Back pain is one of the most common complaints for adults.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “Why does my back hurt?” here are 10 possible answers.
Did you know that about 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives?
Back pain is not restricted to elderly or unfit people, either. It can affect children, young adults, thin, and overweight people alike.
The good news is that most of the causes of back pain are treatable and will often heal with some minor changes to your lifestyle. Read on to find out some common causes of back pain and what you can do to get relief.
“Why Does My Back Hurt?”
There are many reasons for back pain, but these are some of the most common.
Although we should note that if your pain is sudden and severe, causes bladder issues, numbness, weakness, or tingling, it’s worth a call to the doctor.
1. Poor Posture
This one seems like a no-brainer, but good posture is not just about standing up straight. There needs to be a conscious effort to correct and maintain good posture while sitting, walking, and even lying in bed.
Remember, the body is working against the environment it’s in and everyday things (like shoes, electronic devices, your work setup, etc.) put stress on our bones, ligaments, and muscles. Good posture helps the various systems of the body work as they are meant to work.
Nobody is here to body shame, but when it comes to being overweight, there are some physical downsides (which can include back pain).
Carrying extra weight can put stress on all areas of the body, especially the back. It stresses the discs and ligaments that hold our spine straight. Obesity can also cause a stomach to protrude which can cause a curvature of the spine.
Aim for some low impact exercise (like walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. Do what you’re comfortable with and you could see a big improvement.
3. High Heels
Yeah, we know they look good, but did you know that high heels can cause back pain?
High heels alter the natural gait of your body, increasing pressure on your feet, causing the back to be too straight, and creating an unnatural position for your hips. Over time, this can cause back pain.
If you still like to wear high heels, maybe alternate with some flats or pumps a few times a week. It will give your body a rest from the unnatural positioning.
We know you hear it all the time, but stress can play such an important factor in our lives—and not in a good way.
Stress causes tension, which in turn causes tight muscles. Stress can also cause an inflammatory response in the body. All of these combined can lead to back pain.
Some good ways to de-stress are journaling, talking to a friend, yoga, and meditation. (Yoga has the added benefit of strengthening core muscles which can help with back pain as well.)
5. Lifting Incorrectly
Does your job require lifting things that are heavy? If so, make sure you’re checking your “lifting rules” and are lifting with your legs and not your back.
If your work recommends certain safety precautions while lifting heavy items, make sure you follow those guidelines. If not (stay-at-home moms, anyone?), here is a helpful guideline.
You may not have realized that smoking could cause back pain, but it can.
Smoking causes coughing, which stresses your back muscles, spine, and ligaments. It can also decrease blood flow to the spine, increasing your chances for osteoporosis later in life.
7. Herniated Discs
A herniated disc is when the soft tissue in between the vertebrae in your spine slips out of place. This can cause pressure and discomfort to the surrounding areas and nerves in your back.
Diet and lifestyle can help ease discomfort but you’ll need reliable medical diagnosis and treatment to assess your individual needs.
Chiropractic adjustments and/or medications can be helpful here. In extreme cases, you may need surgery but that is why it’s best to consult medical professionals if you think a herniated disc could be your cause of back pain.
8. Old Mattress
We often look at our bed as one of the most comfortable places in our home, but what if that comfortable place is to blame for your persistent back pain?
Unfortunately, over time, mattresses can break down and no longer give our bodies the support they need.
Try to make a note of when your back pain occurs. If it’s worse after a (supposedly) good night’s sleep, you may have found your culprit. If it has been a while since buying your mattress, it might be time to consider a new one.
As we age, our bones and cartilage can break down and cause arthritis. This can occur anywhere in the body, but because so much stress is on our backs through our lives, the pain there can be prominent.
It doesn’t only happen to the older generations, either. Sometimes arthritis can occur due to an autoimmune disease called rheumatoid arthritis. The best thing you can do is to listen to your body and if something doesn’t seem right, call your chiropractor or doctor.
Most of us get hurt at some point in our lives. Not only can an injury itself cause back pain, but when we compensate for say, a hurt ankle, it can affect our backs too.
After the main injuries have been dealt with, it’s time to begin the full healing process. A chiropractor will take a look at the entire body and begin adjustments according to your specific needs.
Unfortunately injuries or accidents can create ongoing issues, so the sooner you see your chiropractor, the better.
What To Do About Back Pain
Simply asking, “Why does my back hurt?” won’t solve the problem. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to alleviate back pain issues.
See a Chiropractor
Since chiropractors specialize in the spine and other joints, they should be your first call when something is amiss.
At your first visit, we will take some basic x-rays, assess your problem areas, and create a treatment plan that will improve your pain. You don’t have to live in pain and we can help with that.
If you’re in pain currently, low impact stretching, yoga, and walking can help with your back issues. If you’re not in pain and trying to prevent future back pain, we like to recommend functional fitness.
Functional fitness is the type of exercise that prepares your body for everyday movements like lifting groceries, playing with the kids, and getting out of bed. It sounds funny, but most injuries stem from doing these everyday things.
While it is a type of exercise, yoga is important enough to deserve its own section.
Yoga focuses on stretching and strengthening at the same time. It also helps with stress which, as we mentioned above, can be a cause of back pain in and of itself.
Professional massage therapists are a great resource to alleviate lingering back pain.
At Oviedo Chiropractic, we always recommend our medical massages in conjunction with our chiropractic adjustments. This isn’t your typical spa massage; it focuses on healing problem areas rather than relaxation.
Our patients swear by it!
Back pain is common but that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. There are a variety of very treatable reasons for your back pain and we hope the list of causes and remedies is helpful.
Working with your chiropractor (and doctor, if necessary), along with making some changes to your lifestyle, could completely reverse your back pain.
Call us today to schedule an appointment and we can help you begin to be pain free.