Published by Mark Petersen
There are many people who rely upon themselves to do many tasks. In talking with them, one common refrain is, “No one will pay more attention to my stuff than I will.” The question then becomes, “Are you paying attention to the right things and/or are you consulting with the right expert?”
At our firm, we periodically talk about seeing a doctor and not sharing all of one’s medical information. One may ask the doctor for a diagnosis and/or a prescription. Back pain is a relatively common malady. Yet, back pain is difficult to diagnose and treat with so many potential causes:
- When asked about four common types of pain, respondents of a National Institute of Health Statistics survey indicated that low back pain was the most common (27%), followed by severe headache or migraine pain (15%), neck pain (15%) and facial ache or pain (4%).
- Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old. More than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain.
- Adults with low back pain are often in worse physical and mental health than people who do not have low back pain: 28% of adults with low back pain report limited activity due to a chronic condition, as compared to 10% of adults who do not have low back pain. Also, adults reporting low back pain were three times as likely to be in fair or poor health and more than four times as likely to experience serious psychological distress as people without low back pain.
Source: National Centers for Health Statistics, Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans 2006, Special Feature: Pain. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus06.pdf
I can relate to having occasionally experienced lower back pain. As a golfer, it is not uncommon. I implemented a regimen of stretches and strengthening exercises which I have done every morning for years. It was a hodge-podge of activity that was accumulated over decades. In February this year, my experience was different. After 2 or 3 days of rest, my back was not getting better. It prompted a visit to my doctor who prescribed for me a visit to a Physical Therapist for the first time in my life. Nine visits later, with an entirely new regimen of strengthening exercises and stretches (specifically designed for a golfer), my back feels pretty good. Even after playing 18 holes of golf.
My intention to address an issue directly impacting me was good. I was diligent in exercising every morning. However, I am not an expert in body mechanics, muscles and pain. Quite simply, I was focused on the wrong things. One relies upon lawyers for legal work, CPA’s for tax work and doctors for issues related to health. Maybe, one should consider relying upon Financial Advisors for issues of money, planning and investing. Financial Advisors are educated, trained and experienced when it comes to planning your financial future and will help you focus on the right things.