What do you get when you combine long work hours and a little exercise? If you guessed chronic back pain, you’re right on the spot. Among chronic pains that are growing increasingly common in the 21st century; backache is by far the most widespread and the toughest one to shake. One of the prime reasons for absenteeism and a leading cause of disability worldwide; back pain affects about one-half of Americans each year, and it’s the second most common reason for visits to healthcare centers.
In addition to the startling statistics; medical experts estimate that 80% of the U.S. population will experience a back problem at some point in their lives, and you can easily be one of them. Preventing back pain is easier than remedying it; you just need to know the common causes of back pain and take steps to banish them from your daily life.
Intense Strain on Weak Muscles
If you spend most of your daytime hours in a seated position and seldom get to move around; your back may start to ache even after a short mild-intensity workout. If your back muscles are weak, sudden movements or lifting and carrying heavy objects can trigger ligament or muscle strain, and the pain can range from slight discomfort to debilitating aches that persist for several days. Sports injuries are another common trigger for a backache, and they can evolve into chronic back pain unless treated with due care
To prevent back muscle strain; include weight-bearing workouts in your weekly agenda and try to avoid sitting for hours on end. Get up, move around, exercise during work breaks, and don’t skip your gym routines; your older self will be grateful to you for the effort.
Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis
Age-related bone loss is another common culprit behind a backache. As you get older, your bone mass begins to drop, causing your spinal structure to deteriorate; which can result in lower back pain. Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis often cause joint inflammation, stiffness, swelling, and they mostly affect individuals with reduced mineral bone density. The problem with osteoporosis back pain is that it is tough to remedy, and full recovery is usually impossible unless the condition is diagnosed in the early stages.
While gradual bone loss cannot be fully prevented; arthritic and osteoporotic back pain can be avoided through proper diet, regular workouts, and choice of adequate bedding. Add dairy and leafy greens to your menu, join the gym, and pick one of the superior quality Bedworks mattresses online; these simple lifestyle tweaks will keep a backache out of sight for a few years longer.
Herniated or Slipped Discs
Herniated or slipped discs can cause excruciating back pain which can become chronic if the condition is not identified in time and treated adequately. Unfortunately, the pain caused by a slipped or herniated disc doesn’t stop in the lower back; it affects the nerves as well, and it can compromise your mobility once it starts to spread to the hips and legs.
To preserve peak spinal health, exercise regularly and avoid lifting heavy objects without a prior warm-up. If your spinal discs are a bit worse for wear; avoid carrying heavy loads altogether and pay regular visits to a physiotherapist or chiropractor. Massage is also recommended for light to moderate back pain caused by a slipped or herniated disc. In acute cases; massage may not be viable until the pain has worn off and surgery may be required to take the pressure off of the pinched nerve.
Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
The reason why your lower back starts to ache after prolonged walking or standing periods may be hiding behind degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease affects the young and the elderly alike, and it can occur even in people aged over 20. Lumbar degenerative disc disease is manifested through low-intensity chronic back aches; which intensify when standing, bending, or walking, and sitting may bring about a slight yet short-lived relief.
If you’re suffering from degenerative disc disease; it’s highly advisable to change positions often and regularly engage in exercises targeting the muscles around the spine. While physiotherapy can help alleviate pain, invasive treatments may be required for complete recovery.
Pregnancy-Related Back Pains
Pregnant ladies don’t have it easy; with the growing baby in their belly, expecting moms carry a heavy load which strains the back muscles and can cause intense pain when walking, bending, or standing. The pain usually aggravates as pregnancy advances and the fetus grows; which is why most doctors advise future mothers to exercise in the early pregnancy stages and rest more in the last few months before delivery.
While moms-to-be cannot avoid the pain that comes from extra weight in the belly; they should follow doctor’s orders and avoid lifting and carrying heavy loads and rest in between periods of physical activity. Yoga and Pilates are often recommended to expecting mothers as they strengthen core and back muscles and promote proper posture in late pregnancy while also strengthening pelvic floor muscles.
Don’t let your back health go to shambles; a backache is both preventable and treatable with just a few simple changes in your daily routine. The sooner you adjust your lifestyle for back muscle strength; the longer your lumbar spine will remain out of pain’s way.