10 Apr Pain in the Lower Back
Low back pain is common. How common? According to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s website, 60 to 80% of U.S. adults have lower back pain.
That’s a lot. It’s the second most common reason people go to the doctor, in fact roughly 13 million Americans per year report having chronic back pain. And according to the Global Burden of Disease, it’s not just an American problem—they site low back pain as the single leading cause of disability worldwide!
So, what’s going on? Why do so many people suffer from pain in their lower back and what can we do to help?
For some people, the cause is easy to pinpoint—an injury, strain while doing heavy lifting or ruptured disks— things that will most definitely wreak havoc on the lower back. Unfortunately, for many people, though, the cause of lower back pain remains unknown.
So, most people don’t know why their lower back hurts. Symptoms such as; tenderness and pain in the lower back that may spread to the legs and buttocks, difficulty standing or sitting for too long and weakness in the legs, can all indicate an issue with the lower back and can be debilitating and pervasive enough to affect one’s life greatly.
Other risk factors include: age, family history of low back pain, anxiety and depression, obesity, smoking and doing too much physical labor or conversely, too much sedentary work. Fortunately studies have shown that most cases of back pain are mechanical and are not caused by serious conditions, like infection, cancer or fracture.
With so many people suffering, what can we do? Spinal manipulation is safe and effective. It is also cost effective and decreases the need for medication in many cases. The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality recommends that people with lower back pain try spinal manipulation first. Chiropractic care is recognized as one of the major nonpharmacologic treatments that actually works for chronic low back pain.
Proactive measures that protect the lower back are also very important. These include: having a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, physical activity, proper posture, wearing comfortable shoes, avoiding inactivity, quitting smoking and learning to lift heavy objects properly.
Chiropractic care can not only decrease low back pain—it is also a beneficial resource for your entire life. By learning to prevent injury and keeping your lower back, on good, physical track, you can avoid suffering from this all-too-common ailment.