Prevent Back Pain With a Pillow

young sleeping woman seeing sweet dreamsBack pain has many causes; sometimes it stems from a medical condition such as arthritis or spinal stenosis. It can result from a sprain, fracture or any other accidental injury. Many people develop back pain due to being overweight or sedentary. According to research, four out of five people will experience back pain at some point in their life, and this medical condition is the fifth reason why people visit the doctor. Most back pain often gets better after a week, and surgery is rarely necessary. Let’s look at one area that can help relieve back pain – our sleeping position.  Here are a few tips on the best sleeping positions to reduce lower back pain:

  1. Choosing the right mattress and pillow for sleeping at night is necessary in order to prevent back pain from occurring. Experts believe that people must stick with their personal preferences, whether they prefer the firmness of a harder mattress, or the comfort of a soft bed, to have a blissful night’s sleep.
  2. If you are a side sleeper, then draw your legs up to towards your chest and sleep with a pillow between your knees.  This position reduces pressure and muscle tension in your lower back and hips by preventing your upper leg from pulling your spine. It can also help support the lower body by positioning your legs, hips, and knees into the right alignment.
  3. If you are a back sleeper, then put a pillow under your knees to allow the spine to maintain its natural curve and reduce stress. The pillow for your head will support the head, shoulders and the curve of your neck.
  4. If you prefer to sleep on your stomach, then place a flat pillow under the stomach and pelvis area which can help keep the spine in better alignment. The pillow under your head must be flat or sleep without a pillow.
  5. When turning in bed, remember not to twist or bend at the waist but to move your entire body as one unit. Keep your stomach pulled in and tightened, and bend your knees toward the chest when you roll.

Sleeping in the proper position and with your head properly supported will result in a good night’s sleep without a back ache in the morning.

For more information, contact Hooper-Thurston Elite Chiropractic at 252-237-2166.

How to Fix an Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Attractive woman with back pain at home in the bedroomIn life, there are fewer pains more debilitating than back pain, yet 3 out of 4 people will suffer from some form of acute back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain, particularly lower back pain, can be excruciatingly painful. If you are experiencing any form of back pain, and aren’t sure what might be causing it, it could be an anterior pelvic tilt. But what is an anterior pelvic tilt, which problems does it cause, and what can you do to correct it?

What is an anterior pelvic tilt and which problems does it cause? – When a person finds that their pelvis is tilting more to one side than the other, this tilt, however small it may be, could create spinal misalignments. As each of the vertebrae joints will not be in the correct position, they will not function as they should and will not fall into the proper planes of motion. Additional stress is placed on the joints, which causes lots of pain and discomfort. Varying degrees of back pain may be experienced, plus there is the risk of a herniated disc, which is absolute agony and is only corrected via surgery.

How do you know if you have an anterior pelvic tilt? – Most people that suffer from this condition are not even aware that they have it in the first place. Small degrees of tilts within the pelvis are normal, but if the tilt is too much, that is when problems can arise. There are numerous ways of determining whether or not you have this problem. One way of making a diagnosis is to stand up straight.  When standing straight, your shoulders be even, and your lower back will curve in slightly. If, however, you find that your shoulders are at different levels and lower back is curving outward, this is a tell-tale sign that you have a pelvic tilt.

Now what can you do to correct an anterior pelvic tilt? Try the following:

  • Try to diagnose what may be causing the tilt
  • Speak to a chiropractor
  • Visit a chiropractor and have regular adjustments
  • Try to perform more exercise and physical activity (check with a physical therapist about which exercises will be the most effective.)
  • Work on your mobility and flexibility

Correcting the pelvic tilt will help alleviate the lower back pain, and you’ll be back to normal activities soon.

For more information, contact Hooper-Thurston Elite Chiropractic at 252-237-2166.

Chiropractic Care versus Massage for Back Pain

woman back massage treatmentBack pain can be incredibly frustrating for people because it can be difficult to diagnose and even harder to correct. If it can’t be attributed to a particular injury or other traumatic event, people are often confused as to what kind of treatment they should seek. Some may immediately start with a medical physician. Others may try massage therapy or chiropractic care. By understanding back pain symptoms better, people can expedite their road to recovery from back pain.

There are varying degrees of back pain, but most fit into one of these three categories. Acute back pain is typically short term over the course of a few or more months. Chronic back pain comes and goes in severity, but never really goes away completely. The last is neuropathic back pain which is constant.

Aside from being able to relieve some types of back pain, massage therapy has many benefits. By targeting soft tissue, it can reduce tension, which can help patients suffering from muscle spasms. Mild damage such as strains and pulled muscles will also benefit from this type of treatment. Massage therapy may very well be enough to solve any back pain caused by a soft tissue problem. Specific massage techniques such as cranial sacral therapy, Swedish, deep tissue and trigger point therapy, can be very beneficial towards finding relief from back pain. If massage therapy isn’t successful, it may be time to visit a chiropractor.

Chiropractic treatment focuses on hard tissue such as joints and the spine. Due to their training, chiropractors are qualified to diagnose and treat back pain caused by hard tissue problems. Their most common tools for back pain treatment are spinal manipulation and spinal adjustment. They are also able to use advanced imaging techniques to identify medical causes for the back pain such as bulging or herniated discs. Armed with that information, they can make a medical diagnosis that will help guide patients towards the best treatment options.

Those suffering from back pain may be best served by trying massage therapy first. It depends on the level of pain being experienced. If that’s unsuccessful, visiting with a chiropractor like the ones at Hooper-Thurston Elite Chiropractic should be the next step. Getting a medical diagnosis and treatment plan from a team of qualified chiropractors will have you on the road to recovery in no time.  Call for an appointment today at 252-237-2166.

4 Myths of Back Pain

Businessman having backacheIf you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to suffer from back pain, you won’t need anybody to describe to you just how debilitating and excruciatingly painful the condition can be. If not, then count your blessings because back pain is not something you will ever want to experience if you can help it. Unfortunately,  3 out of 4 people will experience back pain in some form or another, so knowing what it is, and how to address it, will help you recover more quickly. Like most things in life, however, people often get their facts twisted, and the subject of back pain is no exception. To help clear things up once and for all, here’s a look at four myths associated with back pain.

Your Back is Fragile

This is one of the most common myths when it comes to back pain, and it is simply not true. People often think that the back is extremely vulnerable and fragile and that it should be protected at all times when in reality the back is very robust.

Back Pain is Inevitable When We Grow Older

 Again, this is simply not true. A lot of people believe that once you grow old, your back will begin to deteriorate and that you’ll constantly have to deal with back pain and back issues. In reality, you might not. Of course, you may be slightly more vulnerable when you grow older, but taking care of your back earlier in life, reduces the chance of having to deal with back issues later on.

Back Pain is Always Due to Injury

Another common myth associated with back pain is that anybody dealing with back pain must be dealing with some injury or illness. In fact, however, sometimes back pain can start for no plausible reason at all. Lumbago, which is an acute lower back pain, is very common yet there is no apparent cause for the condition. People may simply wake up one day and begin suffering from lumbago, which can last several weeks, and all of a sudden the condition will correct itself. Put simply, just because you have back pain, this does not mean that you are dealing with a back injury.

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Cure Back Pain

This is another very common myth, and it too is not true! When people suffer from a backache, they often take an anti-inflammatory painkiller which helps dull the pain. However, all these drugs do is relieve inflammation in the body, and mask the pain, rather than addressing what causes it.

For more information on back pain, contact Hooper-Thurston Elite Chiropractic at 252-237-2166.