Ponder this scenario: When you were younger you strained your back while playing sports. After physical therapy, you bounced back and were running around the soccer field better than ever. Fast-forward twenty years – you spend less time playing and more time working. You may spend hours at a time either sitting at your desk or standing on your feet. At the end of a long, hard week you begin to feel sore or stiff in areas of your back where you previously injured yourself. This could be a sign of an old injury flare-up.
Old injuries, even ones you may have forgotten, can haunt you decades later. For example, when you break a bone, you may injure tissues that keep bones aligned. A slight misalignment can cause bones to grind, wearing away cartilage and causing arthritis. A worse break can crack cartilage, leading more directly to painful joints.
Back pain is typically the most common type injury people deal with as they get older. Over the years we put a lot of strain on the ligaments and muscles in our backs through lifting heavy objects, hunching over a desk all day, running on hard concrete for years and years, bending over and lifting our children, or just pulling muscles in our backs from twisting in an unfamiliar way. Over time these small strains can slowly build up scar tissue, eventually leading to arthritis or more serious chronic pain.
The best technique to combat growing arthritis and chronic back pain is through exercise and stretching. At the Stability Health Center in downtown Seattle, Dr. Justin Favreau is one of a only a small percentage of dedicated and highly educated chiropractors certified to practice Chiropractic BioPhysics (CPB). Dr. Favreau uses highly specialized CPB techniques to dramatically enhance the healing process by combining postural retraining through exercise and stretch therapy, also known as traction.
Stretching the stiffness and breaking down the scar tissue that builds over old injuries to protect the weakened area is important to living a long, active lifestyle. Like all things, start slowly by walking during your lunch break or going for an evening stroll after dinner. If you have flare-ups from an old back injury, do light stretching or try a gentle yoga class. At the end of a particularly long day, place a cold compress or heating blanket on the sore areas of your back, which will soothe any lingering pain. Heat reduces muscle spasms and the cold helps reduce swelling and numbs deep-rooted pain.
If you live in Seattle and want to find out whether you’re a candidate for CPB, please call us at 206-497-4962 for a free initial consultation.