Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Acute Injuries To The Neck And Back Sometimes Result In Chronic Pain

Americans spend more than $50 billion each year on low back pain alone. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and the second most common cause of all disability as documented by the CDC* (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Only disability due to arthritis or rheumatism is more common. Heart trouble at number three follows.

Most of these injuries to the neck and back will be quickly forgotten and are of no more significance than a twisted ankle. Some, however, will result in a residual mechanical dysfunction that eventually leads to matters more serious. To make it simple, imagine for a moment that you forcibly hit the curb with the front tire of your car, an acute injury to the wheel, if you will. If you were lucky there may be no damage at all, simply a scary bump and you drive on your merry way, the impact soon forgotten. But, hit the curb a bit harder, at a less favorable angle, and you can bend the wheel or twist a support strut. Now what happens? Well, initially it steers a little funny, but you tell yourself it doesn't. You tell yourself that maybe it was always that way - the car is, after all, no longer new. You tell yourself that it is not really that bad and you can learn to live with it. You tell yourself that others likely have cars that pull to one side or the other too, especially on bumpy roads. Eventually, of course, you'll notice that the tire is going bald. This makes it really hard to steer, especially in the rain. Mechanical dysfunctions gradually get worse and sooner or later bald tires go flat so that you are un-able to drive the car. Likewise, degenerating discs eventually result in a dis-ability.

Disabled Is Usually Reserved To Describe Someone Who Is Not Able To Work

That day can be postponed by doing less and less which is really no different than driving your car less and less. Perhaps a steering problem would be easier to tolerate at a lower speed and if you only drove on sunny days, never in the rain. If you had a car like this would you learn to live with it? If you were unable to stand or walk or sit due to back pain or neck pain what would you call it? "Un-able", "not-able", and "dis-abled" are quite similar although disabled is usually reserved to describe someone who is not able to work and thus unable to earn a living.

Wear and tear in the wheel world results in a bald tire that eventually goes flat and leaves you stranded on the side of the road. Wear and tear in the neck and back world results in degenerative joint disease or degenerative disc disease that gradually results in a lesser and lesser ability to do the things you need to do, and to do the things you love to do. Tires and wheels can be fixed, you don't have to learn to live with it. Finally, modern medical science has a non-surgical solution to neck pain and back pain that actually works too - non-surgical spinal decompression. You no longer have to learn to live with it.


Data were collected in June-September 2005 by U.S. Census Bureau using the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP); CDC and the U.S. Census Bureau analyzed the most recent data and released their findings in May 2009.

CDC. Prevalence and Most Common Causes of Disability Among Adults --- United States, 2005. MMWR 58(16); 421-426.


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