We are fortunate enough here at Central Ohio Spine and Joint to help people recover from back pain everyday.  We treat patients for a wide range of complaints, from chronic pain that has plagued them for years to acute herniated discs. The research shows up to 80% of our population will experience back problems within their lives. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something we could do to help prevent back pain?

Well the good news is, there is!  Research over the past 10 years has provided us with very reliable ways to help minimize the risk of developing back pain.  Three ways which are well researched and in which we recommend include exercise, manipulation and nutrition.

Exercise

Just this past month, the Journal of American Medial Association (JAMA- One of the pinnacle journals of modern medicine) examined the effectiveness of the prevention of back pain.  As most know, inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are a recipe for disaster so it is no surprise that exercise has been proven to help prevent back pain.  We not only use exercise when treating injuries but most patients leave our office with exercises to help keep them out of pain in the future.

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Manipulation

Spinal manipulation is one of the most researched and beneficial treatments for patients suffering from low back pain.  With the vast majority of back pain being classified as mechanical, there is no better treatment for tightness and stiffness of the spine than manipulation.  In fact, research over the last few years has shown that those patients who choose manipulation experience the following:

-85% lower pharmaceutical costs

-60% fewer hospitalizations

-62% fewer surgical costs

-Less out-patient diagnostic testing (MRI, CT)

Keeping the spine mobile in certain areas are the key to minimizing the risk of mechanical overload which overtime can result in pain.

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Nutrition

A percentage of patients that suffer from low back pain, also suffer from other disorders like arthritis, diabetes and heart disease to name a few.  Inflammation has been linked to most of the top diseases and disorders our society suffers from.  Not the inflammation that you get when you roll your ankle, but low level inflammation that is created by the foods we consume.  This low level, systemic inflammation is a serious problem in our society, but the good news is it’s an easy fix!

We have written multiple articles on how to choose an “anti-inflammatory” diet.  You can read more about it here, and here.

As a simple guide the following 5 groups of food are classified as anti-inflammatory:

-Fruits

-Vegetables

-Lean meats

-Nuts

-Healthy oils

Want to know if you are experiencing inflammation as a result of the food you are eating? Check out this short questionnaire: Deflaming-Guides-2012

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If back pain is something you would like to prevent and you would like to know more, let us know!