Get to the cause of your back pain by reading what a physiotherapist has to say about the underlying causes. 

Let’s face it, a persistent backache is a real spirit dampener! An achy back is likely to prevent you from living normally. If it persists for over three months, doctors say you shouldn’t ignore it.

#1 Middle age precipitates back pain

Back problems seem to predominate among men and women in their 30s, 40s and 50s. At these times, natural degenerative changes kick in, and lifestyle factors linked to back problems are at their peak. Between the ages of 30 and 50, the bone strength, muscle elasticity and muscle tone are on the decline.

The discs in the spine become drier and less flexible, making them less capable of cushioning the vertebrae. Degeneration also narrows down the spinal canal, increasing the chances of a back ache.

#2 Being overweight

Overweight people are at increased risk for back pain. This is especially so for those with belly fat, since this pulls the pelvis forward, creating stress on the lower back.

Other problems caused by excess weight are sciatica and low back pain from a herniated disc or a pinched nerve and osteoarthritis. These are reason enough to knock off the extra kilos, so make a weight loss plan, and stick to it.

#3 A sedentary lifestyle

Leading an inactive life may result in an increase in joint stiffness and a weakening of the back muscles. Malnourished and degenerated discs are also a consequence of inactivity. Some benefits of regular physical activity include the nourishment of spinal discs, soft tissues and ligaments.

So get off your backside! Do find a way to include more movement in your life: walk to work, take the stairs, and go for some rounds of the park during your lunch hour.

foreverfit- bad sitting posture

#4 Poor sitting posture

Prolonged periods of sitting can cause low back pain or worsen existing pain. An incorrect sitting posture adds to the strain. Leaning forward or slouching overstretches the spinal ligaments, and strains the discs and surrounding structures in the spine.

The best sitting position for the back is to align it against the chair back. Keep the knees even with the hips or slightly higher.

# 5 Lack of stress management

Being stressed without a break triggers a cycle that’s hard to break: sleeplessness, poor eating habits, lack of exercise all enter the picture, increasing the risk of health issues. At the physical level, stress causes muscle tightness, leading to neck and back pain.

Experts advocate relaxation and breathing exercises. Finding time for a 20 minute walk also helps to prevent back problems.

foreverfit- lifting

# 6 Incorrect lifting techniques

Lifting weights in the wrong manner is damaging to the back. In addition, being unfit or overweight increases the damage caused by improper lifting technique.  So do make sure you get guidance from a professional trainer in the gym.

Some tips: be sure to bend your knees, keep your back straight and tighten your abdominal muscles when lifting. Keep your shoulders in line with your hips; hold the weights close to your body, and don’t ever lift heavy weights without assistance.

#7 Smoking

Smokers are almost three times more likely to develop low back pain than nonsmokers. Research supports the fact that the nicotine in cigarette smoke thickens the walls of the blood vessels.

This thereby restricts blood flow in the lower back, leading an increased risk of back injuries, and prolonging healing time.