Why Do I Have Lower Back Pain?

why-do-iVirtually everyone in the country will, at some point in their lives, suffer from back pain. It’s one of the most common ailments in medicine, and there are a staggering number of things that can cause it. Broadly speaking though, the various causes of back pain, yours included, fall into three basic categories.
They are:

Degenerated Discs
Think of the discs between the vertebrae in your spine as shock absorbers. They perform the same basic function for your body that shock absorbers perform for your car.

Unfortunately, just like the shock absorbers on your car, your discs can wear out. They can degenerate over time, and when they do, pain is the inevitable result.

Herniated Discs
Herniated discs can either occur suddenly, during a period of intense exertion, or they can develop slowly over time. Basically, visualize the discs in your spine to be a bit like a jelly donut, but with a really rugged, tough exterior.

If that rugged exterior develops a crack, some of the “jelly” inside the disc could leak through the crack, creating a bulge. This misshapen disc puts pressure on nerves, which causes pain. It can also irritate other nerves nearby, which can lead to weakness, numbness, or persistent tingling in your arms and/or legs. Fortunately, in most cases, herniated discs can be treated without surgery.

Muscular Problems
These are far and away the most common cause of back pain. If you strain or overuse your muscles, they’re going to cramp on you, and that includes the muscles in your back. These kinds of problems will often go away on their own over time, as with any muscle cramp and related pain, but of course, there are things you can do to help speed the healing process along.

In all three cases, chiropractic care can help you manage the pain, and put you on the fast track to feeling better and permanently fixing the problem, whatever the specific cause.

How Can Massage Help Keep Me Healthy?

how-canAlmost everyone knows how great a professional massage feels, but did you know that it has potential health benefits too? That makes it a win-win. Not only can you give yourself a periodic treat in the form of a soothing massage to help rub your troubles away, but depending on your physical condition, you may actually be able to use massage therapy to treat a variety of ailments.

If you suffer from anxiety, for example, there’s a growing body of evidence that shows a clear correlation between massage therapy and a reduction in anxiety attacks. It’s also especially good therapy for people with conditions like fibromyalgia.

Of course, most people think of massage therapy as being helpful if you suffer from a sports injury, or general soft tissue injuries or strains, and there’s no doubt that it is beneficial in those instances, but massage will cure a lot more of what ails you than just these things. Here are a few other things you can treat with regular massage therapy, and some of these may surprise you:

• Chronic headaches
• Insomnia (especially insomnia related to, or caused by, stress)
• Paresthesias
• Nerve pain
• Joint pain
• Myofascial pain syndrome
• Some digestive disorders

Massage therapy is increasingly becoming a vital part of alternative medicine, and its many benefits are backed by solid science. Beyond simply being a means of pampering yourself when you go to the day spa, regularly performed massage therapy can help keep you healthy and feeling years younger than you are.

Obviously, no matter what the benefits of this type of therapy, it can never take the place of regular medical care, but as a supplement to that care, it is a superb addition to your monthly health and wellness regimen, and is highly recommended for most everyone.

Causes And Treatments For Leg Tingling And Numbness

leg-tinglingHave you ever had a strange “pins and needles” sensation in your legs? Many people have. It’s a fairly commonly occurring phenomenon. You might be surprised to know, however, that in many cases, the problem doesn’t have anything to do with your legs.

These kinds of pins and needles sensations are distinctly different from the muscle pain, quivers and spasms you feel after a period of overexertion. You’ve almost certainly experienced that sensation as well, and you understand the difference.

In those cases, you feel the pain beginning a few hours (sometimes sooner) after a period of especially intense exertion. That sensation is caused by overusing your leg muscles, and it tends to be short-lived. Give your body a bit of time to rest and recover, and those cramps fade away in time.

That tingling sensation, however, doesn’t behave like that. It may come and go, but it tends to be a periodic, chronic condition, and it points to another potentially more serious problem.

There are a number of things that could be causing that type of tingling sensation, including pinched or damaged nerves, a herniated lumbar disc, poor circulation or conditions like spinal stenosis, which is caused by a narrowing of the spine and results in compression of the spinal cord and the nerves associated with it.

Whatever the root cause of those tingles, your chiropractor can help you get to the bottom of it, and by addressing the root cause, in time, you can be rid of the sensation for good. The important thing here, though, is to take action. That tingling sensation is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If left unattended, it could blossom into a much larger, much more painful problem that requires surgery to correct.

The bottom line is that if you’re feeling those strange tingling sensations, do something about it. Start with a phone call to your chiropractor and set up an appointment to get to the bottom of it sooner, rather than later.

Are There Natural Ways To Help With Depression?

are-thereIf you suffer from depression, or know someone who does, then you understand how awful it can be. It’s more than just “having the blues.” It’s a deep, pervasive sense of loss or sadness that doesn’t appear to have a fix.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to alleviate, and eventually rid yourself of depression, and you probably know several possible treatments already. One thing you may not have known, however, is that chiropractic care can help alleviate depression.

That seems strange to most people, because on the surface of it, depression and chiropractic care don’t seem to have anything in common. A closer look, however, reveals a strong connection.

Every feeling in your body is controlled by nerves. When your central nervous system is out of whack, you feel bad in general. When nerves get irritated, you get numbness and pain.

By keeping your body’s central nervous system in good working order, which is a large part of what a chiropractor does, you remove many of the conditions necessary for depression to take root and thrive in.
In addition to periodic chiropractic adjustments as a means of warding off depression, you should strongly consider a periodic therapeutic massage.

Massage therapy has a number of well-documented benefits. Sure, it feels great, and that by itself is certainly reason enough to treat yourself to one now and again. Beyond that, there’s a growing body of evidence that suggests a regular therapeutic massage can help with everything from depression to anxiety, and even help you get rid of certain digestive disorders!

The bottom line here is simple: If you’re suffering from depression, there are a number of things you can do about it. One of those is therapeutic massage. You don’t have to live with the feeling. You can take action, and in doing so, take control of and ultimately banish your depression.

Survey Shows Bad Attitudes Can Spread To Others

Survey Shows Bad Attitudes Can Spread To OthersToxicity breeds toxicity, according to a new survey of workplace environments. Odds are good that you’ve been in a hostile work environment. You know how exhausting it can be to deal with snide comments, put downs, sarcasm or passive aggressive behavior that seems to run rampant in some offices.

Even if you have an especially gentle nature, the temptation can be great to start responding like that of toxic peers. In fact, odds are good that you’re doing exactly that, without even realizing it.

The reality is that exposure to such behaviors is extremely draining. It takes a lot out of you, and the more you’re exposed to it, the more likely you are to start incorporating similar behaviors on a subconscious level.

That leads invariably to not only responding to those around you who are behaving in an uncivilized manner, but to tend to lash out at others who haven’t been treating you that way. That, in turn, only makes the problem worse, and this is the mechanism by which incivility spreads throughout an office environment.

It’s made worse in environments where job duties, goals and objectives aren’t clearly defined, as this creates a situation that opens the door for people to start acting on their own self-interest, rather than acting in the best interests of the company.

There are two basic approaches to take when dealing with this kind of incivility. First, confront it when you see it. Call it out. Ask the person behaving in that manner what’s driving it and why they’re doing it. Sometimes, they might not even be aware they’re doing it, and simply bringing it to their attention is enough to make it stop.

Before you call the other person out though, step back a minute. Take a breath. Better yet, take a walk. Give yourself five minutes to cool down so that when you call the other person out, you’re not doing so in exactly the same uncivil manner. Do that consistently, and over time, you can actually start reversing the trend.