With back pain being such a common occurrence, you may wonder what doctors do for themselves to treat back pain. A reporter for Women’s Health magazine decided to learn how chiropractors relieve their own back pain. What she found was that they were living examples of the lifestyle they recommend for their patients.
One Florida doctor interviewed, chiropractor Aixa Goodrich, states: “To only focus on your back health when [you] are in pain is like only exercising when you gain 10 pounds or only eating healthy when your cholesterol is high, and then going back to your old habits shortly thereafter.” Much of the emphasis for those who have made their careers in helping back pain sufferers, seems to be on prevention. To see where you stack up, here are five tips that were offered as important to staying healthy and pain free:
- Choose Anti-inflammatory Foods. You may already know, but inflammation can contribute to back pain. It causes pressure on joints and nerves, along with other negative effects. Unfortunately, trans-fats, processed food and sugar – staples of the stereotypical American diet – are all linked to excess inflammation in the body. Avoid pain by increasing fruits, vegetables and healthy fats while reducing amounts of processed, convenience foods and keep inflammation in check.
- Don’t Smoke! Did you know… research shows that smokers can be up to 3 times more likely to develop chronic back pain?! Besides being unhealthy for your lungs (not to mention so many other things), many people dealing with pain have experienced reduced symptoms very quickly when they quit smoking.
- Keep moving! Convenience rules. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. In a time when we can order our groceries online and drive-up to have them delivered to our car, people are also becoming more sedentary. Because our bodies were made to move, a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of many biomechanical and postural issues which result in back and neck pain. Make time to exercise. You’ll strengthen the muscles supporting your spine and joints which promotes proper movement and function. If you’re injured, safely working multiple muscle groups, doing weight bearing exercises or yoga are all great ways to not only recover, plus you’ll prevent future flare ups.
- Take a break each day. Stress creates tension in muscles. This can impact how our joints move and lead to inflammation, injury and pain. Take time to decompress. Meditation is one simple and effective way to help reduce stress. There are many approaches, from attending sessions at a meditation studio to simply downloading an app. Find what works for you. Spend 15 minutes a day letting your brain take a breather and recognize how it impacts your aches and pains.
- Get a chiropractic adjustment! It may seem obvious, but yes, chiropractors know the benefits of the chiropractic adjustment (also referred to as spinal manipulation) and get adjusted themselves. Doctors of chiropractic, who receive a minimum of 7 years of higher education and are known for their expert use of spinal manipulation, have broad diagnostic skills and are trained to recommend therapies, exercises, and nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling. They know that spinal manipulation can help correct misalignments that exercise, rest, diet, and a hot shower cannot. Chiropractic care works to place the body in proper alignment to help reduce pain, improve function and increase overall health.
Of course, you don’t have to take their word for it. While chiropractors can’t help be a bit biased about the benefits of their care, numerous research studies and notable organizations, including the American College of Physicians, have corroborated that chiropractic care is both an effective and cost-saving health care option.
From time to time, just in the course of normal life, most people will experience back or neck pain at some point in their life – even chiropractors. But for most, with a healthy lifestyle of exercise, good nutrition and chiropractic care, the pain does not have to continue.
Talk to your local doctor of chiropractic about how you can improve your health and decrease pain and risk of injury. If you don’t have a doctor, you can find one near you at https://www.tnchiro.com/find-a-doctor/.
Reference: Kassel, Gabrielle. 5 Ways Chiropractors Relieve Their Own Back Pain. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/relieve-back-pain/slide/5