Got back pain?
You’re not alone. Eighty percent of Americans suffer from low back and neck
pain at some point in their lives. Let that sink in. With such great odds that you—or someone
close to you—will one day become a statistic, wouldn’t it make sense to arm yourself with
preventive strategies and knowledge? Physical therapy is a good place to start.
Alpine PT has “got your back.”
By performing a thorough evaluation, we can identify the muscular, postural
and skeletal limitations that could one day lead to an episode of back pain. As part of the
assessment, your therapist will observe as you perform a series of exercises and then gather an account of
your daily activity level and environmental factors such as operating machinery or working at a desk
40 hours a week.
With information gained from your evaluation, your PT will design a personalized exercise program and teach
you a few APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) approved strategies to prevent back pain:
• Using good body positioning (postural awareness/body mechanics) at work, home and during recreational activities.
• Keep the load close to your body during lifting.
• Learn how to lift properly or get assistance to lift loads above your ability.
• Maintain a regular physical fitness regimen—staying active can help to prevent injuries.
Lifestyle can play a big role in back pain. In fact, inactivity and incorrect body mechanics while
participating in certain activities are two of the biggest contributors to back pain. In addition to
the strategies listed above, it’s also helpful to pay attention to little things throughout your day
that could add up to bigger problems down the line. Let’s go back to that desk job for a minute:
How often do you get up to walk, stretch and move throughout the day? A good rule of thumb
is to stand up or move every 30 minutes. You may get bonus points with your boss, too, as your
productivity soars due to the increased activity.
While low back pain rarely becomes serious or life-threatening, it can be quite painful and
interfere with our daily lives. Working with a physical therapist can help you identify the
factors that contribute to back pain and help to develop a prevention plan. But the
healthcare professionals are also a great place to turn when you’re seeking treatment for back
pain or hoping to prevent a recurrence.
With such good odds that you could one day become a low back pain statistic, why not do
everything in your power today to change your trajectory? Seems like another good reason to
find an activity (or better yet, two or three activities) that you enjoy, make it a regular part of your day!