People are putting down the pharmaceuticals and choosing a healthier route. Exercise!
One of the biggest obstacles that pains our fellow red-blooded Americans is back pain. I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say that it’s afflicting not just Americans, but people all over the world. Since human beings are upright walkers, a lot of stress is put on our lower back.
When we bend down it stresses our back tremendously. If we pickup something heavy, our backs take a beating. Have you ever sat in a chair without holding a good posture? If you have, your back paid the price. The list goes on and on. Given our bipedal nature, it’s really easy to put undue stress and strain on our backs.
A lot of animals walk on all fours. This distributes their weight evenly across their body, preventing their back from shouldering the load. We have a different structure. By walking on two legs, all of the weight from our upper body is supported by our lower back. Our heads are very big and our torsos heavy. This too puts a great deal of strain on our lower back region.
The statistics on back pain are alarming and on the rise. In 1997, 28.1% of people over the age of 18 and under the age of 65 and 29.5% of people 65 and over said that they were experiencing lower back pain problems. In 2013, 29% of 18-65 year olds and 33% of the 65 and over crowd reported experiencing lower back pain (The Good Body).
That’s a pretty hefty increase. Almost a whole point higher for the first age group and FOUR percentage points higher for the senior citizens. I thought we were making medical advances, not declines. Apparently not all things to do with medicine is on the up and up.
Every year, hundreds of millions of people miss work due to injury or illness. Do you know what the biggest cause of disability in the workplace might be? Given the nature of this article, I’m sure you know where I’m going with this.
According to the Global Burden of Disease study, which was published in The Lancet, lower back pain is the number one culprit worldwide. Not just in America but across the globe. That’s serious business and it’s costing the world billions of dollars in hard earned cash and billions more in productivity.
Could you imagine what kind of problems in the world that could be solved with if we could regain all of that woman power? The implications ripple across the world, reducing productivity and skyrocketing healthcare costs.
Dealing a bad lower back can be expensive. If you’ve never the felt the kind of pain that people across the globe are feeling, then hope you never will. When you’re in excruciating back pain, you’ll pay anything just to have hope that you may one day be free of pain.
If a treatment has a high success rate and you’re pretty sure it’ll work, our for-profit medical industry will be sure to charge you an arm and a leg. What else would you expect from a capitalistic health care industry? At the end of the day, everyone want’s to earn as much money as possible even if it means they have to take advantage of the needy. Few people are more needy than someone in excruciating pain.
When you’re in pain, life just isn’t the same. You may not have experienced lower back pain, but surely you’ve experienced a terrible pain before. Maybe the flu or a debilitating injury or illness. If you have, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
You can’t think straight when you’re in pain and it’s hard to enjoy the small things in life like taking a walk. Being as productive as you used to be at work is out of the picture. You’d be happy if you could even get the job done. It’s very common for lower back pain to prevent workers from completing their daily tasks. That’s why it’s the number one cause of disability around the world.
What’s just as alarming as the statistics above is the dollar statistics. In America alone, we as a nation spend in excess of $50 billion each and every year in an effort to relieve our lower back pain. That’s enough money to feed a lot of hungry mouths.
Solution: Healthy Habits
There is no one solution to this back bending problem. It’s a multi-faceted problem that will have to be approached from several different angles in order to trim the numbers down. Realistically speaking, we will never be able to get rid of back pain but we can cut the number in half or more. That would be an amazing achievement.
It would be easy to checkout of this post once you see the word, “diet.” Most Americans hate diet and I’m one of them. Diets don’t work but lifestyle changes do. If you are as serious as I am about fixing the back pain problem in America, then you should really think about what you’re putting on your plate. An old adage goes as follows, “The fat you eat is the fat you wear.” I believe that to be true. It’s been very true for me at least.
When I eat fatty foods, especially in excess, I always gain weight without fail. When I tone down the junk food and eat more live foods, I always lose weight. Well I’m done dieting since I always revert back to my original eating habits, but for the past 4.5 years I’ve been on a good streak. The reason it’s working for me now is because it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. A diet is temporary, a lifestyle change is permanent.
Do you want to learn more about how being overweight destroys your back and what you can do about it? If so, visit the crew over at Spine Health. They’ll get you on the right track.
This is a multifaceted solution because there are several different types of exercises you can do. You can do anaerobic exercises such as lifting weights or strength training. You could also do aerobic exercises that would include anything that you probably know as “cardio.” Lastly, you can do specific exercises that are aimed at stretching the spine and helping it get back to it’s original alignment.
Obviously, you should talk with your doctor before Googling some exercises and doing them blindly. Anything that deals with the spine should be approached with caution. Don’t disregard this message, head the warning. Your spine is a critical part of your body’s infrastructure so you need to take every percausion possible when working with it.
Seeing a chiropractor is an excellent option. I highly recommend you see your chiropractor as soon as you start to feel any pain. If you catch it early they might be able to free you of your pain with just a couple sessions. You might just need an adjust or some other minor fix. You never know.
Even if they can’t fix it right away or within a couple of visits, they’ll be able to give you a lot of insight into the problem you’re having with your back. Finding out what exactly the problem is can be tough but it’s half the battle. Without the help of you’re chiropractor, it’ll be nearly impossible for your to diagnose the problem accurately due to the complexity of your back. Our backs have a very complex structure.
If you’re like me and don’t know how to select a good chiropractor, then read this article. It helped me a lot and I’m sure it’ll do the same for you if you are open to the suggestions.
This isn’t really a solution, but I guess I’ll mention it. Tread carefully with this option. If the pain becomes unbearable and over the counter meds aren’t providing enough relief, then you might need to head to your physician to get a prescription. This should be the last resort! If you follow all the other healthy habits on this list, chances are you won’t need this one.
If your physician recommends this even though your pain is manageable, that’s a red flag. I’m not going to touch on the corruption of our pill-obsessed system today but I’ll tear them a new one on a future post.
Did you notice anything unique about all the real solutions? They’re all healthy habits. They’re not one time fixes or magic pills. As Americans, we just need to develop some healthier habits and we could drastically improve our quality of life.
We don’t notice our unhealthy habits until they’ve already caused a major disruption in our lives. Samuel Johnson said it best when he said, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken” (Good Reads). By the time you start feeling excruciating back pain, your habits will really hard to break but not impossible.
I hope this post made a strong enough case for you to consider cultivating some healthier habits in your life. If you’re already having pains, then that’s a great reason to change your habits. If you haven’t begun to feel back pain yet, it would be wise to start making some healthier choices before you do.