It is fortunate that episodes of back pain heal with time. However, back pain can be a temporary but recurrent pain that is indeed a very uncomfortable occurrence. It has a way of interfering with your daily routine, aside making you very uncomfortable. It is important to identify the causes of back pain and know the remedies to help deal with it. To help you, Jumia Travel shares 5 causes and remedies for back pain.
This is one of the major causes of upper and lower back pain. This pain usually occurs along with neck pain or shoulder pain. Poor posture puts on strain on sensitized muscles and soft tissues leading to increased tension in the muscles which most times results in pain.
Remedy: The simple remedy for this is to correct your sitting and standing posture to help alleviate some of the muscle tension causing you back pain. Avoid slouching or hunching your back when sitting. Also try to do exercises that strengthen your core muscles, buttock muscles, check muscles, neck muscles, rear-shoulder muscles and back extensions (exercises like bridges, back extensions, side-lying stretches, planks etc.), this will help improve your posture.
When standing, balance your weight evenly on both feet (don’t lean on one leg), keep your shoulders and back relaxed, pull in your abdomen, keep your feet apart and straight but knees relaxed, and try not to tilt your head forward, backward or sideways.
STRENUOUS PHYSICAL WORK AND EXERCISE
Jobs that involve lifting, pushing, pulling or twisting with the low back can cause injury and back pain. These jobs especially affect the lower back and cause lower back pain.
Also, there are some physical exercises that contribute to back pains. Exercises like the ‘touch-your-toes’ hamstring stretch, hurdler’s stretch, leg raises, sit-ups, crunches and high impact aerobic exercises.
Remedy: For physically strenuous jobs, try to avoid heavy lifting, pushing, pulling or twisting your low back as much as you can. If you must do heavy lifting try to bend your legs and keep your back straight when lifting something heavy. Also, you should often do exercises to stretch and strengthen your core, back, neck, shoulder and buttock muscles.
For strenuous exercises, avoid strenuous physical exercises like the ones mentioned above and swap them for more back-friendly exercises like side-lying stretches, reverse curl-ups, swimming, walking etc.
MENTALLY STRESSFUL WORK
Mentally stressful work tends to cause stress and anxiety which are two of the most common causes of back pain. Stress and anxiety drastically increase muscle tension, which in turn increases pain. The back contains a variety of muscles that tense during stress and anxiety, which increases pain and leads to a mild or severe back pain in the upper and lower back.
In addition to this, anxiety and stress also cause changes in behaviors that lead to back pain. These include changes in posture (there is a tendency to slouch more, hunch your back etc.), inactivity (there is the tendency of decreased healthy physical activity and mobility) and hypersensitivity (stress and anxiety tends to make you more sensitive to physical sensations which makes them feel more severe and harder to ignore).
Remedy: Stretching your muscles regularly, watching your posture, occasional massages, exercising and being mobile can help reduce stress or anxiety-related pains in your back. But for a more permanent treatment, you should learn ways to cope with stress and anxiety. This can be done by identifying your stressors and what triggers your stress and anxiety, then finding ways to avoid it if you can or accept and adapt to it if you can’t. Taking breaks can also help, relaxation and meditation exercises also included. Try to eat a balanced diet, sleep well and limit caffeine or alcohol.
During a healthy pregnancy, women usually gain between 25 to 35 pounds which the spine has to support. This can lead to lower back pain for most women during pregnancy. Also, the weight of the baby and uterus puts pressure on blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back, which in turn increases pain and leads to back pain. In addition to these, posture changes, hormone changes, muscle separation and stress during pregnancy can also contribute to back pain during pregnancy.
Remedy: The good thing is that the back pain experienced during pregnancy gradually eases before birth, however things like safe exercises for pregnant women, applying heat and cold compress to your back at intervals, working on improving your posture during pregnancy, avoiding high-heeled shoes, and not sleeping on your back can help treat and alleviate the back pain.
A sedentary lifestyle tends to cause increased stiffness and weakened muscles which can cause or worsen back pain. Being sedentary keeps you inactive and makes you miss out on the benefits of regular physical activity which helps to nourish spinal discs, soft tissues and ligaments.
Remedy: Perform regular strengthening exercises, stretching and low-impact aerobic exercises for the muscle of the back and abdomen to help provide better support for your spine. Move around more and engage in healthy physical activities.