Probably the most common thing people think of chiropractors as treating is lower back pain. At any given time, 40% of the population here in Toronto is experiencing some degree of low back pain, and worldwide, low back pain is the most common form of disability.
However, many people routinely suffer from mid back pain and discomfort, and some may not know that chiropractic has an excellent track record of eliminating mid back pain.
Mid back pain is most likely to be caused by muscle strain or nerve and joint irritation, or a combination of all three. A good number of postural muscles that support your head and neck originate in the mid back and can become strained by being in a poor posture for an extended period of time. Being in downtown Toronto, a lot of our chiropractic patients work long hours at a desk, the average is over 8hours sitting at a desk staring at a computer. Does this sound like you? Be honest with yourself, what is your posture like while you sit in front of that computer, are you upright and in a great ergonomic position? Has your workplace given you an ergonomic assessment or outfitted you with an excellent ergonomic chair? Do you find yourself slouching at your desk? Most people tend to start slouching at some point in their day, and often sit like this for HOURS! Their mid back rounds forward and they push their head forward. This now creates an increased tension within your neck and mid back. Because you have moved further away from the ideal posture, your body has too work harder to hold up the same weight. Physics tells us that the further away from a midline a mass moves, the greater the magnitude of the force at the midline has to be to hold up the exact same weight. In your body, this means the muscles work substantially harder the more you slouch, and if you do this for HOURS, your muscles will become exhausted and begin to swell. This swelling can spread and help to create nerve and joint irritation. Given enough time of sitting like this, it will cause your body to adapt and remodel your soft tissue and skeletal structure to respond to this stress….this is what makes it so hard to correct, because your body has literally adapted to being out of alignment.
So how do you correct this?
Well, the first part is assessing what is the extent of the problem in your spine? Has any damage occurred in your spine as a result of sitting many years at a desk in front of a computer? Has any arthritis started to form? To do this, you need to visit a chiropractor. Chiropractors are experts at assessing your spine and seeing if any damage has occurred. This requires x-rays to be taken. The next step is to correct the cause of your mid back pain. This often begins by doing chiropractic adjustments, stretching, postural exercises, traction, soft tissue work, there is often a lot that needs to be done to address the issue. But the other critical part is that we MUST change your setup at your office and teach you how to sit properly at a desk! But Dr. Matt, it’s so hard right now to stay upright at my desk! Yes, it is right now, but soon it will become natural. Chiropractic care helps to correct your posture which will make it feel easier and more natural to sit comfortably at your desk without slouching! But this all takes time, we heal slowly, soft tissues injuries can take upwards of twelve months to heal correctly. Anyone who tells you they are going to fix you in one or two sessions is just pulling your chain. Yes, you might actually feel great in one or two visits, but do you realistically think that years of damage are reversed in a couple visits to a chiropractor? Unfortunately none of us are Wolverine, we don’t magically heal like this. Healing is a long term process and can take a long time and a lot of hard work to heal properly.
If you live or work in downtown Toronto and have been experiencing mid back pain and think you should see a chiropractor, you should contact us at our downtown Toronto Chiropractic clinic.