Back pain is one of the most common medical conditions and affects 8 out of every 10 people at some point throughout their lives.
According to the webpage MedlinePlus, this condition can range from constant pain to sudden, intense pain. Acute back pain can begin unexpectedly and can last for a few days or weeks, while chronic back pain can last for more than three months.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke lists a few risk factors that may increase the likelihood of experiencing back pain:
- Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between ages 30 and 50. As people age, the loss of bone strength due to osteoporosis can lead to fractures and can also cuase muscle elasticity and muscle tone to decrease.
- Fitness level: If you have weak back and abdominal muscles, they may not properly support the spine. Low-impact aerobic exercise is beneficial for the maintaining the integrity of intervertebral discs.
- Pregnancy: As the result of pelvic changes and weight gain, pregnancy is commonly accompanied by low back pain. These symptoms almost always resolve after giving birth.
- Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining a significant amount of weight can put more stress on the back and lead to back pain.
- Occupational risk: Having a job that requires heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling, especially when it involves twisting or vibrating the spine, can lead to back injuries and back pain.
- Mental health factors: Anxiety and depression can influence how closely people focus on their pain as well as their perception of how serious it is. Stress can affect the body in several different ways, including causing muscle tension.
- Heavy backpacks in children: Backpacks that are overloaded with books and supplies can place a lot of strain the back and cause muscle fatigue. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that children’s backpacks weigh no more than 15 to 20% of their bodyweight.
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