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What Is The Relationship Between Back Pain And Disuse Syndrome?

Posted by Florida Spine and Injury | Oct 8, 2019 11:10:00 AM

We spend a lot of time sitting.

In our cars, at our desks, at the dinner table, and on our couch.

If you have a desk job, you're sitting for nearly eight hours every day, about 40 hours a week.

Then you get home, sit at the dinner table, and then finally collapse on the couch.

That's a lot of time spent sitting around.

And, it's becoming more and more evident that it's not very good for us.

It can cause or aid in the development of several diseases, including obesity and diabetes, and it can cause or exacerbate back pain.

The term given to this level of inactivity is "Disuse Syndrome."

In the article below, we'll take a look at the relationship between disuse syndrome and back pain.

Table Of Contents


What Is Disuse Syndrome?

Disuse syndrome is the effect on the body and the mind when a person is sedentary.

Disuse syndrome was first characterized in 1984, and since that time, it has received a lot of attention concerning back pain, chronic pain disorders, and other chronic illnesses.

Some people have even generalized it beyond chronic pain issues and feel it's related to the base of much human illness.

Disuse syndrome is directly caused by physical inactivity that is fostered by a society that is becoming more and more sedentary.

It's caused by all of that sitting around.

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Disuse Syndrome can cause a variety of health issues

The Effects Of Disuse Syndrome

When we stop using our bodies, it leads to a deterioration of many of our body's functions.

It's what people mean when they say "use it or lose it."

There are several physical consequences of disuse that occur in many body systems.

Most notably are the muscles and skeleton, cardiovascular system, blood components, the gastrointestinal system, the endocrine system, and the nervous system.

In the musculoskeletal system, disuse of muscles can quickly lead to atrophy and muscle wasting.

If you've ever had an arm or leg in a cast, you're familiar with how noticeably smaller the limb is when the cast is removed.

That's because of disuse.

Cardiovascular effects also occur due to disuse, including a decrease in oxygen uptake, a rise in systolic blood pressure, and an overall blood plasma volume decrease.

Physical inactivity will also lead to nervous system changes, including slower mental processing, problems with memory and concentration, depression, and anxiety.

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Chiropractor and chronic pain

Disuse Syndrome Is A Key Factor In Chronic Pain

There are many other detrimental physiological changes that can occur.

Inactivity plays a pervasive role in a lack of overall wellness.

Disuse is physically, mentally, and spiritually debilitating.

Many experts agree that disuse syndrome is a key variable in the development of many chronic pain problems.

Disuse syndrome can result in many significant medical problems, and it increases the likelihood of a chronic pain syndrome developing or becoming worse.

It can also lead to a variety of emotional changes that are associated with an increased perception of pain.

Unfortunately, common attitudes and treatment in today's medical community doesn't rely on physical activity and exercise of any type, and instead lead to more passive treatments.

Chiropractor care is an exception to that rule, as chiropractors will often recommend lifestyle adjustments as well as physical activities to their patients.

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What Do We Do?

The answer to that question seems pretty obvious.

We need to be active again.

For some people though, that is much easier said than done.

We'll go over a few guidelines below that will help people plan and follow through with a safe and effective exercise program to get them active again and condition their back.

The goal of engaging in these exercise and fitness activities is to aid the healing process of an injured back and alleviate existing back pain while preventing future problems.

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Back pain relief

Prepare To Be Uncomfortable

You'll want to start slowly, but you should still expect some initial discomfort.

And don't get too far ahead of yourself. You might not feel any soreness for 24 to 48 hours after the exercise session.

So don't think you can go all out on day two just because you aren't sore yet.

Starting an exercise program after an episode of back pain will likely cause an increase in pain in the beginning, but the pain experienced during the exercise should be "good pain."

The pain should be expected as a natural part of increasing activity and stretching tissues that have become stiff and deconditioned. 

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Pace Yourself

When you return to activity you should ease back into an exercise program.

Try not to overwork or strain muscles that have become deconditioned after a long period of inactivity.

Already knowing that there may be initial discomfort, you should be cautious when doing back exercises to keep the back pain under control and prevent a flare-up.

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Strength training and Chiropractic Care

Include Stretching, Strength Training, and Aerobic Conditioning

Utilizing these three components of exercise will help heal existing problems, avoid injury, and prevent future problems.

Muscles will become stronger and more flexible, repairing strained muscles that have been causing your back pain.

Low-impact aerobic conditioning helps stretch and strengthen your back as well as your abdominals and hamstrings, two muscles that help support your back.

There are great ab exercises to help with back pain.

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Work With A Chiropractor

You should find a medical professional to help you with your exercise and fitness program.

Working with a chiropractor is best because they regularly recommend lifestyle changes and exercise programs to their patients.

Your chiropractor will assist you in developing an appropriate exercise and fitness routine. They'll tell you what you should do and also what you shouldn't do.

It's particularly important to see a chiropractor because they are experts at treating spinal conditions and back pain, and they will know that different back conditions will require very different exercise programs.

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Florida Chiropractor

Contact Florida Spine And Injury

If you're ready to speak to a chiropractor about disuse syndrome, especially as it relates to your back pain, contact the team at Florida Spine and Injury.

They will be able to work with you to develop a treatment program tailored to your specific needs to get you active again and relieve you of your back pain.

They will also help you develop your exercise program and recommend any lifestyle changes as needed.

Click the button below to get started.

Free Back Pain Consultation

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Topics: back pain

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