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Back Pain - How To Prevent Back Pain ?

What Causes Back Pain?

Some persons are more prone to getting back pain.  Most of the people get back pain at some point or other in their lifetime. Our back is made up of bones of the vertebrae, muscles, joints and nerves, which is complex in its structure making it difficult to locate the exact cause of the back pain due to its complex nature.

In most of the cases, this pain is caused due to sprains, strains, minor injuries, and/or due to an irritated nerve ending, may be triggered due to an awkward position of sitting, standing, driving, lifting etc.

Common Causes of Back Pain Includes the Below:

  • Carrying, Lifting, pushing, and/or pulling incorrectly.
  • Twisting your back
  • Injuries and sprains
  • Sleeping awkwardly
  • Getting up from your bed awkwardly
  • Bending awkwardly
  • Standing and bending long periods
  • Driving for long hours without taking breaks in between
  • Sitting at a desk for long hours without change position or posture
  • Driving in a hunched position
  • Uncomfortable exercises
  • Overstretching
  • Slouching while sitting
  • Wearing heeled shoes that are uneven
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Whiplash injury
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Slipped disc or bulging disc
  • Vertebral fractures or osteoporosis
  • Irregularities in the skeletal system such scoliosis, lordosis, kyphosis, back extension, and back flexion.
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Kidney stones

Risk factors for Back Pain

Find below the risk factors for back pain:

Age:  Back pain mostly occurs between the age groups of 30 and 40 and this becomes more common with age.

Occupation:  Some people who need to lift, push, pull, and twist their backs at work are at more risk of getting back pain.

Desk Job:  People working for long hours at desks are also more prone to back pain.

Low Fitness Levels:  Back pain is seen more among the people who do not have fitness, as these people have weakened back muscles.

Pregnancy:  Pregnancy puts a great strain on the back particularly at later stages of pregnancy.

Stress:  Stress leads to straining and stiffness of the back muscles, which may give rise to back pain.

Overweight and/or Obese:  People who are overweight will have too much stress on their spine that cause back pain.

Due to Inheritance:  Some causes for pain such as disc diseases are inherited.

Smoking: Smoking destructs blood flow to the lower spine causing spinal discs to degenerate.

Medicines:  Drugs such as corticosteroids using for long time weakens the bones, which make them more prone to fractures and injuries.

Depression:  People who are in depression are more prone to getting back pain.

Arthritis and certain kind of cancers can also contribute to back pain

Signs and Symptoms of Back Pain

In 80% of the cases, a few days of rest and mobility can help in recovery. However, some symptoms indicate a mandatory visit to the doctor. Such symptoms include:
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Swelling of the back
  • Pain in the limbs
  • Immobility of the back
  • Pain becomes worse at night.
  • Numbness and tingling of the lower limbs, genitalis, and other parts of the body
  • Loss of control over bladder and bowel movements

Treatment for Back Pain

The primary treatment for back pain would be to remain mobile and active. In earlier days, bed rest was advised but now it is known that being inactive for long periods makes the back pain even worse. Hence, patients are advised to do moderate activities like performing their daily tasks and walking.
  1. Pain relievers such as Paracetamol are commonly advised.
  2. Hot and/or cold compressions can help reduce the pain to an extent.
  3. Acupuncture also provides relief in some people with back pain.
  4. Therapies such as physiotherapy and osteopathy may also help relieving the back pain
  5. If your back pain lasts for more than 6 weeks, then certain exercises and manual therapies along with pain medicines are advised.
  6. Finally, spinal surgery is considered if all the above treatments fail.

How do you prevent back pain?

  • Make sure that you do not put too much pressure on your back
  • By maintaining good posture while lifting, sitting, standing, driving, and lying down.
  • Getting up from lying position and sitting position is a very important, which needs to be looked into to prevent strain to your back.
  • Regular exercises such as walking and swimming is an excellent way of preventing your back pain.
  • Yoga and pilates also known to improve the strength and flexibility of your back muscles.

Articles you may be interested in :
How to Prevent Back Pain During Pregnancy

Acute and Chronic Back Pain Management