MARCH 7, 2016 – RESOLVING THE CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF BACK PAIN
One of the most common injuries that ART® providers treat, indiscriminate of their work setting, is lower back pain. Accordingly, it’s no surprise that lower back pain is the most commonly recorded musculoskeletal disorder. In the United States alone, it is the culprit of $100-200 billion in medical expenses each year. 80% of the U.S. population is affected by back pain at some time in their life. The high prevalence of back pain has enabled us at Active Release Techniques® to spend a lot of time studying the causes and most effective treatment protocols for each individual cause.
Back pain results from a wide array of working circumstances including heavy or repetitive lifting, over-reaching working in an awkward posture, and remaining bent over or seated for too long, just to name a few. These tasks create scar tissue, which causes pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion. Because of the large variety of behaviors causing back pain, cases of back-related MSDs can be found in nearly any workplace setting, from offices to factories. Whether the activity causing the pain is sitting, reaching, or lifting, pain origination is frequently linked to doing any of these activities with an awkward posture. Additionally, as people age, their incidence of back pain rises as does the cost, which increases at a greater rate due to the increased time, medication, and procedures necessary for their recovery.
Sitting puts twice as much stress on your back as standing, and when you slouch that stress is compounded. Further, sitting in a slouched position over-stretches the ligaments in your back. Not only do sitting and slouching add stress, they also prevent nutrients from getting to the discs in your spine. Excessive sitting can also cause pain in your hips and pelvis because it tightens and shortens the tendons in that region, placing even more pressure on the lower back. Pain resulting from maintaining an awkward posture, such as crouching or bending for an extended period of time, is often caused by some variation on this same reasoning.
Back pain as a result of heavy or repetitive lifting is also frequently a function of lifting with an awkward or incorrect posture. The weight being lifted adds additional stress to the spine, and awkward posture exacerbates the issue by causing muscles, tendons, or ligaments to over-stretch or tear.
So many of the things we do every day can build up scar tissue over time and cause back pain. Luckily, ART® can help, not only to relieve your pain and release your scar tissue, but also, through our onsite wellness programs, suggest things that you can do to prevent that scar tissue from building up in the first place.