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As a chiropractor, one of the most common questions I get asked is, “how do I prevent back pain?” Or “what could I have done to prevent this?” This can be a complicated question and not every pain or injury is preventable. For example, if you were to get into a car accident and hurt your back. You could be the strongest or healthiest person in the world, and it wouldn’t make a difference. However, big accidents like that aren’t how most pain or injury occurs. I usually hear “I bent over to pick something up” or “it just started hurting over time”. These are some things that can be more preventable.

One research article that helps us answer this question is titled “Prevention of Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis”. This is a great study to look at because it collects a bunch of other studies and compares them all together, which means we’re getting an overall summary of the data out there. This study looked at six different strategies to prevent low back pain.

They were:

  • Exercise

  • Education

  • Exercise and Education

  • Shoe inserts/insoles

  • Back belts

  • Work Ergonomic Adjustments

The study found that exercise alone as well as exercise and education were effective at helping prevent low back pain. According to the study, none of the other strategies were effective at preventing low back pain.

What does this mean for you?

This means if we want to have a shot at living a pain-free life we need to continue to move! One of my favorite sayings is “motion is lotion, rest is rust”. It also means we should be using exercise as our practice or preparation for the game of life. In life we have to constantly pick things off the ground so might as well practice, correct? One of my favorite ways to practice picking things off the ground is by doing deadlifts in the gym. If I can pick up a 300lb deadlift, then my back will be better prepared for picking stuff up in daily life. My mind will also be at ease knowing that if I can lift 300lbs I’ll also be more likely to safely pick up something small like a piece of paper or a dog bone (which I constantly step on in my house).

Lifting weights is one of my favorite ways to stay fit and prepare for life but there are many other options. I personally think strength training is vital for everyone but some other great ways to move and exercise is walking, running, yoga, biking, boxing classes, or even playing a sport that you enjoy. The key is finding something you like to do. If you can find something you enjoy then sticking with it will be that much easier.

One of my goals as a chiropractor is to help better you and prepare you for life. If you need or want help with strategies to do so, feel free to reach out to me on my Instagram or by calling to schedule an appointment with me at (704) 896-7571.


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