As an Ealing chiropractor, you won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve dealt with more than my fair share of back problems over the years. But did you know that more than 540 million people are affected by this issue around the globe at any one time?
While it’s not a fatal condition, recurrent lower back pain can have a significant impact not only on an individual’s life but on society as well.
According to the Office of National Statistics, 31 million working days a year are lost to back pain and that’s costing the UK economy and businesses £12.3 billion a year. A staggering £1.6 billion is spent on pain killers and treatments such as physiotherapists and chiropractors.
The trouble with back problems is that, once they occur, they can happen again and again, often with more frequency. Anyone who’s sat down on a cold bench and then been unable to get up because their back has ‘gone’ will testify to how debilitating a lower back pain problem can be.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
There are a lot of things that may cause lower back pain. It could be from lifting something heavy in the past that has caused a weakness in your back. It might be down to poor posture. One of the reasons why back pain is so prevalent today is that we tend to live more sedentary lifestyles.
Back pain can be caused by a long-standing injury after, for example, a fall. If you’ve never had back pain at all, your injury might be down to a strained muscle or damaged ligament. There’s even some evidence that higher levels of stress can make it more likely you will suffer with back issues.
Of course, there are some specific medical problems that cause pain in the lower back. These include a slipped disc, irritation of the sciatic nerve or ankylosing spondylitis (swelling in the spinal joints).
Finding a Solution to Back Pain
The good news is that, for the vast majority of lower back pain issues, there’s quite a lot that you can do. Even if you have been suffering problems for years, it’s not too late to find a solution.
First, if you are having pain in your back, it’s important to see a professional such as chiropractor or GP and have it properly checked out. They’ll be able to assess the problem and provide appropriate treatment.
Second, you can do a lot to maintain good back health. This often means a few lifestyle changes and being aware of what stresses and strains you put on your lower back. This should include:
- Taking regular exercise, including walking, to improve your overall fitness. Pay special attention to your core – this is the area of muscle around the stomach that plays a vital role in good posture and support.
- Eat a balanced diet. It’s amazing how many of us don’t make the right food choices even though it’s something that can make a huge difference to our sense of wellbeing.
- If you are carrying too much weight, losing a few pounds is going to put less strain on areas such as your lower back.
- Paying attention to your posture is another simple thing you can do, especially if you spend time sat at an office desk. Don’t slouch, sit up straight.
- Getting a good night’s sleep is also important. It’s surprising the number of people who have restless nights or go to sleep on a poor mattress that doesn’t give them support. Sleep allows your body to refresh and repair itself. Don’t underestimate the benefits to your posture and back health.
If you are currently struggling with lower back pain, it’s time to do something about it. Contact your friendly Ealing chiropractor today to book an appointment.