Calling lower back pain an epidemic isn’t an exaggeration. About 80% of adult Americans will likely experience back pain at some point in their lives, and more than 25% of those surveyed reported recent problems (within the last three months). The economic impact of lower back pain is huge, both in healthcare costs and lost income.
While there are many ways to bring on the discomfort and mobility interruptions of lower back pain, there are things you do every day that stress, strain, and challenge the components of your lower back, increasing the likelihood that you’ll become one of the 80%.
When lower back pain is a problem, contact our specialists at Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine for an examination, diagnosis, and treatment plan that addresses your condition. Knowledge and awareness of your body and its conditions play a big role in remaining pain-free, so here are five ways you may be making your back pain worse.
It may be natural to associate back pain with the bones of your spine, but in fact the twisting motions that cause many instances of back pain create problems in the muscles and ligaments that support the vertebrae. Overstretching or tearing of these soft tissues leads to inflammation and spasms. When these reactions to damage start to irritate nerves, you potentially face severe back pain.
After a sedentary week at work, you may be ready to let loose on the weekend, tackling home projects or playing a round of golf can seem very inviting. However, your enthusiasm may not match your body’s capabilities. Your core muscle strength requires steady, ongoing development. You can’t correct a week’s worth of inactivity with a quick flurry of action on the weekend. In fact, you’re more likely to cause damage without regular stretching and muscle development.
Your spine curves to control balanced placement of your center of gravity. Your muscles then contract to maintain balance as you move, creating shifting loads. When you lift something with weight, your body must redistribute this balance variable. This is how poor lifting habits generate lower back pain. As with twisting motions, muscles and ligaments strain and tear from the unbalanced strain of improper lifting techniques.
Whether due to work or a hobby, long hours spent sitting threaten the comfort of a healthy lower back. Without constant attention to good posture, you risk back pain from unbalanced loads. Without frequent changes in position, muscles lose strength and tone. Sitting invites inactivity, slumped postures, and a host of other health problems.
Carrying extra pounds creates the same issues as lifting, except you can’t put the weight down. Muscles, ligaments, and bones must permanently rebalance, adding stresses to the components of the spine. Since extra weight on your body isn’t usually in line with your natural center of gravity, its location acts like a force multiplier. Therefore, five pounds of body weight could exert 10 or 20 pounds of force on your spine.
Contact Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine whenever low back pain interferes with your daily life. There are three offices to choose from, so call the most convenient by phone, or use the online tool to request an appointment. Don’t let lower back pain keep you sidelined.