What Causes Unhealthy Spine Alignment?
Per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of the American population is living in pain, and the most popular type of pain is, you guessed it: back pain. Two out of five US adults have experienced back pain in the past three months. That’s a hefty number. But why?
In most cases, back pain is caused by an injured spine or unhealthy spine alignment. So, what’s causing your unhealthy spine alignment, and how can you mend it? That’s what we’ll be discussing today.
What Is An Unhealthy Spine?
When the spine is injured or unhealthy, its proper alignment has been altered. This alteration can cause minor discomfort or significant pain. In some cases, turning the head is difficult; in others, standing is impossible. While this range in severity is substantial, finding help for your spine is crucial, no matter how manageable you think the problem is.
When your spine isn’t supporting you properly, it shows up as discomfort in the back, neck, or hips. The pain should be treated as soon as possible, so further injury and pain don’t occur. The safe, holistic approach of chiropractic care is a proven, reliable resource that will minimize your pain by restoring your spine and ending your symptoms at the source.
What’s Causing My Unhealthy Spine Alignment?
The causes of an injury to the spine are varied. Sometimes the cause is consistent and habitual poor movement patterns, sometimes it’s due to an aggressive trauma such as a car accident. In either instance, your spine’s proper function relies on its proper placement.
Understanding your spine
The spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae that run from the neck (cervical spine) through the torso (thoracic spine), down into the lower back (lumbar spine) and hips (sacrum), and finally ending with the tailbone (coccyx).
The vertebrae form the spinal canal, a tunnel-like form that houses the spinal cord and nerves, keeping them safe from injury. The vertebrae are meant to easily move so you can experience a full range of motion.
The spine allows you to perform almost every movement, including:
• Twisting and turning
The spine and vertebrae have several parts that make them up:
• Facet joints that help us turn and offer stability.
• Discs that sit between the vertebrae so the bones don’t rub against each other. Each disc has a gel-like center surrounded by a flexible ring.
• The spinal cord that sits in the spinal canal and consists of nerves that run from the skull to the lower back and carry signals between the brain and the muscles.
• Ligaments, tendons, and muscles that help the body move.
As we said above, this intricate structure carries the burden of supporting you through nearly every move you make; it’s under constant pressure, which means its odds of injury are high.
Some common conditions and injuries that affect the spine’s health include:
• Age- discs wear down through time
• Herniated discs
• Back strains and sprains
• Bone spurs
• Neuromuscular diseases
• Nerve injuries
Poor habits that contribute to an unhealthy spine include:
• Bad posture
• Bad mattress
• Sleeping on your back or stomach
• Being too sedentary (inactive)
• Heavy and regular carrying of bag, backpack, or purse
• High heels
• Incorrectly exercising or stretching
• Poor warm-ups or cool-downs
• Traumatic event (sports injury, car accident, slip and fall, etc.)
• Overuse patterns
• Old, untreated or improperly treated injury
• Working on a device for extended periods (phone, tablet, computer)
• And more
Whether your spinal condition is due to one event or years of misuse, a chiropractor can be of benefit. At Tangelo, we work with clients suffering from chronic back pain and acute. Finding a safe, effective chiropractic plan will help remedy your pain and encourage a natural healing process so your spine can strengthen and perform at its best.
Warning signs of an unhealthy spine
If you have an injured spine, you may not know it yet. Symptoms can start small and grow over time.
Some common warning signs that your spine needs support include:
• You constantly feel tension in your back, neck, or shoulders
• You can’t sleep well or comfortably
• You have frequent headaches
• You’ve lost range of motion in your back, neck, or shoulders
• Your everyday routine is compromised
• You crack your neck often
• You can’t concentrate
• You often feel lethargic
Visiting a chiropractor to ensure your back is safe and your spine is working properly is a responsible step to take. Don’t let your discomfort take control; you know your body, trust what it’s telling you and seek effective, non-invasive chiropractic care.
How do I keep my spine healthy?
Here are some pro tips for maintaining a supporting, functioning spine:
• Back strengthening exercises
• Stretches that support flexibility
• Good diet
• Proper lifting and exercising techniques
• Watch your posture while working and sitting for long periods
• Ensure your workstation is set up properly
• Get off the device and give your neck some stretches
How Can Chiropractic Care Restore My Unhealthy Spine?
With the comprehensive chiropractic services we offer at our Seattle chiropractic clinics and our Portland chiropractic clinic comes many benefits. We enable the body to actively support and nurture itself so you can live pain-free and in control.
Our natural solutions to back pain include:
• Manual therapy: We’ll improve range of motion in the back, neck, and shoulders for better, safer movement and flexibility through manual manipulations of the spine
• Active Release Techniques (ART): Manual methods that address the back’s soft tissues, generating better blood and oxygen flow in the body and relieving discomfort
• Functional rehabilitation: Techniques that support a healthy spine through proper movement and posture
• Exercise and stretches: Strength-building programs to complete at home, promoting good health, proper movement, and proactive care to the spine
If you feel that your spine may be injured or have noticed a difference in your everyday patterns, we’d like to see you. Getting proper spinal restoration will allow you to enjoy life again, healthy and uncompromised.
Book your appointment today and get your spine the attention it needs to best support you and your movements so you can live the active, comfortable life you’re used to.