Simple Ways To Avoid Common Causes Of Back Pain

Back pain is one of the world’s most common health problems.  According to the World Health Organisation, it is also in the top 10 diseases and injuries accounting for disability-adjusted life years (number of years lost due to ill-health).  It can affect people of any age, potentially affecting their work life and general well-being.

Fortunately, there are some simple techniques that you can use to avoid the common causes of back pain.  This article will identify those techniques and explain how they can also reduce the level of back pain you are currently experiencing.

What are the common causes of back pain?

The human back is a complex system of muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments.  These components must work together to support the body and enable movement.  The spine also contains cartilage-like pads which are called discs.  They provide cushioning between the components of the spine.  Problems affecting any of the components of the back can lead to back pain.  The most common causes of back problems include:

Physical overexertion

Incorrectly picking up very heavy items or repeatedly bending over can strain the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the back.  Pain from overexertion can occur quickly or take many months to appear.

Injury
Back pain is often caused by an injury from an accident.  The most common accidents that cause back injuries include car crashes, collisions on the sporting field, and falls.  These injuries might include ruptured discs, broken bones, and torn ligaments or tendons.

Medical conditions
A variety of medical conditions can cause back pain, including osteoporosis, cancer of the spine, sleep disorders, kidney problems, arthritis, and sciatica.  In some cases, these conditions cannot be cured, so the pain they cause can only be managed.

Ruptured or bulging discs

The discs between each vertebra in the spine can sometimes rupture or change shape.  When this happens, more pressure is placed on the nerves in the back, potentially causing back pain.

Poor posture

Having poor posture can eventually contribute to back pain and may even cause long term damage.

How to avoid the common causes of back pain

Seek chiropractic help

Obtaining chiropractic treatment is one of the most effective ways to reduce back pain.  A chiropractor is a medical professional who is trained to identify and treat musculoskeletal problems of the human body.  They can identify the root causes of back pain and suggest treatments that address them.

Some of the ways that a chiropractor can help you avoid causes of back pain include:

  • Ensuring your spine is correctly aligned
    Chiropractic treatment involves alignment of the spine and other joints in the body. Correcting the alignment of your joints will prevent premature wear and can reduce the likelihood of back pain occurring.
  • Identifying any issues with your posture
    Chiropractors can diagnose and correct postural problems that cause back pain.
  • Diagnosing any serious underlying illnesses or injuries causing back pain
    Chiropractors can also identify other serious health problems that may potentially contribute to back pain like ruptured discs and sciatica.

Sleep on your back

When you are sitting down, walking, running, and lifting objects all day, your spine can become compressed.  Laying down on your back gives your spine a chance to recuperate, reducing the likelihood of back pain.  

Exercise more
Exercise that strengthens the core muscles can be very useful for reducing or avoiding back pain.  The core muscles are the muscles found in the abdominal region and lower back.  If these muscles are well developed, they will take strain off of the ligaments and tendons in the back which can reduce pain levels.  Having a strong core also reduces the risk of a back injury occurring. 

Get a good pair of shoes

If you are on your feet for long periods, purchase a high quality pair of shoes that fit your feet well.  This will ensure that your body has a stable and well-balanced base that supports your legs and back.  It will help you avoid back pain associated with ligament, muscle or tendon strains. 

Have regular massages

Massages can help to relax the muscles in your back and increase blood flow.  This can help you remain flexible, preventing pain relating to sore muscles and ligaments. 

Have medical problems diagnosed

If you have unexplained back pain, it is a good idea to see a doctor.  They will be able to run tests to check your overall health and identify any health conditions that may be causing your pain.  Your doctor may also help you identify health problems before they worsen and cause even more back pain. 

Practice good ergonomics and improve your posture

Good posture involves standing, sitting, and moving in a way that reduces the amount of strain on your body.  When you exhibit good posture, your joints will be well aligned — reducing the risk of injury or wear-and-tear on the joints in the back.  This reduces the risk of long term injuries occurring which cause back pain.

 

The Problem With Painkillers

For many people who suffer with chronic headaches or migraines, reaching in the medicine cabinet on a daily basis is almost second nature. But did you know that the more you increase your dosage of painkillers, the more you could potentially make your pain worse?   For some, reaching for the tablets every morning is as much as a habit as turning off the alarm clock or popping on the kettle. It becomes the only way chronic pain sufferers believe they can function. But worryingly, the dose that patients take over the years tends to gradually increase. And quite often, the more painkillers people take, the more they need to take.

Almost like an addiction, people who routinely take painkillers may even find themselves waking up during the night to take them! But what people don’t always realise is that the very drugs promising to ease pain are often prolonging it.

It is estimated that around 500,000 women and 100,000 men suffer from daily headaches as a result of the overuse of painkillers. These people are not overdosing on their medication; they are simply taking the pills for long periods of time. The more a painkiller is taken, the more resistant the body becomes and so the sufferer resorts to a stronger type of medication. When the medication wears off, withdrawal reactions (known as ‘rebound’ headaches) can develop, prompting them to take more medication. So it is actually the absence of the medication that is causing the headache.

Although this issue can affect anyone, the problem is thought to be more common among women. This is mainly because women are five times more likely to be affected by migraines than men. Women are also more likely to report their symptoms.

It’s important to remember that although painkillers can be effective in managing your headaches, they shouldn’t be your first port of call!

How a chiropractor may help?

A chiropractor may do one or more of the following if you suffer from a primary headache:

  • Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and reduce the stress on your system.
  • Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of B complex vitamins.
  • Offer advice on improving posture, ergonomics exercises and relaxation techniques.

This advice may help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.

Chiropractors undergo years of extensive training to help their patients in many ways beyond treatment for lower back pain. A good chiropractor will understand how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems.