If you are an American, chances are that when you see the words “back pain” you wince with the memory of your own current or previous pain. That’s right, back pain is just as much a part of the American experience as apple pie, baseball and a never-ending fascination with reality television.
Back pain, especially low back pain, is the number one symptom that patients report to me when they first walk through the doors of my clinic. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), half of all Americans admit to experiencing back pain EACH YEAR. If you are fortunate to not have back pain this year, then just look around the room and you’re likely to lay eyes on someone who has (assuming you’re not alone when you read this).
Why are Americans so susceptible to back pain? Well, to be fair, back pain is a universal malady. The ACA reports that low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, so we Americans are not alone. However, back pain is a huge problem in the United States, costing us approximately $50 billion annually (another handy stat from the ACA).
Where is all this back pain coming from? While back injuries can be caused by specific traumas, like falls, the majority of back pain arises simply from lifestyle habits. Americans sit. We sit a lot. Sitting and leading a sedentary lifestyle causes important stabilizer muscles in our bodies to atrophy. Without strong stabilizer muscles to hold our bodies in alignment, over time, we lose alignment. When we fall out of alignment, our bodies will naturally try to compensate to avoid pain. We may push our heads forward, bring one shoulder up, step with the inside of our foot, and all sorts of other things without even being aware of the changes!
Misalignments cause subluxations. Subluxation is a big word, but it’s important to understand with regard to chiropractic care. The spinal column encases the spinal cord, a big bundle of nerves that sends messages back and forth between the brain and all the muscles and organs of your body. A subluxation occurs when a misaligned joint puts pressure on the spinal column. As you can imagine, the result is pain, pain and more pain.
Athletes are not safe! Many weekend warriors and fit adults still spend many hours each day sitting or being otherwise sedentary. They can be just as out of alignment as non-athletes. What’s worse is that an athlete out of alignment runs, jumps and lifts weights while out of alignment, which can cause more pain and injury over time.
Fortunately, my entire job is to help my patients get rid of back pain and low back pain permanently. Chiropractors like myself are specifically trained to move joints back into alignment and eliminate subluxations in a safe and effective way.
My chiropractic office is located in 4S Ranch in San Diego, California. I treat patients of all ages and activity levels, but I specialize in working with CrossFit athletes. If you live in San Diego, the 4S Ranch area, Poway, Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Sante Fe, or Escondido and are one of the millions of Americans experiencing back pain right now, I’m here to help you. Contact me today.