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Treating Work, Exercise, and Weight-Related Back Pain

healthy back exercises

Back pain is perhaps the most common ailment we come across in our practice. It is most common in overweight people, people engaging in exercises that are too strenuous or poorly-performed, or those engaged in construction and other labor-intensive careers.

Chiropractors offer a simple treatment for relieving back pain. In this articles we’ll cover go over these common causes of back pain and how to deal with it through chiropractic care.

Exercise and/or Weight-Related

Often, people who are overweight experience frequent — sometimes severe — back pain. A common cause of this pain is muscular imbalances in the core.

Here’s a common scenario: A person makes the decision to start being healthier and to lose weight. They come up with a general or very specific goal — some people even going so far as to figure out an exact goal date to lose the weight by — and they start working towards that goal.

However, because they lack either the muscular foundation or the knowledge of proper exercise form, what they end up doing is overworking or misusing particular muscles, which can lead to imbalances and therefore pain.

Seeing a chiropractor can help realign these imbalances and get the body back on track.

Labor-intensive Jobs

Labor intensive jobs can wreak havoc on a person’s lower back, especially if they are not used to the movements. One particularly tough job on the human body is construction.

Working in a construction site is an extremely strenuous job. The nature of work is such that it is a strenuous physical job and many times work has to be done under extreme weather conditions like glaring sun or under chilly weather conditions. The laborer works strenuously for the day to meet the deadline fixed for completing the job. Apart from that, the job has to be done as per the specification of the architect and the owner. The packed food the workers would take is on a dusty ground.

Many sky scrapping buildings like the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Petronas Towers in Malaysia, the Pyramids in Egypt, Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai and the Taj Mahal in India are all examples of the masterpiece works done by these construction workers. Otherwise, working on a construction job is not a glamorous job.

This rigorous manual work affects the health of the working force. Most of these workers experience aches and pains in their backs. Many would say it’s just part of the job. To alleviate this pain, many take pain killing medicines. After some time, even the pain killing medicines would not reduce the pain. On the other hand the pain killers have side effects after continuous usage for along time, or could lead to addiction.

Sometimes, unable to bear the pain, the worker take resorts to taking to the alternative system of medicine. The alternative system of medicine which does not involve any pain or surgery is now becoming popular in US, Canada and Australia.

What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is the alternative system of medicine normally chosen. This method is best known for curing spine ailments. The basic principle of chiropractic care is that irregular or improper use of spine causes malfunctioning of other parts of the body. Chiropractic treatment for the backache is now becoming a recognized alternative system of medicine.

Depending on the seriousness of the problem, the Chiropractor decides on the line of treatment. If the pain is unbearable and is continuing for a long time, the Chiropractor does what is known as Spinal manipulation. In this method, the subluxations of the spine are adjusted by restricted use of his hand by the Chiropractor. This is a manual adjustment of the spine which is unique to Chiropractor method of treating the back pain. By this adjustment of the subluxations of the spine, the patient gets relief from back pain.

Some times the Chiropractor may also prescribe some simple, safe exercises for you to try that will gradually build up the muscles in a balanced way. This is a non invasive method of treating the back pain, and it is usually very effective at relieving back pain.

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Cervical Chiropractic for Work Life Balance & Relief

Adjusting former gymnast

Many people find difficulty balancing all the stresses — mental and physical — from their work, exercise, and life in general. This built-up stress can often contribute to or even cause back pain.

Believe it or not, visiting a chiropractor can help reset this work-life balance.

Below are some examples of situations in which people benefited tremendously from chiropractic work.

Case Studies

People involved in gymnastics often visit chiropractors. Julie is a star gymnast. She’s won several major competitions and her coach believes she has a shot to make the U.S. Olympic team if she can avoid injuries. Unfortunately, she suffered an injury while making use of one of those home balance beams, and though the injury was mild, it has plagued her for months and is ruining her focus.

As you can see, it’s pretty common:

Sandra suffers from migraines. She has a prescription for a triptan drug, but the drug is costly and her insurance regulates how many she gets per month. To tide her over, her doctor has also given her a prescription for a narcotic pain reliever, but this leaves her feeling groggy and out-of-sorts.

Lisa has fibromyalgia. She’s constantly tired and in pain, and her symptoms come and go randomly. Her doctor dismisses her complaints and tells her that there’s nothing he can do to help, so he gives her an anti-depressant.

Joe was in a car accident and suffered from whiplash. He took a variety of pain killers, both over-the-counter and prescription, but he never got consistent relief. Now, in addition to the original pain from whiplash, he has rebound headaches when he tries to stop using the meds.

Will had back pain. At 60 years of age, he wrote it off as a matter of course. He tried heating pads, NSAIDs, and a variety of stretches and massages to ease the pain, but little seemed to help. He resigned himself to dealing with the symptoms rather than healing his back.

All these people had one thing in common: they all could be helped by utilizing upper cervical health care. Instead of merely treating the symptoms of the various health problems, upper cervical chiropractic gently corrects the source of the problem. Upper cervical doctors concentrate solely on the craniocervical junction. Keeping the head properly aligned with the spine is at the heart of their work: when the brain can communicate freely with the rest of the body, the body is able to function at its best.

A misalignment of the spine can lead to a host of health problems: pain may directly occur from the misalignment, such as back or hip pain, or it may come secondarily as a neurological problem. Upper cervical chiropractic care gets to the source of the problem, realigning and correcting the entire spine by merely realigning the cervix.

Now, we don’t tout upper cervical chiropractic as a cure-all or a miracle. What we do say is that it allows the body’s innate healing processes to function. He goes on to say that “Prevalent is not normal.” Simply because back pain is common, migraines are on the rise, joint pain comes with age, does not mean those things are all normal. Allowing your body to work as it was intended allows it to heal itself, no drugs required.

While all people can benefit from upper cervical chiropractic (even those who are perfectly healthy), it can be a pricey endeavor. A first-time patient can be looking at more than 50 visits the first year, multiple visits in the first weeks, tapering off towards the end. Once a patient reaches the point of maintenance, they can drop down to once every two weeks or even once a month.

This care may or may not be covered through insurance: if your insurance covers chiropractic care, physical medicine, or physical therapy, your costs will be greatly reduced. If not, you can still take advantage of reduced costs through a healthcare reimbursement account. The work is pricey, but it’s an investment in your health. Rather than throwing money away on pills (and dealing with the side effects and risks), rather than continuing visits to your doctor, start an HRA solely to help with your upper cervical expenses.

If you decide to visit an upper cervical doctor, do your homework first. Not all doctors of chiropractic are fully qualified to handle upper cervical healthcare. In fact, few are. But your search will be worth it.

Expectations of Chiropractic Care

Let’s take the mysteries out of what chiropractic care is all about with an overview of how it works and what you might come to expect. What is chiropractic? Chiropractic theory revolves around joints and bones that may be out of adjustment or misaligned and when they are manipulated back into place the rest of the body will adjust accordingly and naturally.

A licensed chiropractor makes physical adjustments to misalignments, which are called subluxations. An adjustment to a joint is performed by pushing, twisting or pulling movements and they are referred to as adjustments. Other treatments may include using ultrasound, electrical stimulation or using heat prior to an adjustment in an effort to get a patient’s muscles to relax.

An adjustment may result in a cracking or popping sound as a joint is being manipulated. This sound can occur when a joint has been released or moved from a restrictive state during a treatment. Only a small number of patients feel more than mild discomfort or pain when an adjustment is being performed. After an adjustment, most people feel fine and report no discomfort.

Who should use chiropractic services?

Chiropractic is used to treat people with headaches, neck pain and back pain as a treatment. A chiropractic adjustment is generally safe and this information is provided for interested parties about chiropractic services. It is not intended to replace consultation with a physician.

Side Effects

Possible side effects of a chiropractic adjustment could include fatigue, headaches or discomfort where an adjustment was made. Rare or serious problems can occur sometimes and you should confer with your chiropractor before services are rendered.

Why consider chiropractic care?

People rely on chiropractic treatment to resolve reoccurring conditions quickly and resume normal life. Individuals may develop back pain and are unsuccessful using current treatment methods to relieve pain.

An initial visit with a chiropractor will entail questions about your health history and a physical examination including your spine. The chiropractor may perform an adjustment at this time or later depending upon your situation and create a treatment plan.

Adjustments take place on a padded chiropractic table. Chiropractors may use their hands applying force against a joint to release pressure. The concern of the chiropractor is to relieve pain, while improving your body’s overall physical condition.

When an adjustment has relieved pressure and pain, this allows the body to heal itself. A chiropractor may recommend stretching, massage, applying cold or heat, rest, exercises or discuss lifestyle changes. Many chiropractors perform services in conjunction with wellness programs believing that the entire body benefits as a whole.

Treatment is evaluated based on your condition and progress. The chiropractor may change the course of treatment or recommend seeing a medical physician. Each individual must evaluate whether the pain they are experiencing can be relieved or eliminated through chiropractic treatments.

Chiropractic Relief for Migraines

chiro massage

Chiropractors offer a way of treating migraines that is more natural and holistic. They don’t rely on pharmaceutical methods to treat these painful headaches.

Instead, chiropractors rely on methods such as massage, spinal manipulation, readjustment and even acupuncture. Methods like these tend to offer some migraine sufferers a way of controlling pain that they have not known through other methods.


Saying the word massage conjures up images of a relaxing day at the spa. It’s true that massage can be a wonderfully relaxing but it is also an excellent way of dealing with tight, painful muscle spasms. Many people who suffer from migraines understand what it is like to live with tight muscles that tend to spasm and tighten on their own. Sometimes these spasms actually cause their migraines. A chiropractor can use ultrasound from an ultrasound machine along with deep tissue massage to find relief for a migraine patient. Some patients have such great success that they return on a regular basis to receive this treatment.

Here’s an example of chiropractic massage:

Spinal Manipulation

An article by Rebecca S. Fischer, D.C., F.I.A.C.A., reports that 78% of all headaches can be related to biomechanical problems in the upper cervical spine and these can be effectively treated by a chiropractor. Spinal manipulation is another tool that is used by chiropractors to help realign the spine back into its natural position. Having the spine realigned will support the proper blood flow and nerve conduction that the body needs.

Periodic Adjustment

Periodic adjustment is a method of keeping the spine and cervical bones aligned properly. To do this a patient must return on a frequent basis for treatment. The method helps to provide relief by reducing the number of migraines that a patient suffers from. After realizing the benefits, many people will return to their chiropractor on a periodic basis to obtain this therapy. Some people even report being able to feel when their spine and cervical bones are becoming misaligned.


Acupuncture is another common method of migraine relief that is utilized by chiropractors. Chiropractors have special training that is taken to do Acupuncture. The Acupuncture method has been used for centuries by the Chinese culture as a method of reducing and relieving chronic pain. The Mayo Clinic website reports that Acupuncture involves a method of strategically placing pins at varying lengths into the body. Acupuncture helps to reduce pain during a migraine attack and can ultimately reduce the number of recurring migraines a person suffers from.