Back spasms. Dull, throbbing headaches. Neck stiffness. These are all symptoms of back pain. According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association, as many as 5 out of 10 Canadians have suffered lower back pain in the last six months, and as many as 85 percent of working adults will experience it at least once in their lifetime. While there are short-term treatment options available, like painkillers, visiting a chiropractor is the best way to ensure relief and comfort against long-term pain. These five signs are a good indication that it is time to see a specialist to prevent or improve your back pain.

1. You Sit For Long Periods of Time, or Perform Repetitive Tasks

While many people assume that chiropractors just heal injuries or deal with severe pain, the truth is that many lower back problems can arise from sitting at a desk for long periods of time, hunched over a computer, or performing other repetitive tasks. An experienced chiropractor in Toronto may be able to offer wellness tips and small adjustments that will reduce your likelihood of developing injuries caused by posture or repetitive motion in the workplace. It can be difficult to know when you should see a back specialist for your pain, but airing on the side of caution is good practice, especially if your job will continue to include sitting and repetitive tasks.

2. You Play Sports

Just as a sedentary lifestyle or repetitive motion at work can cause back and muscular pain, the opposite lifestyle tends to also take its toll. By some estimates, almost all professional American football players see a chiropractor, a trend matched in many other professional sports leagues. Contact sports, running, tennis, and many others have their players twist and bend repeatedly, and small injuries can quickly add up to cause back pain and muscle ailments.

3. You Experience Chronic Headaches

Not everyone thinks to see a chiropractor when suffering from chronic headaches or migraines, but headaches can often be caused by poor alignment along the spine and neck, which puts pressure onto the nerves and triggers both headaches and migraines. Some chiropractors offer complimentary initial consultations, which may determine the root cause of the headaches in case chiropractic therapy can help.

4. Frequent Leg Pain or Weakness

Sharp pain, weakness, and numbness in the legs are common issues at a chiropractic clinic, and may be caused by a pinched nerve such as the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, which runs from the lower back to the side of the thigh.If you’re experiencing pain or numbness in your legs, visiting a chiropractor here in Toronto for an adjustment may be just the treatment you need.

5. Chronic Pain in the Neck or Back

Chronic, frequent pain, especially in the back and neck, is the most common reason people seek chiropractic help, which may sound obvious, but it bears mentioning. In these cases, Structural Correction – a technique that seeks to fix the root cause of the issue, which is often poor alignment of the spine – can help correct the issue and alleviate pain.