Surprising Reasons You’re in Pain

Surprising Reasons You’re in Pain

Are you suffering from back pain and aren’t really sure why? There’s actually a long list of potential reasons you’re in pain, and it may surprise you. Back pain can prevent you from doing the things you love, but you can also prevent it. Here are a few surprising possible reasons for your pain.

Smoking

Many smokers don’t realize it, but smoking can have significant effects on your back. Studies have revealed that smokers have a decreased blood supply to the discs in the back. This leads  to premature aging of the discs, which can lead to pain in the lower back. Another study has shown that smoking can affect the brain’s response to back pain, making it feel worse.

Stress

Stress can cause the muscles in your back to constrict and cause the discs to bulge, which often leads to pain. This can lower your pain tolerance and stiffen your back. Try to manage your stress with deep breathing, meditation, and exercise.

Poor diet

Not only can a poor diet cause weight gain and place extra pressure on your back, but consuming high levels of processed sugars can make your pain worse. They can spike inflammation in the body and cause more pain.

Sitting

Sitting for long periods of time can put extra pressure on the discs in your back, due to compromised blood supply to the discs. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, consider using a standing desk to alleviate some pressure on the back, or take breaks every hour to stretch and walk.

Your mattress

It may be that your mattress isn’t firm enough, or it’s simply too old and no longer supporting your back and body as it should. Be sure your mattress is in fairly good shape, and replace it every seven years.

Lack of exercise

Being too sedentary can lead to weight gain and back pain. Exercise can help build muscle tone to give your back the support it needs to keep your muscles and ligaments in place. Keeping your back tight and strong with exercise will help you avoid back pain.

If you’re suffering from back pain, call the spine specialists at Spine Surgery of Idaho today at (208) 944-0056 to schedule your first consultation.

The Effects of Heavy Lifting on Your Back

The Effects of Heavy Lifting on Your Back

Many people are confident that they know how to properly lift and maneuver heavy objects. Truth is, many people don’t know how to properly lift something heavy. They also aren’t aware of the effects that improper lifting can have on their back. There are three significant back injuries that can be caused by improper heavy lifting:

Muscle injury

Not being in the right position while lifting can place extra stress on the lower back muscles, and when added pressure is placed on a muscle, injury will often occur. This stress can cause tiny tears to form in the muscle, leading to pain and making it difficult to move the affected and surrounding tissues.

Joint injury

The back contains many joints along the spinal column. These joints can be quite resilient when handling the stress of lifting that is done properly. However, improper lifting techniques, even with lightweight objects, can irritate these joints and result in injured joints.

Disc injury

The intervertebral discs are a cushion between the vertebrae (bones). These fibrous discs can bulge or rupture when injured. This type of injury in the lower back can cause pain that can radiate through the buttocks and the legs.

Tips for proper lifting

To prevent injury when lifting heavy items, try to follow these important tips:

  • Keep the chest forward – To lift properly, be sure to keep your chest pushed out to properly bend at the hips and knees. This will guarantee a straight back to prevent injury.
  • Lead with the hips – When changing positions, be sure to move the hips first, and the shoulders will follow in unison. This prevents potentially harmful twisting.
  • Keep object close to the body – The further an object is from a person’s center of gravity, the more force that is required to lift the object. Keeping the object as close to you as possible will help to lift the item without injury.

For more information on caring for your lower back, stop by our office to pick up your free copy of “The Back Owner’s Manual.” If you’ve suffered an injury from heavy lifting, call the spine specialists at Spine Surgery of Idaho today at (208) 944-0056 to schedule your next appointment.