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Back In Motion Chiropractic
1115 Black Lake Blvd SW
Suite A
Olympia, WA 98502 

phone: (360) 357 7585 
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Hours
Chiropractic 
Monday - Thursday 
9:00am - 12:30pm and 
2:30pm - 6:00pm
 
Massage Therapy 
Monday - Friday 
9:00am - 6:00pm 
Saturday 
9:00am - 1:00pm 

Lower Back Pain and Balance

Balance is a learned skillsStatistically, most people (estimated to be about 90%) will seek care for Low Back Pain (LBP) at some point in their lifetime. Last month, we discussed the role foot orthotics play in the management of LBP by improving balance, and it seems appropriate to discuss other ways we can improve our balance, hence the topic this month!  

Balance is a skill that is learned as we develop. Initially, as infants, we have not developed the “neuromotor pathways” or, sequence of signals between the brain and our toes, feet, ankles, knees, hips, and so on. The constant flow of sensory information received and processed by the brain prompts motor messages to be sent back to our limbs and allows us to move in a progressively more coordinated manner as we develop.

This natural progression of developing motor control starts with crude, rather uncontrolled movement of the fingers, hands, arms, legs, and feet, and soon, we learn to hold up our head, scoot, roll over, crawl, stand, and eventually walk (usually during the first 12 months of life). The learning process of recognizing sounds, voice quality and inflections, and words occurs simultaneously. This bombardment of sensory information to the brain leads to the ability to gradually perform highly integrated functions including walking, running, jumping, and dancing. As part of that learning process, falling frequently occurs. We all recall the challenges of learning how to ride a bike, swim, do a somersault, climb a tree, swing, dance, do gymnastics, ski, and on and on. As time passes and we enter middle age, we become more sedentary. As a result, we start losing our “proprioceptive edge” and become less steady, leading to more frequent balance loss and falls. Eventually, we have to hold on to hand railings or the wall in order to keep our balance and falling occurs more frequently. Couple this gradual loss of balance with bone demineralization (osteoporosis) and the risk of a fracture, such as a hip or vertebra, increases as well.  

So the question arises, what can we do to slow down this process and maybe even reverse it? The answer is, A LOT!!! Just like muscles shrink and atrophy if they are not used, so does our ability to maintain our balance. We have to keep challenging our balance in order to keep those neuromotor pathways open. That need doesn’t stop after childhood, and in fact, becomes more important as we age. Last month, we talked about the “normal” length of time people can stand on one foot with the eyes open verses closed. If you tried the test, do you remember the steadiness difference? This “test” can be used at various time intervals, such as once a month, as you add balance challenging exercises to your daily routine. Frequently, people will find that within the first 2-4 weeks, they will feel more “sure” or secure on their feet, and even may not feel the need for a cane, or they’ll reach out less often for a hand rail. Start with simple exercises like standing with your feet together and hold that position for progressively longer times (eyes open and closed). We will continue this discussion next month with more balance stimulating exercises.  

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  • levinson

    I too also agree with the ideas of opting for the natural remedies to treat the joint and the body pains. They don’t have any side effects s. It’s good to come across such a valuable post.

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Dr. Don Soran

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Proud Member Since 2012

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I know that time and the arthritis will continue to do it’s “thing” to my body, but I also know that everyone at Back in Motion will be there to help get me through it. I truly owe my daily ability to function to Dr. Soran and Back in Motion. There aren’t enough words or ways to say thank you for all you’ve done for me.

Denise Rossman
Jessica in your office treated me with a wonderful massage yesterday due to a migraine, and I REALLY felt better after. Thank her for me!

Larissa Stewart
Dr. Soran is one of the best chiropractors around. Every time I walking into back in motion, I feel like I am at home.

Candis Chinn
I was in a wheelchair when I first went to Dr. Don...I now can do just about anything I want...including working in my garden. Back in Motion is the best!!!

Sheri Eklund Dunn


Back in Motion Chiropractic

Chiropractor and Massage Therapy, Serving Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey, and the Greater Thurston County Area

1115 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Suite A Olympia, WA 98502 • 360.357.7585

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