Back pain risk factors — what activities should be avoided

Back pain is one of the most common complaints of adults in the United States. Whether the pain is acute or chronic, most adults experience this at some point in life.

Because many causes of back pain are related to the natural aging and degeneration of the spine, the chance of developing pain increases over time. The continual bending, twisting and lifting involved in daily activities, such as playing golf, lifting boxes or keeping up with the kids, can cause the components of your back to wear down, leaving you susceptible to developing back pain.

Back pain is a symptom of a spine condition, often degenerative in nature, that has altered the alignment or support of the spine and caused nerve compression. In some cases, back pain is accompanied by symptoms of pain in the extremities and limited mobility. By understanding the risks that lead to the development of a spine condition, you can make lifestyle changes that can possibly help prevent or postpone the onset of back pain.

Risks for developing back pain

Back pain has many causes. Some of the most common back pain risk factors include:

  • Injury — Traumatic, sports-related or even from something seemingly minor
  • Repetitive motion — Continually twisting, bending or lifting in a stereotyped motion
  • Vibration — Constant vibration from a vehicle or machinery
  • Obesity — Extra body fat puts additional stress on the spine
  • Poor posture — Incorrect alignment of the spine leads to pain
  • Smoking — Reduces bone density, reduces self-healing capacity and increases chance for damage
  • Pathological — Disease, infection or tumor

Treatment for back pain

While nearly everyone experiences some degree of back pain at one point in life, this discomfort is usually manageable with conservative and noninvasive treatment spanning several weeks or months. After proper diagnosis, your physician can help you find the treatment that is most effective for your spine condition and symptoms. For example, if a bulging disc is causing lower back pain, a physician may recommend analgesic medication, heat therapy and specific exercises to strengthen the disc’s supporting musculature.

For some individuals, spine surgery is a viable option for pain relief. At Laser Spine Institute, we take some of the fear out of the thought of spine surgery. Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgeries are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. Because of our minimally invasive approach, our patients can experience a shorter recovery time,^ higher patient satisfaction score and lower risk compared to traditional spine surgery.

To learn about how our minimally invasive spine surgery can help relieve your back pain, contact Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a review of your MRI report or CT scan.