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  • Writer's pictureDr. Valerie Girard

Why Does My Back Hurt?

Patients continually want to know, "What is causing my back pain?" I always pause before I answer to evaluate what I know about the patient to best answer their question.

Yet most of the time, it boils down to one thing: stress.

In our complex world, stress may occur on so many levels. To date, I have not found anything that so readily moderates the effect of stress in modern life as chiropractic and holistic health care practices.

Many of us are affected by physical stress: gardening, lifting, excessive exercise, housework and construction to name a few. The body does its best to stay in balance. Yet sometimes it gives out. That is why I have a job!

There is emotional stress as well: home life, school, politics, work environments, relationships, the world's crises. Often times those who feel like they are holding up the world will manifest low back pain. Those who are feeling stressed at work will experience neck and shoulder pain.

Dietary and chemical stress affect the physiology of the body. Diet and toxins feed-back to the spine and the extremity joints. For some people, eating gluten or sugary diets increases their joint pain. For others, environmental factors can cause a myriad of problems including headaches and digestive issues.

The spine is what supports the body. Poor posture and body mechanics will enhance spinal issues. Prolonged hours on the computer can create 'tech neck' with concomitant radiation down the arm. I usually prescribe excellent stretches to enhance posture which can be done in just 15 seconds at a time.

We as a society sit more than we ever have - especially at the computer. It is important to balance time in front of the TV and the computer with stretching, yoga and chiropractic care. In addition, paying attention to diet, exercise and moderating stress is the perfect formula for creating a balanced life - and a balanced spine.

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