Regular exercise is an essential part of having a healthy back. In the treatment of back pain, almost every healthcare provider agrees that exercise plays an important role in recovery. Every day we make demands on our bodies that can stress our backs. It’s a well-known fact that the more fit you are, and the stronger your back is, the more easily your body can deal with the stress and strain of every day activity.
Unfortunately, when most people start to experience back pain, they become less active. As a result, the muscles that support the spinal column become weaker and have less endurance. If your back loses enough muscle tone, the muscles can shrink, contract, and tighten. Your back may feel tight much of the time, tire easily, and start to feel uncomfortable even when you are sitting in a chair. The feelings associated with chronic back pain and spinal fatigue make most people feel drained, tired and depressed. It becomes harder and harder to break the cycle of pain causing inactivity, which causes more pain, which then causes more inactivity. Eventually, this scenario can lead to other health problems that are the direct result of inactivity, such as heart attacks, strokes and obesity.
Therefore, exercise is an important part of the “use it or lose it” theory of overall spine health. Patients with chronic low back pain are particularly susceptible to suffering from the ill effects of too little exercise. If it hurts when you move your back, and is less uncomfortable when you don’t, then you have the perfect incentive to become less active with time. Although this may seem like a logical reaction to pain, it is almost certain that avoiding physical activity will make the pain become even worse over time. This knowledge comes from the unhappy experience that doctors have had in the past with prescribing prolonged bed rest and inactivity for back pain, which over time, only aggravated the situation and made it more difficult to treat in the long run. We now know that if you want to relieve the physical pain of many types of back pain while also making yourself stronger both mentally and physically, you need to get moving.
A commitment to a physical conditioning program that is approved by your physician is important to everyone, but it is especially important to those with chronic back pain. Exercise has many benefits and has even been called a healthy “non-chemical tranquilizer,” because the process of stretching and strengthening the muscles of the back produces a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing similar to that produced by many muscle relaxants and pain relievers. Low back pain is often described as a “psychobiological” problem, meaning that it includes both physical and psychological components. Exercise can help treat both parts of this problem, by providing you with a healthy means of relieving some of the frustration and sense of helplessness associated with low back pain, in addition to treating the problem at its very heart.
Exercise can be the key to your recovery, as well as a good prevention against future pain. Our physicians have developed an exercise routine with easy explanations and diagrams to help you follow them properly. The purpose of these exercises is to promote flexibility and strengthen the spinal musculature
Stress in the Workplace: Chiropractic Treatment and Massage for Women
It’s no secret that the modern workplace has a stress problem. The need to separate stress in the workplace from the rest of life is attested to in the term “work-life balance.” According to The American Institute of Stress, workplace stress costs U.S. industry about $300 billion a year because of accidents, missed work, worker turnover, low productivity, medical and legal costs, and workers’ compensation awards. At a more granular level, the cost of stress affects the very physiology of workers, with an estimated 30 percent of workers suffering from back pain attributing the pain to stress.
As caregivers and professionals, women often feel the effects of workplace stress even more acutely than men. Women have their responsibilities at work, but they must also take care of their children—for example, women are often in charge of taking their children to the doctor when they are sick. Many times, women have difficulty separating work from their home lives because they have demanding responsibilities in both. Stress from one part of their lives often spills over into the other, which can have consequences for not only their professional and domestic roles but for their health, too.
Stress is a major problem, but it is surmountable with the right help.