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October is National Chiropractic Health Month, and this year's theme is "Go Back to Basics to Prevent Back Pain". Click here for our October newsletter or continue reading below for simple back pain prevention tips!
Back pain remains one of the most prevalent and disabling conditions worldwide. It is one of the most common reasons patients visit their doctors, and one of the most common conditions for which doctors prescribe opioid pain medications. As the overuse and abuse of painkillers in the United States remains a top public health problem, it’s essential for health care consumers and providers to understand that spinal manipulation and other conservative approaches can treat musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain effectively and safely. –American Chiropractic Association (ACA)
“Sit up straight”, “don’t slouch”, “drink some water”, “shut off the T.V. and get outside”, “eat your vegetables”. These are all things our parents told us time and time again when we were younger. We hated those words. Why were we always being told this? Slouching was more comfortable than sitting upright. Soda pop, candy, and chips tasted so much better than water and vegetables. There was “nothing” to do outside and the T.V. was entertaining. Little did we know that our parents were just trying to keep us healthy and prevent future health problems.
Back pain is extremely common. 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some point in their lives, and it’s one of the most common reasons for missed work. If back pain is so common, why isn’t there a cure? How do we fix it? Answer: “Go Back to the Basics”.
1. Drink up—water that is. Water is crucial for our health. More than half of our body is water. Our joints, muscles, organs, and discs (squishy shock-absorbers in our spine) all need plenty of water to function properly. Water also helps remove the bad wastes and toxins from our body. Recommendation: Drink half your body weight in ounces of water (i.e. 200lbs = 100oz water). 8 additional ounces should be consumed for every 30 minutes of exercise or every cup of coffee/soda consumed. Want an easier way to tell if you’re hydrated? Look at your urine. It should be very light yellow to clear.
2. Eat well. Easier said than done. Vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and nuts should be the staple foods in your diet. Cut out or reduce your intake of processed foods and sugars and watch your intake of sodium (salt). Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store while shopping. Plan ahead and meal prep. Make a list and stick to it. Healthy eating leads to healthier weight. Excess weight stresses the joints and spine and causes pain. Losing even 10 pounds can make a difference. Pick up a 10 pound bowling ball and see how much weight that is—I dare you!
3. Be active. Find an activity (or two) that you like and do it for 30-60 minutes every day. Adequate and consistent exercise improves energy levels and mood, boosts your memory, helps with weight loss, and is great for your muscles, bones, and spinal health.
4. Neck and back stretches. Do I really have to? Yes. Unless you want to look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Technology is everywhere today and it’s killing our necks and backs. Many of us work a desk job and look at a computer all day. When we’re not doing that, we’re texting, reading emails, or checking Facebook on our phones or iPads. This is terrible for our posture. The exercises below will help.
5. Questions? Find and call a good chiropractor!
Neck and low back exercises should be done for 10-15 minutes each day to help combat the effects of poor posture and reduce or prevent neck and back pain.
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|Tuesday||7:30am - 11:30am||12:30pm - 3:00pm|
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So amazing! I've been looking for a good chriropractor in KC for years (after having great chiro care in Houston and South Dakota), and haven't been impressed with the couple I've gone to. Dr. Swickard and his staff are fabulous - thorough, efficient, knowledgable, and talented. Dr. Swickard was awesome! So happy to have found chiro care in KC!!!