Everybody experiences back pain of one form or another at some point in their lives. There are some simple things we can do to help minimize those pains and hopefully prevent them from occurring in the first place. Some women, due to their inherent physical makeup and societal roles, may be especially susceptible to back pain and may have particular difficulty in addressing it. I am here today to address some of those female-specific issues.
The biggest cause of mostly preventable back pain, in my opinion, is posture. Sitting, standing and also sleeping properly are vital to living a healthy, mostly pain-free life. Sitting in a slouched position puts a lot of excess pressure on the joints, muscles and discs in the back and is a direct cause of pain. Sitting up straight is often easier said than done, but having your chair at the right height is definitely the first step. Standing up straight and looking straight or slightly upwards (not down at your phone) is another key. Sleeping in a neutral position without twisting or kinking up the body is also important.
These postural guidelines are important for everyone, but now let’s get into some of the female-specific points. One thing many women do more than men is carry a purse/bag on one shoulder. In order to keep the bag on the shoulder, one must raise the shoulder a bit and that causes an imbalance. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine and is seen early on in both males and females, but becomes more pronounced in females more after adolescence. In my opinion, one of the biggest factors contributing to the cause of scoliosis is uneven arches developed from walking on hard, flat surfaces with poor support in our shoes. As women tend to wear shoes with less/no support, this is another area that I think could be easily addressed.
The task of childbearing rests on females and their anatomy differs dramatically from males in this sense. Carrying a child puts excess pressure on the spine as well as the rest of the body and it makes it much more difficult to stand upright and sleep in a neutral position. Breasts add to the situation, putting more weight in the front and therefore, even more pressure on the upper and middle back musculature. There are a variety of support belts and posture correctors to help with this and women with larger breasts also have a hard time finding properly fitting bras to support them. Some of my patients have had a lot of success in getting custom made bras and have reported this helping tremendously in their chronic back issues.
Regardless the reason and the duration, chiropractic can help people by restoring the natural order of things in the body and allowing people to better deal with the stresses caused by postural distortion. It is not a quick fix and this is something that everyone has a tough time digesting. The longer your body is in a misaligned state, the longer it will take to change that, and in some cases, the damage done is nearly irreparable. Chiropractic adjustments will help put your body in a place to allow for healing to occur. Weekly checkups for life is, in my opinion, key to a healthy life.