Low Back Pain – 5 common lifestyle causes

The commonest cause for low back pain is an injury to the muscle or ligament around your spine. But there may be other causes. Over half the working population experience back pain each year. This may be due to a back sprain or a strain and can occur suddenly or develop over time from repetitive movements.


What is Back Sprain?

Back sprain is a painful condition when you over-stretch your ligaments that connect the bones of lumbar spine.


What is Back Strain?

Back strain is also a painful condition when you stretch your muscles too far causing a tear and damage to the muscle.

5 routines in your lifestyle that you can take a closer look

1) Look at your Posture:

Posture to avoid Back pain

Your posture is the way we have learnt over time since we were born. It affects the way you hold our body while sitting, standing, lifting and reaching out. This aligns the bones of our spine called vertebrae. The spine is strong and stable if you have a good posture.

When you slouch and stoop, your muscles and ligaments have to work hard and adjust to keep you balanced. This causes back pain.

2) How long do you sit?

Back pain caused by sitting too long

Your back muscles work non-stop to keep your erect in the sitting position. This long period of stress to the muscle causes it to fatigue and become weak leading to sprain and strains. The soft cushions (discs) between the bones of your spine has very little blood supply and nourishment.

These discs are under the most pressure when you sit for longer periods of time and are like sponges. They get the nutrition from the bones. Sitting too long squeezes these cushions (discs) and they do not get a chance to have the nutrition they need.

This causes harmful chemicals to be released around your spine into your back muscles. These lead to pain and spasm of the muscles. Also fatigue in your muscles from a prolonged sitting posture causes muscle pain.

3) Smoking puts you a risk of Back pain

Smoking increases the risk of Back pain

Smoking is likely to cause back pain says a recent study from the Feinberg School of Medicine, funded by the US National Institute of Health. We all know that smoking increases the level of nicotine in our blood. The blood flow to your cushions (discs) are very low at the best of times.

Nicotine from smoking further reduces this blood flow. The nicotine in your blood increases the risk of early wear and tear in your discs. This is called early disc degeneration. The chemicals released from such a disc causes back pain.

Disc Degeneration (wear and tear) leads to loss of cushioning effect between the bones of your spine. This increases the stress on your spine causing back pain.

4) Watch your weight - best way to manage back pain

Watch your weight to manage Back pain

We all gain weight during our middle age years. This weight gain is usually around the waist and mid-portion of our body. It shifts your balance forwards and causes the back muscles to over-work to keep you straight.

Gaining excess weight leads to back sprain and strains causing back pain due to excess weight. Try to be within 10 pounds (1 stone) of your ideal weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can help ease or prevent your back pain.

For every 4 pounds you lose, you take off 16 pounds of pressure from your spine. Your risk of developing arthritis of your back reduces by 50% of you lose 11 pounds!

4) The way you lift is key

Correct-Lifting-Technique to avoid Back pain

This shows how to lift a weight the right way. Watch closely the way you lift and the position of your spine. Strains and sprains are caused by lifting:

1) Heavy weights

2) Away from your body

3) Twisting your spine as you lift the weight

4) Heavy Items overhead.

Make sure that you keep the item as close to your body and avoid twisting the upper body while twisting. There are other ways to prevent back pain at work.