4 Ways I Prevent My Own Back Pain
At some point in their lives, as many as 80% of people will experience back pain. Yikes. And that includes chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists. Unfortunately, just because I'm in this field - it doesn't make me immune to pain of any kind.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work in the U.S. About 31 million people in America have low back pain at any given time, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Also, in any given year, 30% of us struggle with neck pain, per research from Johns Hopkins.
As a chiropractor, I'm extremely conscious of my body, and I do my best to take a long-term approach when it comes to my back pain. And it works for me. Wondering what it is I do?
I'm sure most of you have noticed I'm pretty much obsessed with meditating - but here's why: Stress can do a number on your body, leading to misalignments of the spine thus causing nerve irritation. I meditate first thing in the morning, and I feel it's an effective way for me to relieve stress.
I truly believe that a regular meditation practice, getting adjusted regularly, finding a healthy way to exercise, and doing your best to eat cleaner can keep your back and neck healthy. It can also help you age in a more harmonious way.
Where do I meditate? Anywhere. How? I use the Calm app on my phone. First thing in the morning. Or, I pause half way through my day if I'm stressed and take 5 minutes to get back to my breath. See here for my previous blogs talking about my love for meditation.
I don't smoke.
Kicking any habit can be freaking hard, especially when you are addicted. People who smoke are three times more likely to develop chronic back pain. One of the many studies out there, found that smoking interferes with our brain pathways. Specifically the ones that are associated with how we process pain, making smokers more prone to chronic back pain.
That's why I stay far away from it. I even stay away from second hand smoke. The sooner you kick the habit, the sooner you can feel relief. It's never too late to set that intention, and trying to quit.
I do exercise that I enjoy.
This one is a big one. So many back or neck pain problems come from sitting all day long, or living a very sedentary life. We definitely don't move as much as we should. Because of this, postural injuries of the neck and back occur. So what do I do? I do yoga. I LOVE yoga. I find that yoga stretches and strengthens so many muscle groups that are vital to our core. This promotes overall better alignment.
Also, it's another great way besides meditation for you to reconnect to your breath. So, where do I do yoga? Right in my own home. I love Yoga with Adrienne. You can roll out your mat in your living room, and let her guide you without feeling self-conscious about it.
I get adjusted weekly.
I saved the best for LAST! Which is kind of obvious! Many of my patients ask me who adjusts me, or how often I get adjusted, and I let them know weekly. Chiropractic clears things for me that rest, exercise, meditation cannot. While getting adjusted helps me relieve pain, I even get adjusted when I'm not feeling pain.
The important key here, is that after alignment when you are no longer in pain, you should get adjusted regularly to prevent future flare ups that can occur. Pain is the last symptom to show up after you've been misaligned for a long period of time! Just because you're not in pain, that doesn't mean the misalignment isn't there.
When you get adjusted, you basically are opening up the communication pathways from the brain to the spine and from the spine to the rest of our bodies. Which we know, the nervous system the travels to all of our organs, muscles, and tissues innervating it.
Regular chiropractic care offers my body an opportunity to realign mind, body, and spirit. So, not only does it free up the pains of soft tissues or muscles, it leaves me with a sense of feeling more grounded, alert, and ready to tackle anything.
Thinking about implementing chiropractic into your own self-care routine? Book here for a free consultation, or an appointment!