With our current work schedules and adopted lifestyles, back pain has become a common reason for hospital visits for most people. Although some causes of back pain need medical attention, most back pains resolve with lifestyle modification. Here we explore risk factors to back pain and some remedies you can try. Long standing back pain that does not improve with lifestyle modification needs to be seen by a doctor
Lower back Pain.
Lower back pain can be as a result of muscle or ligament strain, arthritis, or other underlying illnesses. there are some factors that make one more likely to experience back pain. This risk factors include;
- Poor posture ; slouching or sitting for long strains the lower back. Even with a proper sit and the correct sitting posture, your back needs a stretch every so often. sleeping for too long on your back or front can also cause a back pain.
- Inactivity ; not getting enough daily exercise or stretches leaves your back muscles crumped up, which in turn translates to less flexibility and hence muscle strain and pain
- Excess weight ; central obesity (excess belly fat) puts a strain on the back muscles.
- Recurrent injuries ; caused by inappropriate heavy lifting and carrying excess weights eg heavy back backs, lifting boxes off the ground.
- Wrong exercise routines ; extending yourself above your limit during exercise can cause muscle strains.
- Age ; Granted our backs will give up and in with age, but there is an increasing number of younger people dealing with back pain. Avoiding some if not most of this risk factors talked about helps protect your back with age.
Remedies for lower back pain.
- Sitting position; Practice upright seating positions with your shoulders pulled back and feet planted firmly on the ground. avoid long periods of being seated. stretch at least every 30minutes.
- Stretches and exercise ; Do 10 minutes back stretches for your back daily.
- Weight loss ; work to lose that excess fat especially around the tummy. This reduces strain to your back muscles and strengthens your abdominal muscles to support your back better.
- Sleeping positions ; there are sleeping positions that are good for your back. Avoid sleeping on your back or tummy for a long duration.
- Careful caring of Heavy loads ; there are ways of lifting weights and bearing weights on our back that are safe. always keep your back straight use your abdominal muscles and thighs to lift.
- Shoes ; Wearing shoes that go with the natural curvature of the foot most of the time helps to cushion your spine and back muscles from excess strain. Always have comfortable shoes near by if you are in heels so that you can swap them up especially if you’ll have to walk or stand for a while.
Upper back and shoulder strain
Some people have upper back pain that spreads to the shoulder blades and neck. Most will describe this as muscle tightness. Upper back pain is mainly associated with anxiety. Some people with hold tension in their shoulders by crumping up their shoulder muscles during stressful periods. sometimes this can become a habit and the posture assumed even in non stress situations.
Remedies for upper back and shoulder strain.
- Relaxation techniques ; Consciously practice relaxation technics to help reduce anxious thoughts or help deal with anxiety. Practicing mindfulness helps you have situational awareness and consciously relax their shoulders and upper back.
- Stretches and exercises ; there are upper back stretches and exercises that help relax and strengthen muscles
- Reduce Anxiety ; Avoid situations and people that cause you anxiety and if you cannot, learn some anxiety coping mechanisms
When to see a doctor about back pain.
- Back pain that starts after an injury, fall or trauma.
- Back pain associated with shooting pain down your thighs and legs.
- Feeling of weakness, numbness or pins and needles (tingling sensation) on both legs.
- Pain is excessive and inhibits daily activities.
- Back pain that persists even with the above lifestyle modification.
- Back pain associated with other symptoms eg weight loss, joint pains, fever, bladder and bowel changes