“Back pain is the number one cause of disability worldwide and up to 80% of people experience back pain at some point in their lives, according to the American Chiropractic Association”— Paul Ebeling
About 16-M Americans suffer from consistent or chronic back pain, and as we age, the chronic aches tend to worsen. That is because we lose fluid in our spinal discs, which makes us stiffer and more prone to injury.
The research shows that a dramatic decrease in activity results in increased musculoskeletal pain. Many Americans began working from home during ViruseCasedemic which reduced their normal routine of commuting to the office, taking that lunch hr walk, or going to the gym.
The psychological stress of chaos can also trigger back pain, said Dr. Eric Robertson, an expert on low back pain and spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association.
“Things like depression and anxiety, and fear about work can all translate to very strong predictors of who has back pain,” he said.
Dr. Robertson added that many people working from home have less than ideal ergonomic work centers and may be sitting slouched over their laptops while siting in a wrong chair.
While some causes of back pain may be obvious, such as lifting a heavy object incorrectly or overdoing gardening, others are more subtle:
- Prolonged sitting. According to AARP, if you sit too long, your joints become stiff. And sitting is exacerbated by improper posture at your workstation. One study published in the journal of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation also found that sitting for four hours caused degeneration of spinal discs. To counter this effect, if you have a sedentary job, get up and walk every hour and do core stretching and strengthening exercises for 30 mins, 6X weekly.
- Your mattress. The best mattress is not too soft, not too firm but just right. In a small study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, researchers found that the best choice for your back is to spring for a new mattress, and choose one that is medium firm. Study participants were asked to sleep on their old mattresses for 28 days while journaling their level of back pain. Then they were asked to sleep on a new, medium-firm mattress. The participated reported that their lower back pain was significantly decreased after sleeping on the new mattress.
- Stress. Research has shown that stress is damaging to the whole body, and the lower back is no exception. According to AARP, stress often shows up in the neck and shoulders but its inflammatory effect travel down the spine causing pain in the lower back. If you’re stressed, you may not be as active. If you are less active, you may have pain, and if you have pain, you are stressed out. This vicious circle can be broken by exercising to release the feel-good hormones called endorphins. Good choices are walking, a short run, strength training or even stretching.
- Food. It is important to always eat Real food!
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively