Low back pain. If you don’t have it, someone you know does. What can you do to help? Here are the top five things I tell my patients about low back pain and how to decrease it.
- Blame your boss
In a longitudinal study on the causes of back pain, the Boeing company found the main predictor for low back pain is job dissatisfaction. It is not injury. It is not ergonomics. It is not how much you stand or sit. It is how happy you are with your job. Is your job stressing you out? Are you feeling stuck or underappreciated? Take those feelings seriously. They are likely a major factor in your low back pain. Another major source of low back pain is stress about finances.
- Start listening
Pain is your body’s way of getting your attention. Maybe you know you are unhappy at work, or you are stressed about money. Maybe you don’t know if you are unhappy. Either way, getting really clear on the specific problem will help you address it. Meditation, yoga or a long walk are all good ways to connect into your body and get clear on what it is trying to tell you. Another really good technique is Somatic Respiratory Integration (SRI). SRI is a very targeted type of breathwork created by chiropractor Donald Epstein. It is designed explicitly to help you connect into the feelings in your body. Next time you are in the office, Meggie can give you the exercises that are best for you.
- Be patient
Healing is a two-step process of self-awareness and self-correction. Once you are aware of the issues causing your back pain, you may know exactly what you need to do to address the problem. Or you may not. Be patient. Your body can heal. Sometimes it just takes a little while for that self-correction to kick in.
- Make the one degree shift
Years ago I had a patient in his mid-20s who was having low back pain. We talked about how low back pain was caused by feelings of discontent in your physical world—things like your job, home or finances. He realized that he felt unstable in his home because he never had any food in his fridge (as I said, he was a guy in his mid-20s). He went to the grocery store and reported his back pain was much better once he had some food in his apartment. Sometimes it’s that easy.
- Get chiropractic care!
Chiropractic is far more effective for treating back pain than NSAID pain medication. In the Annals of Internal Medicine, the American College of Physicians “strongly recommend” that chiropractic be used before pain medication is tried. Next time you or a loved one is in pain, skip the pain medication and call us!