Back Pain!! It is one of the most common health issues experienced by our family and friends. Back pain causes people to miss work, limit their activities and exercise, and reduce their quality of life. Chronic back pain is an increasingly costly health issue with Americans spending at least 86 billion dollars a year to find relief.
Back surgery isn’t the magic bullet and should be the very last option after all other natural and less invasive alternatives have been exhausted. As many as 40% of surgical patients experience the same or even worse back pain after their surgery.
Sports injuries are a common cause of back pain and other factors that increase your risk are a sedentary lifestyle and too much sitting. These physical stresses on the body have been a common denominator with those suffering chronic back pain. Prolonged sitting and an inactive lifestyle can cause weight gain, muscle problems, problematic joints, increased risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and nerve problems like carpal tunnel syndrome. Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Science Division and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals talks about the dangers of sitting and the research finding that sitting for long periods of time is now an independent risk factor for poor health and premature death.
Medications, for example NSAIDS, that are advertised and prescribed to provide back pain relief may have serious side effects increasing your risk 2 to 4 times for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. NSAIDS can also increase blood pressure, cause gastrointestinal problems or bleeding and kidney problems. These frightening side effects are not caused just by prescription NSAIDS like Celebrex but also from over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, Advil and Motrin. Stronger pain killers like OxyContin are highly addictive and are among the most abused prescription drugs today with an increasing rate of fatal overdoses.
Preventing back pain, as with any illness, is always better than trying to regain your health. So even if you are not experiencing any problems, NOW is the time to start. If you have children, teaching and modeling a healthy, active lifestyle is the best gift of life you can give them. A few recommendations would include:
- Regular spinal checkups.
- Maintaining proper posture when sitting or standing.
- Minimize sitting time – standing, stretching and moving frequently.
- Lift items by bending at the knees and using your legs, not your back.
- Sleep on your back or your side.
- Stretch daily and always before any strenuous exercise.
For more information on wellness and prevention or to find the best in Gilbert, AZ, call 480-325-6977 to schedule a free consultation. The doctors at Foresight Chiropractic Wellness Center are board certified Atlas Orthogonal upper cervical specialists providing gentle and precise care for families for over 15 years in the valley.