Back pain is an issue that almost every American will suffer from in their lifetime. Many experts predict that with today’s increased lack of activity and sedentary lifestyles, the problem will only get worse and worse. If you have ever found yourself sitting with nagging back pain, thinking that the pain is never going to go away, then you know what I’m talking about. If you ever have the fear that you will be bedridden, missing days of work, or the possibility of surgery has crossed your mind, then you are not alone. The statistics related to back pain are unbelievable. Here are just a few:
• It’s the leading cause of disability in Americans under age 45
• Over 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 experience frequent back pain
• One third of all work-related injuries are attributed to back injuries
• Around 150 million workdays are lost each year due to back pain. This results in billions of dollars in lost productivity
Why are we suffering so much?
Here are few of the major reasons:
1) Muscular imbalances – basically a tug-o-war of opposing muscle groups that in your body causing unnecessary constant stress on joints, tendons, bones and ligaments. For example, you may have weak abs and a tight lower back, tight hip flexors and weak glutes etc., which will cause a tilt in the pelvis putting pressure on the disc in the lower spine. The disc, in turn, can put pressure on the nerves which will cause you pain.
2) Diet/Allergies – certain foods can cause inflammation like fried foods, milk and gluten, which will cause discomfort and pain in the nerves, especially the nerves that are more sensitive like in the back. Get checked for food allergies and eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet. Also, not having enough water, fruits and veggies will cause deficiencies in vitamins and a build up of toxins in the body, which can lead to inflammation.
3) Stress and improper movement – the resulting constant tension in the lower lumbar spine causes inflammation and micro-trauma in the surrounding area. Micro-traumas are small tears to the tissue that can lead to a macro-trauma later on, even during a minor movement such as picking up a paper clip.
So what’s the solution?
1) I highly recommend checking out backpainrelief4life.com for more insight on eliminating muscular imbalances that have been caused by years of non-movement or improper movement. Also, it is a great idea to get a functional movement assessment to make sure that you display proper mechanics when you move, so you can address the weak and tight muscles and eliminate constant micro-traumas. This is necessary because starting an exercise regimen is the only way to eliminate these imbalances but you want to make sure you’re correcting your imbalance and not promoting more injury.
2) For your diet, eat more anti-inflammatory foods e.g., blueberries, cherries, kelp, turmeric, green tea, broccoli, papaya, salmon; and drink 8oz of water every 2 hours (if you workout then drink 16oz two hours before your workout and 16oz right after).
3) For stress relief, lie down and think about relaxing that tight or painful area in the back – I mean close your eyes and really visualize that part of the body being totally relaxed and the pain disappearing from that area.
Back pain can be tricky. But there are permanent solutions that will eliminate pain, stave off surgery, prevent your being bedridden, take away the need for medication and help you live a happy and pain-free life. Making a choice to change is the first step and getting out and taking action to move more is the next. You will be surprised at what you will discover just from those simple things.