It may sound like an odd question to ask, but is there truly a link between a poor economy and back pain sufferers?
A recent online survey done by the American Pain Foundation would suggest that there is. “Seven in 10 (68%) people experiencing acute back pain or other minor muscle strains or sprains in the past year report that the recession has played a role in causing, increasing or otherwise affecting their pain, with 37% reporting that some aspect of the recession had a big impact on their pain.” (American Pain Foundation, Acute Pain and the Recession Omnibus Survey Executive Summary, September 21, 2009)
Dr. Michael Weir of Back in Action Chiropractic Center in Bellevue Wa. says that he sees this link on a daily basis with his back pain patients. “There is a direct link between the mental stress that follows an economic down turn and back pain. The reason for this is multi fascited, from an increase in muscle tension, to a decrease in physical activity.” Dr. Weir goes on to say, “helping my patients deal with their stress is a big part of my patient care, and goes a long way in the healing of back pain.”
A Johns Hopkins Health Alerts would agree with Dr. Weir’s findings
In the Health Alert entitled, "Back Pain and Osteoporosis Special Report The Mind Body Connection," they say "A growing number of studies affirm that the mind-body connection also plays a role in back pain, both in setting off an initial 'back pain attack' and in contributing to ongoing chronic pain."
The Health Alert went on to say psychological distress increases the risk of developing back pain followed by a slow recovery.
“Simple things can help you deal with the stresses of our down economy. Breathing exercises, simple stretches, walking during your lunch time, and many other stress eliminating tips go a long way in reducing stress levels.” Says Dr. Weir, “It is very important to remember this, because every where you look someone is reminding you that this is the worst economic time since the great depression. Yes, this is a bad economic time, but stressing out over it may make you sick.”
When it comes down to it you can not personally change our economy, so it makes no sense to constantly stress over it and hurt your body in the process.
Dr. Michael Weir is a Bellevue chiropractor at Back in Action Chiropractic. His focus is on getting people well, and his specialty is gentle adjusting techniques