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How Does a Jelly Donut Explain My Back Pain?

Sep 28, 2010
By Dr. Josh Bross

I see low back pain in my Columbia chiropractic office everyday. Why do most people have low back pain? It’s not the easiest question to answer. There are a number of causes of low back pain, with a number of ways to injure your back. But, if I had to choose one, I would say the most common reason is because our sedentary lifestyle.

We sit all day. We sit in our cars, at our desk, watching tv, etc. We weren’t made to sit so much. It wouldn’t be so bad if we sat with good posture, but who does that? Our “M.O.” is slouching. Even most kids nowadays slouch while sitting. I think it’s part learned and part weakness in our core. When we slouch, we turn off all the muscles that support our low back and spine, and instead put all the pressure on our discs. Our discs aren’t made to handle this stress. With slouching, the pressures within our spine shift, and instead of having a nice equilibrium, the pressures now are pushing the discs backwards. Think of a jelly donut. If you squeeze the front, the jelly is pushed out the back. This is what occurs in the discs when the pressure change.

This doesn’t injure us immediately, but after sitting for long periods of time everyday, every week, every month, and even every year, eventually we will pay the price. Something as innocent as picking up a pencil off the ground, lifting your child, or reaching behind us at our desk will cause a disc herniation. All of a sudden, we are in terrible pain. We may have pain down into our glutes, or as far as into our feet. This pain can be unbearable or can be a little nuance.

You can take drugs like Tylenol to cope with the pain, but these only address the symptoms, not the cause of your pain. I would recommend getting soft tissue treatment to address the muscles, tendons and ligaments, adjustments to correct any joint problems, and specific rehab exercises to begin stabilizing your lower back.

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