Like love and marriage, perhaps more like loathing and divorce, back and neck pain combine to send more people to a chiropractor than just about any other reason. Lower back pain, in particular, has become the most prevalent American disability, keeping more of us away from work than any other health issue.
Missing Work Due to Back Pain
As many as half of all working Americans admit having back pain symptoms in a given year, and it is among the most used excuses for calling in sick, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), and accumulated missed workdays. Would you believe 264 million lost workdays annually?
When you talk about work, it is not just about people who bend and lift as part of their jobs. It is also about those who slouch and sit in an office setting because the chair puts as many workers at risk for back pain as those who carry and lift. That’s why experts say that 80 percent of us will experience some kind of back pain in their lives.
The Leading Cause of Chiropractor Visits
Back pain is probably the most common reason for a person’s first visit to a chiropractor. In fact, the ongoing opioid epidemic promulgated by mainstream medicine and some overprescribing practitioners, along with growing concerns about addiction, is sending more people to chiropractors than ever. Even those who have not previously sought the services and skills of a chiropractor regard them as nonsurgical and non-medicinal options known to bring relief.
Although back-related pain tops the reasons people first visit chiropractors and continue to see them, the ACA reports that it is among the top reasons people make appointments to medical doctors behind only skin and joint disorders.
Back Pain Prevention
Of course, prevention is only common sense for avoiding back pain, and both medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic would agree with these seven simple strategies:
- keep your weight down with a healthy diet
- avoid prolonged inactivity, especially sitting
- pay attention to your posture when standing and walking
- stretch and loosen up before exercise and physical activities at home or work
- lift heavier objects from the knees and close to your body
- do not twist your upper body when carrying or lifting
- sleep on a mattress firm enough to keep your spine as straight as possible
Age also plays a key role in the prevalence of back pain, affecting all of these strategies even more as the years go by and bad habits take their toll. Also remember that we can advise you on ergonomic solutions at both your home and on the job.
—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy.