Overlooked Causes for Back Pain

Every day, we see trauma cases and diseases of the spine that cause pain and disability. Many conditions, such as bulging spinal discs, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, and spinal arthritis rarely cause only back pain alone, but often the major complaint from these problems is limb pain. Typically, simple back pain is caused by muscle strain.  In fact, 80% of us will seek medical care for back pain at some point in our lives.

Believe it or not, you can control whether or not you are afflicted by some of the lesser-known causes of back pain by simply changing your lifestyle.

Smoking causes back pain, which has been proven over and over in a number of studies.  Quitting your smoking habit can improve your level of pain more effectively than medications, surgery, or physical therapy.

Being overweight strains your back as well as your joints.

Moving extra weight around, on a daily basis, is hard on your lower back and makes it more vulnerable to injury. Instead of taking medications or trying surgery, losing weight can significantly lessen back pain.

Having weak back muscles increases your chance for injury and back pain.  This is caused by a lack of physical exercise. A strong core helps your body expend less energy to remain upright and supports the spine. Endorphins are released during exercise, helping you feel better naturally. You don’t have to join a gym or spend money on fancy equipment.  Walking is one of the best exercises for overall health and doesn’t cost a penny.

Poor posture increases back pain.

It is never too late to work on improving it.  Stand up tall and quit looking down at your Ipad or Iphone for hours at a time.  Adjust your computer monitor at work so that you look into it squarely (not up or down) while sitting at your desk.  Get up and stretch every hour.  Take a quick spin around the office occasionally. Post sticky notes on your desk to remind you.  Simple improvements in our posture can go a long way to lessen neck and back pain.

In summary, you can’t control your genes and whether you develop spinal stenosis.  However, you can lessen your risk for back pain by following some simple guidelines for a healthier life.



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