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3 Common causes of Back Pain

Your back is a remarkable and complex puzzle made up of 26 vertebrae and over 30 muscles, plus ligaments, joints and discs. With so many structures susceptible to stress and injury, it is no wonder that 80% of adults experience symptoms of back pain in their lifetime. Here are three common causes of back pain:Lower Back Pain

1. Strains and Sprains

Strains and sprains are the most common causes of back pain. A muscular strain (or tear) typically happens when doing something stupid like trying to lift something too heavy or pretending you can keep up with your 16-year-old nephew on the basketball court. While it may seem like the injury was a one-time incident with a specific cause, chances are it was a long time coming—over time our muscles tighten up due to a variety of factors including overuse and bad posture. Like a slingshot stretched and tightened, it’s only a matter of time before it snaps! So, when you complain that a nasty sneeze sent your back into spasms, it was actually months and months of gradually building tension. High-intensity sporting activities like gymnastics, football and racquetball have high incidences of muscular strains due to the repetitive bending and twisting motions. But even less strenuous activities like gardening and other lawn work can lead to muscular strains. A lumbar sprain (with similar causes and symptoms to a muscle strain) occurs when the ligaments, the tough bands of tissue that hold bones together, are torn from their attachments.

2. Disc Damage

A ruptured intervertebral disc, also called a herniated disc, is another one of the most common causes of back pain. Herniated discs result in back pain by compressing the spinal nerves where they exit the spinal column. They are often the result of repetitive vibratory motion—think truck drivers, machine users or that guy in your office who uses is annoying chair massager all day long. Herniated discs can also happen due to a sudden heavy load on the back (usually improper lifting). A herniated disc results in a radicular type of back pain in which pain is felt at the site of injury and along the course of the affected nerve. Discogenic back pain is a similar disc pain but without a herniated disc. Discogenic pain is typically not the result of an injury, but rather the slow physical and chemical degeneration of spinal discs.

3. Disease

Arthritis typically affects the hands and fingers, but it can also attack the back. The tiny joints in your spine are just as susceptible as the tiny joints in your digits. Scoliosis refers to the curvature of the spine, but usually isn’t a problem until later in life when it can cause severe back pain. Lastly, tumors on the spine can put tremendous pressure on the nerves, again, causing severe back pain.

Three ways to prevent back injury:

Lift Right.

Healthy Lifting TipsHealthy Lifting TechniquesHealthy Lifting for the Back


While there are plenty of able young people available for hire, once in awhile you’ll probably have to lift something heavy. Do it right, and avoid injury.

Lose Weight

Lose Weight to save your backPack on the pounds and your back will only suffer. Besides, maintaining a proper body weight is a good idea for plenty of reasons. Exercise. Eat right. Live well.


Keep Proper Posture

Whether you’re in a chair, on your feet or in your bed, maintaining proper posture helps prevent back problems. Use a cushion behind your back if a chair isn’t ergonomically correct, and replace that old mattress for a good night’s sleep.Good Posture goes a long way




Back pain doesn’t have to be chronic. Keep your back a friend not a foe.

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