Stop the agony: beat neck and lower back pain

Suffering from neck pain and lower back pain can be excruciating, yet many people all over the world suffer from these chronic pains every day.

Chronic back pain can also cause disability depending on the cause and severity of the pain. While pain in the thoracic spine is not as common, more and more people live with lumbar (lower back pain) and or cervical spine pain (the neck) area of the spine.

According to the World Health Organization, musculoskeletal problems affect around 20 to 33% of the world’s population. The chances of a patient suffering from musculoskeletal problems occur due to various factors including arthritis, and age.

Neck and Back pain alternatives

This can result that patients experience various pain everywhere related to bones, tendons, tissue, ligaments, muscles, and joints of the body. Chiropractic is not only dedicated to the well-being of the nervous system but also to that of the musculoskeletal system. 

While there are many OTC drugs available and may provide some relief of the pain patients experience, they also tend to have their side effects. Chronic neck pain and lower back pain can disrupt a patient’s life and ability to do daily functions and so instead of resorting to pain meds, more patients are looking for safer alternatives to drugs.

What causes back pain?

The lumbar spine plays a major role apart from protecting soft tissue it is responsible for further connecting the nerves from the thoracic spine through each leg and the rest of the body’s lower extremities. The lumbar spine also provides support to the body because it connects to the thoracic (middle spine) and allows for motion such as twisting and bending amongst other.

The lower back is easily affected by pain and there is a variety of reasons for this. Here are some of the reasons people are suffering from LBP (lower back pain):

Incorrect lifting

Many people don’t realize how bad it is to lift heavy objects with their backs, this causes immense strain and can even cause a degree of tearing. Instead, when lifting, lift with the legs as it allows the weight to balance on the legs and not the cervical spine and lower back muscles. Practising proper lifting will spare you back from a lot of pain.

Sports injuries

Sports injuries can also cause pain in the lower back as well as incorrect stretching. Athletes and people who lead an active lifestyle must always do strengthening exercises to prevent easy injury.

Heavy backpacks and sling bags

Carrying too much weight on your back is not a good thing. Even in young schoolchildren, prolonged wearing of heavy backpacks can result in back pain later in their adult life. Sling bags are also not a good idea as these can put a degree of strain on the neck and shoulders.

Pinched nerves

A herniated or pinched nerve can cause severe pain in a patient. In most bad cases of herniated discs, patients can lose bowel and bladder control, this is when the patient has to be rushed to the emergency room.

Incorrect seating posture

Incorrect seating posture not only hurts the lumbar spine but also the cervical spine and this can be terribly painful for a patient. Many people spend seven or more hours seated per day, which can cause a host of posture and alignment problems if they are not sitting correctly.

Degeneration

As people grow old, the soft tissue between the vertebrae starts to become soft. When this happens, it can lead to wear and tear causing herniated discs and sciatica in some.

Joint dysfunction

Some patients may suffer from facet joint dysfunction or sacroiliac joint dysfunction. In both cases, pain can result due to inflammation of the soft tissues between the vertebrae.

Spinal stenosis

When the spinal canal starts to narrow, it leaves no room for the nerves to travel without causing pain to it because of the pressure now exerted on the nerves.

Symptoms of lower back pain

Patients may exhibit different symptoms depending on what the root cause of the pain is. Some of these symptoms include the following:

    • A dull ache or pain in the lower back region
    • Pain can travel down from the lower back into the buttocks and behind the legs (sciatic nerve)
    • The pain becomes worse when seated for too long
  • Pain is worse after sleeping  but as soon as the patient starts to be active for the day the pain may begin to subside

What causes neck pain?

The cervical spine, which is the region of the neck, protects the spinal cord and nerves moving from the brain downward. Many people suffer from neck pain, just like lower back pain, it can occur for a number of reasons.

Poor posture

Poor posture plaques many people, and when seated incorrectly or often using your neck and shoulder to cradle your mobile phone it can lead to strain. “Text neck” is another culprit when it comes to neck pain; this is literally bending the head to look at a screen of the phone to text. Prolonged screen time in this manner will take its toll on a patient’s neck.

Straining during exercise

If exercise manoeuvres are not performed properly and in a safe manner, patients can also experience neck pain because of the strain.

Sleeping in a bad position

You’re probably familiar with waking up with a stiff neck? This is because sleeping while putting pressure on the neck or sleeping on an uncomfortable pillow can result in a sore neck.

Cardiac arrest (heart attack)

When neck pain is more serious it can relate to an impending heart attack. In fact, neck, jaw, and pain in the left arm can be due to a heart attack happening at that very moment. The patient would also experience shortness of breath and cold sweats.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis causes the bones to become fragile and weak this can cause pain in the neck as well as other parts of the musculoskeletal system.

Infections and or abscess

Sometimes pain in the cervical spine region can be due to an infection or abscess. Sometimes diseases like cancer can also cause all sorts of pain in the body.

Symptoms of neck pain

Some of the symptoms include but are not limited to:

    • Swelling
    • Headaches
    • Difficulty moving the head from side to side
  • Shoulder pain

Some patients with poor posture may experience pain in their necks and lower back or thoracic spine for that matter. It’s important to take care of posture and never overexerting oneself.

Treatment for neck and lower back pain

Performing suitable stretches to warm up the muscles is a good way to start and end your day. Stretching or warming up before doing physical house chores can also go a long way to protect the patient from injury.

Strengthening exercises are there to help secure muscles insides the body and prevent injuries. With regular exercise and suitable stretches, patients are able to achieve more range and motion. This is not only recommended for patients looking to rehabilitate from injury, but also as a preventative measure.

Chiropractic treatment for lower back pain and neck pain has proven to be very effective. Many patients also take to receiving a preventative treatment on a periodical basis to safeguard their body from easy injuries.

Note: if you are suffering from severe and persistent pain, you should be examined by a medical professional before seeking alternative therapies.

Benefits of chiropractic are so vast and safe for young and old patients

    • There are no harsh medications with side effects because spinal adjustments are an alternative to taking meds.
    • It is non-invasive, chiropractors also use high tech machinery aided techniques as well as manual adjustments
  • Each treatment is different and suited to the patient’s specific needs hence a more tailored approach

Chiropractors are also keen to help patients learn to perform these stretches and exercises on their own and in the comfort of their own home.

Patients can also resort to investing in a good mattress and memory foam pillow or one designed especially for orthopaedic health.

While it may seem that when we’re sleeping or lying in bed it has no bearing on posture, the truth is it does. Pressure is forced onto the lumbar spine when sleeping on the stomach and it also leaves little to no room for neck comfort in this position.

Final thoughts

Sometimes your chiropractor may suggest certain lifestyle changes to assist the patient. Making lifestyle changes is part of long-term maintenance and a good investment for your body. You may have a sedentary desk job and are not practising the proper posture, let alone be seated in a proper chair and correct computer height. These are all factors that can cause neck pain as well as lumbar pain.

Some over-the-counter drugs may not be very effective at resolving the pain and patients may feel the need to take even more pills, which at the end of the day can damage their liver and stomach. Some OTC medication has side effects like stomach ulcers and bleeding, to some patients that’s all motivation needed to stay away from the harsh stuff.

Discover the causes of back and neck pain and how you get find relief. Learn about natural ways to stretch and ease back and neck pain.

Practising better posture, as well as avoiding the things that will cause you to put a strain on your back or neck is a good way to avoid the problem for as long as possible. While the pain experienced may be able to subside on its own, the same cannot be said for deeper, underlying health conditions associated with the pain.

Do you suffer from chronic neck pain? Do you know of someone that suffers from lower back pain? You’re not alone, as these are two of the most common injuries or pain experienced in patients throughout the world. Get the treatment you need so that you can be mobile and pain-free again.