Eight in 10 people experience back pain at some point in their lives, and according to a recent Gallup survey, the statistics are even more concerning, particularly if you include neck pain in the conversation. Per the survey, back and/or neck pain has been an "ongoing problem" (lasting five years or more) in more than half of people who visited a health care professional in the previous 12 months for one or both of those complaints.
Now here's where it gets interesting. According to the same survey,
nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) would rather try nondrug pain-relief
options before using a prescription pain medication. (Chiropractic would
be a great option, of course.) And to reduce pain intensity (or perhaps
even prevent it from striking in the first place), here's a simple
strategy to combine with your periodic chiropractic wellness care: exercise.
Yes, research suggests people who exercise are less likely to develop
low back pain – 33 percent likely, according to a review of 16
previously published studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Exercises that strengthen and stretch the lumbar (low back) and
abdominal muscles, or strengthening and aerobic exercises combined, seem
to do the trick, according to the lead study author. And it gets
better: Back pain severity and resulting disability were also lower in
patients who exercised.