Low Back Pain Treatment and Obesity

back pain (LBP) is a VERY COMMON PROBLEM! Here are some facts about LBP: 1) At
ANY given time, 31 million Americans experience LBP; 2) LBP is the single
leading cause of disability worldwide; 3) 50% of ALL working Americans admit to
having LBP symptoms each year; 4) LBP is the #1 reason for missed work and, the
2nd most common reason for doctor office visits (outnumbered ONLY by upper
respiratory infections); 5) Most cases of LBP are “mechanical” and NOT caused
by serious conditions like inflammatory arthritis (like rheumatoid), infection,
cancer, or fracture; 6) At least $50 BILLION is spent annually by Americans on
back pain (and that’s JUST the more easily identifiable costs); 7) At some point
in life, experts estimate 80% of the population will experience LBP.

            In prior Health Updates, we’ve
discussed ways to prevent LBP like exercise, eating right, staying active
(avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest), not smoking, maintaining proper posture,
wearing low heeled comfortable shoes (and possibly foot orthotics and/or heel
lifts), sleeping on a medium-firm mattress, using proper bending and lifting
methods, fixing work station problems (computer key board and monitor placement
is important!), and more.

            This month’s topic concerns obesity
and LBP. How are these related, and does it really matter? Let’s look at some
adult obesity facts: 1) Obesity is common, serious, and costly: 35.6% of US
adults are obese; 2) Obesity related conditions include: heart disease, stroke,
type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and is the LEADING CAUSE of
preventable death! 3) An estimated $147 BILLION was spent on obesity related
medical costs and the average medical cost for an obese person was $1429 higher
than for those of normal weight (Body Mass Index or BMI of 18.5-24.9). 4)
Ethnic variations: Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest obesity rate at 49.5%
vs. Mexican Americans (40.4%), all Hispanics (39.1%) and non-Hispanic whites
(34.3%) [ref. JAMA, 2012; 307(5):491-97]. 5) There was a dramatic increase in
obesity in the US
from 1990 through 2010. No state in the U.S. met the nation’s “Healthy
People 2010” goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15%. Instead, in 2010, there
were 12 states with obesity prevalence >30% vs. in 2000, NO state had an
obesity prevalence >30%! 6) More than 2 in 3 adults are overweight (BMI
25-29.9) and, 1 in 3 adults are obese (BMI >30). 7) In children 6-19 years
old, about 33% are overweight or obese and 17% are obese.

            Intuitively, common sense tells us
that if we are overweight, it has to affect our low back in a negative way.
Well, you are right! In the 1/15/13 journal Spine, an 11 year study from
Norway, gathered data between 1995-1997 and again in 2006-2008 of an entire
county in Norway which included 8733 men and 10,149 women, aged between 30-69
years old who DID NOT have chronic LBP (>3mo. within the past year) vs. 2669
men and 3899 women who DID have LBP. After 11 years, a significant increase in
risk was reported between those with a BMI >30 (obese) vs. those <25 (BMI
18.5-24.9 = normal). They also found that the recurrence rate of LBP was also
higher in those who were obese.

            Weight management is a goal of LBP
care, and we have many strategies that can help you fight this problem.

            We realize you have a choice in who
you choose to provide your healthcare services.
If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we
sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services
and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule an appointment for low back pain treatment in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225

Altadonna Communications (C) 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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