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Back pain, whether acute or chronic, can lead to significant and negative effects on a person’s life. Many people may have to miss work or give up their favorite activities. In some cases, back pain may even prevent normal sleeping patterns. For those who relate to these symptoms, understand that these are not isolated cases. In studies, researchers found that 80% of Americans experience back pain at some point throughout their lives. This startling statistic means that back pain has also risen to become the number one cause of disability in the United States today. While the actual pain is often the primary concern, the financial burden is significant as well. In just 2012, the American people spend almost 30 billion dollars in treatment for this condition.

Because of these high levels, patients, doctors, and researchers began looking for cost-effective solutions to this common problem. To help the average person find relief, these five simple tips were gathered. When used as directed, they can provide relief from painful, aching backs and provide realistic solutions to manage this condition.

1. Being overweight or obese is significant for a variety of health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. However, having a higher weight than indicated has also been found to be one of the largest contributing factors for back pain. The reason for this is that the body’s frame is made to carry only a certain amount of weight. Excess weight puts greater strain on the body’s frame and specifically the spine. Over time, people who are overweight and obese suffer greater degeneration in their vertebrae, which will lead to the early development of back pain.
Additionally, excess pounds also increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis, herniated discs, and sciatica. However, although these conditions are usually treated through surgery, obese individuals are less likely to seek out these options. The practical implication of this evidence is that achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is desirable to reduce back pain. This weight loss and maintenance can be achieved by changing dietary and lifestyle habits over time.
2. Almost since the beginning of smoking, there have been health professionals stating that smoking has dangerous side effects. The primary warning when it comes to tobacco use is that smoking increases the risk of cancer. However, one surprising and unknown effect is that it also contributes to the development of back pain. Smoking is related to this pain in a few specific ways. Primarily, smoking is identified as one of the main factors which causes a blockage in the small arteries throughout the body. The spine and discs between the vertebrae depend on blood and nutrient supply from these small vessels. As these structures become blocked due to tobacco usage, the tissues in the spine are unable to repair damage which will lead to early degeneration of the discs and chronic pain.

The nicotine contained in cigarettes has also been found to have an effect on spinal health. Nicotine negatively effects osteoblasts, the cells in the body which are responsible for forming bone. This can also be linked to decreased healing and contributes to pain as well. These findings are significant and provide a significant reason for a person to quit smoking immediately.

3. Children often have early memories of their parents teaching them lessons about manners and leading the proper lifestyle. One of the most significant memories is probably of parents telling their children to sit straight instead of slouching. While children and teenagers are prone to ignore this advice, now is the time to make a positive change. Since a person’s posture has an effect on the spine, it contributes to the development of back pain. In today’s professional world, most people spend a significant amount of time in a seated position. When seated, pay attention to posture to obtain relief from back pain.

The ultimate effects of poor posture range in severity. Mild changes in posture create excess strain on the muscles, discs, and vertebrae throughout the back while more severe changes cause increased changes in the nerves which exit the spine. All of these factors cause pain in both the back as well as other areas of the body. This indicates that focusing on posture, especially when sitting can be a beneficial change.

4. Even when sitting up properly, back pain often becomes worse after staying in one position for a long period of time. Research has shown that inactivity is a primary factor for the development of musculoskeletal pain. Inactivity leads to weight gain and also causes the structural support system for the spine to weaken. When a person stays in a certain position for an extended period of time, the muscles and discs also tend to shorten. Develop a daily exercise and stretching program to gain relief from back pain. This simple change makes a significant difference, especially for people who tend to stay seated for extended periods of time.

5. Pain is often ignored, and unwisely so. Some people wait until they are in extreme pain before seeing their chiropractor. However, pain, even mild pain, is the body’s way of letting a person know that something has gone wrong. The effectiveness and safety of chiropractors for the treatment of back pain is well-known, but many people are still reluctant to seek out their expert medical advice. Chiropractors focus on the body’s muscular and nervous systems, working from the base of the body to improve function and relieve pain. They focus on each patient’s individual condition, and are specifically skilled at identifying and correcting spinal misalignments. Since the spinal cord is responsible for almost every function in the body, alignment of the spinal bones is crucial. Chiropractors are beneficial in treating back pain and should be seen as early as possible.

These five simple tips form the foundation of treating and preventing both acute and chronic back pain. For people who suffer from this condition, treatment options are available. Use this expert research-based advice to improve mobility and improve quality of life with a few simple changes.