By Chiropractor Nick Loftus
How can you avoid back pain? Probably the most important thing to know is that the vast majority of it is avoidable! It is not an inevitable consequence of getting older and it’s rarely the result of a specific injury.
It happens because we simply don’t give our backs the chance to stay strong by exercising appropriately.
We must stay as active as we can!
I had a patient today who told me about how his father had had low back pain in the 1970s. As the solution to most back pain then was to immobilise it, he had been put in plaster cast from his upper chest to his pelvis and told it would have to stay on for 3 months. 3 months!!
Apparently after 6 weeks his wife found him in the shed with a hacksaw trying to extricate himself! I’m amazed he lasted 6 weeks. The decade that brought us avocado bathroom suites clearly had a way to go with its approach to back pain management too!
How does back pain start?
So yes, back pain often starts after a lifting injury or similar but if your back was really strong in the first place the odds are you wouldn’t have ended up in pain after lifting something.
It’s a bit like saying that the fatty meal a heart attack victim had shortly before a heart attack caused the heart attack. When in fact that was simply the “straw on the camel’s back” after eating a high fat diet daily for the previous 35 years that allowed the vessels of the heart to become gradually weakened whereby a heart attack became inevitable.
And so it is too with backs.
How you can avoid back pain
Look after your spine every day and it will look after you. Nobody thinks they are going to get back pain until they do! The modern, typically sedentary lifestyle that so many lead is of course the big baddy – and too often is used as an excuse not to change bad habits and do something pro-active.
It doesn’t have to be five times a week down the gym or pounding the pavements when you can’t stand running. Just small changes introduced little and often, day in day out.
Walk to work, move and stretch regularly, start a dance, yoga or pilates class. Would you leave for work without brushing your teeth? Probably not. Your spine deserves and needs at least as much attention. Don’t wait for an episode of back pain to motivate you, take action now.
Should you be unfortunate enough to be suffering with back pain, then seek professional help as early as you can. Chiropractic can help to ease pain and improve mobility – and is suitable for any age.
The Waldegrave Clinic is open from 8am – 7.45pm Monday – Friday and 8am – 1.45pm on Saturday. Telephone 020 8943 2424 to book an appointment
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