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Back Pain

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6 Factors That Could Be Causing You Back Pain And How You Can Overcome It

Back Pain in South Yarra

Back pain is one of the most common painful conditions experienced today and when it occurs, you want relief. You want the aches to stop and your life to start again. No matter what you seem to do, it seems so incredibly hard to get rid of. You try and adjust your posture – it still hurts. You ask someone to give you a quick massage and you try and stretch it, but it still hurts. You try going for a short walk to loosen things up, but half an hour later, you’re back to square one. It can be very frustrating.

80% percent of the world’s population will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives The good news is that there are more treatment options than ever.

To see results, it’s important to choose the therapy that’s appropriate for your back problem.

Common Causes of Back Pain

Back problems can be caused by injury, inflammation, tension or spasm and may affect muscles, ligaments, cartilage or bone. Arthritis, muscle strain, osteoporosis, sciatica and stress are other common causes.

How To Treat Back Pain

Treatment can include exercise, manual therapy (including massage) and medication. It really depends on your specific issue and you should always consult a professional.

Also, don’t forget that staying active is an important part of managing back pain, and you should ‘never take back pain lying down’.

Treatment of low back pain has undergone a recent sea change. Experts now appreciate the central role of exercise to build muscles that support the back. Finding solutions for your aching back helps you understand why back pain occurs and which treatments are most likely to help.

Gentle core exercises are specially designed for people who aren’t up to tackling regular core exercises. Your exercise professional will show you how to build your core with workouts that are gentle and rewarding. You will be introduced to many exercises designed to strengthen core muscles, increase flexibility and stability, improve balance, and tone your body. Chiropractic care and dry needling are also options to explore and options that we offer here at South Yarra Spine & Sports Medicine.

Factors That Can Put You At a Greater Risk of Back Pain

If you’re like most adults, you’re likely to suffer from low back pain at some point in your life. Although anyone can develop backache regardless of their health or circumstances, research has found that some conditions or activities put you at greater risk for such problems. Key factors include the following:

Age

People are most likely to suffer from low back pain in midlife. During the middle years even in the absence of any injury, the bones and joints in your lower back begin to change. Discs tend to wear out and sometimes become fragmented. These structural alterations sometimes cause pain.

Gender

Studies suggest that back pain plagues men and women equally. However, in Western industrialised societies, men are more likely to have disc problems and they are more likely to be treated surgically. These differences most likely reflect the fact that a greater number of men work in jobs that involve heavy lifting, pushing, and pulling, and that men in such jobs often feel the need to return to work as soon as possible.

Osteoporosis occurs in women much more often than men. Vertebral fractures can cause a loss of height and a rounding of the back. Women are also especially susceptible to degenerative arthritis of the lower spine.

Family history

Heredity appears to play a role in certain types of back pain. Defects of the discs seem more common in some families; a hereditary difference in the chemical makeup of discs may render them more prone to fragmentation or herniation, conditions that can trigger back pain.

Work and play

Certain jobs and activities put a greater strain on your back. Riding in motor vehicles is notoriously hard on your back for instance, because it involves prolonged periods of sitting and exposure to vibration. The sitting positions necessary for office work can also take a toll on your back regardless of your age.

Several other job-related activities increase the likelihood of future back problems:

  • Lifting or forceful movements such as pulling and pushing
  • Frequent bending or twisting of the back
  • Heavy physical exertion
  • Maintaining the same position for long periods
  •  Repetitive motion patterns
  • Prolonged exposure to vibration.
  • Physical characteristics and posture

Your build, weight, and height seem to have little to do with your likelihood of developing back pain, although being overweight puts you at increased risk of having your symptoms return. Despite your mother’s admonition to “sit up straight,” experts now agree that, in most cases, posture alone – whether bad or good – will neither predispose you to back pain nor shield you from it. But before you sit in your chair, note that poor posture can exacerbate existing back pain. Improving your body mechanics can help relieve your symptoms and prevent recurrences.

Psychological factors

A growing body of evidence shows that our emotions and psychological well-being have a significant influence on our physical health. These factors also affect the back. Although study populations and methods vary, in general, research has shown that psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, and negative mood and emotions all increase the likelihood of developing acute (sudden) or chronic (longer-lasting) back pain. Such psychological factors seem to be especially important in determining whether an acute bout of back pain will become a chronic problem.

Helpful Tips to Overcome Back Pain

  • Seek out a professional to help you. This is always the number one recommendation to overcoming back pain.
  • Strengthen your transverse abdominal muscles. Having a strong core goes a long way to helping prevent back pain.
  • Stretch your hip flexors – we often sit for long periods which is not all that good for us.  You might not realise how tight your hips are or how this is causing stress on your back but make sure you’re stretching.
  • Daily exercise helps to engage your body’s pain control systems helping to improve function and reduce your pain.

If you’re experiencing back pain and you’re looking for relief, this is where our expertise lies, and we would love to be able to help you. Simply give us a call or book in for an appointment at South Yarra Spine & Sports Medicine.