Back pain is a huge health issue in the United States and worldwide. Low-back pain (LBP) alone is experienced by 31 million US citizens and was listed as the top cause of disability across the planet in the 2010 Global Burden of Disease. It is one of the most frequently cited health problems that result in having to skip work. It is the number-two reason that people go to the doctor behind upper-respiratory infections.
Sometimes back pain arises from injury. At other times, it results from the accrued impact of continuing habits. Through prevention of habits causing back pain, you can facilitate recovery from a chronic condition.
Low back pain is one of the most common types of chronic pain, and is the largest cause of disability among those under 45 worldwide. Since back pain affects every facet of life, it comes as no surprise that more than half of people with back pain regularly report a significant problem with sleep, according to the European Spine Journal. What’s the problem with a lack of shut-eye, and how can you find rest and reduce back pain when sleeping?
Back pain is the main cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study. There are a variety of conditions that can prompt patients to seek back pain relief. For example, you could be suffering from a disc herniation, a strain, sprain, or spasm, or you could just be under stress, causing your back to tense up.
Back pain is nothing to neglect. In fact, lower back pain results in more cases of disability than any other medical condition. Here are five stretches that can help alleviate pain while improving your range of motion.
When researchers looked at almost 300 different diseases and other health issues, they determined that lower back pain (LBP) was the leading cause of disability globally – responsible for approximately a third of disability cases. In fact, almost 10% of people worldwide suffer from LBP.
Americans experience the condition in numbers that fit the international trends, resulting in more lost work days than any other health complaint.
Many of us have experienced low back pain (LBP), and a quick look at recent statistics reveals just how common the condition is: almost 10% of people worldwide suffer from LBP, which is also the #1 cause of disability. All those suffering from low back pain are in need of effective pain relief.
It is common to believe that there is a connection between weather patterns and pain. However, according to coverage by Medical News Today, a study published in July found that changes in the weather have no significant impact on lower back pain (LBP). The only weather adjustment that showed any relationship with heightened pain was accelerated wind speed, and that correlation was described as “clinically unimportant” by the study’s authors.
The report on the study, published in Arthritis Care & Research, analyzed Australians diagnosed with LBP. To determine how weather affects pain, the researchers assessed the following parameters in relationship to self-described pain ratings:
- barometric pressure
- wind direction
Those five elements don’t seem to serve as triggers for back pain.
As indicated above, the only meteorological change that suggested any sort of connection with pain was strong winds, but that link was an uncompellingly “weak association.” Specifically, when the rate of wind rose 8 mph or when gusts of wind boosted 7 mph, the risk that pain would occur 24 hours afterward was slightly amplified.
Earlier data on weather-pain connection deemed unreliable
The team conducting the lower back pain research was looking for strong results that could outweigh previous findings thought to be based on low-quality scientific protocols. Earlier studies on how weather affects pain neglected to survey atmospheric factors in isolation from self-reporting of patient pain.
One study author, the University of Sydney’s Dr. Daniel Steffens, described the primary reliance of those earlier studies as “patient recall.” In other words, like many eyewitness accounts of crimes, the science on pain and weather has suffered from the vulnerabilities of human memory.
To make their approach more robust, the back pain researchers connected weather data to the time of pain onset. All weather data was provided by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
To render the study even more foolproof and convincing, none of those directly involved with the collection of back pain data – which included both the 993 subjects and the research assistants who recorded symptomatic information – were aware of the weather hypothesis. That information was concealed from all parties but the authors so that the reports would not be corrupted by notions that atmospheric conditions were influencing pain.
A spectrum of recovery options for lower back pain
The above study may help us to understand that pain should be considered independently from meteorology, but it does not guide those in pain toward viable solutions. At the Atlanta Medical Clinic, we focus passionately on nonsurgical treatments. One of our patients, Richard Johnson of Atlanta, reports: “The relief I’ve received and the caring is what I like most about coming to this office.” Get your free consultation today.
Many of those with computer jobs suffer from sitting-related back pain. It would seem that use of the back is what would result in problems, but long stints in a sedentary position can be just as damaging. Sitting directs a large amount of force from the upper body toward the back muscles and discs, especially those of the lumbar spine.
Often, office back pain is generated due to slumping in one’s seat, which tend to occur when a computer user gradually leans forward toward the screen. When a person slouches, the ligaments and discs become overextended. If a person continues to use their body in that way over a lengthy stretch of time, long-term spinal injury can result. In turn, chronic pain can develop that may require sophisticated, multifaceted treatments.
Customizing your chair to avoid back pain from sitting
One of the strongest defenses anyone in an office environment can have against back pain is an ergonomic chair. However, having the chair is only one component: the relationship between your desk, chair, and body is critical. The following tips will help you establish an ergonomic environment:
- Elbows – To minimize chair back pain, make sure that your hands can lie flat on your keyboard while your elbows are at a right angle. If they can’t, raise or lower your chair as applicable.
- Thighs – You want to be able to comfortably get your fingers beneath your thighs where they meet the front of your chair. If it’s difficult, elevate your feet slightly using a footrest.
- Calves – With your buttocks all the way to the rear of the seat, you should be able to get a fist in between your chair’s front and your calf. If that’s not possible, use a lumbar support to push your back forward.
- Lower back – One simple way to reduce chair back pain is to facilitate the natural arch of your back with a lumbar cushion (as referenced above). Supporting your lower back in that manner significantly decreases the load, which can strain your back over time.
- Eyes – When you look forward, you should see the top edge of your computer screen. In other words, the document or webpage you are viewing should be comfortably within your line of sight, just below the height of your eyes.
Adjusting your desk so that your setup is more ergonomic is the first step in curbing office back pain. For many of those with chronic pain, though, a more comprehensive strategy is needed. Our, multidisciplinary back pain program – incorporating such strategies as spinal decompression and cold laser therapy – can return you to normal activity, without the constant interruption of pain.
Back pain is incredibly common, especially lower back pain (LBP). More than 30 million people in the United States suffer from LBP, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Many people are interested in trying at-home techniques. Although we recommend seeking assistance from a physician prior to attempting a rehabilitative regimen, four top exercises for lower back pain are described below.