Many factors can cause chronic neck and back pain, from strained muscles and ligaments to aging and osteoporosis, but a common cause is repetitive actions or postures associated with work. A dentist may spend his entire career sitting in a chair and leaning to his left; now he has pain when walking erect. Chronic postural pain is common for people working at a desk all day, looking at a computer. We sometimes ask for a description or picture of the workstation. Are feet flat on the floor? Is the back supported and straight? Proper sitting is important.
Getting to the Root
Chiropractic care addresses the structural causes of physical pain rather than simply treating symptoms. If we look at the natural history of your condition and how it evolved, intervene at the source, and correct the underlying structure, we get results without drugs or surgery.
We start with a detailed history: what you do/did for a living; sports participation; how you may have stressed your skeleton in the past. Sleeping postures also count. You spend a third of your life in that posture, so we need to know how well your skeleton is supported during sleep.
The Best Medicine
Prevention is often the best treatment. To prevent chronic pain, we recommend low-impact aerobic exercise. Runners may have knee problems 10-15 years later from the impact. You can get the same cardiovascular workout with a brisk walk.
There are other surprising causes of chronic pain. One study showed that cigarette smoking has a direct link to back pain. There are substances in cigarette smoke that destroy vitamin C, which is necessary for retaining cartilage. If your cartilage is worn, there is potential for osteoarthritis.
While back and neck pain manifest physically, sometimes the cause is mental. For chronic pain, whether back pain, headaches, or other pain, there are psychological factors. Depression and anxiety affect the whole body and intensify a pain experience. Chiropractic care emphasizes the importance of treating your pain holistically.
Bronston Clinics offer natural approaches to address chronic pain and get you back in motion. Call 608.781.2225 for more information or an appointment with our caring, capable providers.
Source: Mediaplanet interview with Robert Hayden, DC, PhD, Spokesperson, The American Chiropractic Association