Are you suffering from back spasms when you move? Or, do you have an ongoing back problem that flares up regularly? Back pain is something that many people across the world experience. Statistics show that 54 percent of American adults have lived with back or neck pain for at least five years. But knowing that back problems are common does not make it any easier to deal with, especially when persistent pain impacts daily life. To help you, here are five common causes of back problems and ways to prevent them.
The burden of back pain
Back pain can be a real burden and has a lasting impact on everyday health. Having back trouble can prevent you from doing the things you love and change how you go about daily life.
But, there is no need to simply accept this plight as a part of your life. As back pain varies widely from person to person, everyone’s backache experience differs. This means that finding effective ways to deal with pain differs.
While some people respond well to one treatment method, others may not feel any benefit, but a lifestyle change could benefit them. So, when it comes to back pain, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Identifying the cause of the back problem
Sometimes, back pain can have an obvious cause. If you moved house yesterday and were carrying heavy pieces of furniture, chances are today you have woken up with a sore, aching back. Other times, the cause of back pain is far less apparent, and you may have no idea how your back became sore and what to do about it.
Back pain is often the result of a trapped nerve, muscle strain, or a slipped disk. Scheduling an appointment with your doctor will help to identify the precise reason your back is hurting, and they may be able to suggest treatments to ease the pain.
5 potential causes of back problems:
1. Poor posture
Having poor posture is something many people do not notice until it starts causing them aches and pains. Poor posture can present in a few different ways but is usually characterized by rounded shoulders, slumping, and a hunched appearance.
2. Long periods of sitting
As many people work office jobs and live sedentary lifestyles, the amount of time sitting down has grown extensively in recent years. Long periods of sitting and a sedentary lifestyle are bad for your back for two main reasons.
Firstly, sitting for prolonged periods causes your muscles to weaken and become stiff, which means they can no longer support the spine effectively. While sitting for prolonged periods, you are not up and about exercising, which can lead to further deterioration of muscles and an increased weight gain, putting additional strain on the back.
3. Excessive lifting causing to back problems
While sitting for long periods and being inactive is bad for your back, putting it under too much strain is also problematic. Lifting heavy weights and repetitive actions that put your back under excessive pressure can lead to severe issues too.
Torn or overstretched muscles are two such issues. These back injuries are usually caused by jobs requiring manual labor or physically demanding sports, including lifting heavy weights.
4. Breast-related back pain
If you have larger breasts, you may notice these cause you to experience various issues and strain your back significantly. While having a large chest does not cause everyone issues, for some, it can lead to back and neck pain, poor posture, and discomfort around the shoulder area.
If you believe that your chest could be the root cause of your back pain, that is something you could explore further. Treatment such as breast reduction surgery is available, and this option could help to alleviate back pain and other symptoms.
5. Degenerative disc disease
Discs in the spine start to wear down as part of aging. It can progress to become a painful issue called degenerative disc disease.
Along with backaches, the area may also feel stiff. Physical therapy or occupational therapy may help you. Some people swear by spinal injections for relief.
3 ways to protect your back:
While many people experience the occasional twinge in their backs that passes within a few days, the impact of back pain can be debilitating for some people. Discussing your back pain with a doctor and receiving professional medical advice is essential.
Your physician should be able to discuss your different treatment options with you. But, if you are looking for ways to protect your back from potential damage, there are ways you can do so.
1. Improve your posture
Improving your posture is an excellent way to prevent further damage to your back. Try gentle exercises to strengthen and correct your posture. Pilates and yoga, for example, can play a significant role in helping you to keep your back healthy and to reduce potential strain.
2. Check your work setup
If you spend the working days sitting in front of a desk and hunched over a computer, it is a good idea to begin taking steps to improve your work setup. Investing in some ergonomic office equipment, such as an adjustable chair, is a great place to start.
Alternatively, adding a standing desk to your office set-up is a great choice. I have one! It helps take some pressure off that back that can be caused by prolonged sitting.
3. Change the way you lift
Lifting can severely impact your back’s health, especially if you are lifting heavy or awkwardly-shaped objects regularly on the job. Learning how to handle goods in ways that will protect your back as much as possible is essential.
Also, don’t forget to ask for help when attempting to lift excessively heavy weights. If possible, it is best to avoid lifting excessive weight to protect your back from lasting damage and prevent further problems from developing down the road.