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What's Wrong with My Back?

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Back Pain, Chiropractic Care, and Exercise

Most people now know the importance of exercise in daily life. The benefits of exercise range from improved strength, balance, and agility to deeper, more restful sleep, improved outlook on life, and heightened levels of creativity. Of course, there's also an additional direct benefit for persons with back pain.

Most cases of back pain are biomechanical in nature. In these circumstances, spinal joints have lost some mobility and spinal muscles have become tight. The long-term result is back pain, which may be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the biomechanical dysfunction. Chiropractic care is the specific treatment for problems involving the spinal joints and muscles. Exercise is an important addition to chiropractic care. When you perform challenging activities throughout a full range of motion, as you do when you exercise, you're retraining the joints and muscles of your back. By engaging in such activities on a regular basis, you're helping to restore spinal strength and mobility, enhancing the benefits you're receiving from chiropractic care.

Your chiropractor is an expert in rehabilitative exercise and will be glad to design an exercise program that will work for you.

Not all back problems are created equal. One person may have been working on a home improvement project and injured her back while simultaneously bending and twisting. Another person may have developed back pain as a result of a vehicular collision. Another person may be experiencing back pain as a result of osteoporosis. Yet another person may have a serious illness which causes back pain as a related problem.

Back pain is a problem common to many types of injuries and illnesses. How can you tell the difference - in other words, how can you tell when back pain requires you to take action, such as seeing your chiropractor? A reasonable approach is to use a 48-hour guideline. Your body usually has a powerful ability to heal itself. If your back pain hasn't gone away on its own within 48 hours, then seeking professional assistance is a very good plan.

However, some situations require immediate attention. For example, if you've had an accident, seeing your chiropractor right away is probably the right thing to do. In another scenario, if you begin to experience severe pain without an obvious cause, then seeing your chiropractor right away makes a great deal of sense. Like many things in life, having physical pain requires us to use good judgment. The 48-hour rule-of-thumb applies to most situations, but if you've had an accident or are having an unusual problem, see your chiropractor as soon as possible, today if necessary.

When a person has back pain, it's very important to make sure there are no related problems. Most of the time there aren't, but no one wants to be the exception and it's always better to be safe than sorry. Making your own diagnosis is never a good idea. "Oh, that's been bothering me for months," some people will say. "It's just back pain." Of course, such an approach to one's health violates the 48-hour rule. If the problem really wasn't anything much, it would have gone away within a few days. Something else is going on, and usually the longer a physical problem is left untreated the more difficult it is to deal with. The old expression, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is as true today as it was 100 years ago.

Your chiropractor is an expert in back pain. They know that physical pain happens for a reason.1,2 Their job is to discover that reason, using the tools of history taking, physical examination, biomechanical analysis, and special tests, if necessary, such as x-rays and other imaging methods. Most of the time, the underlying problem is mechanical in nature, involving the spinal joints and associated soft tissues, including the ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Such mechanical problems cause the vast majority of cases of back pain, and are directly addressed by chiropractic care.3 In unusual circumstances, your chiropractor will refer you to another specialist. The important approach in all situations is to seek appropriate care. Your chiropractor's office is the right place to start.

1Bakker EW, et al: Spinal mechanical load as a risk factor for low back pain: a systematic review of prospective cohort studies. Spine 34(8):E281-E293, 2009
2Shambrook J, et al: Clinical presentation of low back pain and association with risk factors according to findings on magnetic resonance imaging. Pain 157(7):1659-1665, 2011
3Wilder DG, et al: Effect of spinal manipulation on sensorimotor functions in back pain patients: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials 12:161, 2011

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Testimonial

I slipped on ice in December, landing hard on my behind. I was in excruciating pain and could barely move. It was a Saturday night but I called the office and left a message (new patient, too, found them on Google.) I received a call back first thing Monday morning, they got me right in that day, and I just completed my 3- month treatment plan. I feel so much better and am happy to have found Dr. Ide and his staff.

  ~Amy Hawker

Dr. Ide and his staff are awesome. I had all but given up and I saw his ad. I am s happy to be out of partial pain and I have only gone twice, I cannot wait for the end results. Just to be pain free. Dr. Ide, I thank you so much.

   ~ Patsy Dimond-Spencer

Dr. Ide and his staff have given me my life back. The day I called to make my first appointment I had been suffering from a migraine and severe neck pain for 6 days. This was also after receiving multiple pain injections from my primary physician with no relief. His staff not only verified my insurance was accepted at this location before even offering me an appointment time (which multiple offices will not do this) over the phone but I was able to make an appointment for the same day. Dr. Ide took the time to obtain pertinent patient history and not only explain but he also showed me on my x-rays why I was experiencing pain. He addressed the root of the problem instead of pushing prescriptions to subside your symptoms. HE discussed my POA in detail and reiterated why finishing therapy and continuing home therapy was important. I was hesitant and nervous about my first adjustment but again, he took the time to walk me through each step. Paired with my weekly adjustments I also receive massage therapy. Monica, the massage therapist is incredible. She takes the time to ask specific questions before the massage to ensure she provides the best care possible. Kasey, Dr. Ide's assistant is extremely personable and continues to make sure you feel comfortable throughout your visit. The front staff also provides a warm and welcoming environment. Within my first month of treatment, I'm able to go das without a headache now and I have reduced the frequency of my pain medication. I highly recommend Dr. Ide and his staff!

    ~Leah Craig

Very friendly staff and knowledgeable doctor! After doing a 3 month program, I no longer have daily headaches, back pain or neck pain. Most doctor's adjust your back and send you on your way - Dr. Ide makes sure to turn it into a lifestyle change by improving your posture and fixing any issues you may have. I would definitely recommend him over any chiropractor.

    ~Lauren Dunigan

I always have good service and leave feeling good! The people are nice and all know my name. I really like how they do business for senior citizens... that's a big plus!
~Nancy Matson

Very extensive in the examination. Not like other chiropractors I'd seen who just do a quick adjustment. They diagnosed the problem and are working to correct it with me. They have even went so far as to work out payment arguments for the things my insurance wouldn't cover.

    ~Brandon Ogle

I had neck and shoulder pain since 2010. Ever since I started going to him I have felt better and better!

    ~Andrel Jacobs 

I had ankle problems all my life in my left foot. Dr. Ide adjusted my ankle for me and within one adjustment my ankle felt the best ever. Thanks Dr. Ide!

              A.H.
              Fenton, MI

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