Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Invest In Your Health Today

The American Red Cross is an organization that I’m sure you are very familiar with. On a large scale, they organize and provide relief work throughout the world when disaster strikes. On a smaller scale, they have effective programs teaching first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), swimming and so much more.

I believe they are a vital part of our community and provide crucial and important services, much being done by volunteers. I really enjoyed my time working with the American Red Cross as a certified instructor for their Protect Your Back Program. Part of the course material was a questionnaire which I’ve recreated for your review. Take a look. See how you fair.

So many people take their spinal health for granted, but that’s true for health in general. Some people refuse to invest in their health, thinking its wasted money…that is until something really goes wrong and then forced to confront their health or lack of it. By this time it costs them a great deal and perhaps even leaves them with a permanent condition or disability.

Though statistics often vary and sometimes conflict in many arenas, the statistics on back pain seem to be consistent over the years indicating about eighty percent of the population will suffer back pain problems in their lifetime.

This can range from a simple musculoskeletal problem to more severe nerve and disc issues.

One sure thing not to do is ignore a problem. Little problems can turn severe fast or into a bigger problem in the future. With consequences that become permanent or even land you in surgery.

Some of us are more likely to have back problems because of our activities of daily living or our inactive lifestyle (the way we live). Others are prone to injury because of work conditions or factors they have no control over. It’s hard for a fireman in a dangerous situation fighting a fire or extracting a person from a car or burning building to always use proper lifting techniques. This is just one example.

Here are a few risk factors to be aware of. The more often you answer “yes” to the following questions, the greater your risk of back injury.

Are you pregnant?
Are you a woman who has had a hysterectomy or is past menopause?
Are you more than 20 percent overweight?
Are you exposed to prolonged vibration at work, such as driving motorized equipment?
Do you often wear improper footwear for the job?
Do you stand or sit in one position for 30 minutes or more?
Do you carry a heavy shoulder bag or keep a thick wallet in your hip pocket?
Do you work at a keyboard, computer, or video display terminal much of the day?
Do you frequently use files stored in a drawer below hip level?
Do you make frequent or lengthy telephone calls without a head set?
Do you often place objects on, or remove objects from shelves located above shoulder height or below knuckle height?
Do you work at a workstation requiring prolonged standing, stooping, reaching or twisting?
Do you lift heavy objects off the floor frequently?
Do you often carry or lift a small child?
Do you drive for more than an hour at a time or commute long distances to and from work?
Do you exercise only occasionally?
Do you sleep on either a hard or sagging mattress?
Do you stretch out on a sofa or scoot down in a recliner to watch TV all evening?
Do you smoke or use any type of tobacco products?
Do you work at a cash register for long periods?
Do you have a history of previous back injury?
Do you have a known structural problem in your spine, such as curvature, disc degeneration, or one leg shorter than the other?

How many of those questions apply to you or someone you know?

If so, start taking positive steps to correct those that you can. Some solutions may be obvious to you and others not so much.

If you need help determining what to do next, here are some options:
Give me a call.
Visit me at the office.
Look for solutions on my website.
Come to one of my frequent In Office Workshops (being my patient is not a prerequisite…all are welcome).
Invite me to speak and teach at your club, organization or business…if it’s local, it’s free. I’m happy to support our community.

Well, enough for now. Let me know how I can help you. 

As always, I hope to be the chiropractor you wish you had in the family.

Dr. Rick Barrett

P.S. Heading to Guatemala soon for a medical mission. Can I count on your help with prayers or donations or both? Thanks.