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Action Physiotherapy Weighs in on Report that Some Indigenous Cultures Have No History of Chronic Back Pain

Action Physiotherapy (www.ActionPhysiotherapy.com), a leading provider of effective physiotherapy serving the Brampton area for over 20 years, is weighing in on a report that some indigenous cultures do not have a history of suffering from chronic back pain.

Esther Gokhale, an acupuncturist who travelled extensively to study back pain in other cultures, found many indigenous societies which had either a minimal amount of chronic back pain or none at all. This was true of inhabitants who were both elderly and sedentary for much of the day (Source: Doucleff, M.,“Lost Posture: Why Some Indigenous Cultures May Not Have Back Pain,” National Public Radio website, June 8, 2015; http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/06/08/412314701/lost-posture-why-indigenous-cultures-dont-have-back-pain.)

“Chronic back pain is not a universal problem,” says Robert Kappes, M.Sc (PT) and Registered Physiotherapist at Action Physiotherapy. “Most often, it is a result of the lifestyles people lead. By implementing some of what can be learned from these indigenous cultures, it is possible to help alleviate back pain in Western society.”

Gokhale’s findings were that the most notable difference in these cultures was the posture of the inhabitants. Their spines were in a flat J-shape as opposed to the wavier S-shape that is seen with most people.

“These findings are not surprising,” Kappes adds. “It’s common to see posture as one of the largest factors in chronic back pain. It is actually possible to use a detailed digital posture scan to see how people’s posture is aggravating or even creating their pain.”

While a formal study has yet to be completed, the main contributing factor to the indigenous people’s flatter spine is thought to be a result of their leaner weight and increased abdominal strength from the active lifestyles they lead.

These findings reaffirm that for people who work at a desk or perform other sedentary work, it’s incredibly important to be active. Regular exercise, including running, jogging, stretching, and abdominal workouts, can not only keep people healthy but prevent them from developing chronic back pain.

“It is important to have a well-rounded balance of exercise and activity,” Kappes concludes. “If a person is forced to be sedentary for a lot of the day, they need to make sure that they are working on both their cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength, as well as implementing posture correcting stretches and activities into day-to-day life. Fixing one’s posture can significantly reduce and sometimes completely fix back problems in many cases.”

Action Physiotherapy is a top provider of physiotherapy in Brampton, providing effective pain relief using a patient focused approach. To find out more, visit www.ActionPhysiotherapy.com.