It affects nearly everyone in the United States at some point or another.
Here are a few statistics to mull over:
There are over 650,000 surgeries annually in the US related to back pain alone.
Over $20-billion is spent on back pain in the US annually.
Back pain is the number one reason people miss work.
Economically, this affects the US by as much as $215-billion annually.
85% of people in the US experience substantial back pain at some point in their life.
Back pain can stem from a multitude of factors. These can include the obvious two, holding on to excess weight and having a weak core. The core consists of more than your visible 6-pack, but the portion I am referring to here includes the entire musculature surrounding your mid-back, frontal abdominal region and gluteal muscles. Beyond these, reasons can include stress, which can have an impact on many other areas of your body and life that can all lead back to pain in the back. Try to find an activity that allows your to relax, such as meditation, Tai Chi, Qigong or positive talk.
Injury to the front of your abdominal region can affect internal organs, which can then lead to pain in surrounding areas. This occurs when inflammation or pain occurs, which can lead to poor activation of musculature in the related regions. Specific exercises to help reactivate these muscles, once the injury is healed is necessary. Similarly, if the stomach is not functioning well, it can negatively affect musculature in the surrounding areas. This means that if the diet is poor, this can lead to significant inflammation and digestive issues; the core musculature then can become weak and inactive.
Although this next part may sound slightly unbelievable, if you take into consideration the power of placebo, it makes perfect sense. Negative self-talk, such as saying “pain in my a**” too often can actually lead to issues in itself. Learning to repeat positive self-talk is important to creating healthy body image, happiness in daily life and patience, including on the road! More on this in future posts.
Constant seated positions and poor posture are also major contributors to back pain. When we sit too long, our hip flexors (illiacus and psoas) can become tight. These two muscles attach from the thigh, into the lumbar spine (lower back). If these muscles become stiff, then some movement can begin to pull on the spine, which can cause pain. Stretching properly, along with fascial release (massage) can assist at reducing this cause.
The vertebrae due to spinal loading over the course of long periods can also compact the spacing between each and eventually deteriorate the liquid filled disks that help to function as impact bags to prevent grinding of the bone. When these compact too much and severely deteriorate the disks, osteoarthritis and other issues can arise. Exercises such as ELDOAs can reestablish spacing between the vertebrae, which can reduce this stress. These exercises are performed by the individual, but can be incredibly complex, challenging and harmful if performed incorrectly. Search for a provider near you online!
Of course, we can’t forget the unfortunate accident. Often times people can develop back pain post vehicular accident, fall or awkward movement. Sometimes, the previously mentioned ELDOA exercises can help to relieve pain from these causes. These injuries can also lead to lack of muscular activation, as previously mentioned.
You can fix or reduce your likelihood of back pain by working with a professional, on top of the aesthetic and health benefits! Take action and start feeling better today!