Your Amazing Back And Spine in Ottawa ON
Your back is an amazing part of your body. It allows you to stand and supports your arms and legs. It also protects your spinal cord, which sends messages between your brain and the rest of your body. Knowing what to do when you have back pain in Ottawa ON is important. And back pain, unfortunately, is one of the most common ailments today. A sedentary lifestyle, as well as injuries, arthritic changes and aging can all lead to problems.
What to do when you have back pain in Ottawa ON
First, GET CHECKED by a chiropractor. Get regular spinal check-ups, practice recognized spinal self-care.
Why is your back's health is so important?
You only get one spine. There is no spinal transplant yet. Your brain communicates with your entire body via your spinal cord, which is protected by the spinal vertebrae around it. The body’s information highway – your nervous system – is protected by the spine's bones. The nervous system travels out between the vertebrae or joints of the spine to carry messages from the brain to every corner of your body - every muscle, organ, tissue, cell. Stress and strain on the vertebrae can put pressure on the nerves in the affected area. That is why a problem with your spine can have far-reaching effects causing symptoms such as arm or leg pain or even digestive problems or numbness in a toe.
When to consider Chiropractic Care?
If aching joints and muscle pain are affecting your ability to get through the day and keeping you away from your favourite activities, consider chiropractic care. Work, accidents, sports injuries, household chores, even the stress of daily living can cause painful joint and back problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, chiropractic care can help you maintain healthy spine and joint function.
Chiropractic is known for getting the best results for back pain. It should be your first choice for back pain, and a chiropractor could be a helpful second opinion before back surgery is done.
4 Million Canadians visit their chiropractor this year.
The word “chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand.” Adjustment of the joints of the body has been used in the healing arts for many centuries and is at the heart of modern chiropractic care.
Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints of the body. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal functioning to the joints and supporting muscles and ligaments – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible.
Your back is a complex structure made up of bones, muscles, nerves and joints. This can often make it difficult for some medical professionals to pinpoint the exact cause of the pain. In fact, most cases of back pain are not caused by serious damage or disease but by sprains, minor strains, minor injuries or a pinched or irritated nerve.
Back pain can be triggered by everyday activities at home or at work, or it can develop gradually over time as a result of prolonged sitting or standing or lifting badly.
Sometimes back pain develops suddenly for no apparent reason. Some people just wake up one morning with back pain and have no idea what has caused it. Some causes of sudden, acute-onset back pain include:
- bending awkwardly or for long periods
- lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling incorrectly
- slouching in chairs
- driving in a hunched position or driving for long periods without taking a break
- overuse of the muscles, usually due to sport or repetitive movements (repetitive strain injury)
Risk Factors for Back Pain
Certain risk factors increase your chances of developing back pain. These include:
- being overweight – the extra weight puts pressure on the spine; you can use the BMI healthy weight calculator to find out if you need to lose weight
- smoking – this may be due to tissue damage in the back caused by smoking or the fact that smokers tend to have unhealthier lifestyles than non-smokers
- being pregnant – the extra weight of carrying a baby can place additional strain on the back
- long-term use of medication known to weaken bones, like cortico-steroids, for example
- stress – stress is thought to cause tension in the back muscles which can result in back pain
- depression – back pain can make people feel depressed, which can sometimes result in weight gain which leads to increased pain and worsening depression
In a small number of cases, back pain is caused by a specific medical condition – for example:
- post-concussion syndrome
- shoulder pain & frozen shoulder
- ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
Is it Just Your Bad Posture?
If you started to always sit with upright and good posture, and stand with good posture every day from this day on, would your body be in perfect alignment? Does starting to have good posture now fix the misaligned joints in your body that you already have? No. It doesn't. Good posture helps, but the bones can't move back into their proper place without a little help from your chiropractor.
Your Chiropractor carefully aligns the joints in your body. Our chiropractor adjusts ankles, feet, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, ribs and the spinal column. Where you have a joint (bones connected) and muscles and tendons, we can help.
Studies have shown that when it comes to supporting recovery and improving physical performance, chiropractic is helpful because adjusting the spinal vertebrae has amazing benefits:
- Helps back pain (SOURCE), sciatica (SOURCE), neck pain (SOURCE) and headaches (SOURCE)
- Helps with surgery prevention (SOURCE)
- Increases healing and athletic performance
- Reduces inflammatory cytokines
- Boosts the immune system
- Enhances pulmonary function
- Reduces High Blood Pressure and increases Low Blood Pressure (SOURCE)
- Decreases mental and oxidative stress
- Relieves muscle tension
- And can naturally increase energy levels
Here are some myths about back pain to know
MYTH: Bed rest is a great treatment for back pain.
FACT: At one time, many people believed this to be true. But in fact, bed rest may worsen your back pain unless it is so severe that you cannot move. See a health professional such as a chiropractor about chronic or new back pain.
MYTH: Applying heat is recommended for a sore back.
FACT: Heat helps muscles, but can stiffen joints. Applying heat may worsen the inflammation of the joint and surrounding muscles and ligaments, if the problem is acute or in the joints themselves. Using a little ice on a sore back may be the best recommendation. The usual recommendation is to ice – use a commercial cold pack, a bag of frozen vegetables, or ice in a dampened towel – for the first three days of acute pain. Limit cold pack treatments to 5 to 10 minutes at a time, and always place a damp towel or cloth between the sore area and the ice.
MYTH: Pain is the main indication that something is wrong.
FACT: Pain in your back is definitely an indication that something is wrong, especially if the pain is chronic and stops you from doing everyday chores and activities. But you don’t always feel pain in your back when there is a problem. Restricted movement or discomfort in your arms, legs and shoulders are also indications that something’s up with your spine.
MYTH: My pain is because of my bad posture. I just need to sit up straight.
FACT: Poor posture or how you stand and sit is just one cause of back pain. By the time you feel pain, it's probably more than just sore muscles from the bad posture. Repeated bad posture for months or years can lead to misaligned joints in the hips, spine, neck, shoulders, ribs, and other joints that could be causing the pain. Fixing your posture alone may not be enough once their is pain or chronic tension. You may need to have your joints aligned by a chiropractor first.
It’s a fact that good posture and a properly aligned spine, in everything you do, can help prevent back and neck pain. Exercise can help keep your back and spine fit and healthy too. Flexibility stretches help keep you limber while core exercises such as those involving balance, Pilates or a stability ball will help to strengthen your spine. But the healthy professional to help you along the way is your local chiropractor.
Need more information?
Check out our Chiropractic Reviews for back and neck pain.
Many symptoms can be helped with preventative care like acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, physio and laser therapy. We strongly recommend anyone experiencing the symptoms discussed on this page, see one of our health professionals soon.
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