Lower back pain affects millions of Americans every day with 80% of adults predicted to experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. Lower back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability and one of the leading causes of missed work days. Learn what you can do to combat it and prevent it!
Common Causes of Back Pain
We see a few common causes of back pain in our patients in-office. These are causes that can come on over time, instead of sudden injuries, such as:
- Bone and Muscle Strength – As you get older, bone strength and muscle stretchiness tend to decrease. At the same time, the spinal discs can lose their flexibility and fluid–two things essential to cushion your vertebrae to prevent pain. Nerve roots will become compressed or irritated when you have less cushion, causing back pain.
- Arthritis and Chronic Conditions – Arthritis is a common cause of back pain. Your cartilage (cushion) either diminishes over time from wear and tear, or inflammatory responses in the body wear the cartilage away. This causes bone to grind on bone. Diabetes, cancer, and many chronic conditions can make this happen quicker.
- Spine Curvature – Your back can naturally lose it’s normal curvature over time. That curve is usually an arch that shares force placed on the entire back, with a mass at the bottom giving support. That bottom mass is generally the joints and bones of your lower back, which is why you get pain in that region with back issues and spinal curvature.
- Disc Injuries – These can happen from falling, twisting, lifting, and other daily movements.
Often, injuries in general are the cause of chronic back pain, especially when your lower back pain came on suddenly. Winter back injuries are quite frequent, as many people slip and fall on ice, injuring either a leg, foot, or their back and head. That is why it’s so important to wear proper winter gear when you’re outdoors. For example, instead of wearing heels or dress shoes to work, slip on a pair of winter boots instead. Once you’re at your office, switch back to your business shoes. This will help avoid a back injury if you walk outdoors to work or your car.
Other causes of injuries and their prevention include:
- Lifting heavy objects. Often, people injure their backs because they lift with their backs instead of their legs. Always, always, lift with your legs! It’s much easier than bending over and trying to raise your back. Plus, you’ll avoid debilitating injury. Have others help you when moving and lifting heavy items.
- Overstretching. Do you stretch before exercising? Studies show this can actually cause a muscle injury. Do a 5-minute warm-up before light stretching, exercise, then finish up your workout with moderate stretching. Doing too much will overstretch your muscles, leading to strains and tears. If you have to stretch for athletic training or injury recovery, make sure you follow safe guidelines in your stretching/exercise plan.
- Twisting. Twisting while carrying something is a common way to herniate or bulge a disc in your spine. Always lift, then turn slowly. With exercise, chores, and daily activities, don’t carry a lot and do twisting motions.
- Auto accidents. Simply getting rear-ended can put you in back pain for a year or more. The small, fast movements of your neck and head can cause small, violent jerks to happen that cause injury to the back and spine. You may not even feel the effect for days or weeks after the auto accident. Always get an evaluation with a fender bender to ensure you’re not injured.
- Short falls. Missing a step, slipping, and other short falls can cause you to hit the ground hard. You may also try to catch yourself, leading to further injury. Use canes, rails, the wall, and other things to grasp onto if you’re walking outside, on stairs, in winter weather, and other situations where you could fall.
- Sudden jerks. Be gentle with movements, especially exercise, as sudden jerks can cause muscles to contract too quickly, leading to injury. Be slow and deliberate with your movements, especially with lifting, climbing stairs, and other activities.
- Bad postures. The way you sit each day will determine if you have lower back pain or not. Posture is directly linked to lower back pain, because your body will lean forward at an angle directly affecting the lower part of your back. Remedy bad posture by sitting up straight. Use a soft pillow behind your back to remedy back pain and posture if you sit a lot of your day.
Heal Your Back Pain Today!
Did you know that more than 31 million Americans have back pain every single day according to the American Chiropractic Association? It’s predicted that up to 80% of Americans will have lower back pain at some point in their life. That’s why it’s so important to know prevention and treatments for lower back pain.
Here are some therapies we often recommend to our patients:
- Stop tobacco and alcohol products. Both lead to nerve damage and chronic illnesses.
- Learn proper technique. Exercises and sports lead quickly to injury and back problems if you don’t know how to properly lift weights, turn, or do specific moves.
- Seek chiropractic help. When the back and spine are properly aligned, it can help you to have better form, fewer back problems and a reduced risk for back problems.
- Ask about spinal decompression treatment, which slowly and gently stretches the spine, popping joints back into place, easing tension, inflammation, and pain.
- Receive your consultation and enroll in one of our therapy services such as spinal rehabilitation, neuro-muscular rehabilitation, neuropathy treatment, trigger-point and large joint injections, whole-body vibration therapy, physical therapy and more.
Call Spine Correction Center of the Rockies today at (970) 658-5115 for your free consultation!