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Why do so many people have lower back pain?

It’s estimated that 80% of the adult population have lower back pain. Back pain is at least as prevalent as the common cold. If left untreated common cold lasts for 7 days. Untreated lower back pain often undermines the economy of the whole family. According to the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association in 2006 lower back pain costs $100 billion a year in the United States. Two thirds were related to loss and wages and loss in productivity.

More times than not when I ask patients what caused there lower back pain they don’t know. Just bending over to pick up piece of paper off the floor, leaning across the table, reaching the backseat of a car. All are simple movements that we do every day that should not cause lower back pain.

During consultation frequently people believe that there mattress is causing the problem because they feel worse upon arising in the morning. 10 times out of 10 it’s not the mattress. It’s the lack of activity while sleeping that causes an increase in pain. The cost of replacing a mattress is extremely expensive. It’s inexpensive fixing the cause of the lower back pain.

Causes/ Risk Factors of lower back: (Please permit me just to list the causes.)

  1. Level of fitness.
  2. Excessive weight or weight gain.
  3. Strain or sprain.
  4. Disc herniation.
  5. Degenerative disc disease.
  6. Trauma.
  7. Poor posture.
  8. Overuse or misuse of your back.
  9. Fatigue.
  10. Lack of sleep.
  11. Occupation.
  12. Mental health, stress, anxiety, depression.
  13. Sedentary lifestyle.
  14. Poor diet. American Standard Diet (SAD)
  15. Joint Dysfunction some chiropractors call it a subluxation.

I can easily list 15 more common causes.

These causes of lower back pain all could be modified by changing your lifestyle. Some are easier than others to change and some you will be unable to change. Pick 1 or 2 of your most obvious causes of your lower back pain and make appropriate changes in your lifestyle.

The alternative is increased frequency of pain and severity and possible disability. Frequently I see people stop enjoying activities. Their reasoning is that they are getting older. This is absolute nonsense. The standard medical treatment is opioid prescriptions, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxation medication. All of these have unintentional side effects that affect all the organs in your body. According to the National Institutes of Health there were over 70200 opioid overdose deaths in 2017. That’s 192 deaths daily.

Where does chiropractic fit in?

Chiropractors are the only profession that analyzes the causes of lower back pain in a holistic manner. The holistic approach starts with listening to each person, discussing their lifestyle and their life’s challenges. We then proceed with the physical exam which includes orthopedic and neurological tests, x-rays and laboratory tests if necessary. And most importantly examine the function of the joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The primary attention is on joint dysfunctions. Some chiropractors referred to it as a subluxation. The body has a system called proprioception in order to move effectively. Part of that is system  normal joint play of the joints. Because of the 14 causes/risk factors listed above, the elements that hold the joints together constrict causing a lack of joint movement. This upsets the proprioceptive system of movement. This in turn causes the muscles to tighten and eventually causing pain. This type of joint play is not felt normal movement. The joint play in the spinal joints are very small and require skill and experience to assess this joint play. The movement between joints of the spine are only a few millimeters.

Self-help tips

Make the changes that you’re able to make from the list at the beginning of this article. Reduce your activities. Not bed rest, this worsens lower back pain. Look up stretching exercises for lower back pain on the Internet and take it slow. Click this link for a self-help book  Moist heat is the best however

any heat on the lower back will be helpful unless it’s an acute injury where ice is preferred. Follow the instructions for the proper use of the heating pads closely. I’ve seen many burns on the backs of patients who use excessive heat.

A rule of thumb.

If the back pain increases in a week or there is no change or very little change in 2 weeks seek to help of a chiropractor.

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