Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor. In fact, back pain is so prevalent that it can strike even if you have no risk factors at all. There are specific factors, however, that might put you at greater risk of developing back pain.
RISK FACTORS FOR BACK PAIN
As we age, wear and tear on the spine may result in conditions such as disc degeneration and spinal stenosis, causing neck and back pain. People over age 30 or 40 are more at risk for back pain than younger adults and those aged 30-60 are more at risk for disc-related disorders.
There is some evidence that certain types of spinal disorders such as degenerative disc disease are attributed to genetics.
Jobs that require repetitive bending and lifting puts you at high risk for back injury. Jobs in which you are standing or sitting in a chair for long hours at a time without back support also puts you at greater risk for back pain.
Lack of exercise or activity increases your risk for lower back pain and may also increase the severity of the pain.
Lack of exercise may also cause an individual to be overweight, which increases stress on the lower back as well as other weight-bearing joints such as knees, putting you at risk for symptoms in addition to back pain.
You can avoid back pain by being more conscious of your posture. Don’t slouch over your computer keyboard or drive hunched over the steering wheel and learn how to lift with proper back support.
Pregnant women are more likely to develop back pain due to carrying excess body weight in the front and the loosening of ligaments in the pelvic area as the body prepares for delivery.
It seems that smoking gets a bad rap for everything. If you are a smoker, you are at increased risk for developing back pain compared to non-smokers. In addition, your back pain will heal at 50% slower rate versus a non-smoker with back pain.
The risk for back pain is always present, but in some cases, you may be able to control your risk for developing back pain. Keeping your muscles strong and flexible, your weight in check, and quitting smoking are powerful protectors against spine-related issues.
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