It was once thought that arthritic changes in the low back, known as degenerative disc disease and facet arthrosis, were common causes for low back pain. The same was said for disc herniations and disc bulges. However, research studies have now clearly demonstrated that this is not the case and that there is very little correlation between pain and the findings that radiologists indicate are present on an X-ray and or an MRI. Evidence now suggests that wear and tear of the low back is not a predictor of low back pain.
So if aging and degeneration are not the causes of your back pain – what is? Well, newer research has stated that low back pain is multifactorial and can be linked to the following factors:
- Overweight and high body mass index
- Lack of physical activity
- Occupation and job demands that require high physical load
- Long hours of sitting at work
- Repetitive motion at work
- Awkward positions with work
- Poor health and well-being
- High stress and psychological distress
- Depression and low job satisfaction
- Socioeconomic status
- Level of education
If you are exposed to any of the above factors then your risk for developing back pain can be as high 50%. Thus, make changes to your lifestyle by exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, eating healthy, and sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night. These suggestions will increase your physical activity, decrease your stress, reduce your body mass and fat, and allow your back to heal and regenerate at night. To help break up repetitive motion at work, set an alarm clock or timer to go off every 20 minutes to give yourself a micro-break to change positions and stretch from sitting.
Make a change for yourself if you are not happy with your workplace or environment as it is imperative to enjoy what you do to not only prevent back pain, but to enhance your psychological well-being. Today’s research suggests more and more that we truly control our pain much more than our actual tissues. So, if you are sitting in these awkward positions and abusing your body all day, your brain will physically change and begin to experience pain as a signal to tell you to stop. Therefore, it is important to listen to your brain, as it will help you reset your pain signals and get you out of chronic pain.
Start listening to your body today and make changes! If you have any questions on how to make changes to your lifestyle, contact one of our doctors and therapists today to help you! We not only have the products engineered for your body but the staff to help you implement changes immediately.