Back pain is one of the most common ailments people complain of and seek medical help for. Despite the common cold, back pain is the second leading cause of people calling out of work for the day, so if you have found yourself in this position, the good news is you are not alone.
Since back pain is such a prevalent issue, it is not surprising that there is a lot of misguided information floating around about what causes back pain and what the best remedies for back pain are. While these articles may have good intensions, murky information, undeveloped thoughts, and impractical tips for healing your back pain happen more often than not. We tend to overcomplicate causes and treatments for common health issues, unintentionally self-sabotaging.
Therefore, this article will provide you with correct and simple information about why your back is hurting and how to stop back related pain simply and effectively. It is time to once and for all kick back pain out of your life and let it go.
What Actually Causes Back Pain?
Yes, there are many different causes for back pain and lower back pain. However, more often than not, back pain comes from a simple unharmful cause, lack of movement. Lack of movement therefore causes other issues such as:
- Muscle strains
- Herniated disks
- Nerve impingement
- Pinched nerves
Lack of movement and poor movement patterns stem from a few different factors. Sitting down too much and too often is the main issue. Most people are sitting at work all day and then get in the car to drive home, again, in s seated position. From there, during the evening you are sitting down to eat dinner, sitting while watching tv shows, or sitting on the floor to play with your dog. There is a lot of sitting happening during the day and not nearly enough movement.
Back pain and lower back pain generally begin with the facet, nerve, or disc in the spine that is compressed in some way. When you are sitting, even with the best posture possible, you are still putting pressure on your hamstrings and glutes, causing problems in the spine. A spine that becomes aligned improperly perpetuates the pain cycle.
Back pain can often come from sleeping as well. Sleeping in the wrong positions or on the wrong kind of mattress can cause painful back issues, especially in the lower back.
If you sleep in a way that does not support your spine and your spine’s proper and natural alignment, back pain will become a part of your daily life. If you do not change the way you are sleeping, and you are sitting too much during the day as well, you are creating the ideal recipe for chronic back pain that will become worse over time and never go away.
While there can be other causes for back pain as well, more often than not, back pain comes from simple and uncomplicated things done in everyday life. Back pain is rarely ever associated with underlying disease, cancer, or other serious conditions and complications.
Sitting and sleeping take up large chunks of the day for most people. If both of these daily activities are at a constant and you do not adjust them, your lower back pain will never go away and it is no wonder why back pain becomes a chronic issue in most of the population. Many people tend to seek out more complicated causes for their back pain when in reality it is simple day-to-day life that is the culprit.
How to Get Rid of Back Pain
Education on back pain and the most common causes of back pain is imperative. In order to get rid of your back pain you must understand why it is there in the first place. Whether it is from your own research, a doctor, or a combination of both, true understanding about yourself and your lifestyle is the key to your success.
Once you understand how your sleeping and sitting habits affect your back and spine, you can truly heal your back pain once and for all and let it go.
1. Get Moving More
If you are sitting at work, sitting when you are commuting, sitting in meetings, sitting on an exercise bike, and all of the other things in between, you need to sit less. Sitting with both good and bad posture put pressure on the spine, especially the lower back and this can cause a lot of chronic back pain.
Instead of sitting at your desk all day long, ask if you can get a standing desk or an adjustable desk where you can both sit and stand periodically throughout the workday. By simply standing while you work for a few hours per day instead of sitting for those full eight hours, you can likely decrease your back pain significantly.
If you live close enough to your job, walking to work is another great option if possible. Not only will this allow you to get more steps and movement during the day, but it also will reduce the amount of time you are sitting in your car. Even if you only drive a few minutes away, these minutes add up during the week and especially during the month and year as a whole.
Every hour, if possible, you can also get moving and go for a brief walk around the office. Getting up and walking will loosen up your back, glutes, and hamstrings, stretch them out, and get the blood flowing through your body. This can help reduce back pain and stiffness you get during the day when you sit too much.
If you feel funny at the office getting up to walk around aimlessly, walk to the bathroom, refill your water bottle in the kitchen, or go say hi to a co-worker. That way you can walk to do something with a purpose and you will feel less awkward.
Of course, adding daily exercise to your schedule is a great way to help get your body moving more. Any movement and exercise where you are standing and upright is a good idea. Sitting on an exercise bike or doing other seated exercises defeat the purpose of moving more to sit less.
Therefore, walking, hiking, elliptical, stair climber, running, HIIT, and other standing exercises are the options you want to stick with. Even sports like volleyball, tennis, basketball, baseball, racquetball, and more are fun ways to get moving and sit less.
2. Sleep Better
Sleeping better is another way you can significantly reduce your back pain in a simple and easy manner. Finding the best sleeping positions will help you get better quality of sleep at night while also allowing your body’s back to heal so you feel less chronic pain. Some of the best sleeping positions for back pain are:
- Sleeping on the back with knee support
- Sleeping on the side with below between legs
- Sleeping in the fetal position
- Sleeping on stomach with below lower belly
- Sleeping on back in reclines position
Despite the position you choose and what feels the most comfortable, the basis of each position is proper spinal alignment. If you think one of the above positions is comfortable but there are gaps and spaces between you and the bed, that is when you use supportive pillows to fill up those gaps. You do not want any part of your body straining when you sleep.
In the end, back pain generally comes from two simple causes – lack of proper movement and poor sleeping positions that cause your spine to become unaligned. Even though these two things are simple, they make a huge impact on back health because they are things we do every single day without break.
Constant sitting and constantly sleeping in the wrong positions day in and day out can wreak havoc on our back and the health and alignment of the spine. To fix these issues we must first understand that these are the problems, why they are the problems, and how we can fix them in easy ways that require little extra effort. By sitting less, moving more, and sleeping better, many will feel like completely new people in relatively short periods of time.
If you have tried these tips and are still struggling with chronic back pain, it may be time to visit the doctor. From there, a doctor will be able to rule out any other serious causes and refer you to a specialist that can address all of your needs and concerns. Often time, assistance through acupuncture, spinal adjustments and manipulations, of physical therapy can reduce pain in the back a great amount.