Back pain is one of the most common ailments experienced by adults in the United States. Some say this comes as a result of the typical 21st century American lifestyle. A sedentary workplace that leaves you sitting in a chair for a minimum of 40 hours of week combined with a long commute that leaves you stuck in traffic for another 10 hours a week combine to really put a tax on your back. Even if you are sitting in seats with lumbar support, sitting for such long periods of time can make your back stiff and uncomfortable.
Of course, these aren’t the only issues that are potentially causing serious back issues. Along with a sedentary workplace comes a largely sedentary lifestyle. Being overweight drastically increases your risk of experiencing back pain, as does not exercising regularly. Even the shoes on your feet could be causing you unnecessary back pain without you even realizing what is going on.
October 16 is a day to say goodbye to back pain. On World Spine Day, the goal is to increase awareness about the major culprits that are causing back pain and to spread education as to how you can go about preventing and reducing your own back pain.
BACK PAIN 101
As many as 8 out of 10 people experience back pain at some point in their lives. This pain may range from a mild tingling in the back to a deep, sharp pain. The pain may linger, or it may be sudden and intense. In certain cases, back pain may be chronic, meaning that it lasts for a prolonged period of time without easing up — typically longer than three months. However, while back pain may not be considered chronic until three months have passed, it is considered significant if it lasts longer than three days. If you are experiencing back pain that lasts more than 72 hours, it is time to call the doctor. Research shows that early PT intervention decreases costs and treatment duration.
PT TREATMENT OPTIONS
The best treatment for back pain depends largely on the type of pain, where the pain is located in the back, and what caused the pain to develop. Traumatic back injuries from an auto accident or a fall will heal differently than a sore back after a long day at work.
PT Solutions has spent over a decade honing our evidence-based approach to treating this prevalent area of musculoskeletal pain and injury. Our skilled therapists will develop a customized treatment plan using manual therapy, therapeutic exercise programs, aerobic conditioning, and more to help our patients overcome back pain to be unstoppable.
Manual therapy is used to decrease pain and improve the mobility of patients experiencing pain. This approach uses lumbar manipulation and/or mobilization techniques designed to help patients restore their functional movement.
Therapeutic exercise programs are developed and tailored to the patient’s specific diagnosis. These long-term programs are designed to address pain and limitations and to increase the likelihood of future injury prevention.
START PREVENTATIVE MEASURES TODAY
Try taking small steps to improve the comfort of your back on your own throughout the day by standing up and moving at least once every hour while at your desk. It’s also recommended you make sure your workstation is set up properly for alignment and proper posture. This can involve lower back support in the chair, keeping desk and chair at proper heights, keyboard positioning, and computer level. Another fairly easy preventative step is to have a PT assess your shoes. Often lack of support or proper structure in footwear can be contributing to back issues! Overall, taking good care of your back is the best way to address back pain before it pulls you down.