Did you know 85% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life? Back pain is the fifth most common reason for visiting a physician and as of the 1990’s back pain was already costing employers up $50 billion dollars annually in the United States. 1,2
Although back pain is common, it does not have to be. Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer. Back ailments are typically a result of microtrauma brought on through a series of events, building up over time and then developing into symptoms of pain and stiffness.2
Although back pain can be scary and debilitating, we should not fear it. It is not there to scare us or to harm us, it is there to warn us that something is not right. If you listen to the warning sign and seek the proper care, you will save a lifetime of misery. If you ignore the pain or seek less than adequate advice, the pain you are experiencing now will surely create a domino effect leading to additional pain, doctor visits, medication and possibly surgery. Surgery of the back, knees, neck, heels, you name it, the pain will come and the surgery may follow. So what are the common causes of back pain?
1.Poor Body Mechanics: whether you are sitting with poor posture, lifting boxes repetitively or walking slumped over, each of these habits will create back pain anywhere from the lumbar spine all the way up to the cervical spine.
2. Improper or nonexistent exercise program: the improper exercise program can be doing more harm than good. Lifting too heavy and completing exercises which feed the dysfunction can drastically increase your risk of serious injury. Being totally inactive can also create severe degenerative disc disease and chronic muscle imbalances.
One extreme or the other is not good!
3. Muscle Imbalances: Most individuals have severe muscle imbalances such as tight, short quadriceps and weak, lengthened hamstrings. Or tight lumbar erectors and lengthened, weak abdominal muscles. This uneven tug of war between the muscles causes pain in between. Pain in the back, hips, knees and neck. Treating the muscle imbalances effectively with a flexibility and strength program designed for you, can prevent several missed days from work and give natural pain relief.
4. Poor Diet: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Your body can only function based on the fuel you give it. If you are eating inflammatory foods, you will cause swelling and inflammation in the body. Eating too little food or low quality food will create weak bones, tendons and tissue. If you are having pain and no one has addressed your diet, chances are your pain will never be completely eliminated.5. All OF THE ABOVE: With today’s stress levels, work load and daily lifestyle habits, it’s easy to have fallen prey to all four of the common causes above. This is why it is critical to treat the body as a whole. Treating just the site of the symptom may give temporary relief, but without addressing body mechanics, exercise programming, diet and muscle imbalance, the band-aid will not hold for long.
If you, your employees or your family are experiencing back pain, contact me today. Our staff specializes in back pain management and elimination. We offer one on one coaching, work place seminars and on site workshops.Our next on site seminar will take place on June 23, 2012 at the Garcia Institute of Modern Excellence in Spring Hill. Click here for more details on how to register.
If you are not local and need someone to help coach you out of pain, I recommend seeking a CHEK Practitioner and/or an Egoscue Posture Alignment Specialist in your area. Visit www.chekconnect.com and www.egoscue.com for more information. Our extensive training from these two organizations has helped us maintain healthy, fit bodies and has allowed us to share the pain-free gift with others.
1.Hart LG, Deyo RA, Cherkin DC. Physician office visits for low back pain.
Frequency, clinical evaluation, and treatment patterns from a U.S. national survey.