You feel a twitch in your lower back and think nothing of it. ”It will go away,” you tell yourself at breakfast, trying to shrug off an increasingly dull spine pain which doesn’t acquiesce and, by supper, you are feeling the full effects – an annoying tingling sensation, irritation and a nagging ache. “Stand up straight,” your mother always shouted and you and, as a kid, you rarely listened but now you are taking her advice, struggling to go erect when all you want to do is take a couple of Aleve and lie down. If you have been taking more and more anti-inflammatories and your back pain just isn’t subsiding, there are a number of causes you should consider:
You can probably determine whether or not you have poor posture (just check those slumping shoulders in the mirror) or that you lifted too much weight at the gym causing an ache in your lower back, but, if the pain is not subsiding you may need a qualified chiropractor or physical therapist to help you alleviate your problems.
It’s common to suffer from lower back pain but, if the aches don’t go away, your next visit may be to a licensed Chiropractor. WebMD.com states that “about twenty-two million Americans visit chiropractors annually.” Chiropractors are hands-on specialists working on the theory that, “proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication.” What can you expect from your first time at the doctor’s office? NYDNRehab.com declares that there is no reason to worry; many lower back pain sufferers can be effectively treated without needing an MRI and “without the use of drugs or medication.” A basic exam of spine structure and function is first – evaluating what is generating the pain and then determining the method to treat it, which could range from working with clinical Pilates to Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, a scientific way to rehabilitate in order to optimize movement. Sometimes an adjustment is all you need. Steven G. Yeomans, DC., mentions in a Spine-Health.com article that, after intensive manipulative therapy, chronic low back pain treatment can be maintained with spinal manipulation.
As for wearing improper shoes, this is a concern for almost every person ambulating on the face of the earth (except, maybe, for indigenous cultures which walk barefoot). The type of shoes we wear, how worn they are in the soles and how high the heel stands all combine to change our gait and shift our body weight out of proportion to the rest of our stance causing a bevy of problems. Your gait or stride is a highly complex function; bones, muscles, joints and ligaments combine to get you where you need to go safely and without falling, supporting your entire body in the process. Now add improper shoes to the mix and not only will your gait be compromised but parts of your body may suffer in the process, in an attempt to make your gait more natural. Orthotics may help minimize lower back pain by realigning your foot properly with the ground and raising a fallen arch but it does not fix the problem; shoe inserts only offer relief, not a permanent fix. A gait analysis can help determine if your shoes are at fault, if you are walking improperly and which, if any, areas of your body are impacting your back in a negative way and is a great way to “quantify and measure the degree of functional limitation, movement impairment and disability,” if your lower back becomes a daily nuisance. You don’t have to suffer from back pain – determining where the problem lies and getting effective treatment will have you clicking your heels and jumping for joy. As Helen Keller said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”