- The National Health Service spends more than £1 billion per year on back pain related costs. In the private healthcare sector £565 million is spent on back pain every year.
- The lowdown on back pain. Most people have lower back pain. This is because the lower back bears the weight of the upper body. It also twists and bends more than the upper back.
- If your back pain started after a trivial movement, such as picking up a book from the floor, you could have a slipped disc or a joint problem in your spine.
- Many people who often have back pain, either lead inactive sedentary lives, or have inherited a genetic susceptibility to back pain.
- Cyclists often experience back pain, which can often be rectified by adjusting the angle of the bicycle seat.
- 80% of people over the age of 30 experience back problems at some point in their lives. 30% of those will have recurring problems.
- Low back pain is the second most frequent reason for visits to the physician.
- Eighty seven percent of back problems are known to be muscular in origin — meaning they are related to how your move your body.
- Most acute back pain goes away on its own, whether or not you treat it with medication or other therapies.
- The spine is so strong that it can withstand the pressure of hundreds of kilograms.
So many things can cause you back pain, in fact far to many to list but I found a few tips on how to avoid the most common causes of back pain.
Standing incorrectly I suppose is an obvious one but they say that if you can avoid leaning while standing (against a wall or similar) and do not stand on one leg as this can create muscle imbalances.
Sitting incorrectly while driving can soon cause back pain, they suggest that you should raise your seat up until your hips are level with your knees. Raise it higher if you can’t see clearly out the windshield or windows. Don’t drive with your hips lower than your knees. If your car doesn’t have a control to adjust the seat height, then sit on a cushion to help keep your hips level with your knees. I have a coccyx cushion in my car and my husbands car and could not last a journey without one.
For women they say your bra is very important, which is something I have written a little bit about before. Apparently London’s Royal Free Hospital says that 100% of women who want a breast reduction is because they are suffering from back pain and most of them were found to be wearing the wrong sized bra. I think its easier now as most department stores have fully trained staff to measure you properly.
Sitting at your computer is a very important one. They say its because you have to lean forward or stretch out with your arms, both of which can cause back ache. To stop this happening they recommend that you set your keyboard so you rest your arms on the desk to use it, and your screen so that your head is straight when you look at it. My son bought me a special ergonomic key board and computer mouse for when I sit at my desk and worked out the correct height for my laptop which sits on some books and I do feel I can sit a little longer now that is right.
They also say sitting too much can cause back pain as apparently when you sit down, the load going through your discs is increased threefold so they recommend that you move regularly, ideally every 20 minutes. Well I’m afraid I do sit most of the time but my legs are always horizontal ( not sure if that helps) but as I do get uncomfortable often I do have to move around quite a bit so hopefully at least I am doing that right.
Low vitamin D levels was quite a shock for me as I haven’t once been told to take any form of supplement for my back. They say it is because deficiencies in the sunshine vitamin D are now strongly linked to back pain which they say is because insufficient vitamin D makes surfaces on your spine soft and spongy, which then irritates the nerves. Their top tip is to take a supplement of vitamin D.
One for the girls ( and some boys) they say high heels causes back pain due to the way they tilt your pelvis forward, they suggest alternate heel heights so no need to throw all those beautiful heels away, just don’t wear them all the time.
Some of the most obvious things to avoid as they can cause back pain are:
With increased risk factors of back pain being: