Were you aware that aside from coughs and colds, back pain is the one of the most common reasons for visiting a doctor in the UK? Up to 80% of Brits will suffer from back pain at some point, and back problems are the leading cause of disability worldwide. But surgery is rarely needed to treat an achy spine. So, what is the solution? Why exactly is back pain such a problem and how can you prevent it from becoming a lifelong issue for you?
Back pain presents in two forms: acute and chronic. Acute back pain develops following an injury such as a fall, road traffic accident or heavy lifting. The pain usually occurs suddenly. Chronic pain, on the other hand, develops over time. And a lot of the time, it is caused by too much inactivity.
According to our Ealing chiropractor, sedentary people are at risk of developing chronic back pain as their unused muscles become stiff and inflexible. Sitting down for long periods of time can lead to tight hip-flexors, poor posture and weak abdominals. When muscles are limited to the same basic body position on a daily basis, they do not learn to move freely through different ranges of motions. As a result, they are more susceptible to injury from sudden movements. It’s important to remember that the body is one long kinetic chain. For example, tight hamstrings or hip flexors cause tight hips, which can pull on the back and create pain.
Knowing the above makes it easier to understand why exercise is so beneficial for dealing with back pain. Any healthcare professional would agree that exercise is among the best preventions for lower back pain. Yes, the prospect of increased activity can be daunting when you’re in pain, and you may even feel overwhelmed by exercise recommendations. But it’s crucial that you remember that your spine was designed to move! When it comes to your back, sometimes it’s a case of “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”.
Summer is the perfect time to start increasing your level of physical activity and start getting your spine back to good health. Low impact exercises such as stretching, walking and swimming can work wonders for your back, so ask your GP or chiropractor for specific recommendations for you.