It is estimated that approximately 80 percent of the United States population will experience low back pain at least once in their lives. Many of the causes of low back pain can be attributed to our daily habits. There are numerous, seemingly harmless, things we do every day that can cause low back pain.
Many men have a habit of carrying their wallet in their back pocket. It’s easy and it doesn’t get in the way. Although the convenience makes it tempting to do, there are actually negative consequences to doing so when it comes to the health of your spine and it can contribute to chronic low back pain.
For optimum spinal health, your pelvis needs to be level and your spine needs to be straight. What does that have to do with carrying a wallet in your back pocket? Nothing…If you are standing or walking. But how many of us go through our day without ever sitting down? However, the problem comes when you sit down with your wallet in your back pocket. If your wallet is in your back pocket, when you sit on it, it creates an uneven surface for your pelvis. This creates twisting of the pelvis and creates a sideways bend in your spine. It puts more pressure on the joints and discs on one side than the other. This also causes the muscles to be unbalanced. Over time, these stresses can contribute to chronic low back pain and premature disc degeneration. These are issues we often see in our office. Small changes in your daily routines can make a difference in your back pain and help delay premature disc degeneration.
What can you do if you have low back pain? There are several things you can do if you suffer from low back pain. Here are a few suggestions:
Use A Front Pocket
If you have a habit of carrying your wallet in your back pocket, STOP it immediately. Try carrying your wallet in one of your front pockets. It may take some time to get used to this new habit, but it is worth it. Another option is carrying your wallet in a small bag or backpack. Although this used to be socially frowned upon, it is becoming increasingly common. Carrying your wallet in the front of your pocket or in a bag will take that uneven pressure off your pelvis and allow your spine to be straight while sitting. No, this doesn’t mean that you now have room to carry your phone in your back pocket. Sitting on your phone, or anything else, will create the same problem.
Take A Break From Sitting
Prolonged sitting is hard on your back and contributes to chronic low back pain. Many professions require long periods of sitting that may be unavoidable. Even if you have relocated that wallet to your front pocket, you should limit the time you spend sitting. If you need to sit for long periods of time, getting up regularly to stretch and walk a minute or two will greatly reduce the stress on your low back. There are easy ways to incorporate more walking into your daily life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away in the parking lot, get up from your desk and go walk a few laps around your office. Your back will thank you for these small periods of relief from sitting.
Increase Your Physical Activity
This doesn’t mean you have to run out and join a Crossfit gym. Walking for a minimum of twenty minutes for at least three days per week has been shown to decrease chronic low back pain. Your body is designed to move. It needs to keep moving to stay healthy. Regular physical activity also helps to decrease your stress level, decrease high blood pressure and decrease blood sugar levels. Other physical activities that are gentle on your back include swimming, yoga and Pilates. These activities also have the added benefit of helping you reduce stress and inflammation. Decreasing systemic inflammation leads to decreased pain.
People who have a habit of stretching for 10-15 minutes in the morning after they wake up and again before they go to bed report fewer issues with back pain. There are many easy stretching routines you can find online.
Take Care Of Your Body
It’s the only one you have. As we live our lives, there is daily wear and tear that occurs. Years of repetitive stresses and poor posture take their toll on our bodies. Add trauma from accidents and injuries to the mix and that wear and tear increases significantly. Spinal misalignment, also known as subluxations, interfere with transmission of nerve signals to and from the brain (the control center of your entire body). The only way to correct spinal subluxations is with chiropractic adjustments. No amount of medications or physical therapy will help that bone move back into place.
About Trinity Chiropractic
We combine over 25 years of chiropractic experience with the newest chiropractic techniques available, state-of-the art therapy and rehabilitation. We perform a thorough consultation to get to the root cause of your problems, followed by a chiropractic exam and digital x-rays (if needed). We then sit down with you to explain treatment recommendations and the most affordable payment options. Our chiropractic adjusting technique is very gentle and specific, with no twisting or popping involved. We treat each patient as a unique individual focusing their treatment recommendations on their current level of functioning and their personal goals. Our treatment options along with our gentle chiropractic adjustments include K-Laser deep tissue therapeutic laser, Vibration Plate therapy, neck traction, Back on Trac spinal decompression, balance and core strengthening activities. All these therapies work in conjunction with the chiropractic adjustment to help stretch, strengthen and support your muscles and joints. We focus on correcting the underlying cause of your low back pain, not just treating your symptoms. Our care is designed to get you back to doing the things you love.