“I have neck and upper back pain that seems to be getting worse. Sometimes the pain even goes down my arms and into my elbows, but I haven’t done anything!”
I am hearing this complaint and many very similar to it more frequently these days. The reality is that this type of pain and symptoms have resulted from something you ARE doing. No, you haven’t begun a new physical activity, or injured your elbow or shoulder picking up something heavy, but you are doing activities every day that can eventually lead to spinal issues.
The Effects of Technology on our Back and Necks
Many of our patients are at a computer or looking at a phone for hours on end, daily. Sitting at a computer all day for work, zoom meetings, and nearly every aspect of their daily lives is very stressful on the spinal column and soft tissues that surround it. I have been taking care of people who work in the tech industry for over 20 years, and we have seen the use of technology increase with every passing decade. Children and teens are using computers and are on phones more than ever, but not talking on them, looking down at them. With the pandemic, we saw even more time spent on screens. Some have standing desks, some prefer a traditional chair, and many are juggling their work between multiple screens. One thing all of these have in common is that we are still looking at screens, on keyboards and using a mouse or trackpad causing us to remain stationary and often in a state of shoulder and neck tension all day, as we look at monitors and screens for hours on end. Many start the day with the best of intentions. The goal is to sit nice and tall with great posture, a strong core, relaxed shoulders, a neck in extension, and head and shoulders held high. However, as the day progresses and stress and fatigue set in, we begin to slouch, our shoulders tense, the head begins to fall forward, and the lumbar and cervical spines flatten or curve forward creating unhealthy excess pressure on our precious spinal anatomy.
Solutions for When Back Pain Becomes Intolerable
All of this is very hard on the spine. Spinal movement suffers, individual joints inflame and become restricted, muscles tighten, spinal discs dehydrate, and spinal nerves can become irritated and compressed. As this cycle becomes more habitual for the spine, posture can worsen, and many individuals are unaware of the damage occurring at individual spinal levels as it typically gradually worsens over the years, with possibly the only warning being some tight muscles. As the issues worsen, you may end up with irritated joints, bulging discs, and irritated nerves. Sometimes nerve pain is very specific and will travel down a very specific path into the arms, or down into the legs. Other times, the nerve irritation can be felt as more diffuse pain in the head, neck, upper back and ribs, or lower back.
When Your Back and Neck Pain are Not Responding to Treatments
Patients will often seek the care of their chiropractor, massage therapist, or physical therapist when this happens. Often, through spinal adjustments, massage, and strengthening exercises, patients will see the health of the joints and muscles improve, and symptoms resolve. However, there are other times when the pain and issues aren’t responding to these modalities. In these instances, spinal decompression using a DRX9000 decompression machine is an incredible alternative to injections, medications, or surgery. It is always our goal to help patients avoid invasive procedures such as surgery. This is exactly where spinal decompression comes into the picture.
Spinal decompression can be very helpful and life changing in these instances. Chiropractic care will get the affected joints moving again, but only spinal decompression can truly decompress joint spaces, remove enough pressure to create and allow necessary disc hydration and space therefore creating more room within the joints, and reducing the pressure on the discs and therefore nerves are once again able to exit the spinal column without pressure from a bulging or herniated disc.
Some patients find us as they seek relief for a condition that they have had for years. Spinal decompression therapy is very helpful for chronic spinal issues as well as acute. It is extremely safe. Before you begin spinal decompression therapy for your neck or low back at BackBone Wellness center, our doctors will first determine if you are a good candidate for this therapy. One we determine that this will be safe and effect for you, we can get started right away on your journey to relief!