1. What Causes Back Pain? Back pain can be caused by many things. Back pain, neck pain, and headaches are not normal. They can be signs of serious health conditions such as cancer, kidney disease, meningitis and more. If you have pain and it does not go away within 2 weeks, you need to see a professional. Just a quick story: I had a patient that suffered from low back pain and I worked with him for a couple weeks and he did not respond as I expected. I knew from my experience that this was not good. I knew there was more going on than just some misalignments and muscle strain, so I sent him out for imaging. The imaging confirmed my suspicion…he had cancer of the spine. This story is not to scare you but to make sure you do not ignore these problems if they persist. Most pain that I see in my practice is caused by misalignments in the spine combined with weak or tight muscles, which leads to actual pressure on the nerves which causes back pain, neck pain and headaches.
2. What Are The Biggest Misconceptions About Back Pain? I would say the biggest two are that it is ok to ignore back pain, thinking it will just go away. And the second is that if you are in pain, you are just going to have to live with it. If you’re like me, you’ve heard doctors say “you’ll have to just live with the pain.” Many of my patients come into my office as a last resort. I get them after they’ve tried everything else and it hasn’t worked. Some of you reading right now that have had chronic pain for years are taking over the counter medications, muscle relaxers, even prescription pain killers because you’ve been told that you will just have to live with the pain for the rest of your life. People come to me and say how can I get off of these medications. Now, of course I use chiropractic as one way to eliminate the pain because it is found to be the best thing out there for low back pain, neck pain, and headaches, but there are other things you can do on your own. Why do women begin the year with the very best of intentions about making a change and taking care of their health and happiness, but then waste away the year by doing everything BUT taking care of themselves? The problem is that women are busy and are just not taught how to take care of their back. You may think it takes a lot of time, or it is too hard. Even a very busy woman could prevent back pain by doing a few maneuvers that take only 15 minutes a day. Click HERE for videos of a short routine.
Such a healthy back plan is the real key to success. Most women just wait for their back to “go out” before they do anything about it…and that is not wise. Women especially need to take care of their back because they have to take care of their families and friends and they don’t have time to be down with an injured back. The longer you wait to take care of your back, the more time and money you will need to put in to fixing it. So start now. We don’t wait until our teeth fall out to start brushing them, don’t wait for your back to go out before you take care of it.
3. So, how do we get rid of or prevent in the first place back pain? “I would love to share my top 3 things to do right now to eliminate pain. So, let’s talk about some simple things that you can do. And these are things that EVERY kind of woman can do…from the stay at home mom, to the working woman, to the retired woman. The first are simple stretches and core maneuvers. Now, my wife and I have two Black Labs, Sammie and Libby, that we rescued in the past year and I have learned something from them. If you watch your pets when they get up from a nap, what is the first thing they do? Exactly, they stretch, and we can learn something from them. On page 52 in my book (get it for free HERE) I talk about the 3 stretches every woman must know. Most women in America will have similar patterns of weak muscles and tight muscles. In the upper back it is called upper cross syndrome and what you need to do to eliminate the pain is to stretch these muscles in the back of the neck, as well as strengthening weak muscles in the mid back. In the lower extremities, we have a problem called lower cross syndrome. The best way to attack this is to stretch the muscles in the groin area, then strengthen the abs and core muscles of the back. I put the ultimate 15 minute core strengthening program on page 59 of my book. And that leads to the 2nd tip and that is to strengthen your core. If you have a weak core, you are setting yourself up for back pain, and a possible back injury. So, you need to stretch your muscles, strengthen your core. The 3rd thing you must do is to start paying attention to the way that you do your daily activities. Most women don’t pay attention to how you get out of bed, shave your legs, stand over the counter to do makeup, how you carry your baby, your purse etc. These small activities on a regular basis add up to cause serious pain. I have dedicated a chapter in the book to daily activities and what you can do to have a healthier back…I believe that starts on page 21 in the book.
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