Whilst we are all at risk of experiencing back pain, some people are more susceptible than others. Back pain becomes more common as we grow older and is most common between the ages of 35 and 55. Even so, children increase the risk of developing back pain by spending too much time hunched over a computer or by lugging heavy school bags to and from school.
Whether or not (and how frequently) you experience back pain depends on:
- How active you are (your mobility)
- Mechanical causes
- Underlying disease
- Your job
BACK PAIN AND IMMOBILITY
There are many reasons why we are less active than we used to be. Cars, televisions and computers may make our lives easier, but they also causing us many health problems. By becoming less active (as well as eating more junk food) we are becoming heavier (and in some cases obese) and our muscles and bones are becoming weaker.
These are all risk factors for developing a back complaint.Adult obesity rates have almost quadrupled in the last 25 years.
MANAGING BACK PAIN
Managing back pain does not just mean taking painkillers or undergoing back surgery. There are many other ways in which you can bring your back pain under control and prevent it from recurring. Adopting simple changes to your lifestyle can bring about immediate improvements in your back pain.
- Staying as active as possible
- Losing weight (if you are overweight)
- Learning how to bend and lift objects properly
- Improving your posture (or adjusting your seating position in the car, at work, at the dinner table, in front of the TV or your sleeping position)
- Contrary to popular opinion, bed rest is not recommended for back pain. It is far better that you try to stay as active as possible
Your doctor will be able to advise you which types of exercise are most suitable. Healthcare professional involved in managing your pain will include your PHYSIOTHERAPIST and may also involve the practice nurse, a pain specialist, a physiotherapist, a counsellor, an occupational health therapist and a pharmacist.