Probably everyone has wished they could get their bodies to do what they did when they were younger. Oh, the energy, the flexibility, the strength we all had! And for anyone with an aching back (which pretty much includes everyone) this wish is especially true. Nearly every American has experienced some form of low back pain. It can range from moderate discomfort (Ouch!) to debilitating pain (Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!) that leaves us unable to move. Approximately ten percent of us will experience chronic low back pain during our lives, which is defined as pain lasting for three months or more.
Over $50 billion is spent each year in the U.S. to treat low back pain. It is a leading cause of disability and missed work, and the third most common reason for surgical procedures. Of all forms of pain reported by patients in this country, only headache is more common.
But all is not lost. There is a way to improve your back health and that’s by exercising.
The frequency of low back pain has steadily increased over the past three decades. While many patients attribute their back pain to “overdoing it,” most experts believe that it is actually our lack of activity that is the greatest cause of this trend. Fewer of us are employed in jobs that involve physical labor, and fewer still are supplementing this with structured exercise. (Duh…Sitting at a computer for hours?) In less developed countries, with more of the population performing agricultural work and other physically demanding occupations, the frequency of low back pain and injury is dramatically lower.
“Improving your back health is one of the simplest fitness goals to reach,” said Bill Tevin, Eastpointe Health & Fitness, Personal Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. “It starts with diagnosing the problem correctly and then customizing a training and exercise program that fits your particular back issue.”
Bill has trained a broad range of individuals, from post-surgery rehab patients to competitive athletes, and is experienced working with men and women of all ages, from children to senior citizens. His extensive experience in the field enables him to help all clients with a wide variety of goals.
Exercise, you say. Really? What about bed rest? According to research, bed rest is completely ineffective in improving function in most cases of low back pain. What about putting ice or heat on your back? Similarly, the use of ice and/or heat has not been proven to have any positive effect on low-back pain. Okay, then what about medication? Various medications may reduce the acute pain one experiences, but they don’t address underlying weaknesses and imbalances that are typically causing the periods of back pain and immobility.
Then exercise it is! In fact, the National Institutes of Health states that exercise is likely the most effective tool for both the treatment of low back pain and prevention of its recurrence. Appropriate exercise can help to strengthen the muscles that support the spine, correct imbalances that affect posture, and improve flexibility to minimize stress on the back during everyday activities. Low back pain and injury, however, is a common reason that individuals decide not to exercise, or delay the start of an exercise program. This lack of activity will then create further weakness in many cases, placing us at greater risk for future pain and injury, causing a repetitive cycle and sending us into a downward spiral. And no one wants that!
To help improve “our aching backs” EPH&F has instituted a Back Health Program designed to get our backs, back on track. For $199, the program includes a Chiropractic Consultation, Half-hour Massage and Posture Check, In Depth Fitness Assessment by a Certified Personal Trainer, Customized Starter Exercise Program Instruction, One Month Full Gym Membership and Integrated Chiropractic & Fitness Recommendations.
“When I work with a patient with low back pain, I first determine what the causes are through a chiropractic consultation,” said Dr. Jay Mazzella, of Eastpointe Chiropractic. “Depending on their level of pain and the intensity of the problem, I recommend a course of treatment which almost always includes exercise. Sometimes a patient can start exercising right away and sometimes they have to approach exercising gradually. We have physical therapists on staff for supervised exercise. Either way, exercise is the key to better back health.” A thorough evaluation by a qualified professional will identify any specific injuries or conditions that may be present, and help to determine an appropriate course of action. The evaluation may include a health history questionnaire, x-rays, posture analysis, and/or various tests of strength and flexibility.
“The key to a successful back health program is to select exercises appropriate to one’s ability level and specific underlying conditions causing low back pain,” continued Bill. “No single program is ideal for everyone when treating this condition. Some popular exercises for the back can actually have negative effects on posture and alignment.”
“At Eastpointe Health and Fitness, we have a team of experts available to provide comprehensive care for all back conditions,” said Owner/Manager, Paul Mazzella. “Chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, and skilled personal trainers will work together to determine the appropriate treatment for your specific needs, and provide care in a one-on-one setting. As your back health improves, you will be able to pursue a wide array of additional health and fitness goals on the same premises with Eastpointe’s health club services and nutritional counseling.”
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get exercising and get our backs back on track by signing up for EPH&F’s Back Health Program. For more information visit www.EastpointeHealthandFitness.com or call 732-872-6595.