Most individuals will experience back pain at least once in their lifetime, while others suffer from recurring and/or debilitating back pain caused by a variety of reasons. Dr. Marc Persson, owner and operator of Perssonal Health Chiropractic, lists some of the most common causes of back pain and suggests ways to significantly reduce your chances of experiencing back pain in your lifetime.
Acute, or sudden back pain is often caused by a sudden injury to the muscles or ligaments that support the back and lasts no longer than six weeks. Chronic back pain lasts longer than three months and can cause varying levels of pain. According to Dr. Marc Persson, common causes of back pain include:
- Muscle strain — Repetitive or awkward movements can strain your back muscles or spinal ligaments and constant strain on your muscles and ligaments can cause painful muscle spasms.
- Ruptured discs — The disks that act as a cushion between your spinal vertebrae are made up of soft material that can bulge or rupture, causing painful nerve pressure.
- Spine irregularities — Irregularities in the spine, including a curvature of the spine, can cause chronic symptoms, often beginning in middle age.
- Osteoporosis — Patients suffering from brittle bones, including in the spine, can develop painful compression fractures.
What You Can Do
Improved Health & Wellness
There are several things you can do to help minimize acute or chronic back pain. The first prevention method is the improvement of your overall health and wellness. According to Dr. Marc Persson, it is important to keep your back strong through regular low-impact exercises that build muscle strength and flexibility.
For example, walking and swimming are low-impact activities that both reduce the negative strain on your back muscles and improve muscle strength throughout your body. Another low-stress, full body workout is yoga. Although yoga isn’t ideal for severe pain, certain postures are great for lengthening the spine and returning your back to its proper alignment.
In addition to improving your overall health, maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce the strain on your spine and back muscles.
Reduce Muscle Strain
Working to reduce both muscle strain and back injuries caused at work is another way to minimize chronic back pain. To do this, review the way you sit or stand at work, the amount of repetitive motion you do throughout the day and the potential opportunities you have to reduce painful injuries caused by heavy lifting or other awkward movements.
Marc Persson on Reducing the Risk of Chronic Back Pain
Dr. Marc Persson stresses that in order to reduce chronic back pain caused by work environments, get up and move your body at least once an hour, if not more often. Work diligently to improve your posture, especially when sitting at a desk and using electronic devices. Change your position frequently throughout the day if you sit sedentary at a desk and be aware of repetitive motions that could cause increased stress on your body, including from typing and using a computer mouse. If your work includes heavy lifting, consider using a partner to help or implement other safety equipment or procedures to reduce muscle stress and potential accidents and injuries.