Although often described as a disease of the modern world, back pain is not a new problem. People have been afflicted with low back pain (LBP) since ancient times with writings chronicling work-related back problems as far back as 2780 BC. Attempts to reduce the incidence of LBP through education date back several centuries. In modern times, however, the emphasis on education has increased in an attempt to minimise the impact back pain has in the work place. According to one survey, 49% of the adult UK population have reported LBP lasting at least 24 hours. 80% will experience LBP at some stage in their life which peaks in adults from 35-55 years of age. The Clinical Standards Advisory Group calculated that 10% of LBP patients accounted for 90% of all health care costs. A sobering thought!
Taking responsibility for one’s own health is one of the most important decisions we could ever take. Lack of some form of exercise, non-compliance and the evasion of advice is one of the greatest stumbling blocks as to why patients fail to improve. Many issues may be related to poor compliance such as the patient history, whether realistic target goals have been established, lack of confidence, fear of pain, boredom and whether the patient is only motivated to achieve pain relief rather than preventing reoccurrences.
Why should you bother? Chiropractic manipulation aims to achieve the initial goal of reducing the level of LBP. The next goal is to move onto preventative care. As well as continued manipulation, specific, targeted exercise is now incorporated into the patient management program. Numerous studies back up this approach of patient care with respect to LBP.
The Research: According to one study using fifty-nine chronic LBP patients, 89% found significant improvement in their original symptoms after exercising one hour per week for six weeks. In another study, despite high fitness levels and often intensive strength training programs, elite athletes still suffer from LBP. This study used a group of professional cricketers who had one specific low back muscle measured using ultrasound. After a thirteen week program of floor based exercise targeting this muscle a significant increase in size was found including a 50% decrease in reported pain levels. A chiropractic rehabilitation study of seventy-three work-related LBP sufferers found an 81% improvement and hence a return to work after a 6-week program of Pilates based exercise.
What’s your next step? At Creative Chiropractic, we offer the best of both treatment options with Chiropractic manipulation incorporating muscular rehabilitation exercise. As many injuries are caused by imbalances in the body and habitual poor patterns of movement, re-alignment of your muscles through appropriate exercise training and education regarding your body posture are paramount to enabling you to manage your current condition. The next important step, however, is to help you to strengthen your body after a period of inactivity and/or pain, and teach you how to prevent future episodes of re-injury. In this way we can minimise the chances of pain re-occurring and help you to optimise your quality of life, whatever that means for you – carrying your child, running a marathon, managing a whole day at work, walking your dog, or simply living your life pain free. Pilates is a method of training which involves both the mind and the body. It is an exercise which has become popular and much discussed through the media over the last decade or so. It exercises your ‘core’ muscles which support the bones based in and around the pelvis, spine and shoulder blades. These core muscles stabilise the areas which allow you to freely move your arms and legs and bend and twist your body. If muscles are weak, it will commonly bring about pain in and around the body and alter your posture which is not pleasant and yet quite easily rectified through tailored exercise programs. These programs are delivered in a safe and encouraging atmosphere where you also learn how to manage your own body either to return to your daily activities or to reach new goals.
For more information or to have your low back assessed, call Creative Chiropractic on (01263) 715522 and ask for a ‘free pain & posture assessment’. Alternately, a voucher can be downloaded off our website: – www.creativechiropractic.co.uk.