Back Pain 101 question: To simplify how back pain is exacerbated by our skeletal and muscular systems, think of yourself as an engineer designing a suspension bridge support system that needs to be flexible and carries most of its weight at the front. Where would you put the...Read More
Back pain is almost unavoidable. With an already weak back structure, it doesn’t take much for us to hurt our backs. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic back pain, but the underlying causes of back pain are relatively few. Take a look at these ten most common causes...Read More
In examining the 10 Common Causes of Back Pain, did you see any that might be causing your own back pain? Back Pain and the Law of Parsimony In science, there’s something called the “law of parsimony”, also known as Ockham’s razor. William of Ockham was a German...Read More
There's relief in sight for your chronic back pain. Back Pain MD provides a rich and ever-expanding collection of articles, videos, and the latest research addressing both the causes of and the solutions for chronic back pain. Here's a sample of what to expect.
To simplify how back pain is exacerbated by our skeletal and muscular systems, think of yourself as an engineer designing a suspension bridge support system that needs to be flexible and carries most of its weight at the front. Where would you put the cushioning, support, and reinforcements? Even if you’ve never built a bridge before, you probably know the answer to this question: You would place the reinforcements and other supporting mechanisms at the front of the structure because this is where the stress is. However, when it comes to our back, the strongest muscles and the thickest cushions are behind us, not in front of us.
Although the human spine evolved over millions of years to support a creature that walked upright (we were likely back pain free before that!), our spine still carries with it traces of our ancestry. For most primates, the spine serves as a “suspension bridge” from which all other structures and vital organs hang down. The primate spine is quite efficient when used this way, but the human spine went from being a horizontal suspension bridge to a vertical support column – a very dramatic shift. While our spine is definitely better suited for vertical support than, say, a chimp’s spine, our spine is more like a random compromise between suspension bridge and column than a completely different structure from that of our primate cousins. When you add our evolutionary disadvantages together with our modern lifestyle, you might say we are structurally fated to experience significant back pain issues (Source: PBS.org ). Read more on Back Pain 101 – Spine Design…
Back pain is almost unavoidable. With an already weak back structure, it doesn’t take much for us to hurt our backs. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic back pain, but the underlying causes of back pain are relatively few. Take a look at these ten most common causes of back pain, and see if you recognize the causes for your own back pain:
Here’s a curious statistic: The reported incidence of chronic low back pain in North Carolina rose from 3.9% of the population in 1992 to 10.2% of the population in 2006. What accounted for this near tripling of chronic back pain? Researchers couldn’t pinpoint one single cause, but they strongly suspect that the rise in back pain correlates to the rise in obesity (Source: WebMD.com). When you are overweight or obese, your back has to carry more weight than it was designed to. This constant stress on the back makes it far more prone to injury and back pain.
Another possibility the researchers involved in the North Carolina study suggested as a cause for back pain is rising rates of depression. Depression and stress are both strongly associated with back pain.
A “static posture” means sitting or standing in the same way for hours at a time. In other words, modern white collar jobs, which mostly consist of sitting at a desk and working on the computer and/or phone, are very bad for the back and can easily cause back pain. Solutions for this back pain problem include standing while talking on the phone, changing your desk chair or placement of your computer, and taking frequent breaks. Read more on 10 Common Causes of Back Pain…
In examining the 10 Common Causes of Back Pain, did you see any that might be causing your own back pain?
In science, there’s something called the “law of parsimony”, also known as Ockham’s razor. William of Ockham was a German philosopher who lived in the fourteenth century, and he suggested that when approaching a problem, the simplest solution is usually the correct one. In other words, as you begin to create a plan for overcoming your back pain, start with the simplest solutions.
Perhaps, for example, you are obese or very overweight. While you may know you need to lose 50 or 70 pounds, just starting by losing 5 or 10 pounds may reduce your back pain and make a difference in how your back feels. Alternatively, you may be very fond of sleeping on your stomach or stacking multiple pillows under you at night. A simple solution for your back pain would be to start by making small changes to the way you sleep. Switching your lunchtime drink from soda to water is also a very simple solution that may have a big impact on your back over time.
Instead of immediately turning to your medicine cabinet or your doctor, see if you can begin to manage your back pain by taking this Ockham’s razor approach. You might be surprised to find out that a few simple adjustments to how you sit at work or how you sleep at night will go a long way towards solving your back pain problems. Read more on Whats Your Plan for Back Pain?…