Back pain is one of the most common medical complaints among men and women in the United States and worldwide, too. That’s probably partly because so many factors can cause back pain, including lifestyle factors.
At aCELLerated Interventional Orthopedics, Brian K. Rich, MD, helps you finally find meaningful relief from back pain symptoms — and prevent them from recurring — with treatments and lifestyle suggestions tailored just for you. If you have back pain, here are five lifestyle factors that could be to blame.
Your back bears a lot of your weight, whether you’re sitting, standing, or doing other activities. If you’re carrying extra pounds, it’s easy to see how that weight translates into increased strain on your back muscles. In fact, research bears that out: A study of more than 32,000 people found those with a higher body mass index (a measure of obesity) also had more lower back pain.
You probably know regular exercise is good for your heart — but it’s also really good for your back. Focus on activities that engage your abdominal muscles, which play a major role in supporting your back. Plus, regular exercise improves circulation and helps maintain flexibility and balance to help prevent injuries and pain.
Here’s another suggestion that can benefit your back and your overall health. Smoking restricts blood flow to your discs, increasing the risk of spine joint problems and nerve compression. It also interferes with the normal bone replacement cycle, which could leave your back more prone to fractures.
Remember when your mom nagged you about slumping and slouching? Sure, it was annoying — but as it turns out, she was right! Spending a lot of time hunched over your phone, tablet, or laptop puts a lot of excess strain on your back muscles and your spine. Over time, that strain can cause inflammation and even contribute to disc problems and sciatica. Some tips to try:
Incorporating a few simple stretches (try these) at work, school, home, or even the car can help, too.
This may be the toughest one of all to achieve, but the payoff can be huge — not just for your back, but your overall wellness, too. When you’re stressed, your muscles tense up and your body releases “stress hormones” that can lead to further muscle tension. Practicing yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can go a long way toward taming your stress, but so can carving out some downtime each day to read or listen to music — whatever relaxes you.
Whether it’s mild or severe, back pain can take a major toll on your quality of life. At aCELLerated Interventional Orthopedics, Dr. Rich and his team offer patient-centered care for long-term pain relief based on each patient’s unique needs.
To learn how we can help manage your back pain, call the office in Southlake, Texas, or Lawton, Oklahoma, or book an appointment online today.