Back Pain and Posture Tips – Chiropractic Care for Relief of Back Pain

Chiropractors Care about your Posture

Back Pain and Posture Tips – Chiropractic Care for Relief of Back Pain

Your posture says a lot about you.

To a stranger walking by, it may demonstrate qualities like confidence and openness or demonstrate disinterest and lethargy.  To a Chiropractor, your posture is a by-product of many factors including your genetics, old habits, previous trauma, abnormal walking due to foot dysfunction or repetitive strain injuries from activities such as work.

When you sit, walk, stand and perform your daily activities, keeping your body aligned helps your body stay efficient.  When your body isn’t ideally aligned, your muscles work harder in ways they aren’t accustomed to. Your ligaments and joints must withstand more force. Over time, your joints will be at a higher risk of degeneration which causes pain while reducing your quality of life.

It is common for chiropractors to see the following: a patient’s head sit more forward over the shoulders; shoulder elevation; hip tilts; and flat feet. Some findings are easier to correct than others and many factors are considered when corrective measures are recommended. One thing is for sure, the sooner you become aware of your posture and act on improving it, the better your chances of avoiding repetitive strain injuries and pain.

Remember, guidelines are often generic and everyone’s body is different.  Depending on your history of pain, dysfunction or injury, it’s always smart to consult your chiropractor or manual therapist for personalized advice.

Here are some tips regarding basic standing and sitting posture!

  • When standing, consider keeping your feet shoulder width apart; bear the brunt of the weight at the balls of your feet
  • If you need to stand for longer periods, take walking breaks and shift your weight to minimize fatigue
  • Stand tall with your shoulders pulled back
  • To the best of your ability, keep your head back where your earlobe is lined up with the front of your shoulder when looking from the side
  • When sitting, adjust your chair so that your feet are on the ground
    • Your hip should be bent to 90 degrees or slightly more
    • Lean back and make proper use of the back support
    • Bring your shoulder blades closer together and keep your shoulders down
  • If typing or using a desk, your chair should be adjusted so that your forearms are resting comfortably onto the desk with your elbow resting at about 90 degrees

What If the Pain is in My Lower Back?

Lower back pain is experienced by 80% of the Canadian population at any given time, whether it is due to a muscle strain, herniated disc, osteoarthritis, scoliosis or other issues. It is one of the costliest causes of illness and disability in Canada due to the fact that it is the leading cause of visits made to health care providers and of time lost from the workplace. Low back pain can last a few days or weeks, but if left untreated it can become chronic back pain and cause tingling or numbness in your legs and feet.

Even when the pain is in the lower back, the problem tends to involve the entire spine. Chiropractors help align a patient’s spine, increasing one’s range of motion, and decreasing inflammation.

Ways to Treat Low Back Pain

Chiropractors safely and effectively treat lower back pain, primarily through manipulation of the spine, thus reducing or eliminating the need for pain medication and invasive surgeries. Chiropractic Treatment increases one’s range of motion thus restoring motion and mobility, increasing joint mobility, decreasing inflammation, and decreasing nerve interference. The Manga report recommends Chiropractic manipulation for early care of lower back pain.

For those with chronic low back pain, the long-term benefits of chiropractic care are enhanced by obtaining regular maintenance spinal manipulation after initial intensive manipulative therapy.

Chiropractors supplement spinal manipulation with other non-invasive therapies including but not limited to:

What Can I Do Between Appointments to Keep Pain at Bay?

Between chiropractic appointments, do these simple stretches to gain the most benefit from chiropractic care. While performing these stretches, make sure to move into the stretch slowly and avoid bouncing which can tear muscles.

Cat-Cow Stretch: Relief of Back Pain and Benefits

  • Stretches the back, torso and neck
  • Brings flexibility to the spine
  • Opens the chest encouraging slow and deep breathing

How to perform the Cat & Cow Pose stretches?

  • Start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips (Tabletop Position)
  • Point your fingers toward the top of the mat and place your knees hip-width apart

Cat Pose

1) Exhale as you draw your belly to your spine
2) Round you back toward the ceiling
3) Slowly drop your head and look down towards the floor

Cow Pose

1) Inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat
2) Lift your chin and chest and gaze up toward the ceiling
3) Draw your shoulders away from your ears
4) Exhale coming to the starting “tabletop” position
5) Repeat 10 times

Child’s Pose: Relief of Back Pain and Benefits

  • Stretches the lower back, thighs, knees and ankles torso and neck
  • Relaxes the spine, neck and shoulders
  • Increases blood circulation the head reducing headaches

How to perform the Child’s Pose stretch?

1) Kneel on the floor, bring your big toes together and sit on your heels
– Make sure your knees are hip width apart
2) Exhale and lower your buttocks towards your heels
– This lengthens your tailbone from the back of your pelvis
3) As you bring your torso over your thighs, lengthen the back of your neck before your forehead rests on the floor
4) Bring your arms by your thighs with your palms facing up
5) Hold for at least 30 seconds
6) To come up, inhale and lengthen your torso and lift from your tailbone

Remember combining chiropractic with other therapies improves pain and disability!

To book with our East Vancouver chiropractors at Backs in Action Rehab & Wellness Centre, call 604-876-9977, book online or email info@backsinaction.ca. We are easily accessible from Downtown Vancouver and Burnaby as we are only steps away from the Renfrew Skytrain Station!

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