Back Pain and the Opioid Epidemic


Some Facts on Back Pain:

I was reading some statistics today on back pain, especially on the connection between back pain and the current opioid crisis we are having here in the US. Things are really quite scary! 

1. Almost Everyone Experiences Bad Back Pain

Yes, that's right, 80% of Americans experience back pain, and of those, 70% have bad enough pain that they go to the doctor. Statistically, more women than men seek treatment (which given my own experience with my husband, is not surprising, as he hates to go the doctor).

2. Back Pain Is One Of the Most Expensive Health Problems

Lower back pain alone accounts for 2-3% of all doctor visits. While that percentage seems low, it is higher than visits for allergies and the common cold! Between physicians, PTs, and pharmacies, the cost adds up to about $30 billion per year!

3. Treatment Costs Go Up, but Outcomes Haven't Improved

Most disturbing is the fact that as treatment costs go up, patient outcomes stay exactly the same. Why?

Because the costs are mostly for pain medications, which include fentanyl (which killed Prince) and Oxycontin (which most recently killed Tom Petty). And pain medications don't fix your back pain, they just numb you and turn you into an addict.

What Can You Do About Back Pain?

If the medical establishment is not helping people with back pain, and is in fact contributing to the opioid problem by simply giving people pain pills, what else can you do? Just suffer? As you might imagine, I have some ideas.

1. You Gotta Move!

One thing that we know improves peoples' back pain is properly done exercise to maintain appropriate spine positioning and posture. The less we sit, the more we move, and the more we move well, the better we feel. 

2. You Need To Chill Sometimes

There is a stress component to back pain, no doubt about it. We overwork and overworry. Take a bath, do a meditation class, take some deep breaths. But spend some time unplugged and relax!

3. Strengthen Your Deep Abdominal and Back Muscles 

Recent studies show that deep core strength helps us stabilize our spines both in movement and against load. In my humble opinion, Pilates is one of the best exercise modalities for this. 

Back Pain Resources 

1. Free Back Pain Resources

I have two free videos for you. The first is about how to stabilize your back and pelvis:

and the second is about Pilates Fundamentals to Eliminate Lower Back Pain:

2. Low-cost Resources

All of my Pilates Audios will help you reduce or alleviate lower back pain. They are 30 minute Pilates exercise routines that, if done regularly, really will help your back pain. Price? $20 each for something you can use daily, and easily travel with.

Click here to check out Pilates Audios

3. Higher-cost Resources

My two top resources for back pain are the Pilates for Back Pain eCourse and an Online Private Lesson.

The $97 eCourse is a comprehensive guide to using the full PIlates mat repertoire to eliminate your back pain, including an ebook with photos, audio workouts, and explanatory videos that break everything down for you. Weeks of content!

Click here for more about Pilates for Back Pain eCourse

An online private with me will allow me to see how you move and give you more specific recommendations for your particular back pain issue. A 55 minute session, which includes the video for you to watch and re-use, is $120 (Pilates pro discounts and package pricing available.

Click here to book an Online Pilates session

Any questions? Contact me and I will help you out!