By Dr Gary Tho

Aches and pains are common and it’s not because you’ve hit a certain age. Nowadays, pain is accepted as part and parcel of being a parent, a working professional or businessman or woman. However, remember that pain is always a telltale sign that something is wrong.

Woman with back pain

Simple aches and pains may be caused by minor irritations, strains or sprains. With rest, a strip of pain medication or a little TLC like a visit to a chiropractor, it will heal.

Unfortunately, most people who feel minor aches and pain don’t listen to that alarm. They don’t act immediately. They end up living with pain and making the condition worse and sometimes the instant gratification of pain medication just silences the alarm, but their habits and activities keep on aggravating the injury, leading to larger problems. Neglected, pain and its underlying causes can progress, becoming more deep-seated and severe.

medula morada

In my private practice, back pain is one of the most common concerns. Back pain sufferers miss out on life and put their sports and social activities on hold. It is a leading cause of underperformance, whether from a business or an athletic perspective. It limits your capability to do what you need to do, reduces focus and concentration and plays havoc on your mood. Simply put, back pain can result in poor performance and a poor quality of life.

So how do you know if your back pain is severe? Ask yourself these six questions:

1.     Does your back pain keep reoccurring?

2.     Does prolonged sitting (in the office, during movies) or prolonged standing (a day of shopping) make it worse?

3.     Does it affect your sleep? Are you sleeping well even though you have back pain?

4.     Have you altered your habits and lifestyle? Have you stopped or changed your exercise routine or social activities? Do you avoid lifting, bending or other day-to-day activities?

5.     Are you restricted in your movement? (A clinical assessment by a qualified health care practitioner would be useful to check this.)

6.     Have you tried stretching, massage or other therapies and treatment without success? Did your back pain relapse even after treatment?


How many times did you answer “yes”? The more “yes’” answers, the more severe your back condition is. There are a variety of ways to relieve back pain, and keep your back happy once the pain has gone. If it’s a simple injury, stretching, mobility exercises and rest should fix the problem. Otherwise, find a qualified health care professional that can help you on the road to recovery and follow their recommendations. Believe me, your back will thank you for it.


The Author:

Dr Gary Tho is the founder of ChiroWorks, a health care clinic specialising in peak performance for anyone who can’t afford an ‘off’ day. His clients include executives, corporates, professional athletes and artists. He is also a speaker & writer. Dr Gary conducts a variety of engaging health workshops, and hopes to change the world, one posture at a time.


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