Lowering Health Costs: Take Care of Your Back!
David Castillo Dominici
Health costs is a significant problem in today’s economy. It is very important for college students to be aware of health care costs even if they are not yet accountable for their own health care yet. Because health care costs is not an easy problem to fix, it is our responsibility to limit our own costs. One way that we as college students can lower our personal costs right now and for the future is to protect our backs! A study conducted by the Sheps Center for Health Services Research found that about 80% of our population is affected by lower back pain and another study by the Oregon Health and Science University found that back pain is the fifth common reason for physician visits in the U.S. The American Chiropractic Association estimates that Americans spend about $50 billion dollars each year on back pain treatment. Physician visits, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, and MRI’s are just some of the things that contribute to the costs. The majority of health care expenditure associated with back pain is medication, both prescription and non prescription The Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study in 2008 to compare yearly health costs between those who experienced chronic back pain and those who did not. They found that in 2005, people with spine problems spent $6096 in medical expenditures, while people who did not experience spine problems spent $3516 in the same year. That’s a huge difference!
So why should we care? Back pain affects the majority of America’s population and preventing this kind of ailment could potentially cut our annual health care costs in half! There are several ways to prevent back pain and they can all be worked into your lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight and activity level are crucial to maintaining back health. Stretching daily and wearing proper footwear with low heels and proper arch support are also great ways to prevent back pain. Finally, remembering to maintain proper poster, especially while sitting for prolonged amounts of time and properly lifting heavy objects, (lift with your knees!) are ways to prevent lower back pain. Following these guidelines could potentially help you in lowering personal health costs and will also improve your overall quality of life. Your back is very important for our daily health, so please, be kind to it!
For detailed tips on how to prevent back pain, click this link!
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