Since chiropractors are back pain specialists, and most chiropractic techniques focus on problems in the spinal column, it should be no surprise that people often come to their local chiropractors with questions about back pain. But if you ask, you may find a chiropractor giving you some unexpected advice on how to reduce back pain. Here are five causes of back pain you probably didn’t know about:
Studies show that people who smoke are more than twice as likely to develop back pain as non-smokers. It’s thought this is because smoking deprives your body of oxygen, including the cells involved in back movement. It could also be that smoking reduces the brain’s resilience to pain. So if you’re a smoker, back pain is one more reason to quit.
- Your Bag
Slinging your heavy purse or laptop bag over your shoulder can be hard on your back because the weight is unevenly distributed. Men aren’t immune from this, either; using a single-strap satchel or carrying a briefcase in one hand can have the same effect. Even carrying a thick wallet in a back pocket can cause poor alignment in a seated position.
- Worn Shoes
You might think you’re giving your body a break by wearing sensible, flat shoes. But if the soles are worn, it’s likely you’ll end up with back problems. Shoes need to be in good condition to provide adequate support, and uneven wear patterns can lead to gait inconsistencies and pain in the legs, pelvis and torso.
- A Bad Bra
A poorly fitted bra can put extra stress on back muscles attempting to support large breasts, and straps that cut into the shoulders can cause additional pain. Most of the support in a bra should come from the band, not the shoulder straps.
Any extreme mental state such as depression or stress (even good stress, like getting married) can make back pain worse. This could be because you’re less likely to exercise when you’re stressed — and lack of exercise is a leading cause of back pain — or because emotions can make you more sensitive to pain; it’s probably a combination of both in most cases.
The good news is that chiropractic techniques can often help you to relieve your back pain quickly, and if you see a chiropractor for neck pain and back pain, he or she can also support you as you make the lifestyle changes that can lead to a long-term reduction of your back pain.
Have you thought about how chiropractic techniques might help your back pain? Did any of these causes of back pain surprise you? Discuss in the comments.