It’s sad, but true — lower back pain is just a part of life for a lot of us. According to a recent press release from the American College of Physicians, this type of pain is one of the leading causes for doctor visits in the U.S., and about 25 percent of all adults say they’ve experienced it for at least one day of the last three months. Ouch! Common lifestyle causes of this problem include too much time spent sitting at a desk, poor posture, and stress — all factors that we’re working to minimize at bulldog.
While it’s nice to know that so many others can (quite literally) feel your pain, these stats don’t solve the problem. The good news is that the ACP did share some new guidelines for treating lower back aches in the same release, and while we hate to say “I told you so” … well, we kind of told you so.
Rather than prescription drugs (especially narcotics), the ACP is now recommending that patients suffering from acute lower back pain be treated with non-pharmaceutical therapies such as exercise, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction (like meditation), tai chi, motor control exercise, and — of course — yoga. Those doses of prescription drugs are a thing of the past, and doctors have confirmed what we’ve believed to be true all along: the best path to healing is a more active, thoughtful one.
Naturally, patients who are suffering from chronic lower back pain may ultimately find that their physicians prescribe them something to ease the symptoms, but because of the new recommendations, most doctors will likely be moving away from opiods and other heavy-duty meds in favor of gentler anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants.
One thing seems clear: hitting the mat here at bulldog is one way to help relieve that pesky lower back pain — and if you haven’t started experiencing these aches, you have all the more reason to start a regular practice so you can increase your chances of not becoming part of those statistics in the future.