2 Tips To Avoid Back Pain

“It Is Easier To Prevent Bad Habits Than To Break Them” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Back pain is no fun.  It is also a MAJOR problem for our healthcare system and economy. Here are some important facts about back pain, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA):

  • 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain, and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
  • Experts estimate as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.
  • 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.

There are two different types of mechanical stress that can cause back pain.  First is a blatant injury.  This can be anything from a car accident, sports injury or slip and fall.  This cause of back pain is easy to understand.  Trauma to your spine causes injury to the soft tissue (ligaments, muscles and disks).  This is why the first tip is to make your home, work area and car as “back safe” as possible.  Home and work should be kept uncluttered so you do not slip and fall.  This is especially important at night, when lighting may be dim.  A seatbelt should always be worn while driving and your headrest should be checked and adjusted to your height to minimize damage from a crash.  If you are in a car accident, you should be examined by a doctor trained to handle these types of injuries.  Chiropractors are well-trained in the diagnosis and treatment of car accident injuries.  Back pain caused by the trauma of car accidents and falls is obvious.

What’s not obvious is the other type of mechanical stress: MICRO-TRAUMA.  Micro-trauma is a small amount of bad force applied to your back or spine.  This small amount of bad force does not seem to be a big deal and usually does not cause pain or discomfort right away, but over time, micro-traumas add up and can cause major problems.  An example of such a micro trauma is incorrect posture – either sitting, standing or sleeping.  Either one of these three, over time, can ruin the structural integrity of your spine and cause major pain.  That’s why tip #2 is to make sure you have the proper bed and chair and always keep good posture.  If you need advice on any of this, your Chiropractor is an expert and can help you.  And you should try not to stand, sit or lay in one position too long.  Motion is important – when in doubt, change position!  Prevention of back pain is one of the most important things you can do in your life.  Minimizing both big and small stresses on your spine is one important way to accomplish this goal.

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