As human beings have lived increasingly sedentary lives, the prevalence of back problems has risen. The shift to remote work is the most consequential change in the nature of work since the Industrial Revolution. In the Industrial Revolution, the center of production moved from the home to factories, and with the Work from Home revolution, the center has shifted back to the home. The result is that more people than at any time since the Industrial Revolution are finding themselves barely needing to get out of their homes to work. Unlike in the pre-Industrial Revolution era, today’s jobs demand that workers spend most of their time sitting down. This will have devastating consequences on the health of our backs. For members of the Surrey, British Columbia community, it’s important to understand just what can be done to avert this crisis.
How Common is Back Pain?
The most extensive study on back pain found that the prevalence of back pain among the working and non-working population was 44.4% and 45.8% for men, and 48.2% and 55.0% for women. Over a third of disabled people in the study are disabled because of low back problems. Accounting for disabilities, non-working people are more likely to suffer from low back pain than working people. The majority of non-working women in the study were housewives and these women had a high prevalence of low back problems.
In the 20-59 year age group, a quarter of low back problems were among non-working people, and among women, that number was 50%.
What Causes Back Pain
As that study showed, back pain can be caused by a lack of activity. This bodes well in the work-from-home era, because of the decreased activity of many people.
Lower back problems are likely to increase as we age, due to the degenerative changes that impact the lumbar spine. Essentially, this means that you have osteoarthritis of the spine. It is the most common type of arthritis and typically occurs along the neck and lower back. As a person ages, the cartilage that exists between the spine’s vertebrae dries out and shrinks. This means that the vertebrae get closer to each other, and bone spurs develop due to the friction and erosion that occurs, as mobility declines. A person may even experience pinched nerves.
What Can You Do About It?
According to a chiro in Surrey, it’s important to exercise your core muscles in order to slow down spinal degeneration. It is never too late to start to exercise your core muscles and most exercises can be performed throughout your life. Even older adults will find exercises that can help their core muscle strength.
If you are overweight, then you will face some difficulty in exercising your core muscles, so it will be important to combine core muscle exercise with a program to reduce your weight.
As people live longer, more people are experiencing degenerative arthritis than ever before. Taking care of your core muscles has never been more important.