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 people 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 related to a degenerative spine condition can also be accompanied by symptoms like shooting pains, tingling numbness and muscle weakness. 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 strain from lifting
  • Repetitive motion — continually twisting, bending or lifting
  • Vibration — constant vibration from a vehicle or machinery
  • Obesity — extra body weight puts additional stress on the spine
  • Poor posture — incorrect alignment of the spine can cause uneven pressure and potential for pain
  • Smoking — reduces bone density, reduces self-healing capacity and increases the 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 treatment spanning several weeks or months. After proper diagnosis, your doctor 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 doctor may recommend pain medication, heat therapy and specific exercises to strengthen the disc’s supporting muscles.

Spine surgery can become an option if conservative treatments have been unable to relieve symptoms enough for a good quality of life. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer an outpatient alternative to traditional open spine surgery. Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgeries use muscle-sparing techniques, offering our patients a shorter recovery time and lower risk of complication^ compared to traditional procedures. To learn about how our minimally invasive spine surgery can help relieve your back pain, contact Laser Spine Institute today.

We offer a no-cost review of your MRI report or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.