyle and daily routine, whether it is post-it notes or a smart phone app that encourages you to pay attention to your posture. Often good posture only takes a little bit of mental work to ensure that you are standing or sitting the right way.

Maintaining a Healthy Posture

Once you have good posture, you will notice an improvement to your back pain. Take the time to improve your posture and make any necessary changes, then follow up with regular visits to the chiropractor for better overall wellness and health.

Chiropractic Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Lower back painThis source of this article is article is from Steven G. Yeomans, DC as it appeared in spine-health.com.

Chiropractic is a health care profession dedicated to the non-surgical treatment of disorders of the nervous system and/or musculoskeletal system. Generally, chiropractors maintain a unique focus on spinal manipulation and treatment of surrounding structures.

Many studies have concluded that manual therapies commonly used by chiropractors are generally effective for the treatment of lower back pain, as well as for treatment of lumbar herniated disc for radiculopathy and neck pain, among other conditions.

In fact, when patients with non-specific chronic low back pain are treated by chiropractors, the long-term outcome is enhanced by obtaining maintenance spinal manipulation after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.

Core Chiropractic Treatment

The core of chiropractic usually involves treatment of common lower back pain conditions through manual therapy:

  • Spinal manipulation and manual manipulation. This type of manual manipulation refers to a high-velocity, short lever arm thrust that is applied to abnormal vertebra with the goal of improving functionality, reducing nerve irritability and restoring range of motion in the back. It is also commonly known as “chiropractic adjustment”. There is firm literature support for chiropractic treatment of lower back pain. Many of the published guidelines recommend chiropractic manipulation to be included in the treatment plan early in the care of lower back pain.
  • Mobilization. Chiropractic mobilization refers to low velocity manipulation, movement and stretching of the muscles and joints, with the goal of increasing the range of motion within those areas.

Chiropractic Treatment Plan

Goal setting for the chiropractic treatment plan is driven by the patient’s pain and disability issues and activity intolerance.

Consistent among all guidelines of low back pain treatment is the prevention of chronicity. The use of active care (care that is patient-driven such as exercise, activity modification, ergonomic modifications, etc.) is emphasized to accomplish this goal.

Herniated Discs Symptoms Depending on Spine Location

Herniated DiskThere are a variety of symptoms patients may experience when they suffer from disc herniation. However, the symptoms will vary depending on where the herniation occurs in your spine. So what are the symptoms of herniated discs? Here is a look depending on where they develop in your back.

  • The cervical spine

There is less disc material in the cervical spine and also less force that’s applied to this portion of the spine. This is why herniated discs in this area of the spine is not as common as in the other parts. Most pressure is put on your cervical area when you hunch over. However, the lumber spine absorbs most of this pressure when you bend over or turn during physical activities.

There will be some nerve compression or impingement when a cervical disc is herniated. The nerves compressed will also dictate the symptoms. You will experience regionalised pain, muscle weakness in the upper arms or shoulder pain when there is compression at the C4 or C5. However, impingement at the C6 or C7 level may cause numbness in your fingers. You will also feel pain that radiates down your arm or weakened grip strength.

  • The lumbar spine

The herniated disc that develops in this area is the most common. This is because it is located in the lower part of your body. So when there is herniated disc in the lumbar, specifically at the L4 or L5 level, you will experience nerve root impingement that radiates down your leg. So in this case, patients will feel weakness in the legs, pain that radiates during movement and inhibited gait.

  • Treating herniated discs

If you experience back pain, leg weakness, shoulder pain or any other symptom associated with herniated disc then you need to see an experienced chiropractor…like Dr. Gigante at The Back Pain Center. In most cases, the problem can be dealt with without any surgery. However, it is always important to seek medical advice.

The common conservative treatments include:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Rest

Surgery should be the last option when conservative care fails. Although surgeries have high success rate, they should always come last.