The high cost of low back pain
Low back pain and neck pain is a significant problem in the United States. In 2013, we spent $87.6 billion on the care for low back pain. That is in ONE year. This is the third highest expenditure in the United States behind diabetes and heart disease and THE highest musculoskeletal expenditure.
That is a lot of money as even comprehending one billion is hard, much less 87.6 billion. Just as perspective, a billion seconds ago, it was 1986. A billion feet would take you around the circumference of the earth 7.6 times. However, 87.6 billion feet would take you around the earth 666 times.
So, the bottom line is what can be done to decrease the cost of low back and neck pain in this country or, on a more personal note, what can you do to decrease your cost and exposure for low back or neck pain? These conditions have been likened to the common cold. It comes and it goes and there is no silver bullet to prevent it.
What to do if you have low back pain or neck pain
One thing that you can do is continue to move. “Motion is lotion” and a lot of research has shown that cardiovascular exercise helps to decrease pain and nerve sensitivity. Am I advocating to run a marathon? No, of course not. However, go for a walk, ride a stationary bike at the gym, but by all means, find a way to move. Continue to move, exercise, stretch, etc.
Physical therapy vs. chiropractic care
Finally, I’m a physical therapist and have treated a number of people with low back and neck pain. People are always surprised that physical therapists treat these conditions. People think that chiropractors are the only people who can treat these conditions. This is simply not true. In fact, studies on neck and low back pain have found that if you are classified (based on your symptoms) into the appropriate symptom subgroup, people get better faster because they will receive treatments that are specific for their type of injury.
So, please give us a call or contact your local physical therapist. You can also send me an email if you have further questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
More about lower back pain.