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Tag Archives: lower back pain

Please….No Ibuprofen…

I occasionally take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) for headaches or for mild aches and pain, however I just read another study that gives pause to why anyone would take it. Though it does relieve those minor aches and pain, it also can have terrible repercussions. Did you know it can cause life threatening complications such as fatal heart attack or stroke. Also, a new study stated that men taking ibuprofen at 600mg for 14 days were more at risk of infertility through reduced testicular function, including testosterone production, resulting in a state of compensated hypogonadism. WOW!! There are other and safer alternatives to those aches and pain, just ask your Chiropractor..!!

Smoking and Back Surgery

I tried smoking when I was younger but never really cared for it, and haven’t since, however did you know smokers are more at risk of lumbar spinal stenosis and surgery? A study published in The Spine Journal reports that heavy smokers were 46% more likely to undergo surgery for spinal stenosis than non-smokers and moderate smokers were at 31% greater risk of surgery. Surprisingly, even former smokers were at 13% greater risk of surgery. Cigarette smoke contains nicotine which constricts the blood flow and promotes inflammation which is not ideal for those with low back problems. Thus, the more you smoke the greater the risks. Talk to your Chiropractor to find out how they can help!!

No Surgery Please!

You have heard me tout this same information before, but this is important. Eighty percent of all adults will experience some type of back pain in their lives. Very recent studies show that for chronic back pain, surgery doesn’t work any better than conservative care. An 11 year follow-up study of spinal fusion patients showed that their self-rated outcomes, were no better than those patients that went with conservative care, for their back pain. This conservative care includes chiropractic. This is not the first study to support conservative care for lower back pain. Please pass this along to family and friends! Just remember, you can never undo a back surgery.

Forget Fusion…!

Read this interesting information about the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation relative to spinal fusion surgery for lower back pain. A rule change, beginning 2018, says no spinal fusion surgery without at least 60 days of conservative care, prior. This conservative care can include chiropractic. Also, it states that opioids should be avoided whenever possible and the avoidance of “provider catastrophizing the explanation of the MRI findings.” Why? Because spinal fusion outcomes are significantly worse than non-fusion surgery. A study found 77% of the workers did not return to work for 2 years after fusion. Most back problems will respond to chiropractic and conservative care. Studies now support chiropractic care as being the first responders for conservative care. Pass the word!!

Summer ends, yard work begins!!

Well, I trust everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend and hope there wasn’t much labor involved. I know I tried to avoid anything laborious. The weather was wonderful and I did spend time outside in the yard doing semi-laborious things. Did you know fall is the time of year when there are a rash of back injuries due to yard work? In fact, this time of year tends to be second only to spring, for gardening or yard, clean-up-type, back injuries. Bending and lifting are the two main culprits that increase the risk of back issues. Tight hamstrings play a big roll in back problems with the guys however women are also susceptible. When bending forward, you must always try to hinge at the hips and avoid any significant time with the lower back rounded forward, especially with bending only partially. Forward bending distorts the fibers of the disc and can cause pain even if only performed for a short time. Enjoy your yard and the outdoors, be careful, and if you injure your back, call your chiropractor…they will help!!

Hammy tightness & back pain!!

I recently had the opportunity to go to the Air and Water Show along Lake Michigan here in Chicago. I did a significant amount of walking and at the end of the day my low back was a bit tired. It felt fatigued. For guys who develop back issues, more specifically lower back issues, hamstring tightness is quite common and often contributes to the back pain. Did you know that tight hamstrings can alter the mechanics of your gait and change the way you should normally walk or run? It happens more often in men, however I do come across women who are particularly tight along the hamstrings. In fact, the tighter your hamstrings, the greater chance of lower back issues. Almost any issue with your lower extremity will eventually effect your lower back, if it lingers long enough. To remedy this take time to stretch the hamstrings and calf muscles several times daily and hold the stretch a minimum of 30 seconds each time you do them. A little prevention goes a long way!!

Save a back!! Stop the pain!!

Back pain is so common among people it has its own talking points. Did you ever get into a conversation with someone only to end up comparing back pain stories? Well, here is a quick exercise that can help. Bending or twisting are the two motions most my patients perform that contributed to their back injury. Here is a simple exercise to help you bend properly, and save your back, it is called a “hip hinge”. You will need a broom. Begin by standing with feet shoulder width apart. Place the broom along the spine, holding the top of the broom against the back of your head and the base of the broom against your butt. Now hinge at the hips and flex forward but keep the broom in contact with the head and rear end. You should be hinging at the hips without rounding the lower back. You might feel some pulling in the hamstrings. Stop when the broom pulls away from the head or butt. Practice this enough so that you can do a hip hinge for almost any bending activity. It can literally save your spine.

Back Pain Losses

Did you know that back pain is second only to the common cold as the most frequent cause of sick leave?  Back pain accounts for approximately 40% of all work absences.  A study from 1999 found that an estimated 22 million people suffer from back pain that lasts one week or more with an estimated 149 million days of lost work.  So what would those numbers be today in 2017?  Chiropractors are experts on diagnosing, treating, managing and preventing back pain.  If you haven’t had back pain yet, you are lucky, because for most Americans, it is just a matter of time.  Visit the pro’s who handle these problems on a daily basis!!

Enjoying your life to the fullest?

Health is something most people take for granted, however as we age, we start thinking about our mortality a little more frequently. Spine problems are one of those things that can make every day activities more challenging if not addressed. Here are just a few of the problems that can occur with the spine as we age. Degenerative changes of the disc and vertebrae can be a result of genetics, trauma, wear and tear or just life itself. The discs can become thinner, the vertebrae can develop bone spurs. Arthritis can contribute to pain in the spinal joints. Stenosis can occur with a bulging disc or bony changes along the spinal canal. All of the previous can contribute muscle or nerve issues along the spine that can affect the limbs (think sciatica). Chiropractors are educated and trained to diagnose and treat patients with these issues and help them enjoy their daily activities to the fullest. Don’t let spine problems ruin your fun!!

Chronic Pain & Opioids

Chronic pain is one of those things that can literally make you lose your mind or even damage it.  A study of over 10,000 elderly adults found that those adults dealing with moderate to severe chronic pain, also had a significantly more rapid decline in cognitive function including memory, attention, as well as increased signs of dementia. This was compared to people with little to no pain. So instead of getting a prescription for opioids when you are in pain, find your local chiropractor, as study after study has proven its effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of those with chronic pain.!!