spine

Lower Back Pain Alleviated Through Proper Spinal Alignment

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Up to 10% of people worldwide are coping with lower back pain. In fact, it is the number one reason people claim disability and time off from work. One in three disability cases is due to problems located in the lower back region, causing many to seek help in an attempt to settle matters before it gets to the point of making one disabled.

How Proper Spinal Alignment Helps Lower Back Pain

It may be surprising to learn that the top bones of the neck are responsible for the way a person’s posture is during rest, showing how vital it is for them to be properly aligned. The C1 and C2 vertebrae are susceptible to misalignment. If this occurs, then a person actually has to think about how to sit or stand straight. This is something that should come naturally, but a misalignment changes more than the bones in the neck. Since we have more important things to think about than focusing on our posture, the body often will fall into whatever position the neck bones dictate. 

Another thing to be aware of is how additional tension is created throughout the entire back, not just the neck. Since the head can weigh as much as 14 pounds, if it is off center by just 2 or 3 inches, significantly more weight begins to stress the lower back. This is why a misalignment in the upper neck causes many problems in the lower back.

How Upper Cervical Care Can Help Lower Back Pain

At our Agoura Hills, California office we are able to help many patients to cope with back pain successfully. We use a gentle method that allows the bones to move into place more naturally than twisting or cracking the spine. This method has been shown to have a success rate of up to 95%! At one practice, 77% of those with lower back pain experienced significant improvement, and 18% saw their back pain go away entirely. We strive to provide similar results for our clients.

The Rider’s Spine: The Key to Stability On and Off Your Horse

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Welcome riders! Regardless of your discipline, skill level, age or physical ability, I’m here to share with you the benefits of upper cervical chiropractic for the equestrian. Whether your focus is dressage, jumping, barrel racing, trail riding or any equestrian pursuit, reducing your body’s imbalances and misalignments can improve your riding. If you’ve suffered an injury or are simply suffering from the toll that riding can take on your body, the specific, scientific approach of upper cervical chiropractic care may bring the relief you need.

Many riders seek chiropractic care for specific pain, such as:

  • pain in the back, neck or shoulders
  • problems with range of motion
  • chronic discomfort from previous injuries
  • perceived imbalances (one leg feels longer than the other, for instance)

Sometimes, an equestrian’s issues are less pronounced but still affect their riding and should be addressed. Most riders know what it feels like to be off balance or have experienced the sense of riding “against” the motion rather than “with” your horse. In riding, as in other sports, trying to put your body in the “correct” position is not the same as finding your center of balance and moving freely from a secure, centered foundation.
 
Sometimes, your own skeletal structure may be what’s hindering your progress. Working to improve areas such as your position, aids, flexibility, strength or overall riding skill are important goals. But if skeletal misalignments are preventing you from moving in a balanced, pain-free, comfortable way, you won’t reap the full benefit of all those other efforts.
 
Simply put, the biomechanics of horseback riding stresses your frame to begin with, and many riders have pre-existing skeletal issues that affect their posture and movement before they even get on their horse. Also, just like our horses, we tend to favor one side over the other, which can accentuate imbalances.
 
Ideally, our bodies naturally adjust to the stresses of our athletic pursuits. But sometimes, they need a nudge in the right direction to help the healing process begin. The scientific evaluation provided at each check up allows me to determine if and when an adjustment is needed, and to make a small and specific correction that is more likely to provide lasting results.

Coming Back Into Balance

  • Realigning your skeletal system can alleviate pain and set your body up to better handle the impact of riding
  • Better control over your own body can help you use more subtle and correct aids and more clearly influence your horse
  • Helping your body correct misalignments can provide more energy and focus during riding and everyday activities

Adjusting Your Priorities

You probably spend a lot of time, money and energy on your horse’s well being. If you’re competing, that might even include bodywork, chiropractic, acupuncture, laser therapy or other treatments for your horse. Of course, each of these therapies can be valuable in addressing problems or preventing future issues. But don’t forget to focus on your body as well. A skeletal misalignment may be the sticking point in your continued progress, and bringing your body back into balance might be the catalyst needed to improve your riding performance -- and help your horse do HIS job more easily.