I was speaking the other day with one of our therapists and we were discussing our role in helping our patients. I was explaining that a comment I often tell new patients is; “These are hands, not magic wands”. Patients often seek out our help when they are experiencing acute episodes of discomfort, like back pain. I explained that an integral part of our service is to empower patients to help themselves, versus relying on us for ‘healing’. This is why we often explain that you should be doing varied movement daily, not just when you feel stiff. It’s important to be more PRO-active then RE-active when it comes to taking care of your body.
Did you know that 80% of us will suffer an episode of debilitating back pain AT LEAST once in our lifetime? A common misconception that is often cited is that 90% of these occurrences will go away on its own without any treatment. A study in the European Spine Journal showed that 62% of patients who reported back pain still suffered from it well after 12 months. A team of Duke Medical Center researchers has found that patients suffering from back pain consume more than $90 billion annually in health-care expenses, with approximately $26 billion of that amount directly attributable to treating the back pain. Tremendous costs are associated with LBP, including lost productivity and income from work, the expense of medical, rehabilitation, and surgical interventions, and the costs of disabling pain and limited daily function.
A vast majority of back pain suffers fail to recognize the actual contributing factor(s) to this ‘sudden’ onset of pain. They fall under the guise of what I term the “1000lb pencil principle”. Meaning they claim, “All I did was bend over to pick up a pencil (or pen, or piece of paper etc.) and my back just ‘went out’. They often fail to recognize the long line of contributing factors that essentially brought them to this point.
Bottom line, unless you are taking specific preventative measures to elude the impending onset of a back condition, the odds are, you will become a part of these statistics.
If you want to reduce these chances, you don’t need to do much more than follow these two very simple words; keep moving. Here are 7 stretches that can be performed in just 7 minutes that will help condition your back to provide both stability as well as mobility when the need arises.