Around four out of five people have low back pain at some point in their lives. Low back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit their healthcare providers.
What Can Cause Low Back Pain?
- As people age, bodies change. Being less active can accelerate changes including reduced flexibility and strength, which can result ini pain and stiffness.
- People who are carrying excess weight are more likely to suffer from low back pain with the added weight increasing pressure on the joints of the body.
- Repetitive lifting and bending as part of your daily work can increase the risk of injury.
- Acute injury from overexertion including lifting a heavy object or performing several hours of activity that your body isn’t prepared for.
Evidence has shown that most patients with low back pain can recover faster when the patient chooses physical therapy first. PT is a less costly alternative to medication, surgery, and other invasive medical procedures. This is why states have passed legislation allowing patients to go directly to a physical therapist without a physician’s referral.
Don’t Be a Statistic
- $50 billion is spent on back pain annually
- There are 31 million people with back pain
- 50% of working Americans admit to back pain
- Only 7% of low back pain patients go to see a physical therapist
For the senior population, Physical Therapist Thad Poitevint goes by the mantra, “Check yourself and correct yourself before you end up with pain.” He adds, “Go heavy on the emphasis on good body mechanics and positioning with the senior population. I tell them to check their posture and make corrections in real time. Small changes that are made consistently over time can help prevent low back pain and other spine issues.”
How to Prevent Low Back Pain
You can’t prevent all lower back pain, but you do have control over some aspects in your life that can help.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Get regular exercise to maintain flexibility and strength.
- Reduce risk of injury when lifting by testing the weight, keeping the object as close as possible, engaging your core, and using your legs.
- Avoid bending and twisting at the same time.
Physical therapy can help determine the cause of your back pain and design a treatment plan that is specific to you and your goals. If back pain is changing how you move, impacting daily function, or limiting the activities you enjoy, contact a physical therapist to schedule an appointment.