What causes back pain?

Brisbane spine clinic in Fortitude Valley

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit their doctor. Around 80 per cent of Australians suffer from back pain at some point in their life. The issue may be temporary and clear up on its own within a few days, but some people suffer from back pain that persists for several months or even years.

In this article, we’ll explain some of the different causes of back pain and give you some tips on how to keep your back healthy and pain-free.

Types of Back Pain

Back pain is generally categorised as one of two main types: Acute or chronic.

Acute back pain is characterised by a sudden onset of pain that generally lasts for a few days to a couple of weeks. This type of back pain can often be traced back to an event, such as lifting something heavy that you’re not used to or suddenly twisting your body in an awkward way. It may also occur after prolonged inactivity, such as after an illness where you’ve been bedridden.

Chronic back pain lasts longer than three months and generally occurs without a specific event or injury. It is often linked to conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, or a herniated disc.

Many muscles, ligaments, and bones make up the back, and each can be a source of pain. Unfortunately, it’s not always a simple task to isolate the pain to a specific structure or muscle group.

Common Causes of Back Pain

  • Muscular or ligament strain: This is the most common type of lower back pain, often caused by lifting something heavy, repetitive bending or twisting motions, or sports injuries. This type of back pain is also common in pregnancy due to the additional weight and strain on the body and hormones that loosen ligaments and joints.
  • Poor posture or sleeping position: Prolonged activities or positions that place strain on the muscles and ligaments in your back can cause pain. This can come from anything, from sitting at a desk for long periods to sleeping in an awkward position.
  • Disc problems: The discs between the vertebrae act as cushions. These discs are subject to wear and tear as you age. They can also be compressed or damaged from traumatic injuries, such as a car accident.
  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of chronic back pain. This type of pain causes stiffness, swelling, and loss of cartilage between joints where there was none previously. Arthritis and back pain is more likely to affect people over 40 years old but can occur at any age. An estimated 2.2 million Australians suffer from osteoarthritis, and it’s more common in women than men.
  • Pinched nerve: Nerves send messages from your brain and spinal cord to other parts of your body. When these nerves are compressed, it can cause pain and other symptoms like numbness or tingling. Sciatica is a type of back pain caused by compression or irritation in the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower spine through each buttock and down to your feet.

Prevention Techniques

There are many things you can do to help prevent back pain from occurring in the first place.

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Carrying extra weight puts unnecessary strain on your back and can increase your risk of developing back pain.
  • Exercise regularly: A strong, fit body is less likely to suffer an injury that may cause back pain. Any exercise that builds up your core muscles is beneficial, as this will help support your back and reduce strain. You don’t have to hit the weights — walking is one of the best forms of exercise for your back and body in general.
  • Improve posture: Proper body positioning can go a long way in preventing you from experiencing pain. Proper posture reduces the pressure on your spine and helps prevent injuries caused by sitting or standing for long periods.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can weaken bones and muscles, making you more susceptible to back pain. Supplements, if required, can also help ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs.
  • Practise proper lifting technique: Always use your legs — not your back — when lifting something. Keep the object close to your body and lift with your knees, not your waist.

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment

If you are experiencing back pain, chiropractic back treatment may be the right solution for you. Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to help relieve pain and restore movement.

Your chiropractor will start by performing a comprehensive examination to determine the root cause of your pain. This may include taking X-rays or other diagnostic tests to better understand what is causing your pain.

They will then work with you to develop a back treatment plan that includes non-invasive, drug-free techniques such as spinal decompression and chiropractic adjustments, which are designed to restore balance throughout your body. The goal of this type of therapy is not just to relieve the pain but also to reduce the risk of further injury.

Don’t suffer from back pain any longer. Get in touch with our team at Our Chiro Brisbane today and make an appointment with one of our experienced chiropractors.




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