Each year, half of the working adults in America report having back pain, according to the American Chiropractic Association. We twinge when we pick up a box. We creak and pop every time we stand. We dread the prospect of getting out of our seat after sitting for an entire movie. We ache every time we spend a Saturday afternoon planting l owers in the backyard. We don’t spring into action anymore; we lurch for a few steps when we start to walk. And that’s for the lucky ones—some of us live with excruciating back pain, day in and day out.
If you’re living with back pain, you already know it reduces your quality of life every single day. It keeps you from the activities you love, saps your strength, and can shorten your usable lifespan. Many people see back pain as one of the unavoidable signs of aging. But while aging does take its toll on our health and vitality over time, many people are too pessimistic about their health. That is, we i gure that it’s inevitable that our bodies will start giving out, instead of owning our health. Think of it this way: how quickly will your car’s tires wear out? Well, it depends, doesn’t it? How often do you have them rotated? Do you keep the tire pressure up? How many miles do you log a year? These choices make a huge dif erence in when your tires will wear out. The same principle applies to your back.
So why don’t we feel good now? Why do we have back pain before we’re “old”? There are a host of reasons, but the main one is (get ready for a shocker) our choices. That’s right—we’re the ones who push our back into a painful state. And it’s not just your posture at the dinner table. The way we walk, stand, sleep, lift, relax, exercise, and do nearly everything else involves our back muscles and spine. That news may depress you a bit, I realize, but it’s also extremely empowering. If we can get ourselves into back pain, we certainly can get ourselves out of it, unless we wait until after the vertebrae are too degenerated.
And yes, as you’ve probably guessed, there are some tough decisions to make. Yes, it requires discipline and changes in behavior—even changing the way you’ve been doing something for your entire life. But here’s the thought to hold on to as you struggle to make lasting change in your life: You are powerful, and you can change. Yes, you. If there’s anyone who can make a change for the better in your life, it’s the person you see in the mirror every day. So don’t be pessimistic! You’ve got it in you (deep inside maybe, but it’s in there somewhere) to start feeling great.
I’ve had countless patients—in their 20s, their 60s, or any age in between—who felt the same way when they i rst started out, but saw real improvement and greatly improved or even conquered pain they’d been suffering. I’ve seen pregnant women decrease their labor and delivery time, and need less recovery time. I’ve seen people who were missing three to four days of work each month get perfect attendance awards. I’ve seen people lessen or solve internal problems—all through optimizing their back and nervous system’s
Making positive changes in your life will not make you better in a single day, but like most health-related changes—such as exercise and proper eating—changing the way you interact with your back can help you over time in noticeable ways. In the long run, following proper back care principles can help you avoid back surgery, reduce pain, and enjoy life to the utmost.
It’s time to own your own life, take back your back, and start really living. Visit a Meridian Chiropractor today!