I often tell students in class, “whenever I talk about back or spine health you should listen, regardless of your age, and whether you have ever had back pain or not”. This is because, as my teacher Paul Grilley states on his DVD, 80% of Americans will end up with a back pain or injury at some point, and for many that pain or injury will be chronic. Grey Cook also states in his lecture compendium that outside of a headache back pain is the number one reason most Americans will miss work or a social engagement.
I once had a student get upset because I stated that these were problems for Americans. Well, these statistics are for Americans. There are other parts of the world where the statistics are drastically different and they don’t have nearly as much back pain as we do. It’s not that they may not have their own problems, it’s just that back pain is not one of them. And sure, there may be cultures where back pain is even worse, but we don’t live in any of these cultures.
The point is that no one is saying that Americans are bad people, just that we have problems that other often much more primitive cultures don’t have, and back-pain is one of them. That is why I am sharing the above article with you. This way of back bending may be one of the missing ‘movement links’ that we have lost in our chair-bound sedentary culture that if we restore we can start to change that 80% statistic.
To paraphrase Grey Cook again, movement competency seems to be one thing that we are loosing as Americans. From the standards of entry to the military being lowered every year since 1965 because not enough people could meet them, to movement related injuries being on the rise, we see signs of this everywhere if we know where to look. This is important because movement effects every aspect of our wellbeing and happiness as human beings and not just our physical health.
Thanks to Erin Davis for sharing the above article with me.