At any given time, around 31 million Americans experience neck or lower back pain, roughly 10% of the US population. There are many reasons why someone suffers from back pain and many different types of pain that one can experience in the neck and back. In order to understand these injuries better we need to consider the following:
Approximately 50% of the American working population admit to having back pain symptoms each and every year. The cost in lost productivity and additional medical expenses reach into the tens of billions of dollars Global Burden of Disease, 2010. Disabilities associated with the neck and back are so severe that many millions of people are medically unable to work at all. The costs associated with these disabilities also reaches into the tens of billions of dollars and the cost in human suffering and lost happiness is incalculable.
Back pain is one of the most commonly stated reasons for missed work. In fact, only behind upper-respiratory infections (flu, colds), back pain is the most common reason people seek medical care. Interestingly, back pain is the number one cause of doctor visits in the summer (outdoor activities) months.
Most back pain cases are mechanical in nature, meaning they are not caused by organic conditions, such as cancers, inflammatory arthritis, fractures or infections, but by movement or injury to the tissues surrounding the spine.
Americans spend more than $50 billion each year on back pain treatments alone. The availability of traditional and holistic care have increased in recent years and the medical community as a whole is beginning to understand how neck and back health affect all other parts of the human anatomy.
It is estimated that at least 80% of the world population experiences back pain at some time in their lives.
What Causes Back Pain?
The back is a general term for the bones, joints, ligaments and muscles that work together in concert. Each of these parts of the back are susceptible to injury and each anatomical feature has special types of nerves that serve that region. A person can strain muscles, sprain ligaments, rupture disks, injure their joints. The nerves that service these parts of the back are then subject to trigger when one or a combination of mechanical injuries are cause.
Back pain can be experienced while performing very strenuous activities such as manual labor and playing sports. Injury can also occur while performing the simplest of tasks like bending over to pick up a piece of paper or turning your neck to look at something behind you. In addition, conditions like arthritis, obesity, poor posture, and even psychological stress can cause back pain or aggravate an already symptomatic back. Disease in a person’s organs, such as blood clots, or bone loss, kidney stones, kidney infections may also be the cause of back pain.
What Should You Do For Back Pain?
Those who suffer from pain in the neck and back have a variety of options to choose from. Medications can be prescribed for the pain and swelling in the neck and back. Additionally, over the counter medications can be beneficial. However, most medical practitioners today are concerned about the overuse and abuse of such pain medications, therefore doctors usually recommend a conservative treatment regimen as a better, more permanent solution to the pain.
Doctors of Chiropractic are trained in treating accident injuries to the neck and back. They offer a plethora of conservative treatment options that combine both active physical therapies as well as passive modalities. These types of treatment together usually help the injured person without the continued use of medicines. An important part of any back injury treatment plan is active physical therapy where the injured person in trained in stretching and strengthening activities to keep the muscles and ligaments in proper condition.
How effective a back treatment might varies from person to person, therefore, it is recommended to seek appropriate medical care as soon as possible. If you were injured in an accident, it is extremely important to have your body checked for soft tissue, muscle, ligament and joint, damage. Some of these areas are damaged yet the body masks the pain for a time as a survival mechanism. Pain may not be manifest for days or even weeks after your accident.
Tips to Prevent or Lessen Back Pain
Since most people experience the pain associated with back injury or disease causing pain, it is helpful to know what we can do to avoid, or at least minimize, the instances of back injury and the resulting pain.
DIET: Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
SMOKING: Quite it now. Smoking impairs blood flow and deprives the body of oxygen and nutrients.
ACTIVE LIFESTYLE: Remain active (if necessary under the supervision of your doctor).
AVOID INACTIVITY: Avoid excessive inactivity such as lying in bed or sitting on a sofa for hours at a time. WARM UP: Stretch before exercising or performing other physical activities.
LIFTING: Lift with your legs, keep the object close to your body, try to avoid twisting when lifting.
POSTURE: Maintain proper posture, especially while sitting. Walk with shoulders squared and back.
SHOES: Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. “Happy feet mean a happy back”.
SLEEP: Use a medium- type firmness mattress. This helps to minimize curving of your spine.
Written by: Las Vegas SEO consultant Joseph.