The causes of back pain

Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Do you wake up because of aching, burning pain in your back?

Back pain is problem that is steadily rising in prevalence. Many people suffer from back pain that is inexplicable. One day, all of sudden there it is, as if it appeared out of thin air.

Well there is an explanation. Pain is a symptom that there is something wrong and our body communicates the problem through pain signals. Back pain, because of the increasing number of people who have it can be associated to several different types of environmental, physical or psychological problems. Because of the change in jobs, lifestyles, and diets from decades ago we are seeing different types of physical problems arise. Back pain is undoubtedly becoming the most prevalent.

Even if some people rush off to the doctor to figure out what could possibly be the problem, there are other inductive ways to figure out the cause of our physical back problems. That’s not to say that getting treated for back pain is not an option. Several alternative and complimentary medicines have been effective in treating the symptoms and the cause of back pain, such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapsits, and physical therapists. Even still orthopedic and surgical options are available in the extreme instances.

So how can you find out what is causing your back pain? Take a look at your everyday life. What types of activities do you do, and how do you do them? Do you exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet comprised of all the essential nutrients? Does your job require you to sit or stand or drive for long periods of time? Look at your furniture. How long have you had your bed? Does your couch sag or dip down in the area that you sit because of overuse? All of these things affect your body and the way that it works.

Now that you have evaluated your lifestyle it is time to make changes. If you don’t exercise, its time to start. As we age so do our bodies. The muscles if not used atrophy, the ligaments and tendons become lax, and our bodies store more fat. Exercise not only keeps our physical body in shape, tight and strong; it keeps our mind sharp, focused and healthy. By keeping our body strong, you are less likely to have back pain, or symptoms of pain. Diet is another important part of keeping our body healthy. Eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants keeps up lean and strong. The proper nutrients keeps our bodies functioning at an optimal level, meaning you are less likely to experience pain.

Moving onto our job. Unfortunately it is much harder, especially in today’s economy to change your job, or position. Therefore we need to find ways to implement small but effective ways to reduce the cause of back problems. If you are sitting all day long, your joints and muscle become fixated. Therefore it is important to take frequent breaks. Every 30-60 minutes stand up and stretch (this doesn’t have to be a whole routine). Raise your hands over your head, interlock your fingers and reach towards the sky. Bend at the waist and bring your hands, still interlocked down to your feet. Put your hands on your waist and twist to the left and right. If you are driving stop, get out of your car and walk around for a few minutes. These simple techniques can reduce the causes of back pain.

Checking your furniture is relatively easy. Noticeable dips, impressions, cracks or breaks in furniture are cause for replacement. If you have caused your furniture to fit to you then you have had it for too long. Your furniture should not cause you pain or discomfort and should be discarded any time it does.

Your mattress plays a huge role in back pain. If you have had your mattress more than 5 years it may be time to flip it, if you have had it longer than 10 years it is probably time to get a new one. Experts have agreed that the type of mattress you sleep on can determine how well you sleep and whether it will cause you back pain. Remember you sleep on your mattress for several hours a night and usually in the same position. So if your mattress is uncomfortable or causes you back pain, then you won’t get a good nights sleep.

Check your mattress; try flipping it to see if that helps or relieves the problem altogether. If there is a noticeable flattening or dip then it is time for a new mattress. It is important to get a high quality mattress. There are several brands, kinds and types to choose from and not everyone likes the same rigidity. Some very good options that please all types of differences include Tempurpedic, Memory Foam and Sleep number mattresses. It is important to get a mattress that is right for you because the wrong mattress could cause you more back problems rather than relieving a problem that may already exist.

By Sarah, a graduate with a BA in exercise science and has worked in the medical field since graduation.

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