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What Are The Main Causes Of Back Pain?

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Back Pain Causes Of Back Pain Lower Back

There are many known risks that are associated with the development of back pain to which a little consideration could save many people a lifetime of pain and discomfort. Back pain cannot be totally avoided, but by taking a little extra care to avoid the causes of lower back pain, it can be significantly reduced.

Occupation As A Cause Of Back Pain

Any occupation that requires the employee to participate in bending, lifting, long periods of sitting or driving, can add to the increased risk of developing a back complaint. Employers are now legally obliged to ensure correct lifting aids are available, suitable chairs are provided and that breaks are taken when necessary. Training on correct moving and handling techniques is also a requirement to avoid the causes of back pain, and it is the employees’ responsibility to attend sessions and amend practises as needed.

Anyone who must undertake a repetitive role should try and vary the activity often so as not to get fatigued and lapse into carelessness and develop lower back pain.

Overtime should be kept at a reasonable rate for the same reasons.

Smoking And Back Pain

Many smokers are not aware of the associated risks they are creating by participating in this habit.Smokers are over 2.5 times more likely to develop a back complaint as non-smokers, and recovery rates from back pain are correspondinglyingly slower.Smoking causes back pain through significant degeneration of the intervertebral discs, a lack of oxygen in the blood supply, which dramatically affects the healing process, and causes an increased risk of fractures to the hips, wrists and spine.

Posture And Back Pain

Poor posture, resulting from slouching, bending, stooping, leaning and being in the same position for long periods of time, can causes high levels of muscle fatigue. Tired muscles can spasm and constrict nerve and blood vessels which creates pins and needles, numbness and poor oxygen levels to the spinal structures, making poor posture an important cause of back pain, especially lower back pain.

Age And Back Pain

Unavoidably, age is a cause of back pain. Age brings with it a higher risk of arthritis, an increased chance of degenerative disc disorders (thinning of the discs after the age of 30, and dehydration of the discs as age increases), more chance of getting spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), and an increased risk of sciatica as bone density decreases. This also adds to the possibility of suffering from fractures.

Weight As A Cause Of Back Pain

Another risk factor that can have extremely bad consequences if not managed correctly, a person’s weight can be very detrimental to the health of their back if either obese, or highly undernourished.

Additional weight can put immense pressure on the lower back, especially the ligaments which can become permanently overstretched causing long-term weakness. The consequences being sciatica, herniated discs (and all the associated neurological factors), musculoskeletal and joint pain and other lower back pain from poor posture. A lack of exercise coupled with a high Body Mass Index can increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Back Pain From Sports

Many sports carry a high injury incidence, but if correct techniques are used and a sufficient warm-up performed, many of these risks, especially with back pain, can be reduced. It is not only the high-impact sports or those with require a high degree of technical expertise (such as gymnastics) that can be problematic; a simple golf swing can be the catalyst for a long encounter of back pain.

Pregnancy Back Pain

As the growing foetus and uterus develop, the stress put on the lower back increases. Not only this but a shift in the placement of abdominal organs and loosened pelvic ligaments (to prepare for the imminent birth) all contribute to making the back more vulnerable and prone to injury. Pre-pregnancy exercise and a gestational yoga class should help reduce the chances of injuries, although pregnancy back pain remains common.

Malnourishment As A Cause Of Back Pain

Eating disorders can increase the risk of the premature development of osteoporosis. This can cause fractures of the skeletal system and other injuries that may not heal sufficiently due to the person’s lack of nutrition. A poor exercise programme is likely as energy levels are low, also increasing the risks of suffering from back pain.

Some of these risk factors are unavoidable, but a little knowledge and some precautionary measures can reduce the risks of back pain considerably.

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