Back Pain Causes and Prevention Techniques
By Rachel Carver
Many of us deal with back pain on a regular basis. It varies from slight aches to making standing or walking difficult. Back pain occurs for many reasons but can usually be managed.
Spinal Degeneration and Injury
Back pain -- especially in the lower back -- can develop without a cause that can be identified with an imaging study or test. Common causes of back pain include:
- Muscle or ligament strain - Constant heavy lifting -- especially if done incorrectly -- can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. A sudden, incorrect twist can also strain the back.
- Ruptured discs - Discs are cushions between your spinal vertebrae. If the soft material inside a disc ruptures, it can press on a nerve. Discs can bulge or rupture and not cause pain. Known as disc disease, this is usually found by accident during a spinal X-ray for an unrelated reason.
- Osteoarthritis - This sometimes affects the lower back and can lead to spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord. Osteoporosis is caused by painful fractures in brittle bones
Other Causes of Back Pain
There are any number of reasons why we experience back pain. The following are among them.
- Age brings on a number of maladies, and back pain becomes more common as you age. This can start in your 30s or 40s.
- No exercise is no good for your health. Movement and not sitting too much can keep your back muscles in use. Weak back and abdomen muscles are more likely to cause pain.
- Too much weight can strain your back and other joints.
- Diseases such as some forms of arthritis and cancer can create back pain
- Lifting with your back instead of your legs will most likely result in back pain.
Lessen your back pain by moving more and learning proper body mechanics. Improve your physical health with low-impact aerobic activities such as swimming and walking. These activities increase endurance and improve your muscle function. Lift heavy objects with your legs.
Do not slouch when you stand. If you stand for long periods, put one foot on a low footstool to take some of the pressure off of your back. Alternate your feet to keep good posture. If you sit at work, take frequent moving breaks for a quick lap around the office or work space. Use a chair with good back support. If possible, ask for a standing desk so you can rotate desk positions.
Routine chiropractor visits should also be part of preventing back pain. The Joint Chiropractic clinic team will work with you to set a treatment plan. The Joint can provide spinal adjustments, massages, and other natural therapies to treat your pain. They will also recommend exercises to work your back muscles and keep you out of pain.
To learn more about managing back pain, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hayward, Calif.