What Causes Back Pain And How Can It Be Prevented?

Back pain can be caused by many factors. Repetitive or improper lifting, sports injuries, aging, poor physical fitness, and even psychological issues can cause back pain. How can it be prevented?

Causes and prevention of back pain.

Many sources of back pain can be prevented or minimized. These include the following:

  • Poor physical condition. If the core muscles that support your back are weak, you can strain your back simply by bending over. Excess weight also puts additional stress on your lower back. Exercise activities such as yoga and pilates strengthen your core muscles in low impact workouts. When you bend over, create a habit of supporting your weight by placing one hand on your knee. This will reduce stress on your lower back.
  • Bad posture. If you slouch or hunch your body forward while sitting, you are putting stress on your lower back muscles. Make a habit of sitting up straight and placing your seat in a position where you can reach things comfortably. Consider purchasing an ergonomic chair, which is designed to prevent muscle strain.
  • Improper lifting. When lifting an object, never bend over and lift with your back muscles. Squat directly in front of the object and lift with your legs. Never twist your back when lifting. Always lift first, then turn with your feet. When performing repetitive lifting such as snow shoveling, take many small breaks to allow your muscles to recover.
  • Sports injuries. High impact sports such as gymnastics or football can cause pars fractures, which are small cracks in the bones supporting the spine. Proper rest is the only way to prevent further damage. Athletes eventually stop practicing these types of sports altogether because of repetitive stress injuries.
  • Aging. The discs that fit between the vertebrae in the spine are normally flexible, but can dry out and become brittle with age. This may cause your discs to press against nerves in the spine. This can be alleviated by building core muscles to support the back. Chiropractic care can also help to realign the spine. Surgery to replace the deteriorating disc may be necessary.
  • Psychological issues can cause back pain in different ways. Stress can cause muscles throughout the body to tense, which leaves them more prone to injury than relaxed muscles. Ironically, physical activity is a great stress reducer. Proper warm up before strenuous activity will warm and loosen tense muscles.  Psychological pain can also cause back pain with no physical cause. The mind creates a pain that deflects focus from the psychological conflict. When the mental distress is resolved, the physical symptoms will often vanish as well. 

Most types of back pain can be prevented or at least helped by practicing proper bending and lifting, and strengthening the supporting core muscles. Talk to a chiropractor like Beltline Chiropractic for more information.