According to the American Chiropractic Association, “31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time.” But what is the cause of all this back pain?
With such a large portion of the American population suffering from back pain, chances are good you may have back pain at some point in your life. Back pain can come on suddenly as the result of a fall or injury, or it may develop over time due to other conditions. We’ve put together a list of the most common causes of back pain in men – can you relate to any of these?
Common Causes of Back Pain:
- Improper lifting
Whether it’s a result of lifting objects that are too heavy for them or using poor lifting techniques, this is one of the most common reasons people experience lower back pain. Men are frequently the “heavy lifters”, and are particularly at risk for this type of pain. A reluctance to ask for help or activity that requires sudden lifting are the main reasons men experience this injury type. Muscle strain is common and is the result of fibres being stretched or torn in the back. Herniated discs occur when too much pressure is put on the lower back by lifting objects that are too heavy.
- Sports-Related Injuries
Almost 20% of injuries in sports affect the back and neck. Male-dominated sports such as football are prone to these types of injuries. In addition, activities like running and weightlifting are also the cause of back pain. Tightness on the sides of your hips while running may be the result of your tensor fascia latae tightening up. It can lead to pain in your lower back as your hips try to compensate for the tight muscle.
- Disc Injury
When a disc in your spine slips out of place, it can cause pain and result in a herniated disc. This injury occurs after a fall or repetitive motion that places strain on the spine. As you age, your spine becomes less flexible and increases the risk of disc injuries.
- Work-Related Injuries
Your job can put you at risk for back injury – no matter how safe your work environment may be. Slip and falls during work-related activities are among the most common reasons for a back injury. In addition, jobs that require long periods of standing or sitting may also cause strains in the back.
Physical pain is often an outward sign of anxiety and stress. The body responds to stress by tightening the muscles, typically in the lower back, causing pain. Relaxation techniques and stretching may help alleviate stress, which will help reduce the associated back pain.
- Compression Fractures
When the bones in your back get weak, they can collapse and break. This type of injury is most common in women as a result of osteoporosis but may affect men who have weak backs. Compression fractures can happen after car accidents, slip and falls or a sudden, jerking movement.
- Poor Sleep Positions
The average person spends ⅓ of their life in bed. Spending eight hours a day in the wrong position can cause pain over time. One of the biggest culprits in bed-related back pain? Sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your back is better, but you need to support your knees to ensure that your spine stays aligned.
- Degenerative Disc Disease
Over time, the discs in your back can begin to wear down. The discs slide over each other and cause irritation and inflammation. As this happens, it can cause severe pain which can lead to further strain and pressure on your back.
How to Prevent Back Pain
One of the most effective ways of preventing back pain is strengthening your core muscles. Specific exercises that work to improve the strength of the abdominal wall and muscles in the lower back can help prevent injury.
Proper lifting techniques will help prevent injury. Keep the object close to your body and put the weight of the object on your legs, not your back. This reduces the risk of back strain and prevents additional injuries due to falling or losing your balance.
The solution to back pain is not always surgery. Proper diagnosis and an effective treatment program can help you avoid surgical procedures, even if you have chronic back pain. Back pain is not a normal part of the ageing process. It can be diagnosed and treated, allowing you to live a fulfilling and active life, without pain. A chiropractor can help you learn proper strengthening techniques and body mechanics that can help you move towards a pain-free back.
Contact us today to schedule your comprehensive appointment and find out how we can put our experience to help heal your back pain.