The majority of American adults will experience back pain at some point. This can range from mildly annoying to completely debilitating. Understanding what causes back pain, some common risk factors, and how using a physical therapy clinic can help gives you the tools to ensure that back pain does not control your life.
Common Causes Of Back Pain
Many different things cause back pain. Some conditions are hereditary, leaving you little choice but to learn how to manage them. However, others can be prevented. Knowing what can contribute to back pain helps you to better understand your risk so you can take steps to limit potential damage.
- Lifting — Strained muscles or tendons are among the top causes of lower back pain. These are often the result of lifting a heavy object or lifting something with improper form.
- Poor sleep position — Sleep is a time when your muscles should recover from activity, but tossing and turning or sleeping on an unsuitable mattress can easily disrupt that process. If you regularly wake up stiff and in pain, poor sleep positioning may be causing your back pain.
- Arthritis — Arthritis and other degenerative disorders can cause chronic back pain. The associated inflammation and pain are debilitating for many people.
Impactful Risk Factors
Just as there is a wide range of causes for back pain, there are also varied risk factors. Some of them, such as inherited degenerative conditions, are unavoidable. However, many others are things you have at least some control over. Consider these risk factors for low back pain and how you can reduce their impact on your life.
Maintaining an active lifestyle and staying in good physical shape can help reduce your likelihood of developing back pain. For most adults, this means engaging in moderate-level exercise for about 30 minutes on most days. Scheduling physical therapy for back problems is an excellent way to find safe and effective exercises that won’t contribute to additional pain.
While cigarettes may not directly contribute to back pain, smoking is linked to higher rates of certain types of pain, including sciatica. It reduces circulation and can impair nerve function, making it a risk factor for other potentially serious health conditions.
Obesity affects a significant number of adults. Carrying excess weight can cause unnecessary strain on the spine, contributing to many types of back pain.
Some jobs are less back-friendly than others. If yours requires frequent lifting, sitting, or standing on hard surfaces, be sure you take proper precautions to avoid injury.
Body alignment is directly affected by posture. Constantly leaning over a computer or looking down at a phone screen can contribute to back and neck pain. It does this by putting stress on spinal discs and vertebrae. In addition to directly causing pain, poor posture can also aggravate underlying degenerative conditions.
Physical Therapy for Managing Pain
It is possible to manage back pain. Physical therapy is often very effective at relieving pain and inflammation. To learn more, search for physical therapy near me and talk to a therapist about how you can benefit from PT sessions.