Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last post, we discussed arthritis and the ways it can be treated at home. Today, we’ll be talking about back pain and some of the best exercises that can help relieve symptoms. Approximately 16 million adults experience persistent or chronic back pain– That’s 8% of all adults. There are a variety of types and causes of back pain that we’ll be touching on today, as well as exercises that can be done at home to relieve symptoms. If you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to stick around! Let’s get started.
With so many adults suffering from back pain, it is one of the most common reasons that people miss work or go to the doctor. This pain can range from muscle aches to a shooting, burning, or stabbing sensation. There are generally three types of back pain: acute, subacute, and chronic. Acute pain is defined as lasting less than 4 weeks, while subacute pain lasts 4 to 12 weeks, and chronic pain lasts more than 12 weeks. It can happen anywhere in the back and can even radiate down the leg. Sometimes, this pain can worsen when walking, standing, bending, or lifting. It is important to understand the anatomy of the back in order to understand back pain. Let’s take a closer look.
There are five regions of the spine, from top to bottom: Cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, ilia/sacrum, and coccyx. These regions work together to support the body and problems within any of these regions can cause pain. Additionally, there are other parts of the back and spine structures that can cause pain. Other parts of the back and spine include:
Issues with any of these structures or parts of the back or spine can cause pain. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of back pain.
Anyone can suffer from back pain, but there are several factors that may put you more at risk. These factors include age, genetics, fitness level, and job-related factors such as lifting, pushing, or pulling. Underlying issues such as fibromyalgia can also cause back pain. Luckily, there are simple exercises that can help manage and relieve symptoms at home. Here are just a few of them!
Low-impact exercise is gentler on the joints and muscles. One of the most well-known low-impact exercises is walking. Walking is one of the simplest exercises out there and is not only a great cardiovascular exercise, but it is also a great method for preventing and relieving back pain. However, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind in order to get the most out of your walk: Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, walk lightly on your feet, and practice good posture while walking. Stand up straight and tall, let your shoulders relax, and keep your chin parallel to the ground to reduce strain on the neck and back.
Another low-impact exercise is cycling, or bicycling. This is low-impact because it causes less strain than other types of exercise. Bicycling is considered a form of aerobic exercise, which is a type of cardiovascular conditioning– Better known as “cardio” exercise. Bicycling is a popular form of exercise among people with back pain because of how gentle it is on the spine. This can be done on a bicycle, stationary or upright bike, or recumbent bike.
Water aerobics is also great for back pain. In fact, studies have shown that water exercise is great for the joints and muscles, because the buoyancy of the water supports the body’s weight and allows for a greater range of motion.
Lying Lateral Leg Raises
This exercise can not only help minimize back pain but can also strengthen your hip abductor muscles. These muscles help support the pelvis when you are standing on one leg. This exercise involves lying down on one side and keeping your lower leg slightly bent on the ground. Raise the top of your leg without moving the rest of your body and draw your belly button in towards your spine to strengthen your core. Hold this position for 2 seconds and repeat 10 times, and then repeat on the other side. Perform 3 of these sets on each side.
Utilizing light strength training can help keep back muscles strong, which is great since these muscles protect your spine. This can be done by using light weights. Simply stand in place and hold one weight at a time while reaching from your waist down the side of your body. You should stretch as far as you can without pain, and then slowly raise the weight back up. You can repeat this 10 times on each side. This exercise can be done without weights as well.
Knee To Chest
This exercise is particularly good for the lower back. For this exercise, simply lie down on the floor, facing up. Bend your leg and bring it up to your chest while grasping your lower leg, and hold it for 5 to 10 seconds. Then, release, and repeat with the other leg and complete this sequence at least three times. This range-of-motion exercise is a great way to stretch the lower back muscles and develop flexibility. It is particularly beneficial for those with spinal arthritis.
These are just a few of the best exercises for managing and relieving back pain. Oftentimes, exercise works best in conjunction with chiropractic care. Sometimes, back pain can be caused by subluxations. Subluxations are partial dislocations of vertebrae within the spine that can cause interferences in how the brain and body communicates. Since each part of the vertebrae are in close proximity to nerves, subluxations can also lead to neurological conditions due to pressure placed on these nerves. Some of the common symptoms of subluxations involve pain or swelling around a joint, limited mobility, or loss of range of motion. If you are interested in learning more about subluxations, I encourage you to check out my previous blog.
Chiropractic care removes subluxations through spinal adjustments. By removing these interferences, the body can self-regulate and self-heal. This can eradicate a multitude of different types of pain, including back pain. Combining chiropractic care with exercises that are good for back pain can help further relieve and manage pain and help you achieve optimal results. I hope you found this article informative. If you or a loved one are suffering from any type of back pain, you may benefit from chiropractic care. Consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic! We specialize in different chiropractic techniques, as well as both therapeutic and Swedish massage. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last post, we discussed scoliosis, an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine, and how chiropractic care can relieve pain caused by this condition and can prevent it from worsening if caught early enough. Today, we’ll be talking about arthritis and ways you can treat it at home. Arthritis is the inflammation, swelling or tenderness of one or more joints. The two main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which can get worse with age. Although arthritis cannot be cured, there are ways you can manage your symptoms at home. If you are interested in learning more, you’re in the right place! Let’s get started.
Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, affecting about 50 million adults and 300,000 children. There are different types of arthritis– in fact, there are over 100 types– but the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the flexible tissue that cushions the ends of bones wears down over time. This most often happens with age and affects the fingers, knees, and hips. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue and joints, causing pain and swelling. It often affects the hands and feet, and may also affect the internal organs and systems.
The exact cause of most types of arthritis is unknown, but there are certain things that may put you more at risk. For example, having a family history of arthritis, having certain autoimmune disorders, or having a job or playing a sport that puts repeated strain and stress on your joints can all contribute to the development of arthritis. Prior injury to a joint could increase your risk of developing arthritis later in life. Additionally, smoking and lack of exercise can increase your risk. Obesity is also a common trigger of arthritis, as more weight puts extra strain on your joints.
Different types of arthritis may require different treatments, but it is commonly treated with medication, such as anti-inflammatory and pain medications to relieve symptoms. Physical therapy is also a great way to rehabilitate the joints and improve strength, range of motion, and mobility. In severe cases of arthritis, surgery may be recommended. For those looking for a more natural and non-invasive treatment, chiropractic care is one of the safest and most effective therapies you can use. Chiropractic care can realign joints to relieve pain and minimize further damage to the cartilage surrounding the joint. In addition to visiting a chiropractor, there are ways that you can treat arthritis at home that will help manage your symptoms.
One of the best ways to treat arthritis at home is through exercise. We all know how important exercise is to our overall health, but it is also great for our joints. Exercise strengthens the muscles, ligaments, and tendons surrounding the joints. This allows the area to act as a protective barrier or “brace” for the joints, protecting them and lessening pressure put on weakened joints by offering support. Joint pain is also reduced during and after exercise because of an increase in synovial fluid. Synovial fluid, sometimes known as joint fluid, is a thick liquid located between the joints. It cushions the ends of our bones and allows them to slip past one another freely, greatly reducing friction. Physical activity increases the circulation of the fluid, making it much easier for the joints to move.
Low-impact exercises tend to be best for those with arthritis, including walking and cycling. Water activities and exercises are also great because the water’s buoyancy provides extra support for your muscles and joints– This increases your strength, endurance, and flexibility while putting less strain on your joints. Calming exercises such as yoga or tai chi have also proven to help reduce joint pain. Both of these exercises involve deep breathing and meditation and have been shown to improve mobility and range of motion, and reduce stress.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Heat and cold treatments are a great way to reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. Heat therapy works by dilating the blood vessels, which increases blood flow and improves circulation in painful or stiff areas. There are two types of heat therapy: dry heat and moist heat. Dry heat comes from things such as heating pads or heat lamps. Moist heat comes from warm baths or showers and steamed towels. In any case, you want to aim for more of a warm temperature, rather than a hot one– This is more comfortable and will not damage the skin.
In contrast, cold therapy works by reducing blood flow to a particular area. This is sometimes referred to as cryotherapy, and can significantly reduce inflammation and swelling. Cold therapy may include ice packs, ice baths, and coolant sprays. Again, you should find a temperature that is tolerable. It may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but cold helps numb deep pain and discomfort.
Adopt and Maintain a Healthy Diet
Just like exercise, we know the benefits of a healthy diet. Not only can proper nutrition improve your overall health, but it can work wonders for your bones and joints, too. While a diet cannot eliminate arthritis, there are many foods that can help reduce inflammation and joint pain.
Some foods that fight inflammation include:
Choosing one or all of these home remedies can bring much-needed relief– Especially if coupled with chiropractic care. Your chiropractor or primary care physician may also recommend massage therapy, as this gentle manipulation can reduce joint pain and stiffness. A chiropractor will evaluate your condition and can create a customized treatment plan accordingly. Chiropractors are also trained to give nutritional advice and can help you come up with a dietary plan that will help reduce inflammation of the joints. They can also recommend an exercise regimen that can be done at home. The body is self-healing and self-regulating, so these recommendations can provide your body with the guidance it needs to help you function as best as possible.
Although there is no miracle cure for arthritis, symptoms can be managed with a combination of at-home treatments as well as chiropractic care. I hope you found this article informative. If you or a loved one are suffering from arthritis, you may benefit from chiropractic care. Consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic! We specialize in different chiropractic techniques, as well as both therapeutic and Swedish massage. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last blog, we discussed the benefits of prenatal chiropractic care. Pregnancy puts the body through drastic changes and puts strain on many parts of the body, but chiropractic care can offer relief during and after pregnancy. Today, we’ll be discussing scoliosis and how chiropractic care can help. Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. It is often diagnosed in early adolescence, but is seen in adults as well. Chiropractic care can relieve pain caused by scoliosis and can prevent it from worsening if caught early enough. If you’re interested in learning more about this condition and how chiropractic can offer relief, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!
A healthy spine has natural curves that form an “S” shape when viewed from the side. This includes the cervical curve, thoracic curve, lumbar curve, and the sacral curve. These curves help to give the spine more flexibility, and the way they are distributed helps us keep our balance. The vertebrae are stacked neatly on top of each other with a disc of cartilage in between them. This disc provides cushioning as you move. However, if the curvature of the spine is greater than 10 degrees, it is considered scoliosis. The curvature is measured using the Cobb Angle, a standard measurement used to determine and track the progression of scoliosis. This causes vertebrae to be tilted, compressing the discs on one side. The greater the curve, the greater the chance of scoliosis progressing and getting worse over time.
Scoliosis affects 2-3% of the population in the United States– That’s an estimated 6 to 9 million people. This condition can develop in infancy or early childhood, with the primary onset at around 10 to 15 years old. Most cases occur during the growth spurt prior to puberty. This is why many children get checked periodically for scoliosis by their primary care physicians or by a school nurse. This examination is often done by having the child bend forward at the waist so that the nurse or physician can check the outline of the spine for abnormal curvature. Adults can also be diagnosed with scoliosis if they were not treated as adolescents, or if they have degenerative scoliosis, which is caused by aging. Some symptoms of scoliosis include:
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and sometimes scoliosis even goes unnoticed. Sometimes, scoliosis is not diagnosed until there is a significant curvature of the spine or the patient is in pain. However, even with mild cases, it can make everyday life painful and range of motion may be limited. Routine checkups by a primary care physician or chiropractor are a great form of preventative care.
There are generally two categories of scoliosis: structural and nonstructural. With structural scoliosis, the curve of the spine is rigid and is more complex to treat. Nonstructural, or functional, scoliosis is when the spine works normally, but appears curved. When the root cause of nonstructural scoliosis is treated, the scoliosis often goes away. Nonstructural scoliosis can be caused by chronic bad posture or irregularities such as one leg being longer than the other. There are also subtypes of scoliosis, including idiopathic, neuromuscular, and congenital scoliosis.
As the curvature worsens, it can cause other health problems, such as difficulty breathing and reduced lung capacity because of a reduced amount of space in the chest for the lungs to expand. In severe cases, it could cause spinal or nerve damage and spinal fluid leakage. The most common treatments for scoliosis include the use of back braces and spinal fusion surgery in extreme cases. Surgery should be a last resort, as it can permanently reduce your range of motion and put additional stress on the spine. Unfortunately, a common approach to scoliosis is to wait and see how bad it gets. This causes unnecessary pain, discomfort, and suffering.
Scoliosis can be treated and managed, much like other chronic health conditions. There is a safe, effective, and non-invasive treatment for scoliosis: Chiropractic care! Chiropractic is proven to help reduce back pain caused by scoliosis, and in some cases can even improve the curvature of the spine when diagnosed early enough. Chiropractors have extensive knowledge of musculoskeletal issues, conditions, and disorders. Additionally, the aim of chiropractic care is to help the body heal itself naturally by restoring proper alignment to the spine and joints. Chiropractic care may not straighten the spine completely, but studies have shown that it can make a significant improvement in curvature and pain. A 2011 study showed that 28 adult scoliosis patients who received chiropractic care for 24 months reported improvements in pain, Cobb angle, and disability.
Chiropractic treatment for scoliosis can include spinal adjustments, which correct misalignments. The spine carries messages and signals from the brain to the body, so any interference or subluxation can block these signals and prevent your body from functioning at its best. (I discussed subluxations in a previous blog!) Correcting misalignments in the spine can reduce inflammation and improve the function of the spine, thus improving the function of the overall nervous system. A chiropractor may also use a technique called flexion distraction, which is often performed on a segmented table. The table moves your body up and down slowly to gently stretch the spine. This helps maintain the mobility of the natural curve of the spine while alleviating pain.
Chiropractic care can be even more effective when combined with other treatments like muscle-strengthening exercise and stretches, including postural and rehabilitative exercises. A chiropractor can teach patients what proper posture looks and feels like, so they can practice adopting that posture at home. Simply being aware of your posture when standing or sitting can help correct a spinal issue and prevent further damage from occurring. Sometimes, a chiropractor may recommend routine chiropractic care along with other treatments prescribed by doctors, such as the use of a brace.
Additionally, massage therapy is effective in reducing pain associated with scoliosis. Some of the best types of massage for scoliosis pain include deep tissue massage and Swedish massage. Both of these techniques reduce back pain and increase blood flow to the back, elongating tightened muscles. Not only can massage help reduce pain, but it also helps improve mobility. Therefore, a chiropractor might prescribe a treatment consisting of both adjustments and massage therapy to help alleviate pain and other symptoms caused by scoliosis.
If you have not already been diagnosed with scoliosis, a chiropractor can do a postural exam and take diagnostic images such as X-rays to diagnose and determine the severity of scoliosis. This is also a good reason why children should see a chiropractor– Routine care and maintenance can help detect signs of scoliosis early on, before it starts to become an issue. Early detection of scoliosis can prevent curve progression.
As you can see, chiropractic care is an effective and safe way to help treat and manage scoliosis. Although chiropractic care alone may not straighten the spine completely, it can help alleviate pain and reduce some of the abnormal curvature. A chiropractor can develop a non-invasive, drug-free treatment plan that addresses multiple symptoms. This is a far better solution than sitting back and waiting to see if scoliosis gets worse. I hope you found this article informative. If you think you or a loved one may benefit from any kind of chiropractic care, consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
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