Back pain is one of the most debilitating injuries that our bodies can sustain, but can be caused by multiple factors. For some people the pain is caused by sudden or unexpected events, while others experience it in a more gradual manner. Even if you are very careful to avoid physical activities or sports that can back pain you can still put yourself at risk. Even everyday activities that we do without thinking can contribute to back pain. Here are some of the most common causes of this injury to give you an idea about what to look out for.
Sport or Other Physical Hobbies
Taking part in a sport is great for relaxing and keeping in shape, but can cause back pain if you are not careful. Most types of sport, such as football, soccer, golf, tennis and basketball places a lot of pressure on the spine. Injuries to the spine sustained while participating in a sport obviously causes back pain, but it can also happen if proper care is not taken to warm-up beforehand. Even relatively minor injuries can result in back pain if these occur frequently enough.
Sitting Down The Whole Day
Whether it is in front of a computer while at work or in front of the television while relaxing we spend a large amount of time each day sitting down. This increases the pressure placed on the vertebrae and disks of your spine, even more than walking or standing. Even by taking regular breaks you can still end up with back pain if your seat is not properly adjusted.
Improper lifting techniques
Whether it is due to disc injuries, muscle injuries or joint injuries, many people end up with back pain after using improper lifting techniques. Everyone knows that you have to bend with your knees, but it is also important to keep your chest forward and to ensure that your shoulders are aligned with your hips to prevent twisting. Finally, the weight of the object you are lifting should be kept close to your body to minimize extra force on the lower back.
In addition to other health risks being overweight also places extra pressure on the spine. Over time anyone who does not maintain a healthy weight for their body mass index can start to experience back pain.
Everyone knows that cigarettes are bad for your lungs and heart, but they are also linked to back pain. There are a couple of reasons why lighting up regularly causes back ache in the long run. Firstly, the vertebrae and disks in your spine receive less blood flow due to restrictions caused by the nicotine in cigarettes. This results in faster aging and quicker breakdown of the vertebrae and disks. Cigarettes can also lead to back problems that are related to osteoporosis because the nicotine hinders the calcium absorption capabilities of the body.
Exercise keeps you fit and can help strengthen your back, but only if it is done correctly. Many people make the mistake of jumping straight into heavy exercises, which coupled with improper form, is a recipe for disaster. The muscles that support the spine tend to become weaker if you are inactive for a long time, so taking on exercise that is too strenuous can actually do more harm than good. Even worse, activities such as arching your back when doing ab work or rounding it during dead lifts increases the pressure on the spine. Focus on proper form while exercising and gradually work your way up to more strenuous routines if you are just starting out to prevent back aches.
Your Sleeping Habits
To keep your spine neutral and elongated while sleeping it is best to lie on your back or side. Sleeping on your stomach places more pressure on the muscles, ligaments and disk. This can be further exacerbated if you are not using a pillow that is keeping your head in line with your spine. Even a bed that is too soft can cause back pain, so stick to a medium mattress for snoozing.