According to the CDC, an estimated 20% of the U.S population struggles with chronic back pain. 8 out 10 people will experience back pain at some point in their life, and 3 out of 10 people are suffering from back pain right now! And, as the concern for back pain grows, we must look at our daily habits to determine what we can do to prevent this pain from interfering with our daily lives.
An Insight into Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain is pain that persists over the course of weeks to months. Typically, it does not improve with rest, and symptoms can range from aches to swelling, shooting or stabbing pain. You can trace the cause of back pain back to many situations such as:
- Sitting or standing in the same position for extended periods of time
- Poor posture
- Prolonged computer or cellular use or poor ergonomics
- An accident / trauma
- Disease or illness
- Overextension or overuse due to physical labor etc.
Chronic back pain often looks like overexertion of back muscles (on one side of the back), coupled with the underuse of the parallel muscles. This imbalance creates a situation that results in pain and can affect everything from mobilization to posture and physical ability.
Preventing Muscle Weakness
When it comes to preventing back pain, strengthening your muscles is key to providing relief and developing support.
Fool-proof treatment for preventing back pain includes exercise, building core strength, and maintaining spinal stability through stretching, good posture, and good habits.
Make an effort to get up to stretch and walk around at least once per hour (every 30 minutes is even better!). And don’t forget your back is working around the clock, so strengthening your muscles while sitting, standing, and even driving is essential.
When it comes to back pain, rehabilitation, along with physician-prescribed anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers can make a big difference. The use of adaptive devices may significantly improve well-being from physical ability to pain symptoms.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, the best way to start is from the ground up. Consider introducing the use of adaptive devices such as a padded mat, or padded shoes, to offer support.
For more information on ergonomic shoes, access last month’s article where Dr. Kandel discusses achieving spinal balance through the use of adaptive devices here: https://neurologyoffice.com/blog/124-achieving-spinal-balance
Using adaptive devices helps posture, assists in compensating for underactive muscles, and supports increased movement and decreased pain.
"Taking care of your spine not only reduces the risk for injury and pain but can lead to a happy, healthy life in general. A strong spine is a healthy spine...if you take care of your spine now, it will take care of you later!" - Dr. Kandel
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If you have any questions about spinal balance or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the Neurology Office for more help.
Neurology Office, Joseph Kandel M.D. and Associates
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