Back pain is so common that it seems many people have simply accepted the condition as a normal part of the aging process. Of course, this attitude could not only keep you in pain longer, it can also prevent you from living the healthiest possible life—and for no good reason. Back pain is both a treatable and preventable condition.
We talk a lot about treatment for back pain, but there are several ways to prevent back pain in the first place. Sometimes the most innocuous movement—such as incorrectly lifting a heavy object—can lead to many years of severe and debilitating pain (when the injury is left untreated). In other cases, basic lifestyle habits, such as excessive weight or even smoking can affect the back.
It’s my job and my goal to help as many people as I can to live the longest, healthiest lives possible. In that spirit, let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of back pain.
Back Pain Caused by Incorrect Lifting
Lifting a heavy object incorrectly is a major cause of back pain, but there are some steps you can take to avoid injury. First off, be sure to keep the object close to your body while lifting. This provides greater stability.
Check the position of your feet. Are they too close together? When you keep your feet about shoulder width apart, you provide a better base of support. Also, be sure to keep your back straight while lifting, and bend your knees in order to raise and lower objects from and to the ground.
Finally, never underestimate the importance of strength. By tightening your abdominal muscles while lifting, you can prevent placing strain or force on the spine. It’s also important to have a clear understanding of your abilities; if you don’t think you can lift something on your own, be sure to ask for help.
Back supports are also available for those who are required to do a large amount of heavy lifting at work.
Lifestyle Issues and Back Pain
It’s pretty simple: people who do not exercise regularly and who are overweight are more vulnerable to the conditions that cause back pain. The good news here is that increasing activity and shedding excess pounds is not only a good way to reduce the risk of back pain, but can also promote the health of your entire body.
Back Pain for Smokers
This terrible addiction has such far-reaching consequences that it’s important for all smokers to Quit Smoking Now. While not many people would associate smoking with back pain, there is a very real connection between nicotene and musculoskeletal problems. For example, smoking can inhibit the transport of oxygen and other nutrients to the discs of the spine. These discs (which play an important role in cushioning the spine) are then more vulnerable to damage and less able to repair themselves.
In general, smoking weakens the immune system and inhibits your body’s ability to heal. Our facility has incorporated a smoking cessation program (with a 75% success rate) for this and many other reasons.
Not Treating Pain Immediately
As I mentioned earlier in this post, it’s imperative to treat back pain as soon as possible. The longer you ignore pain, the worse it will become. Ignoring back pain may even lead to a chronic pain condition—a more difficult problem to treat.
If you are suffering from back pain, contact our Monmouth County facility to learn more about treatment options for your condition. Our pain management facility incorporates medical services for back pain in conjunction with physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care.