Pay attention to these warning signs before real trouble starts!

Bad backs and bad necks don’t develop overnight, they give us warning signs to get our attention. Here are four common warning signs that many people ignore.

  1. Back Pain While Standing

 

This suggests weakness in your core and back stabilizing muscles resulting in poor alignment of your spine and increased strain on the spinal joints. Also seen while walking slowly.

2. Morning Back Stiffness

If you wake up in the morning with a tight and stiff lower back, you may be suffering from increased stress on your spinal discs from poor alignment, movement and posture from the previous day. Discs naturally swell and absorb fluid and nutrients overnight, but the added inflammation from the yesterday’s activities creates more tension in the discs, triggering a protective muscle tightness in the morning.

3. Feeling Stiff While Getting Up After Sitting.

Poor alignment, movement and posture puts stress on the spinal discs. The added high compression loads on the spine while sitting further irritates the discs and sensitive nerves triggering protective muscle tightness that you noticed while getting up from your chair.

4. Occasionally Waking up With a Stiff Neck and Shoulder

This doesn’t happen because you “slept wrong”. This may be indicating poor alignment, muscle weakness and a lack of flexibility in the neck and upper back. Left untreated, these episodes often occur more frequently and become chronic.
All these warning signs should be treated and corrected early, before the nervous system makes some hard to reverse changes to how the brain controls alignment, muscles and joints.
What You Can Do About It:
 1) Improve you core and back muscle endurance to help maintain better posture and alignment.
2) Bend and lift using the hip-hinge movement pattern to stop stressing your spinal discs all day.
3) Sit up properly in your chair. Stop slouching. Get up and move every 20-30 minutes.
4) Increase the flexibility in your upper back and improve your neck muscle endurance.
 In my experience ( 36 years ), over 90% of patients that have a bad back or neck had some of these warning signs, and chose to ignore them. We can fix some bad backs and necks, but it may take a long time, can be expensive and we may not be able to get you full relief.
We are much better at preventing them.
Dr. Olson