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Understanding Back Pain

What condition is nearly as common as the cold and significantly more treatable? If your guess is “back pain” then you probably read the title of this article. We don’t specialize in bonus points, but we’re happy to give you a little bonus advice. So just how common is back pain?  It’s estimated that nearly 75% of individuals (like all of the individuals on the whole planet) will experience back pain at some point in their lives. If the data sounds wonky to you, let’s dive a little deeper into what we actually mean when talking about pain. Common back pain usually stems from a strain, accident, fall or heavy lifting. Of course, tons more causes exist, from bulging disks to osteoporosis. When this pain lasts longer than 3 months, we refer to it as chronic pain. The good news for most people is that about 85-90% of those experiencing back pain will improve on their own within a 4 to 8 week period! For those that do experience pain longer than 3 months however, it’s time to see a doctor and see if that pain is actually sub-acute or chronic.There are also a variety of reasons to get your glutes to the doctor sooner as these symptoms are indicative of needing a quicker evaluation. These include fevers, chills, weight loss, bladder or bowel changes, or a history of trauma.

So for those of us who are terrified of the impending physiological doom that statistics tell us we just might not avoid what can we do? Is living in a bubble actually living? Fortunately, we don’t need to take the Jake Gyllenhaal way out. Sports and work related injuries are generally inevitable. For athletes and commoners alike, we can all take steps to reduce the risk and severity of back related issues. Focusing on diet, exercise, stretching, weight maintenance, and even sitting down correctly can provide a major boost in the health of your back. Even utilizing proper biomechanics, a fancy way of saying using proper body movements when it comes to lifting and moving your body will ensure a healthier posterior in the future. A sedentary lifestyle with poor posture is a near perfect setup for major pain. Of course, exercises and stretches that strengthen your core, like yoga or pilates, are beneficial (if done right) in preventing lower back pain. As is common with smokers, thinking about cause and effect may not be an immediate concern in a person’s life if they are used to bad habits. Changing one’s mindset is the best first step anyone can take towards establishing a healthy future. Have any questions? Let us know in the comments, we’ve got your back!

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