Every year, hundreds of thousands of North Americans deal with debilitating back pain. People are suffering from all different types of back pain. Some deal with chronic pain, some deal with pain from an injury, long periods of slouching or sleeping the wrong way. Regardless of the cause, back pain can limit your daily activity. There are so many different causes and types of back pain. Today we are going to focus on how to help you relieve mid-back pain and tension (relieving stiffness in the thoracic spine).
About the Spine?
The spine is very complex. The whole body is dependent upon the spine. It is composed of cartilaginous elements, bone, joints, a spinal cord, ligaments, tendons, nerve roots, muscle and a vascular system. Let’s talk about vertebrae. Our spine is made up of 5 sections. We have approximately 33 vertebrae made up of 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacrum and 4 coccyx. These run from the bottom of our skull (the base of the neck) to our pelvis. As you can imagine, if you have a pinched nerve, if you are out of alignment (subluxated) it is no wonder your back hurts!
So Why Does My Back Hurt?
As we mentioned, there are several reasons for back pain and all different severities. Today, we are going to talk about one that affects so many people and that is back pain due to bad posture. The culture we live in today has become one based on technology and
a lot of sitting in front of a desk. This has in turn caused many people to spend a large amount of time slouching and leading to text neck. To learn more about text neck click here. As we slouch at our desks or on our couches or beds, we are putting more and more strain on our back muscles which lead to tension in the muscles along with the vertebral joints. When you refer to the image of the spine, you can see that the vertebrae are all one on top of the other which contribute to the pain that you feel in your thoracic spine.
What can I do about the pain?
- Fix your posture! Try to be mindful of your posture. As you feel yourself slouch, reposition your body. It is something we easily forget. Remind yourself by putting a sticky note on your desk. Or an elastic around your wrist. Something that will trigger you to regularly fix your body’s posture.
- Stretch! It sounds simple right? Well, it is. Loosen up your chest and shoulders. Slouching causes the front of our body to tighten up.
- Strengthen your back! If you are regularly lifting things (due to exercise, job or home life), you should be working on exercises that keep your shoulders retracted and your back stable. Consider practicing simple strengthening exercises. Contact a personal trainer for a more detailed regimen.
- Get adjusted! Regular visits to the chiropractor are a key factor in keeping you and your spine functioning at it’s highest potential.
Try following these routines and see how your low back pain feels. Don’t be limited by something that is in your control! For more information, give us a call at 905-845-2291.