If you suffer from back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of people experience back pain at least once in life, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Your back is a complex arrangement of bones, muscles, connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves; back pain is often the result of problems within the bones and tissues of the back. Fortunately, chiropractors can diagnose the source of back pain and provide a number of treatments that relieve back pain.
Your back is a complicated structure. Your spinal column is a series of bones stacked on top of one another to provide a wide range of motion. Rubbery discs between these bones prevent them from grinding against each other as you move. Strong muscles help you move in nearly every direction. Connective tissue connects muscles to bones, and holds bones together to create flexible joints.
Nerves stem out from the spinal cord, which runs down the middle of the spinal column, to connect the brain with the rest of the body. Back pain may be the result of inflammation pressing against the nerves. The discs can develop bulges that press against nerves to create pain. Misalignment of the bones of the spine may also press against nerves.
The cold temperatures of an ice pack reduce blood flow to the treated area. Decreased blood flow can reduce inflammation and swelling that can cause pain. Cold temperatures can also temporarily reduce nerve activity associated with back pain.
Use a towel between your skin and the ice pack to avoid damaging your skin. Limit each cold therapy session to 20 minutes or less. Remove the ice pack if you notice that your skin is numb, blistered, red or blotchy.
Heat helps soothe stiff joints between the bones of the spine, known as vertebrae. Warmth also relaxes painful muscle spasms.
There are two main types of therapeutic heat: dry and moist. Dry heat, like that provided by heating pads, can draw moisture away from the body and may leave skin dehydrated, but some people prefer the convenience of dry heat. The moisture provided by moist heat methods, such as hot baths, can deliver the therapeutic effects deep into the affected tissue.
Some people find that using cloth bags, gel packs or heat wraps provide the benefits of both dry and moist heat by combining the deep therapeutic effects of moist heat with the convenience of dry heat. In many cases, you can heat these in your microwave.
When using heat, make sure the temperature is not too hot. Avoid the risk of burns by placing a towel between the heat source and your skin. Do not apply heat for longer than 20 minutes at a time.
Perform stretches to stretch cramped muscles. Start with the Cobra pose by lying on your stomach with your hands face down next to your shoulders, and then gently lift your chest up so that the top of your head points toward the ceiling. Next, try the Child pose by sitting on your heels with your knees hip-width apart, leaning forward to place your head on the floor, and then stretching your arms out in front of your head. Reddit has several forums with specific stretches and exercise videos that may work for you.
Take a short walk or engage in another low-impact activity, such as yoga or swimming.
If you have back pain, see a doctor to make sure it is nothing serious. Chiropractors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of back pain. Your chiropractor may recommend chiropractic care that includes chiropractic care and decompression therapy, massage therapy, cryotherapy, physical therapy, or other back pain treatments.
For more information, make an appointment with Zaker Chiropractic by calling (424) 235-1562 for South Bay, (310) 831-0003 Ext. 1 for San Pedro, and (949) 734-4454 for Newport. With locations over Los Angeles and Orange County, we are sure to be close by ready to serve you. If you find you are experiencing low back pain that is not fixed with any of the above options, please call our chiropractors today to discuss how we can help.