It is fair to say that back pain is an epidemic in the US and Colorado Springs, without being overly dramatic. 

Back pain is the Number 2 reason for sick leave at work, and it is the Number 2 reason for doctor visits in the United States, behind symptoms caused by the cold and flu. 

Eight-percent (80%) of adults in the US will experience back pain in their lifetime. It's "the cold." 

Despite this, the back is likely the most under-appreciated and under-served or cared-for part of the human body. 

The back is a complex structure made up of 33 vertebrae, over 30 muscles, numerous ligaments, multiple joints, and inter-vertebral discs.

We all know what the brain's function is. We all know what the heart does, lungs and the stomach. But what is the function of your back? 

Yes, it keeps you upright. Yes, it helps you bend over. But likely the greatest contribution is that the vertebra of the spine encapsulate and protect the spinal cord which delivers vital communication from the brain to the rest of your body. Without that communication, you do not function and you die. Don't believe me? What would happen if you snipped the nerves running from the spinal cord to the heart? What would happen if you interfered with that communication for 30 years? 

If the nerves running through your arm are interfered with, you literally see the muscles of the hand wither away and shrink. A pinched nerve in the back can cause you to lose bowel and bladder control. 

It's a pretty big deal. And because it has such an important role, if it is disrupted from doing its job, you can have serious problems...even if you aren't feeling back pain.  

This post is not intended to scare you, but hopefully it helps you value your back (and your back pain) a little more, or have some material to share with a friend.  
7/8/2012 05:00:53 pm

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