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My Back

The expression “we have got your back” has a couple of meanings. In most cases, it conveys support and protection. For example, it means the facilities, equipment, speakers, etc. for a speaking event will be there for you when you need them. In effect someone saying they have your back means they are your confidante, ally, and cheerleader, ready to stand up for you when necessary. This meaning likely developed from the literal image of having someone’s back physically covered in a fight or dangerous situation.

Less commonly, the expression can imply trust and reliability. It signifies the equipment et al can be counted on to come through for you, regardless of the situation. They’re your rock, your safe haven, someone you can trust implicitly. This meaning probably stems from the metaphorical sense of relying on someone’s strength and stability to support your own actions and decisions.

The exact origin of the phrase “I/we have got your back” is unclear. However, it likely first emerged in American military slang around the 19th century. Soldiers, fighting side-by-side in close quarters, relied heavily on each other for survival. Having someone’s back literally meant their own survival could depend on it. This practical meaning gradually evolved into a broader expression of support and camaraderie, spreading beyond the military into everyday language. The phrase has become widespread in pop culture, appearing in movies, songs, and even advertising. Its versatility and positive connotations make it a powerful way to express loyalty, friendship, and unwavering support.

Some examples include “Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Just go for it!”, “They were a tight-knit group, always there for each other. They had each other’s backs, no matter what.”, and “She knew she could always trust her sister. She knew, without a doubt, that her sister had her back.” 

“I/we have got your back” is a simple yet powerful statement that signifies love, trust, and unwavering support. Whether in military circles or everyday life, it’s a phrase which reminds us we’re not alone, and we have strong shoulders to lean on when needed.

Another dimension of backs is it is tied to common health issues in the United States, affecting a significant portion of the population. It is one of the leading causes of disability and missed workdays. Back pain is highly prevalent, with estimates suggesting around 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. A significant number of people suffer from chronic back pain, which can have a considerable impact on their quality of life. Back pain is a major cause of missed workdays and productivity loss. Many people seek medical attention and take time off work due to back-related issues.

Estimates suggest annual spending on back pain exceeds $80 billion. Individuals with back pain often incur significant medical expenses, including doctor visits, physical therapy, medications, and, in some cases, surgeries. Back pain can lead to disability, and workers suffering from back-related issues may claim workers’ compensation, further contributing to the economic burden. 

Adding a bit more personal touch to backs, I had my fifth back surgery on Tuesday (the day before yesterday). My lumbar spine and cervical spine both have a lot of arthritic conditions. In my case, the particular condition which was making me miserable was severe stenosis in my lumber spine. Spinal stenosis occurs when the space around the spinal cord narrows, putting pressure on the nerves and causing pain, numbness, and weakness. The narrowing is crystal clear at the L2-L3 section of my spine.

There is no guarantee the surgery will completely solve the problem, but epidural injections and other treatments have not worked. The surgical procedure I had is called a laminectomy. A laminectomy is a surgical procedure which removes part or all of the lamina, a bony plate located at the back of each vertebra in your spine. The procedure creates more space in the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord and nerves.

Although there is no guarantee, I am confident Dr. Scott Sanderson created the best possible surgical outcome. He is a board-certified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeon, specializing in the surgical treatment of brain and spine conditions. After earning a degree in biology at Cornel University, he trained at New York University Medical Center, one of the most prestigious academic neurosurgical programs in the United States. Dr. Sanderson has my back!

Note: I use Bard AI as my copilot and research assistant. AI can boost productivity for anyone who creates content. Sometimes I get incorrect data from AI, and when something looks suspicious, I dig deeper. Sometimes the data varies by sources where AI finds it. I take responsibility for my posts and if anyone spots an error, I will appreciate knowing it, and will correct it.