Health

Here Are The Most Common Causes of Back Pain And How To Prevent It

Oh, back problems – a common struggle for so many of us in the United States. It’s estimated that a whopping 80% of adults in the… Alli - February 12, 2023

Oh, back problems – a common struggle for so many of us in the United States. It’s estimated that a whopping 80% of adults in the country will experience some form of back pain at some point in their lives. Whether it’s a twinge of discomfort after a long day at work or a chronic condition that interferes with daily life, back problems are no joke. In fact, they’re one of the leading causes of missed work days and disability in the U.S.

But the good news is, there are ways to manage back problems and improve your quality of life. From physical therapy to pain medication to lifestyle changes, there’s a whole host of options available to help you find relief. So let’s not let back problems hold us back any longer – it’s time to take control and live life to the fullest with these tips.

Wake Spine & Pain Specialists.

Degenerative Disc Disease

As we age, our spinal discs can deteriorate and cause pain. Degenerative disc disease, also known as the “wear and tear” of your spinal discs, is a condition that can lead to pain, stiffness, and limited mobility.This wear and tear is a form of arthritis, which is where the cartilage in the spine joints begins to wear out. One of the best things you can do for your back is to stay active and engage in regular exercise. Low-impact activities like swimming and cycling can help keep your discs healthy, strong, and ready for action. And don’t forget about maintaining a healthy weight. Carrying extra pounds can put unnecessary stress on your back and increase your risk of degenerative disk disease. Good posture is key when it comes to preventing this condition. Remember to sit up straight, stand tall, and take regular breaks to stretch and move your back if you spend a lot of time sitting. [via Johns Hopkins]

Goodpath.

Muscle Strain

A back strain is a type of injury that affects the muscles or tendons in the back. It occurs when the muscle or tendon is stretched or torn, usually as a result of overuse or over-exertion. Symptoms of a back strain include muscle pain, tenderness, and weakness in the affected area. This type of injury can occur in any part of the back, including the neck, upper back, and lower back. Back strains are common among athletes and individuals who engage in physical activities that put repetitive stress on the back muscles. Treatment typically involves rest, ice, compression, and over-the-counter pain medications, as well as physical therapy to help improve strength and flexibility in the affected area. [via Cottagehealth.org]

Spine Connection.

Muscle Sprain

Yes, there is a difference between muscle sprain and muscle strain. Of course, you can have a sprain and strain at the same time. A back sprain affects the ligaments in the back rather than the muscle tendon. It occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn, often due to a sudden twist or impact. Symptoms of a back sprain include pain, swelling, and instability in the affected area. This type of injury can occur in any part of the back, including the neck, upper back, and lower back. Back sprains are often caused by sudden movements or falls that put stress on the ligaments in the back, and can be common in athletes or individuals who engage in physically demanding activities. Treatment for a back sprain typically involves rest, ice, compression, and over-the-counter pain medications, as well as physical therapy to help improve stability and prevent future injury. In some cases, a brace or other support device may be recommended to aid in healing and reduce the risk of re-injury. [via Cottagehealth.org]

Wikimedia.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner material of a spinal disc bulges out of its proper place and presses on the nerves in the spinal column. This can cause back pain, numbness, and weakness in the back and extremities. While herniated discs can be caused by a variety of factors, including age and injury, there are steps you can take to prevent them. One of the most effective ways to prevent a herniated disc is to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts extra stress on the discs in your back, increasing your risk of injury. Exercise, especially low-impact activities like swimming and cycling, can also help keep your back healthy and strong. Good posture is another important factor in preventing a herniated disc. Slouching or hunching over can put additional pressure on your discs and lead to injury. [via WebMD]

Wikipedia.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis in the back, also known as spinal osteoarthritis, is a common condition that affects many people as they age. It is characterized by the degradation of the cartilage that cushions the joints in the spinal column, leading to pain, stiffness, and a loss of mobility. The lower back is particularly susceptible to this condition, due to the weight and stress placed on the spine in this area. To help alleviate symptoms of spinal osteoarthritis, it is important to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly to improve flexibility and strengthen the surrounding muscles, and engage in low-impact activities such as swimming or cycling. Over-the-counter pain relievers, hot or cold therapy, and physical therapy may also be helpful. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to alleviate symptoms and improve spinal function. It is important to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, as well as to discuss any lifestyle changes that may be beneficial. [via Cleveland Clinic]

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Fractured Vertebrae

A fractured vertebrae is a serious spinal injury that can cause immense discomfort and even limit mobility. While the cause of these fractures can range from a traumatic event to the gradual wearing down of bones due to osteoporosis, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. Maintaining an active lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help keep your bones strong and reduce the chance of a fracture. However, sometimes, life throws us a curveball and a fall can occur. To minimize the risk of falls, it’s a good idea to assess your home and remove tripping hazards, use non-slip rugs, and install grab bars in the bathroom. If you have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis or fractures, speak with your doctor about additional preventive measures. [via Penn Medicine]

HSS.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves sideways in an S or C shape, instead of being straight. This curvature can lead to pain, difficulty with physical activities, and in severe cases, breathing problems. Scoliosis can be caused by a number of factors, including congenital abnormalities, neuromuscular conditions, and degenerative diseases.Treatment for scoliosis depends on the severity of the curvature and the patient’s age, symptoms, and overall health. In mild cases, observation and monitoring may be all that is needed. For moderate to severe cases, treatment options may include physical therapy, bracing, and in some cases, surgery. Physical therapy can help improve posture, flexibility, and muscle strength, which can reduce pain and improve mobility. Bracing can help slow down or prevent the progression of the curvature, especially in growing children. Surgery, such as spinal fusion, can be used to straighten the spine and prevent further progression of the curvature. [via Mayo Clinic]

Ancaster Family Chiropractic.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal narrows, compressing the spinal cord and nerves. This can result in a range of symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. While it is commonly caused by the natural degeneration of the spine, it can also be caused by spinal injuries, tumors, and other conditions. To reduce the risk of developing spinal stenosis, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle and manage any underlying conditions. This may include regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good posture, avoiding heavy lifting, and effectively managing conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. If you are experiencing symptoms of spinal stenosis, it is crucial to seek medical attention. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve outcomes and prevent further progression of the condition. [via NIAMHS]

Care2Cure Physiotherapy

Poor Posture

Prolonged sitting, slouching, or poor posture can lead to back pain over time. Preventing poor posture and back pain starts with adopting good habits. Maintain a healthy posture by keeping your shoulders back and down, your chest out, and your head level. Regular exercise and stretching can help improve posture and relieve tension. When lifting, use your legs and avoid twisting. Maintaining a healthy weight and using ergonomic equipment can also help minimize the risk of back pain. Additionally, getting enough sleep on a supportive mattress and using a pillow that maintains the natural curvature of your neck can help prevent back pain. If you are experiencing back pain, don’t just assume you know the cause. Seeking medical attention is important to determine the cause and develop a proper treatment plan. [via Integrated Rehabilitation]

Sobel Spine and Sports.

Sciatica

Sciatica is a painful condition caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the legs. It is often caused by a herniated disk in the lower back, but can also be the result of spinal stenosis, spinal tumors, and other conditions. To help prevent sciatica, it is important to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, such as maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and a balanced diet, stretching regularly to improve flexibility and relieve tension in the lower back, practicing good posture and body mechanics when lifting, using ergonomic equipment at work, and getting adequate sleep on a supportive mattress and pillow. [via Medline Plus]

YouTube.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, tenderness, and fatigue. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but it is thought to be related to a combination of genetic, physiological, and environmental factors. There is no known cure for fibromyalgia. However, you can manage its symptoms. It’s important to exercise regularly, practice good sleep hygiene, manage stress through techniques such as meditation and deep breathing, eat a healthy diet, limit caffeine and alcohol intake, stay active, and seek support. If symptoms persist, seeking medical attention is crucial for proper diagnosis and effective treatment. [via Medical News Today]

Urology Austin.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are small, hard deposits of mineral and acid salts that form in the kidneys and can cause intense pain as they pass through the urinary tract. To prevent kidney stones, it’s important to drink plenty of water to help flush out the kidneys, limit the intake of foods high in oxalates and salts, avoid dehydration, maintain a healthy weight, and limit the intake of animal protein. It’s also helpful to limit the use of certain medications and supplements that can increase the risk of kidney stones. If you have a history of kidney stones, your doctor may recommend dietary changes and medications to help prevent the formation of new stones. [via Mayo Clinic]

Dr. Buzby’s.

Spondylosis

Spondylosis is a general term used to describe the natural aging process of the spine, which can cause changes such as degeneration of the discs, arthritis, and spinal stenosis. To prevent spondylosis, it’s important to maintain good posture, exercise regularly to strengthen the back and core muscles, avoid heavy lifting and repetitive motions, maintain a healthy weight, and manage stress. It’s also helpful to avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption, as these can increase the risk of spondylosis. Additionally, good sleep hygiene, such as using a supportive mattress and pillow, can help prevent spondylosis by reducing the stress on the spine during sleep. If you already have spondylosis, your doctor may recommend physical therapy, pain medications, or other treatments to manage symptoms and prevent further progression of the condition. [via Spine Health]

RSNA Journals.

Spinal Tumors

Spinal tumors are abnormal growths that develop in the bones, tissues, or nerves of the spine. The exact cause of spinal tumors is not known, but they can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, injury, and exposure to radiation or certain chemicals. It’s hard to say how tumors can be prevented, but there are some theories. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, eating a well-balanced diet, not smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption can help reduce the risk of developing certain types of tumors. Additionally, avoiding exposure to potentially harmful substances, such as tobacco smoke and radiation, can also mitigate some risk of developing spinal tumors. If you experience symptoms such as back pain, numbness, or weakness, it is important to seek medical attention, as early detection and treatment of spinal tumors can improve the chances of successful treatment. [via American Association of Neurological Surgeons]

Dr. Nael Shanti.

How Bad Sleep Affects Your Back

Sleep disturbances can lead to back pain as a result of poor sleep posture and the accumulation of physical stress on the back and neck during the night. To prevent sleep-related back pain, it’s important to have a supportive mattress and pillow that promote proper spinal alignment, avoid sleeping on your stomach, and use a supportive pillow to keep your neck and spine in a neutral position. Additionally, engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing stress can also help improve sleep quality and decrease your back pain. Clinging to these bad sleep habits will make it more likely that you will develop back issues in your life. [via Docs Health]

The Physic Company.

Stress Hurts Your Back

Stress can have a significant impact on back pain by causing muscle tension, increasing the risk of injury, and exacerbating existing conditions. To prevent back pain related to stress, it’s important to manage stress through techniques such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing, and talking to a mental health professional. Additionally, maintaining good posture, engaging in regular physical activity, and taking breaks throughout the day can help reduce the impact of stress on the back. Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight can also help prevent back pain and other stress-related conditions. [via Spine Health]

New York Presbyterian Health.

Prolonged Sitting

Prolonged sitting can have a significant impact on the back by leading to poor posture, increasing the risk of injury, and exacerbating existing conditions. To prevent back pain related to prolonged sitting, it’s important to take regular breaks to stand up, stretch, and move around. Additionally, using a chair that provides proper lumbar support, adjusting the height of your chair and computer screen to maintain good posture, and engaging in regular physical activity can also help reduce the impact of prolonged sitting on the back. Maintaining an active lifestyle and a healthy weight can also decrease the likelihood of developing back pain and other issues associated with extended sitting. [via UCLA Health]

 

Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/degenerative-disc-disease

pennmedicine.org/…to-z/vertebral-fracture

cottagehealth.org/…/understanding-back-strains-and-sprains

my.clevelandclinic.org/…/5599-osteoarthritis

https://medlineplus.gov/sciatica.html

uclahealth.org/…/ergonomics-prolonged-sitting

spine-health.com/…/stress-related-back-pain

aans.org/…ns-and-Treatments/Spinal-Tumors

mayoclinic.org/…ptoms-causes/syc-20355755

 

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