Back and neck pain affects more than 150 million Americans each year, which is 56 percent of the population! Until researchers prove otherwise, it is probably safe to say that this estimate applies to the rest of the world as well. Doctors of chiropractic know just how to treat and neck back pain, and fortunately, they are also great at diagnosing and treating many other disabling conditions.

Neck pain affects almost three out of every four adults at some time in their lives, and for nearly one in six the pain is chronic. Many Americans think that this is just a normal part of life, everyone at some point has to suffer with neck or back pain. This is simply not true and if you or someone you know suffers from constant neck or back pain, seek help. Many different forms of treatment and therapy are available including chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, drug regimens, stretching and exercise.

Common sense used to dictate that a person recently suffering from low-back pain should spend a few days in bed, so as not to aggravate the injury or increase the pain. But this recommendation has changed in the last decade, as studies show that when it comes to back pain, bed rest can actually increase the pain and delay healing.

Movement allows your muscles and spine to stay strong and flexible. Stay on your feet to prevent back pain and avert its progression to long-term debilitating pain. Your chiropractor can recommend safe, effective activities to promote or regain a pain-free back. Most research for back pain is devoted to identifying risk factors for acute low-back pain.

It has been found that low-back pain sufferers use their back muscles differently, and substitute the wrong muscles for lifting tasks. Researchers state that patients with back or neck pain tend to compensate for the pain or injury by substituting inappropriate back, side and abdominal muscles for lifting, rather than the correct muscles that hurt.

The resulting force on the spine was significantly increased in back pain patients because the uninjured muscles were used to compensate for injured muscles. By guarding the injured muscles, back pain sufferers imposed twice as much twisting force and 1.5 times more compressive force on their spines as healthy people when lifting the same object in a controlled fashion.

Also, lifting more slowly, as those with back pain tended to do, only prolonged and intensified the force on the spine. Due to this increase in force spinal injury and disc degeneration may occur.

There are many things that we can do to prevent problems and to care for our necks and backs:

F Avoid weight gain.

F Enjoy regular exercise.

F Be aware of your posture.

F Lift properly, stand close to the object, keeping your back straight while you bend at the hips and knees.

F Avoid twisting on movements while lifting or carrying objects.

F Always try to carry objects with both hands, not just to one side.

F Whenever possible try to kneel instead of bending over when working for extended periods of time.

F Keep your abdominal muscles strong — these muscles help support your back.

Unfortunately, I have found that many of us seem to think that suffering from chronic neck and back pain is normal. This could not be farther from the truth. There are treatments available to help control the pain or even correct what is causing it. If you have any questions about back and neck pain, you should consult a chiropractor or a medical doctor for information, and a complete exam.

Dr. Glen R. Tessman owns and operates Tessman Family

Chiropractic at 306 Granbury St., Ste. B, in Cleburne.

He can be reached at

817-641-9700 or by e-mail at

React to this story:


Recommended for you