Back Pain is an Epidemic of the Modern World
It is estimated that 85 to 90% of people will suffer from back pain at some time during their lives.
In this hyper-connected world we live in where increasing demands, high cost of living and jobs that requires sitting for hours on end are taxing our body’s nervous system, back pain is the second most common reason people visit their family doctors.
There are two broad categories that can impact back pain, stress and anxiety is one, or it could be a functional issue – like a herniated disk, osteoarthritis or an inflammatory disease.
What are the Symptoms of Back Pain?
One thing that can lead to back pain is the stress and anxiety of our daily lives. Stress and back pain will forever be linked and the fallout will be that your muscles will respond to stress by tightening.
This is from a physiological perspective, but we often forget about how our back and abdominal muscles can indirectly be affected by our digestive system. If we’re stressed, we might not be able to process food properly. And if our back muscles tighten up, that’s going to limit the proper function of the organs and put quite a strain on our digestive system.
If the muscles that lie underneath these organs aren’t working properly, then it could result in a pull or tightening in a certain direction, upsetting the balance in the abdominal area.
When people have back pain, you ask, “how are your bowel movements”, and it could be that simple. Or if you don’t have healthy feet, or proper biomechanics of the foot, then that will affect your knee which will affect the pelvis which will affect the back. So a change in the muscle patterning of the foot will affect your back and the stress you feel in your shoulders.
How Can You Combat Sitting Syndrome?
Move, move and move.
Active, exercise-oriented physical therapy is the cornerstone of treatment for people with chronic back pain. It’s a combination of taking small breaks and moving. It’s about getting that movement so we aren’t getting locked in that position for too long. Any kind of movement has a profound impact on increased energy, weight loss, and helps with the breakdown of fats and sugars faster within the body.
Sitting is now the new smoking, and we’re programmed to have sitting habits in the office routine. Here are a few things to include in your everyday lives to help with a healthy back.
- Go for a walk: Schedule periodic times throughout your day where you’re getting up from your desk and moving around. Try introducing walking meetings at work, or plan routes during your lunch hour. This might seem obvious but walking is the absolute best thing we can do for our body.
- Move your eyes: While you’re at it, be sure to move your head as well so you aren’t glued in a fixed position staring at the screen. Look to the right, the left a few times, then up at your eyebrows and down to your check bones, then combine with circles. This targets the vestibular reflex and releases tension behind the eyes.
- Watch your posture: It can be deadly but easy to hunch over your screen and have your shoulders fall forward. Ergonomically speaking, you should have your shoulders over your pelvis, which brings your spine into a straighter position. Ideally your computer at eye level so you aren’t putting strain on your neck by looking down.
- Join a Pilates class: Pilates is always about back health and has been linked to having a healthy back and alleviating back pain. They always go hand in hand – a strong supple core leads to less back pain.
How ELDOA Strengthens the Spine
Have I mentioned that ELDOA is meditation for the spine? It might seem like I’m overusing that statement, but only because it’s the truth! ELDOA is the strengthening technique for the spine and joints of the body. When we stretch the fascia that surrounds all the muscles, organs and nerves in our body, restrictions are freed and a calm, balanced feeling takes over. And when you have healthy discs, your back is happy and that translates into a calm mind!
See how amazing your back feels in just one Pilates and ELDOA session! Check out our weekly schedule and take back control of your back health.