Now, while we’re slowly creeping up on the season, you might be thinking, “It’s still a little early for that, isn’t it?” And you would be absolutely correct in a traditional sense. But here at miiSpine, we like to celebrate all the medical holidays that miiSpine contributes to, works with, and provides services for!
That’s why we hold October 16th close to our heart – although this whole week is Bone and Joint Action Week, which is always a topic we love seeing attention brought to – because it’s not just a state-wide or national holiday, it’s a WORLDWIDE holiday.
Happy World Spine Day! (To learn more, visit https://www.usbji.org/programs/public-education-programs/action-week)
To honor the occasion, we’ve assembled a list of preventative measures from Dr. Vemuri himself, along with a discussion about age-onset, natural back pain that occurs in upwards of 85% of adults, according to a Penn State study. Luckily, miiSpine is an institution dedicated to alleviating that pain at any age, with affordable prices, top-notch customer service, innovative and non-invasive treatments, cutting-edge technology, and award-winning physicians within your reach.
How Common is Back Pain as You Age?
Coming off the tail-end of September’s National Healthy Aging Month, we know that as we live our everyday lives, our body sustains some natural wear and tear regardless of how it’s spent. We get patients at all points on the spectrum, from those who live sedentary lives at low-movement jobs to those who seem to everything right, but still develop back pain.
It seems as though we can never win – if we work the spine too much, problems are likely to arise. But work the spine too little, then you’re just as much at risk. Even those who make it a point to live healthy lifestyles can fall victim to back pain with an exercise gone wrong or an accident that leaves some lingering pain in the area.
Back pain statistics can certainly be pretty daunting, with quotes of:
• 8 in 10 Americans experiencing back pain in their lifetime
• 7.5% (or approx. 581,475,000 people) of the world’s population experience back pain
• 4 in 10 office workers experiencing back pain
• $635 BILLION dollars spent on back pain in the US each year
The unfortunate truth of it is, the human body simply hasn’t evolved to walk upright – even today, after all the years that our kind has existed. We’ve seen in studies how the spinal column of our four (or more)-legged friends have adapted in shape and function, but the human spine is just a little behind in that regard.
Gravity might keep our feet on the ground, but it surely is not kind to the spine.
It’s really no wonder that back pain is the 2nd most common reason for doctor visits – placing only behind the common cold – and likely to keep climbing as the average lifespan has nearly doubled with the advancements of sanitation, antibiotics, and modern medicine. We do our best to combat this growing concern, though, and there are plenty of attainable things that most people can integrate into their lifestyle to minimize the potential of back pain to the degree of infringing on your everyday life.
Is it worth it, though, even if you still have the potential to develop back pain? And of course it is! Taking care of our bodies is a crucial factor in avoiding the worst of age-onset pain, amongst providing an extensive list of other benefits.
As Dr. Vemuri says, “The golden years might not be so golden for those who don’t take care of their bodies.”
Things You Should Do to Avoid Back Pain
Preventative measures are the best defense against aging pains, which can be greatly mitigated – if not avoided completely – if we try to live as healthy of a lifestyle as possible.
1. Don’t smoke.
There have been numerous studies linking smoking to back pain that prove the damage smoking does to your arteries extends to the arteries in the spinal discs and joints, which can lead to pain, accelerated degeneration, and injury, as well as increasing the risk of osteoporosis (bone-thinning disease).
2. Drink in moderation, if at all.
Alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, which can lead to osteoporosis, and weakens muscles, which are an integral part in keeping the body upright, supported, and in good shape to twist, move, and bend appropriately in ways that won’t cause injury.
3. Don’t eat processed foods, choose Whole Foods instead.
The cause of pain usually roots back to inflammation around the nerves of the spine, and filling your diet with naturally anti-inflammatory foods can reduce the pain that you feel at any given time. Besides the fact that if your diet consists mainly of processed foods that don’t hold much nutritional value, there’s a high likelihood those nutrients aren’t being fit in anywhere else, there are actually studies that support findings of the immune system (which causes inflammation initially) treating bad diets like that of a bacterial infection, since nutritional deficiencies can alter the functioning of the immune system.
4. Exercise regularly, especially weight lifting for building strong bones and preserving muscle tone.
As stated before, muscles and bones are a core component of how your body moves and functions. Osteoporosis and entropy can play a big role in back pain, especially as we age. Strength training stresses your bones, which can increase bone density and reduce the potential for osteoporosis. Muscle tone protects and strengthens the nerves and joints that contribute to back pain, and supports a healthy system of motion that won’t end up in injury.
5. Don’t sit all day.
It’s a well-established fact that sedentary lifestyles and, unfortunately, sedentary jobs are big contributors to back pain. However, if you maintain proper posture and even include some desk stretches or exercises into your day at the office (if air squats don’t seem achievable, that is), you can off-set some of the office-job effects on your bod.
6. Don’t stress your back with awkward lifting/twisting.
This might be difficult to avoid if you work in an industry that requires it, but proper lifting form can greatly reduce the risk of injury or developed back pain. Make sure to bend your knees and squat to pick up what you need to, keep it close to your body, and then use your hips and legs to lift. Don’t bend at the waist! The spine is only there for support, not to take on the weight of the load. This form applies to everyone – not just to industry workers. Parents who regularly pick up their children or pets, those who move around a lot, and those don’t have to lift things often are also at high risk of back injuries from improper lifting.
Not All Back Pain Can Be Avoided
Like anything in medicine, nothing is 100% effective – even preventative measures.
miiSpine is here and available for those suffering from back pain, though! With everything from PT to minimally-invasive surgical techniques, pain relief is possible. And, with more good news, treatments here don’t revolve around surgery! miiSpine specializes in non-invasive treatment options, and only results to surgery if absolutely necessary.
Spinal disc degeneration is one of the most common reasons for back pain as we age due to natural degeneration, and nearly every service that miiSpine offers is applicable to it! Dr. Vemuri performs pain relieving operations and non-invasive treatments that are life-changing for his patients, so if you are affected by back pain, miiSpine is here for you!
If you are experiencing back or neck pain and are concerned that you may be suffering from a herniated disc or some other medical condition, you may benefit from finding an innovative spine physician. Dr. Venu Vemuri at miiSpine is an award-winning doctor focused on providing a comprehensive treatment approach towards all types of back conditions and pain. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call the Louisville, Kentucky miiSpine office today at (502) 242-6370.