For millions of people, low back pain is not only a common annoyance but a chronic medical condition that has a major impact on well being and overall health.
Loss of sleep, pain playing with the kids at home, and working through the busy day with back pain are just a few of the common maladies that affect the patients I treat in my chiropractic office in Raleigh, NC.
I often speak to patients at my chiropractic clinic in Raleigh, NC about strategies to deal with their chronic lower back pain. With this in mind, I came up with my top 5 strategies for managing your back pain in 2018 to share with you.
- Cure Lower Back Pain at Home: Lose Weight and Change Your Diet
We have talked about this in our prior health blog series . Being overweight carries so many health detriments but also may be one of the reasons your back keeps hurting you.
More weight on the vertebrae and discs coupled with all of the inflammation in the body when one is overweight equals the perfect storm for regular and frequent back pain.
Reduce your caloric intake while increasing the frequency of exercising. It’s a simple formula that has has stood the test of time when it comes to dieting. Take in less calories than you burn and burn a lot of calories with exercise. You want to exercise daily ideally 1 hour a day 6-7 days a week.
Get your heart rate up to your target heart rate zone where you will be burning the most calories. You do this by subtracting your age by 220. Then calculate 55%-80% of that number. So if you are 40 years old 220-40 = 180 x .75 (or 75%) = 135 beats per minute as your target heart rate. Try to hover around this number for 1 hour during your workouts.
Cut Out the Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates have a similar effect as sugar when we consume them. They spike insulin levels and this causes the body to go into an inflammatory state globay….or thought the entire body….including your spine!
The more inflammatory of a state your body is in the more likely you are to be experiencing pain. It’s just that simple. Refined carbohydrates like white bread, dough and sugar when broken down in your body end up releasing a host of chemicals like Interleukin and Arachidonic acid. These chemicals drive chronic and acute pain and disease expression in our bodies. If you want to learn more, check out this video, which does a great job of explaining this in detail.
- Cure Low Back Pain: Consider Maintenance Chiropractic Care in Raleigh, NC
In my experience, patients that come back to my chiropractic office in Raleigh, NC for treatments 1-2 times a month once they are out of pain do much better regarding the frequency that they experience episodes of back pain.
Think of chiropractic maintenance care like a tune up for your car. By being preventative, maintenance chiropractic care can aid in decreasing the chances one experiences multiple episodes of moderate to severe flare ups of back pain.
A recent study published in Spine targeted the use and efficacy of maintenance spinal manipulation (Chiropractic care) for patients with chronic non-specific low back pain. Researchers evaluated 60 patients who were separated into 3 groups.
One group received 12 treatments of “sham SMT chiropractic adjustments)” over the course of a month. The second group received 12 real treatments of SMT over the course of a month then no follow-up care. The final group received 12 SMT treatments in a month followed by “maintenance spinal manipulation” every 2 weeks for an additional 9 months.
Researchers collected pain and disability scores, general health status, as well as back-specific patient satisfaction data prior to the study beginning and then at 1, 4, 7 and 10 month intervals. Results of the study show that patients who received the real spinal manipulation had “significantly lower pain and disability scores than first group at the end of 1-month period.
The patients in the 2nd group, who did not receive follow-up therapy, reported pain and disability scores had returned to near baseline levels by the 10 month evaluation.
Meanwhile, the final group, who received both a period of intensive SMT followed by maintenance care experienced continued improvement in their symptoms at the 10 month evaluation. This study shows that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for chronic non-specific low back pain.
Researchers concluded maintenance SMT (chiropractic care), after the initial intensive therapy period, can help provide the patient with lasting relief of symptoms.
In light of the current opioid epidemic, this provides evidence for the safety and efficacy chiropractic as a primary alternative to opioid usage.
- Cure Low Back Pain at Home: Supplement With Fish Oil, Magnesium, Vitamin D , CoQ10 and Vitamin B Complex
I refer to these supplements as my “Core 5.” Each one of the supplements mentioned above has the research behind it regarding their effectiveness in decreasing back pain. If you want to learn more about these supplement and their effectiveness in managing back pain, download my Ebook here (Please note: make sure to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning and supplements)
- Cure Low Back Pain: Consider Using Orthotics and Durable Medical Equipment
Tens machines, back support cushions, custom fit foot orthotics, custom pillows, home traction devices and back braces can all help you manage back pain in 2018. Often times, there are contributing external factors to your back pain such as a dysfunctions in the feet, shoes or sitting position throughout the day.
These devices have a proven track record of managing back pain. In many cases, durable medical equipment (DME) and orthotics are covered by your insurance company when administered by a health care practitioner in our office. If you have questions about custom orthotics, always feel free to reach out to speak to someone locally at our Raleigh, NC chiropractic office.
- Cure Low Back Pain at Home : Increase Flexibility While Increasing the Strength in Your Core and Back Muscles
This is a big one. By increasing the flexibility of certain muscle that when become excessively tightened are known to cause back pain you can manage your back pain. Maintaining optimal flexibility in the hamstring muscles, hip flexor muscles, hip adductor muscle and pectoral muscles you can decrease back pain.
The trick is to also strengthen your core and back muscle at the same time as maintaining flexibility. These muscle include you abdominal muscles, transverse abdominal muscle, gluteus maximus, and the muscles that run up your spine.
If you have any more questions about the treatment of chronic or acute low back pain and live in the greater Raleigh, NC area, feel free to reach out and schedule an appointment today. Want immediate care? Walk-ins are also welcome at our local Raleigh, NC chiropractor’s office. Stop by during business hours to see someone today!
Dr. Jeffrey Gerdes D.C.