Is the pain in your lower back keeping you awake? Lower back pain is an extremely common condition. In fact, approximately 80% of Americans will suffer from back problems at some point in their lifetimes. While lower back pain can affect people of all ages, there are certain risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing the condition. If you do not take steps to address your back pain, it could easily progress to chronic pain.
Low Back Pain Risk Factors
Risk factors for back pain are either controllable or uncontrollable. Controllable risk factors are ones you can take action to reduce. Uncontrollable risk factors are ones you cannot take action on. Uncontrollable risk factors are age, genetics, and pregnancy, whereas controllable factors are lifestyle habits, posture, weight, and occupation.
- Age Age-related wear and tear on the spine is not 100% preventable. Although there are ways to slow spine degeneration (such as through exercise), sometimes it is inevitable. For example, did you know that by the time you are 30 years old, you are at a higher risk for disc-related disorders and osteoarthritis than before?
- Genetics Researchers found that certain disorders of the spine are genetic, which means having a parent or a relative with lower back pain issues due to spine disorders means you are at high risk of developing it, too.
- Pregnancy Gaining weight during pregnancy is also a risk factor for lower back pain. The excess body weight in the belly shifts a woman’s center and the loosening of the ligaments in the pelvic area can lead to lower back pain.
- Poor posture, such as slouching and remaining in a hunched position can lead to not only lower back pain, but pain in other parts of the body, as well. Poor posture strains your back because the back muscles must work harder to support your body weight.
- Your occupation could be the cause of your lower back pain. An example is construction work. Repetitive motions and heavy lifting can lead to back injuries that are accompanied by pain. Occupations that require you to be on your feet the entire day also make you prone to lower back pain. Some examples of high-risk occupations are assembly-line workers, shop attendants, flight attendants, barbers, and front desk clerks.
- Being sedentary puts you at a high risk of developing lower back pain. Exercise and living a physically active lifestyle can delay the onset of certain spine disorders. Not to mention, physical activity can reduce inflammation and decrease pain. Being overweight also means there is more stress on your back. Furthermore, smoking is another bad habit that can speed up spine degeneration. The chemicals in cigarettes actually block the proper delivery of nutrients to your spine. Research has found that more smokers experience lower back pain than non-smokers.
Lower Back Pain Management Experts in Austin, Cedar Park, and Marble Falls, Texas
It’s important to see a doctor to find out what’s causing your back pain and seek treatment. A medical professional can perform tests to get to the bottom of the issue.
At Balcones Pain Consultants, our pain management experts understand that back pain affects everyone differently, which is why we always begin by fully understanding your issues. We are happy to receive you in any of our three locations: Austin, Cedar Park, and Marble Falls. You may call us at (512) 834-4141 or request an appointment now.