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Why having a “Bad Back” is Not Ok (and Not a Life-Sentence)

Chad London, DC, CCSP

As chiropractors we hear all too often people say “ I have always had a bad back, its something I just live with”. As this is the case for a lot of people currently, this should not be a state of mind that should be accepted. Spinal health and well being should be a very important aspect of every individual’s health. As we are not truly healthy until we are functioning at our best.

What is spinal health?

This is a very common question we receive in our clinic on a daily basis. Spinal health is the overall functionality of the spine, from the static support of the ligaments to the dynamic support of the muscles surrounding the spine. Spinal health is the maintenance of the 3 distinct curves in our neck, mid back and low back. It is the finite movements of every joint in the spine that allows us to move in every way possible. It is having the correct alignment in your spine to take pressure off of your nervous system, so your brain is able to communicate to the rest of your body via the spinal cord and nerves that exit your spine. Without true spinal health, your body is unable to function at it’s best and if not corrected over time, more serious issues and problems can occur.

What are some causes of poor spinal health?

Posture is one of the greatest contributors of decreased spinal health. We need our spines to be balanced and movable. This allows us to stand upright and move the way that we should without restriction. As we get more sedentary with our lifestyles, we work more and use more technology for our jobs, our posture takes the biggest hit and gets worse with time. Over time we start to lose the correct curves in our spine, our backs begin to tighten and become stiff. If not corrected, we start having back pain. Misalignment of the spine (particularly in the pelvis and neck) is also a big contributor in decreasing spinal health. When joints are not functioning/moving the way that they are supposed too, joint restriction occurs, and if not treated, degeneration will occur. When this happens our spinal health deteriorates and can lead to further complications down the road.

Preventing a "Bad Back"

Maintenance of spinal health is something that should occur on a regular basis. As you brush your teeth twice a day to maintain the enamel and strength of your teeth, you should maintain the strength of your spine daily (exercise) and every couple of weeks (manual therapy). Maintenance of Spinal health should incorporate both an active (exercise) and passive (manual therapy) approach. Maintenance should involve not only the structural aspect of the spine (skeleton) but also the functional aspect of the spine (muscles and ligaments) as you cannot have one without the other.

Whether you have pain or you don’t, spinal health can be treated by chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists and acupuncturists. Manual therapy should occur every couple of weeks to prevent degeneration and keep your body functioning at its best.

Chad London DC, CCSP is a certified sports chiropractic physician (CCSP) and prenatal chiropractor. He is a current member of the Glendale Raptors professional rugby team. His love for sport and chiropractic pushed him towards a lifestyle of health and well being. Treatment of sports injuries and overall functionality of the athlete has always been a passion of his. Stay tuned on Instagram @washparkchiro and @chaddie_13_london


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