Summer is finally here! After long winter months of reduced activity, most of us can’t wait to spend time outdoors. For some, it’s a chance to return to gardening or summertime sports. Yet for many others, back pain puts a damper on summer fun. An astounding 60 to 85 percent of the population suffers from low-back pain (LBP) at some point. Approximately 10 percent of those cases become chronic. However you spend this season, we have some winning strategies to keep back pain from spoiling summer activities.
Physical exercise is key to preventing all types of back pain. For people with prior episodes of spinal injury or discomfort, regular exercise can prevent relapses. A 2008 German study tested exercise programs involving movements opposite to the positions the spine is in most often. They found that these “countering” exercises are especially effective at preventing pain and overuse injuries. This same research team proved that inactivity causes back muscles to atrophy, so staying active is important. Especially important for developing a strong back is maintaining “core” stability, focusing on strengthening the abdominals and paraspinal muscles that hold the spine erect.
Optimal posture is crucial for avoiding spinal injuries. At FFC we analyze posture by examining the alignment of key areas like knees, hips, shoulders and pelvis. One condition chiropractors look for is vertebral subluxation, or misalignment of the spinal bones. This irregularity alters nervous system function and irritates spinal musculature. Remember that while proper posture is important, it’s easy to inadvertently revert to old habits. Adopting strong postural awareness can take weeks of mindful practice.
Establishing new habits and routines is essential, but nothing can replace regular chiropractic checkups. Chiropractic is uniquely positioned to help patients prevent back pain because care is centered on spinal health. Chiropractic also blends the best of traditional health care with integrative medicine. At FFC we are specifically trained to identify underlying physical sources of back pain and nervous system disruption, and care is individually customized for each patient. Consistent chiropractic visits help patients stay healthy and pain-free all summer…and all year long!