Chronic low back pain – Why is prevention so important?
Last updated on September 28, 2023
Unfortunately we live in a society and a culture where pain is believed to be normal, and the attitude tends to be, “You’ll be right”, or “Everyone has a bit of back pain when they get older, you’ll get used to it”. However, pain is not something that you should ever have to get used to, nor is it normal. Healthy is normal. The attitude that back pain is a normal part of ageing may be the reason that one in six Australians report suffering from low back pain (LBP).
LBP can cause many issues, not only can it be incredibly painful, but it can reduce your ability to function optimally. When you are in pain, you are less likely to comfortably engage in the activities that you need to do, such as work, driving and chores around the home. Back pain can even interfere with your ability to participate in the things you love, such as hobbies and weekend activities. These changes in function can also increase irritability, cause changes in mood, disrupt sleep patterns and interfere with how we relate to the people around us.
Often people believe they ‘did their back’ through one activity. Maybe it was bending over to tie your shoes, moving a box, mowing the lawns, or repotting that new pot plant that you’re determined to keep alive this time. Yet you have done those movements over and over again, so why did it cause pain the last time? It is because that last time was the straw that broke the camel’s back. What does that mean? It means often back pain and dysfunction occurs due to continuous irritation through the accumulation of various stressors, called micro-traumas. These micro-traumas could be as simple as the way you are sitting, standing, lifting, or bending over. The accumulation of these stressors over time lead to dysfunction and pain.
The longer you leave back pain untreated, the worse it often becomes. Once you leave back pain for long enough, it becomes a long-term issue called chronic back pain, often leaving you feeling helpless and frustrated. While painkillers and anti-inflammatories may reduce pain in the short-term, evidence suggests medication is not an effective long term-solution to low back pain, but most importantly, it does not increase your ability to function the way you are supposed to.
So what is a long term solution? Conservative care such as chiropractic has been shown to reduce low back pain, but most notably, it has been shown to significantly improve your quality of life, allowing you to get back to the things you find most important in your life.
So when should you seek out care? Any time is a great time to prioritize your health, and you don’t have to wait for symptoms to occur before seeking care. In fact, symptoms are often the last thing to occur when your body is not functioning optimally, and the first thing to go.
This is why it’s important to take a proactive approach to your health and seek the help of a professional chiropractor even if you’re not currently experiencing any pain or discomfort. Just like you take your car in for a service before the check engine light comes on, you should care for your body and spine to prevent future problems. Remember, we only have one spine for life – it’s important to take care of it for the long term.