By Samuel W. Ascioti, DC
October marks the beginning of a very special month for chiropractors and their patients all across North America, as October is National Chiropractic Health Month! In conjunction with the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), doctors of chiropractic will be encouraging the general public to get up, get out, and – most importantly – MOVE! As such, the slogan for this month is “Move 4 Life.”
As you may have heard your doctors tell you before, movement is an extremely important part of staying healthy. Not only can physical activity end up being a lot of fun, but it helps reduce the risk of many types of negative health conditions. Regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of conditions such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, and can even play a part in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Additionally, physical activity strengthens the bones and muscles. This is huge for people of all ages, but physical activity is especially important as we age.
In the United States, more than half of all adults fail to meet the Surgeon General’s physical activity recommendations of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly.
For many of us, this is a consequence of having sedentary jobs (jobs that involve little or no movement, or lots of sitting), as well as sedentary hobbies, such as television, video games, or computer/phone/tablet use. In fact, physical inactivity is viewed by some to be a global pandemic; over the years, the numbers of people who do not get enough exercise has been steadily increasing, and this has a major impact on society’s health, as well as hurting the economy due to lost work days and productivity (3).
Physical activity can reduce both the frequency and severity of back pain, and can help provide the body with the proper stabilization to prevent falls and other injuries, which can be debilitating. That being said, MOVE NOW!
Did you know…
- More than 1 in 2 adults report experiencing any sort of musculoskeletal condition, with low back and neck pain as some of the most frequently complained about areas (1)
- 52% of people with a musculoskeletal disorder say that the pain interferes with their activities of daily living, such as completing chores around the house (1)
- Fear of movement is just one consequence of persistent pain and may also be a main contributor to pain and disability (2)
Unfortunately, back pain and the opioid epidemic go hand-in-hand (17). Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide (4) and is one of the most common reasons for missed work; ½ of all working Americans have admitted to having had back pain symptoms each year! (5) Back pain is one of the leading reasons why people are prescribed opioids, but almost 80% of Americans prefer to use other options first rather than rely on prescription drugs for pain relief. (6)
So, what can we do about it? Simple: MOVE! If you aren’t sure how to start an exercise program, talk to your chiropractor about it. It can be as simple as wearing a comfy pair of sneakers and walking each day, or you can do other things: join a recreational sports league, work out in the garden, go for a hike…the list of possibilities is endless, really.
- The Hidden Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans, United State Bone and Joint Initiative,
- Booth et al. Exercise for chronic musculoskeletal pain: A biopsychosocial approach. Musculoskeletal Care. 2017;15:413–421. doi: 10.1002/msc.1191.
- Eijsvogels T. Exercise is medicine. At any dose? JAMA 2015 , Nov. 10; 314 (18); 1915-16.Hoy D et al. The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 June; 73(6):968-74. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428.
- Vallfors B. Acute, subacute and chronic low back pain: Clinical symptoms, absenteeism and working environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl 1985; 11: 1-98.
- “Americans Prefer Drug-Free Pain Management Over Opioids,” Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Annual Survey of Americans, http://www.gallup.com/reports/217676/americans-prefer-drug-free-pain-management-opioids.aspx