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Back Pain Causes

If you are a living, breathing human being, chances are that at some point or another in your life, you have suffered from back pain. Your back is one amazingly intrinsic and complicated machine and your entire body relies on it to function properly. That’s some big responsibility for just one body part, so taking care of your back is vital.  As much as we may take care of our body, sometimes, our back just goes on strike.

Whether it is lower back pain or upper back pain, whether you have been injured or just suddenly woke up one day with a backache, these are some of the most common causes for back pain:

  • Overworking your back: carrying, lifting or pushing heavy objects can strain your back. Exercising is good for your body and can help strengthen your core, which helps prevent back pain, however, exercising with improper movements or excessive weight can cause your back to be strained.
  • Bad movements: sudden twisting movements, over-stretching, hyper-extending or bending the wrong way can expose your back to flexion and rotation movements, as does bending for long periods of time can.
  • Poor posture: We spend hours on end sitting in front of our computer desks and not maintaining good posture can take a toll on your back. Slouching for example, sitting too low or too high in relationship to the computer screen, not using a backrest or lumbar support, sitting without your feet planted on the floor or sitting for too long are all factors that can contribute to back pain.
  • Unhealthy habits: Certain unhealthy habits, such as being overweight, smoking, not exercising, wearing high heels or carrying a too heavy handbag may be altering the way in which your spinal joints, muscles and nerves work together, thus causing your back to hurt. Unless you implement change, chances are, your back pain will not improve.
    • Being overweight may cause structural damage to your spine, as it attempts to assimilate the extra burden of carrying your body weight and distribute the excess load.
    • Not exercising can lead to poor flexibility, weak muscles in the back, pelvis and thighs and poor posture.
    • Researchers have discovered in recent years, that smoking, a risk factor for atherosclerosis, can be a cause of lower back pain and degenerative disorders of the inter-vertebral discs.
    • Wearing high heels can result in stress of your lumbar erector spinae muscle, or more simply put, your lower back, as your spine needs to sway unnaturally in order to let you sashay glamorously in heels.
    • Carrying a too heavy handbag makes you walk differently as your weight shifts, altering your range of motion. It can also force your other muscles to overcompensate as you try carrying the weight on one shoulder. Additionally, each time you put your handbag down and lift it back up, you run the risk of straining a muscle.
  • Degenerative or medical conditions: We can do a lot to keep our spines healthy, but certain medical conditions are beyond our control and need to be treated by a doctor, such as arthritis, scoliosis, herniated discs or tumors.
  • Pregnancy: The beautiful glow of pregnancy comes with an added bonus. The weight you gain when you are pregnant, plus the weight of your baby, placenta and fluids can strain your back. As your baby grows inside you, your organs shift and some nerves may get pinched as a result, causing back pain.
  • Sleep: At the end of the day you may collapse in bed tired and not realize that your mattress is not helping keep your back healthy. A mattress that is not supportive will have you wake up aching. Sleeping on your stomach or with a pillow that causes your chin to press against your chest when lying on your back can also cause your back to hurt.