Back pain is, unfortunately, one of the most common forms of chronic pain among U.S. adults. Whether due to stress, career demands, lifestyle, or injury, back pain can limit your ability to enjoy everyday life. The worst part? Most of us feel powerless in the face of back pain, believing there is nothing we can do once the cycle begins.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons for your back pain and what you can do to treat and prevent it from advancing further.
Most common forms of back pain
Back pain comes in all shapes and forms, but most people describe it in one of three ways:
- Acute – Back pain is sudden and only lasts a few days to a few weeks with no recurrence.
- Subacute – Pack pain that comes and goes or increases in intensity over several weeks.
- Chronic – Pain that sustains for longer than 12 weeks.
These types of back pain can help you describe your issue with your doctor. You should also take to them about different health conditions and previous injuries, as they might help your physician diagnose you with one of the following conditions, where back pain is a primary symptom:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine)
- Kidney stones or infections
- Herniated or ruptured discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Fractured vertebrae
Common Causes of Back Pain
Back pain can occur due to genetic conditions or illness, but it can also be caused by life cycles or lifestyles. Some of the most common reasons for back pain include:
- Aging – Back pain is more common for individuals over 45 and worsens as we get older due to degeneration of bones and joints.
- Fitness level – Back pain can occur if the back and abdominal muscles are not strong enough to support the spine. It can also happen for those who over exercise and injure their backs in the process.
- Weight changes – Weight gain related to lifestyle, health conditions, and pregnancy can increase the spine’s burden, making back pain more likely.
- Posture – Those with desk jobs are likely to experience pain if they have poor posture.
- Occupation – Active jobs that require heavy lifting or twisting and pulling can increase your risk of back injury and chronic pain
How To Prevent and Correct Back Pain
Back pain often comes on slow, which means it can sometimes be prevented with lifestyle changes before it gets worse. While this is not true with all types of back pain, these adjustments may help you find some relief until you can schedule a consultation with your physician:
- Strengthen your back by exercising those muscles
- Sit and stand up straight
- Lift heavy objects by bending your knees instead of your back
- Ensure comfort and correct sleeping posture at night to prevent stiff neck and back
- Talk to your physician about healthy ways to lose weight or to treat conditions that contribute to weight gain
- Be mindful during pregnancy as not to injure your back while weight gain occurs
PPOA offers comprehensive solutions for chronic and acute back pain, so you can stop it from interfering with your life. To learn more, contact your local PPOA office today to schedule an appointment.