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chronic pain chiropractic

Chiropractic is a healing science

Chronic pain is one of the least tangible and least understood parts of modern medicine; for every person who finds lasting pain relief with a given treatment, there are others with the same diagnosis who will not. This is because every body is different and thus, every body is attempting to heal itself differently. Then we add in the treatments of modern medicine: drugs, surgery, or physical therapy; and we make lifestyle adjustments including diet, exercise. But this traditional method for treating pain simply does not work for everyone! Many people are left frustrated at the waste of money, time and energy they have spent on treatments that have done little to nothing for improving their pain. Alternative medicine exists because of the people who seek alternatives- the people who are willing to try something different because they know that tradition hasn't worked for them.

white collar back pain

Could white collar work actually take the title for worst career related to back pain?

Although the idea of working at a desk has been around for less time than say manual labor, nursing or construction work, it is quickly earning its title as being horrible for the spine. As specialists in the musculoskeletal form, we can tell you that the human body simply wasn't meant to sit at a desk for any extended period of time. Unfortunately, more people are facing the reality of earning their living at a desk. If this is the case you face, make sure you are taking care of your spine first and foremost; after all, it is one of your greatest assets on the job!

back pain construction

Construction work is among the professions with the highest incidence of back-pain 

It is not hard to see why. Causes for back pain in the construction industry are mainly related to heavy lifting but also include:

  • Vibration and shock absorption involved in the use of heavy equipment
  • Twisting and lifting
  • Improper body mechanics while performing a variety of lifting movements

Most of these activities result in strains of the supportive soft tissue in the back which causes inflammation, muscle spasm and severe pain. Construction workers should always take steps to prevent back pain and consult with a back-care specialist when pain strikes. 

back pain nurse

Nursing is the profession with the most back pain 

Research consistently shows that nursing comes out on top in the list of professions with the highest rate of back-pain related complaints, even ahead of more obvious contenders such as construction work, or auto repair. What is it about this job that is so taxing on the spine? Most studies have shown that it has to do with lifting, one of the most aggravating motions for the human spine. Furthermore, nurses do a fair amount of bending, another motion that puts a disproportionate amount of pressure on intravertebral discs and threatens spinal degradation. What can we do to prevent a nurse's job from hurting her spine?

spinal motion segments

What are spinal motion segments? 

Also known as functional spinal units, spinal motion segments are the workhorses of your spine. They comprise not the smallest individual components of the spine, but the smallest combination of components that contributes to overall function. A spinal motion segment is made up of:

  • Two adjacent vertebrae
  • Intervertebral disc
  • Two facet joints which connect the vertebrae
  • Supportive ligaments and other soft tissues

The first three are known as the articulation triad, a group whose combined function allows for flexibility and movement of the spine, while also stabilizing it and preventing damage from excessive movement. For example, the facet joints, encapsulated in a layer of hyaline cartilage, allow for reasonable movement of the spine while also protecting it from hypermobility, or the over-flexibility between moving parts of the spine. The discs provide for shock absorption and combat the daily compression that results from poor posture, mini-vibrations of walking and the downward pressure of gravity. And all of this is happening without you even noticing. 

Protecting your spinal motion segment with chiropractic 

Chiropractic is about optimizing the spine at every level of function. Injuries that we treat which specifically deal with spinal motion segments include: 

  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Pinched nerves
  • Facet Joint Syndrome 

Treating one component of the spinal motion segment necessarily means improving the function of the others. Whether you are suffering from damage to your discs, facet joints or the soft tissues that support them, chiropractic has a variety of modalities to help you improve function and effect faster, more effective healing. Those modalities include:

  • Chiropractic adjustment to restore spinal alignment and improve range of motion
  • Decompression to reduce intradiscal pressure, and increase space between the vertebrae to allow for rehydration and healing. 
  • Hands-on modalities including trigger point therapy and massage that decrease swelling and inflammation.

If you are interested in finding out how the function of your spinal motion segments could be contributing to your back pain, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.