Back pain is one of the most common ailments people visit our chiropractors and massage therapists for. Here is our chiropractor Dr. Beau’s 5 most commonly seen causes of back pain.
1. Lifting injuries.
Poor lifting technique is by far one of the most common causes of back pain I see in the clinic. Lifting objects, heavy or not, with poor posture and lifting technique, is a recipe for disaster. Just like any other joint in the body, you can sprain and strain the ligaments and tendons in your back, irritate the joint capsules or worse still cause a disc injury. All of which can lead to stress on your spinal nerves.
Some tips to avoid lifting injuries:
- Get help lifting when available, especially for heavy objects or anything greater than 20% of your body weight.
- Bend through knees and hips, keeping the back straight instead of bending at the waist.
- Tense your core and abdominal muscles.
- Avoid any twisting or pivoting whilst lifting. Change direction by moving your feet, not twisting at the waist
2. Posture related pain – not sitting right
Humans have not evolved to sit for long periods of time. That includes time sitting at a desk, in a car, on the couch, at the dinner table and so on. If you add all the time you spend sitting each day, for some it can really amount to a huge chunk of your day. So if we are going to be sitting, we should at the very least be doing it properly.
- Sit with your backside in the corner of the chair.
- Use the backrest and avoid leaning on your desk as you work. This takes stress off your discs.
- Take breaks every hour or so to stand up, stretch, and reposition yourself to correct your posture.
- Avoid crossing your legs, which misaligns the spine
Stress can take many forms; emotional, physical/mechanical and dietary/chemical, but in almost everyone, when we get too stressed, we develop muscle tension and stress on the nervous system. Most commonly noticed in the upper back and shoulders, another area we can forget about when we are stressed is the low back. I can be very beneficial to take some time out after your busy day to unwind and do a few stretches before retiring for the evening. Being mindful of your stress goes a long way to realising and addressing those tight spots we develop when under the pump.
4. Daily activities.
This one is often related to lifting injuries. Especially when in a rush, tasks such as doing the laundry, gardening or doing the dishes for example, can easily cause back pain if attention is not paid to how we are positioning ourselves and whether or not we are engaging our core abdominal muscles. Even twisting to get out of a car has been known to cause disc injuries. To avoid any injuries be sure to stay mindful of the task at hand and to engage your core muscles. This takes practice and can be achieved by imagining that you are sucking your belly button to your spine and ‘tucking’ your backside down. Certain types of exercises, such as Pilates, are designed to get you using your core muscles more effectively.
This is referring to that game of football you decided to have with your mates on the weekend without any training, or those 18 holes of golf without any stretching afterwards or the massive mountain trek where you pulled up so sore you could barely move the next day. Yes, the most common cause of acute back injury I see in clinic is the weekend warriors doing athletic activities without athletic training or recovery. There’s no reason to say you can’t exercise and do something a bit adventurous on the weekends, however know your limits. Take into account your overall fitness, any training you’ve been doing, and make sure to warm up and stretch properly afterwards.
Need help with back pain? Chiropractic is clinically proven to help with back pain. Call reception on 07 3367 0337 to make an appointment.