Back pain from a sudden injury or chronic condition can interfere with your daily life as you try to manage your pain just so you can get through the day. Back issues are the most common cause of disability, and when your problem is severe, it can significantly impact your quality of life.
Don’t put off getting help for back pain. The experts at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas diagnose and treat back pain, whether it’s caused by a condition such as degenerative disc disease or an injury. We can help you get relief so you can enjoy more of your life. In addition to getting a professional evaluation, you can make lifestyle changes to protect your back.
Symptoms of back pain
Back pain can range from localized to widespread. The discomfort may radiate from your back to other parts of your body, and while the severity varies from person to person, common back pain symptoms include:
- Pain when bending or twisting
- Pain that worsens when sitting
- Intermittent back pain
- Abnormal sensation (tingling or numbness)
- Pain that radiates down one leg
If your back pain doesn’t improve after a few weeks, see a doctor.
Who’s at risk for back pain?
Back pain affects people of all ages. However, older age and reduced activity level are two risk factors. Age-related change to the spine is one of the most common reasons that back pain strikes. While you can’t control aging, you can keep your back and core strong as you get older, and this reduces your chances of a back problem.
Being sedentary causes back muscles to weaken, putting you at risk for back pain. Staying physically active helps to protect you against issues like chronic back pain, as well as preventing back injuries.
Obesity is another controllable factor that raises the risk of back problems. Additionally, jobs that involve heavy lifting or twisting may cause back pain or injury.
Top tips to protect your back
In addition to getting prompt treatment for back pain, there are steps you can take to protect your back from pain and injury.
1. Use proper lifting form
Poor lifting technique is a common cause of back injuries. Try these tips next time you lift a heavy object:
- Use a wide stance for better stability
- Keep your back straight while bending
- Firmly grasp the object with both hands
- Tighten your core muscles
- Keep the weight close to your body
- Lift carefully, keeping your head and shoulders in line
Using proper form every time you lift a heavy object helps to prevent straining or injuring your lower back.
2. Strengthen your core
A strong core is essential to keeping your back healthy and reducing the risk of low back pain. Your includes your abs, which serve as the front anchor of your spine. If your abdominal muscles are weak, the other structures that support your spine have to work harder. You’re less prone to hurting or straining your back muscles if you have stronger core muscles.
3. Practice good posture
Slouching at your desk at work, and craning your head down when reading or using a mobile device puts your spine in an unnatural position, which increases strain on the spine and the structures that support it.
Doing this regularly for extended periods can lead to chronic neck and back pain. Whether you work from home or a traditional office, it’s crucial to get in the habit of practicing good posture. You can do this by keeping your back straight, shoulders down, and head up in a neutral position.
4. Train properly
Athletes and other active individuals are at a greater risk of injury and chronic pain from things like overtraining, using improper training technique, and failing to use protective gear. An orthopedic sports medicine physician can evaluate your training and make recommendations on the best practices for reducing your risk of orthopedic issues.
It's critical to get to the root of your back pain. The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas can assist you so you can get back to enjoying your life. Schedule a visit at one of our locations — in Pearland, and Lake Jackson, Texas. Let our team get you on the road to less back pain.