For those experiencing back pain, you probably realize just how grueling it can be. Back pain, especially chronic back pain, can make everyday aspects of your life challenging.
For some, back pain is caused by a specific back injury, but for others, it may seem to appear out of the blue. In today’s environment, back pain has become even more prevalent and is increasingly becoming a global burden.
Back pain doesn’t just affect your mobility, but it can also impact your mental health. While back injuries and back pain are complicated issues, there is information that can help you understand why your back may be hurting or what you can do to help ease the discomfort.
Keep reading to learn about the risk factors that influence back pain, what the different causes may be, and how you can treat or cope with chronic back pain.
Back Pain Risk Factors
Some individuals may find that they are at higher risk for chronic back pain. There are several risk factors that can influence back pain.
Psychosocial Risk Factors
This risk factor is related to your job. Some jobs put their workers at a higher risk of chronic occupational back pain than others. Psychosocial factors include heavy lifting, high expectations of work productivity, stressful deadlines, and more. Jobs related to construction, for instance, tend to be at increased risk for pain prevalence.
Lifestyle factors can include being at a healthy weight and engaging in moderate exercise. Those with a high body mass index or excess weight may find they have more chronic pain than normal compared to those with a healthier lifestyle. Evidence suggests that health literacy, such as knowing the impact of a sedentary lifestyle, can help improve daily choices.
While being active is a great way to reduce back pain, over-exertion can also lead to an increase in pain. Vigorous exercise must be done carefully. Frequently, repetitive back exercises can result in chronic lower back pain. Conversely, lifting weights that are too heavy can result in low back pain from injury. A physical therapist can often help, but it is important to engage in physical activity carefully.
Increasing age is a common cause of low back pain. Pain from jobs or physical inactivity often shows up as someone ages. Strong health care and physical therapy can help reduce acute pain.
Some individuals in the general population suffer from musculoskeletal conditions that can cause pain. Some conditions put stress on the spinal cord, cause bladder problems, hurt blood flow, or lead to acute low back pain. Some individuals also develop work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
These conditions are potentially modifiable but require primary care to aid in the reduction of lower back pain, reduce inflammation, and assist with other symptoms.
Types of Back Pain
When you decide to go to clinical practice for upper or lower back pain, your physician will conduct a systematic review of your prior conditions and pain levels to help resolve your back pain. Individuals generally face two main types of pain: lower back pain and upper back pain.
- Lower back pain. Low back pain is one of the most painful types. Previous studies show that lower back pain is frequently caused by spinal problems. Self-management is difficult in this area and puts you at high risk for further problems.
- Upper back pain. Upper back pain is more likely to be caused by health issues, such as weight gain. This is often influenced by socioeconomic factors, but does mean that self-management can be an option.
Treatment and Coping Strategies for Back Pain
Coping with back pain can be challenging, but with a good physical therapist on your side, patient outcomes dramatically improve.
New medicines for pain relief are constantly in clinical trials as well, so consulting with your doctor can help ensure you are getting the medicine that will work best for your needs.
To cope with back pain, you should consider eating well and exercising when you can. Consider exercises that are easy on your joints, such as swimming or walking.
As discussed, back pain can be attributed to a variety of different causes. Always seek help from a trained professional to find the best treatment and coping strategy for you.
Preventing Back Pain
According to one prospective study, psychosocial and psychological factors can play a big role in back pain. The prospective cohort study noted that those who have high-stress lifestyles or low job satisfaction are more likely to have acute nonspecific low back pain. If you begin developing painful back problems, a secondary prevention method would be to consider lowering your stress or finding a new job.
You can also work to prevent back pain by engaging in frequent, but moderate, exercise and eating well. Exercises like walking and swimming tend to aid in muscle strength without hurting your joints or causing further health problems. Exercise and a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing back pain.
Finding Help When You Need It
Back pain can be stressful, draining, and scary. Having a qualified medical team on your side can ease your pain and calm your mind.
Dr. Possley is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon who is fellowship trained in spine surgery. After a family member dealt with a serious injury, Dr. Possley became invested in helping individuals receive the help and comfort that they need.
Contact Dr. Possley today by going to his contact page. There, you can read all about the people Dr. Possley has helped and what continues to drive him.
Back pain can feel like a huge battle, but you aren’t in it alone. With our team and resources, we hope to make your pain disappear, so that you can get back to doing the things you love.