By Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic Clinic
There are many reasons why your back is hurting. It could be poor posture, an injury, long term wear and tear, etc… But the pain you are feeling, like fire shooting through your veins or the dull ache that seems constant is usually a form of inflammation. Whether the problem stems from doing too much or too little, the result can end you up in the same place. One of the worst things you can do is go from one extreme to another. If you sit behind your desk all day long and then decide to go out and aggressively clean the entire yard (like shoveling mulch, pulling weeds, etc.) you could be setting yourself up for a painful injury.
Our backs have discs that are designed to cushion the bones. When we move, those discs work like little squishy sponges. When we move to the right, that part of the disc compresses while the other side stretches. These discs need to ingest a certain amount of nutrients to stay healthy.
For the person who sits most of the day and doesn’t move around, the discs essentially start to starve because nutrients aren’t being circulated and they start to become brittle. When they become brittle, they start to flake and decay and become inflamed at a quicker rate. So by living a sedentary lifestyle and doing nothing, you can actually harm yourself even more.
For the opposite type of individuals whose career involves moving around a lot, especially those that are athletes, they too can experience problems. For example, if a long distance runner has improper technique, the discs in their spine or “shock absorbers” can wear out faster. Even though there is plenty of motion going on, the body is overwhelmed and can’t re-supply all the nutrients it needs quick enough to rebuild, so inflammation starts in that way as well.
Posture can also attribute to back pain. If you take a bowling ball and hold it straight up, it’s not so hard to do, but if you keep moving it forward inch by inch, for every inch you let your arm creep forward, it will increasingly feel heavier and be harder to hold. Imagine your head like the bowling ball with all that stress on your neck, there will probably be pain in the upper back which eventually will travel down the spine to include pain in the lower back as well. The neck and back overwork all day long, the tissues hyper stretch out and they become inflamed and begin to hurt.
That’s why I recommend getting a checkup. Having your posture analyzed and corrected can help pinpoint some of the reasons you may be having back pain and help get you on the track to feeling better and reducing that back pain.