Almost everyone will have low back pain at some point in their lives. It can affect anyone at any age, and it is increasing—disability due to back pain has risen by more than 50% since 1990.
Low back pain is becoming more prevalent in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) much more rapidly than in high-income countries. The cause is not always clear, apart from in people with, for example, malignant disease, spinal malformations, or spinal injury.
Treatment varies widely around the world, from bed rest, mainly in LMICs, to surgery and the use of dangerous drugs such as opioids, usually in high-income countries.
”Focusing on key principles, such as the need to reduce unnecessary health care for low back pain, support people to be active and stay at work, and reform unhelpful patient clinical pathways and reimbursement models, could guide next steps..”
A patient sent me this great article about “text neck” that was posted in the New York Times.
I have been telling patients for years that looking down at your cell phones all day can cause neck and upper back pain. There’s a name for pain from using cell phone and computers: Text Neck.
The average human head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds, and when we bend our neck to text or check Facebook, the gravitational pull on our head and the stress on our neck increases to as much as 60 pounds of pressure. That common position, pervasive among everyone from paupers to presidents, leads to incremental loss of the curve of the cervical spine. “Text neck” is becoming a medical issue that countless people suffer from, and the way we hang our heads has other health risks, too, according to a report published last year in The Spine Journal.
Cell phone can cause more than neck pain. It can affect one’s mood and interferes with manners.
That “always-on” behavior that smartphones contribute to causes us to remove ourselves from our reality, experts said. And aside from the health consequences, if we’re head down, our communication skills and manners are slumped, too. But, ironically, that might not be how most of us see ourselves.
Posture can also effect the serotonin levels. Serotonin is the feel good brain neurotransmitters. Anti- depressant s have an effect on serotonin levels. There has been studies that show sitting up with good posture can help people feel better.
Back in 2015 I did Ironman Lake Placid. The race did not turn out quite like I wanted it to. I did not reach my goals and in fact, the race was quite miserable. I had some choices to make. I could continue to do the same type of training I did before, quit triathlon, or hire a coach. I decided to choose the last option.
I hired a coach and followed his training plan program for a full year. Then I raced Ironman 70.3 Steelhead (my A race). That race went much better, however I still missed my time goal. I was faster and stronger than 2015, but I still missed my goal. Fast forward to 2017 – I continued to follow my coach’s training plan, which went really well. I was much faster in all my races. The last race of the season went well and I almost placed in the top ten of my age group.
Now how does this story apply to a patient’s health? If you have, for example, lower back pain and it’s ongoing you have some choices to make. You can either do nothing about it and let it get progressively worse or you could see someone (hopefully me) and begin to work hard and make changes to improve and make your body better. There will be some ups and downs and maybe a big setback in your journey. Stick to the plan, have faith, make any necessary changes, and you will improve slowly and surely.
The correct choices in one’s life are usually the difficult ones. So choose a good chiropractic doctor (that would be me) eat your vegetables, drinks lots of water, and exercise. You will be on your way to a better body in no time.