Chiropractic Health & Wellness Blog

My Back Hurt?!?

June 2, 2011
My Back Hurt?!?

 



Did you know that back pain will affect 80-90% of every single one of us in our lifetime? That is a staggering number if you think about it. Why is this? There happened to be many reasons. One is the simple fact that we carry two thirds of our weight above her waist. Many studies have shown that degeneration or arthritis can occur much sooner in two legged mammals versus four-legged mammals. A man who weighs 180 pounds carries roughly 120 pounds above his belt line.

 



 

So, every time he bends over, and then straightens up, he lifts 120 pounds plus whatever it is he is lifting. This is the reason why most back injuries occur by simply bending over to pick up a pencil. It doesn’t seem possible that a pencil could injure your back or cause low back pain, but in reality it’s a pencil +120 pounds.

 



 

 

Next lets do a little physics. If you are to take a 5 pound weight and stretches out in front of your body with your arms the force of that 5 pounds is now equal to 50 pounds. Now let’s assume that you are picking up that 5 pound weight up off the ground. Now that 5 pounds is equal to lifting 170 pounds in the example used before. If you add a bend in a twist in the waist your complicating the problem tenfold. That’s actually quite amazing that we don’t injure our backs more and have more lower back pain. The mother lifting the bag groceries out of the trunk while holding her child is a recipe for disaster for having lower back pain or even upper back pain.

 



 

 

As if these two factors worked enough the majority of you reading this live and work in Minneapolis and have jobs we sit for long periods of time at a computer or a desk. Being in the seated position leaves the low back in a very vulnerable position creating even more problems when you become active. Sitting puts the back in a flexed position, or a slouch position, and is one of the worst possible postures we can put our bodies into, and we do it for hours upon hours.

 



 

 

In order to further appreciate why the low back is so vulnerable to injury, some basic understanding of anatomy is needed. When a human being is born the spine is made up of 33 individual bones. At the age of 18 five of those bones fuse to make up bone called the sacrum, which becomes the base of the spine and 4 of them for fuse to make up the coccyx, or the tailbone. This leaves five lumbar, or low back, 12 thoracic, or mid back, and seven cervical, or neck vertebrae. These are stacked up on top of each other like building blocks and are connected to each other by a shock absorbing disk in the front and two smaller facet joints in the back, acting like a tripod.

 



 

 

If we look at what normal should be the low back should carry roughly 80% of our weight in the front and 20% in the back. If our abdominal muscles are a bit out of shape and the pelvis rotates forwards, the curve in the low back increases and overloads the back of the vertebra (facets) making them vulnerable to injury. The shock absorbing pads called disks become injured when we do combinations of bending, lifting, and twisting. This can tear the outer tough fibers of the disk, allowing the central more liquid-like material to leak out. If this happens, the leaking or “herniated” disk can put pressure on the nerve that exits the spine and travels down our leg.

 



 

 

Now that we’ve given you an anatomy lesson let’s talk about some of the things that you can do to reduce the chances of entering your low back. Probably the most important thing that you can do to protect your low back is to keep yourself in shape. There are certain muscles that must maintain their strength to keep the low back and it proper position. The muscles not only need to be strong but they also need to be flexible, and therefore stretching is very important.

 



 

 

We realize that you have a choice in where you choose for your healthcare services. If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

 


Are you searching for chiropractic care for your spine? Call Lyn Lake Chiropractic today at 612-879-8000 to set up an appointment.

 

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