Thursday, January 19, 2017

Back Pain & Risk of Falling: A Dangerous Combination

In our last blog article, we featured research suggesting chronic back pain may lead to mental health problems including depression, stress and even psychosis. But the reality gets more grim, particularly if you're a senior: Back pain may increase the risk of falling, and when you're older, that can be a serious health issue with serious consequences.

Here's why: According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 1.6 million older U.S. adults visit the ER for a fall-related injury every year. In fact, falls are the No. 1 cause of fractures, hospital admissions for trauma, loss of independence and injury deaths among the elderly population.

back pain - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Now back to the latest study: Researchers tracked more than 6,000 men ages 65 and older, assessing their frequency of back pain, episodes of falling and other variables that could also influence fall risk (medication use, dizziness, disabilities and pain in other areas of the body). Men who reported back pain were 30 percent more likely to suffer multiple falls compared to men without back pain, and risk correlated with the prevalence of back pain: two sites of pain increased the risk compared to just one site, and three sites increased the risk even further. 
Increasing severity and frequency of back pain also increased fall risk, according to the study.

The takeaway is simple: If you're suffering from back pain, regardless of age, it's time to visit your doctor of chiropractic. Your body will thank you for it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How Back Pain Can Effect Your Mental Health

If you're not already utilizing chiropractic care to resolve your back pain and reduce the likelihood it will return – not to mention improving your overall health and wellness – that means one of two things: you haven't suffered back pain (yet) or you've decided to temporarily suppress the pain with over-the-counter or prescription medications. The latter is, as mentioned, a temporary solution that doesn't address the root causes of the pain, while the former is also likely temporary, since an estimated 80 percent of adults will suffer back pain at some point in their lifetime.

Back pain can be a problem for a variety of reasons beyond the pain, whether it's limiting your daily function, forcing you to take time off work, or otherwise impacting your life. But there's another reason suggested by recent research that should vault "getting rid of back pain" to the top of your priority list: Back pain could increase your risk of suffering mental health problems.

back pain - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark The study used data from the World Health Organization's World Health Survey 2002-2004 and involved more than 200,000 study subjects ages 18 and older from 43 countries. Data analysis revealed that compared to people without back pain, those with pain were more than twice as likely to suffer from one of five mental health conditions: anxiety, depression, psychosis, stress and sleep deprivation. Subjects with chronic back pain were particularly at risk for a depressive episode (more than three times more likely) or psychosis (2.6 times more likely) compared to pain-free subjects.

Think you've got your back pain handled? Nice try. Do something about the pain - and the potential mental health consequences - with regular visits to your doctor of chiropractic.