Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common causes of low back pain, and also one of the most misunderstood. Disc degeneration is a natural part of aging and over time all people will exhibit changes in their discs consistent with a greater or lesser degree of degeneration. However, not all people will develop symptoms. In fact, degenerative disc disease is quite variable in its nature and severity.
A few interesting facts about back pain:
1. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
2. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
3. Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer. But rather poor posture and poor use of the body.
4. Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
5. Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.
Information from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA)
A study funded by the American government suggests that massage may help relieve chronic low back pain. After 10 weeks, people who had weekly massages had less pain and were better able to go about their daily activities than people who got traditional care. That was true no matter what type of massage they got, and the benefits lasted at least six months.
Low back pain is a universal human experience — almost everyone has it at some point. The lower back, which starts below the ribcage, is called the lumbar region. Pain here can be intense and is one of the top causes of missed work. Fortunately, low back pain often gets better on its own. When it doesn’t, there are effective treatments.
Back Pain Culprit: Your Job
If your job involves lifting, pulling, or anything that twists the spine, it may contribute to back pain. However, sitting at a desk all day comes with risks of its own, especially if your chair is uncomfortable or you tend to slouch.