Why does my Back Hurt? The Answer is in Your Genes!
Each year, millions of Americans suffer from back pain. Around half of all employed Americans say they struggle with back pain and more than 30 million suffer from lower back pain. Some of this back pain is severe, often brought about by a car accident or other traumatic event. Other, more common forms of back pain are a result of wear and tear over the years, which is why general orthopedics is such a booming sector in health care. How can we alleviate back pain, and why are so many of us susceptible to it in the first place?
It’s in our genes.
That’s right! human beings attained an evolutionary advantage when our ancestors evolved to walk upright. We could see our surroundings better and we consumed less energy by walking upright, but the added stress on our knees, hips, and especially our backs, leaves us vulnerable to conditions of chronic pain in theses areas.
It’s part of the job.
There’s a reason that “back-breaking labor” is a phrase in the common lexicon. For most our history–up until the last half century, really, both men and women often worked long hours in harsh and strenuous conditions. Even household chores required that you “throw your back into it.” Although we’ve become a more sedentary society, it turns out sitting and straining your neck at a desk for eight hours a day isn’t good for your back either.
Get moving, and get healthy!
For low to moderate back pain, and even for more severe or chronic back, strengthening your core, increasing flexibility and dropping excess weight through diet and exercise can significantly reduce back pain. Fin exercises and stretches you enjoy, especially lower impact ones such as yoga and swimming.
Take preventive measures.
Take a break from your desk or computer screen every thirty minutes. If you have a strenuous job, consider a back brace when you do heavy lifting. Relieve stress and tension by getting a massage or taking so time off from your usual activities. Maintain correct posture as often as you can.
When to consult an orthopedist.
If your pain becomes severe or constant, it might time to consult with an orthopedic specialist or orthopedic surgeon. When to consult an orthopedist is also a personal decision. Minimally invasive spine procedures have become far more common in recent years, and are more likely to relieve back pain and reduce patient risks than previous standard procedures. Orthopedic surgery might sound scary, but after you decide when to consult an orthopedist, he or she will go over what’s involved and make sure that you are fully informed and make the right decision for you.
Your health should be considered above your other life priorities, otherwise you might find yourself unable to fulfill your goals!