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Risk Factors For Back Pain

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Back Pain: What’s Causing Yours?

Many of us suffer back pain throughout our lives. Sometimes the solution is simply stretching or a warm bath, but back problems can be persistent and occasionally caused by serious underlying conditions. Back pain is a very common complaint, and there are many circumstances which make it more likely.

Genetics

When patients come to the clinic with back pain chiropractic therapists may ask about family history. Certain inherited physiological aspects such as musculature and bone structure can mean that some people are more susceptible to back problems than others. Studies show that issues such as herniated or degenerating discs are often genetic.

Age

Unfortunately, some back pain may be inevitable. As we grow older the slices of cartilage between our vertebrae become compressed, which means that they are less able to cope with torsion and impact. Also, because of the decrease in energy that is often associated with the later years, the muscles which would normally support the spine become weaker. In these ways we become more vulnerable to back pain as we age.

Weight

Unsurprisingly, increased weight places an increased strain on our spines. Losing weight might seem like an obvious solution, but when back pain strikes, exercise can be difficult. If you find yourself struggling with back pain and think your weight may be contributing to the problem, specialists in Manchester, Leeds or Birmingham – like the team at Chiropractic First – can help.

Physical activity levels

Many of us lead sedentary lifestyles. This might involve long hours in front of the computer at work, or leisure time spent watching TV. Backs are at their healthiest when supported by strong muscles and given regular motion to encourage flexibility. When patients arrive suffering from back pain chiropractic therapists often advise more exercise alongside the manipulation or adjustment they provide.

High risk occupations

Having said that many people move their bodies less than ideal for good spinal health, others work in situations that places the back under threat. Occupations that may put your spine at risk include:

  • Healthcare
  • Farm labour
  • Bar work
  • Warehouse operatives
  • Any work involving heavy, vibrating machinery

There are plenty more, but in essence work that includes a high proportion of pulling, pushing and lifting heavy loads can be hazardous to the spine.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy puts a strain on the back in several ways:

  • The spine has an extra burden to carry in an unusual position
  • The spine is often twisted in unexpected ways
  • More rest is required, contributing to muscle weakening
  • Hormone release (relaxin and oestrogen) make tendons and muscles softer.

These back problems may persist long after the baby is born, and are not helped by the stress of parenthood.

Back pain can be hard to avoid, but this doesn’t mean patients should fear a lifetime of medication. Therapists all over the UK – like Chiropractic First in the North – work to bring drug-free relief to sufferers.