This may not be an exaggeration! Do you ever feel like you just want someone to pull on the top of your head and another to pull your feet like a medieval torture technique just to get some relief?
Here’s what’s going on with that: Humans are two legged creatures that walk upright. Compression forces from walking, running, and sitting can wreak havoc on the discs between our vertebrae. Those compression forces can also reduce the disc height, putting pressure on the surrounding structures, including the nerves. This can lead to degenerative disc disease or degenerative joint disease. All humans are susceptible to this because of the compression forces, but also diet, toxins and dehydration can cause accelerated disc or joint disease.
What you can do about it:
- Eat healthier. Seems kind of weird to think that what you eat would have anything to do with how your back feels, doesn’t it? Sugar, grain and dairy can cause inflammation. When you are going through a spell of back pain, it’s best to avoid these foods, especially soda’s and sugary drinks. Your body can’t heal you very well if you don’t give it what it needs to do so. Stock up on veggies and lean meats to give your body what it needs to heal faster.
- Toxins. Eliminating toxins is a difficult thing. You are encountering them on a daily basis, in all types of products that you use. Consider switching your products to more eco-friendly, natural cleaning, body care, and containers. Why would this be a big deal? Toxins like BPA, ammonia, bleach, air fresheners and products containing pthalates, parabens and sulfates can cause inflammation in our bodies that we aren’t even aware of.
- Dehydration. Drinking water is extremely important in the health of your body. You should aim for 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day. Seem like a lot? Trust me, it took me a LONG time to get there. I started by taking an actual 1 cup measuring cup and drinking 8 oz at a time. Now I truly enjoy being hydrated. I start with 16 oz as soon as I wake up. Drinking that water first thing helps move lazy bowels in the morning! A slow bowel alone can cause pressure on the spine, thus causing pain. What an incentive to drink water in the morning!
Chiropractic care, of course.
And of course, chiropractic care is extremely important in the care of your spine! A chiropractic adjustment is the corrective term for a subluxation. Subluxation is the descriptive term chiropractors use to describe when the bones of a joint are out of place. This is typically millimeters off in alignment. A chiropractic adjustment delivers a specific thrust through a joint’s range of motion, resulting in a “pop” or “crack”, which is a dispersion of gas in the joint, which makes that noise. When the thrust is delivered, the range of motion in that particular joint is restored, allowing the joint to express complete range of motion, and decreased pressure on the surrounding structures. Chiropractic care often results in immediate relief! (I love the instant gratification chiropractic can provide!)
Stretching is also extremely important in our every day lives, especially if our job requires us to be in the same position most of the time. Stretches can help alleviate tension in the whole body, and the more often it is done, the better. Avoid aggressive stretches and “bouncing” or ballistic stretches; this can result in injury. Working on stretching a little bit every day, say 1-2 minutes of stretching for every hour of work, can greatly alleviate problems in the neck, shoulders and lower back.
It doesn’t even really matter what kind of exercise you do, but getting blood flow to the extremely vascular spine can make a huge difference in the stiffness and tightness of your spine. Any type of exercise will do, as long as it gets your heart rate up. Getting the blood pumping also helps get the debris from healing mechanisms in the body away and filtered through the kidney and out of the body.