Exercise and Low Back Pain

Here’s some scary stats for you:

  • 80% of the Australian population has suffered from low back pain at some stage in their life.
  • 25% is suffering from it right NOW!! – there’s a good chance that this may be you as you read this. And one in four people that you walk past tomorrow will be suffering from low back pain… wow… maybe we can understand the serious face!
  • A recent study by the Chiropractors Association of Australia (CAA) recently found that more than a third of Australian retirees suffer from daily low back pain. that is not how I hope to spend my retirement.

Now here’s the really scary part: 45% of Australians will chose to take a painkiller to deal with their pain (knowing that the painkiller will have no long term effect on the condition) over trying to find a sustainable approach to improving their condition. This can be successfully achieved by finding and improving the cause of the problem.

The study indicated that we can reduce the chance of suffering from frequent back pain by 18% by exercising for atleast 30 minutes a day. Also, reducing stress, and dietary changes can have a significant effects on low back pain. For more on this particular factor, please refer to our previous post on Omega 3s (http://informhealth.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/green-vs-brown-carbs-the-omega-argument/)

Here’s some more good news (depending on your perspective!): a study by Hendrickson (2002) indicates that of those people suffering from frequent low back pain, 98% of cases are due to mechanical and functional issues, and not due to true pathologies (such as arthritis, disc damage, muscle/tendon/ligament tears, etc). This is great news because functional issues are relatively easy to address! these issues would include having some muscles that are not working to their correct level, while others are compensating for this and becoming overly tight.

Such dysfunctions are successfully treated on a daily basis by quality Physiotherapists, chiropractors, exercise physiologists and personal trainers.

So please, don’t just pop a pill to deal with the pain!! there’s simple ways to address the causes of low back pain in most cases, which will make you feel better in a number of different ways, beyond just taking your pain away.

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