Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Causes of Back Pain

I'm like many people who experience back pain from time to time. I attribute most of mine to hours at the computer, bad posture and lack of the proper exercise over time to make my back strong and occasional stress. So when I saw an article recently talking about back pain, I took the time to read it. It was surprising, and yet it wasn't, that back pain is the second-leading cause of doctor visits behind the common cold. The article, in Prevention, quoted Todd Sinett, a chiropractor and co-author of The Truth About Back Pain, as saying that normal back aches are not usually caused by one thing but rather a combination of contributing factors.

I'm all about trying to prevent back pain, so I read on about the 14 most common mistakes we could all be making that lead to a pain in the back and how we can avoid them or fix them when they happen. Perhaps for writers, the first thing on the list is the biggest culprit. According to the article, sitting puts 40 percent more pressure on our spines than sitting.

Yoga is recommended to help with back pain, and some study research backs up the claim that it helps. This tip is accompanied with a link to some yoga videos on prevention.com.

A culprit for us women is too-heavy purses. I think this would apply to any students out there carrying monstrous book bags or anyone carrying a laptop case on the shoulder.

Another of the potential problems is one that hits home for me -- having a mattress that is too old and doesn't provide the right support for the back. I need to watch for mattress sales and nab a new one.

In further evidence that emotions and physical woes can be interconnected, the article cited a Duke University Medical Center study that found that test subjects who practiced forgiveness and didn't hold grudges had several positives health results, including less back pain.

Read the entire article here.


Michelle Butler on February 23, 2010 at 9:36 AM said...

I would bet that weight loss and regular exercise would also help ward off back pain. Pilates might be a good thing to consider too since it focuses on the core so much.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on February 23, 2010 at 11:20 AM said...

I'm sure you're right, Michelle. Having strong abdominal muscles actually helps the back.

Sally Kilpatrick on February 23, 2010 at 12:28 PM said...

Interesting article. I've started Yoga with my Wii Fit, and it's really helped my posture.

Nancy on February 23, 2010 at 1:03 PM said...

Trish, I also think that having a strong core helps control back pain. It also improves posture and balance. Getting away from the computer and looking into the distance now and again is good for the eyes, too.

Tawny on February 23, 2010 at 2:42 PM said...

Great article, Trish. I just loaded a new app to my iTouch - Yoga Stretch. I'm going to try and integrate yoga into my days, in part for a stronger back, in part because my muscles do stiffen up from the jogging and I think it'll really help.

My youngest daughter's been complaining of back pain. Um, she's 10!!! Then I slept in her bed once during early-morning repairs to the ceiling in my bedroom and OMG!! Her mattress bites. We're shopping for a new one, definitely.

And side note - YAY!!! Nancy was able to post *g* So glad!!!

Karen on February 23, 2010 at 2:59 PM said...

Several years ago I heard a story on CNN that approximately 50% of back pain in women is caused by female hormones. I was shocked by the news, but my doctor confirmed it. Since I entered menopause my back pain has reduced tremendously. I hope I don't jinx myself by saying this, but I haven't had a full, blow-out, spend-a-week-in-bed episode with my back for almost a year.

No periods and no back pain--growing older is awesome!!!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on February 23, 2010 at 4:08 PM said...

Sally, the more I hear about the Wii, the more I want one.

Nancy, I don't have the world's best posture, so I really need to work on this.

Tawny, I think the next time I sell a book (please, oh please, be soon), I'm going to buy a new mattress set. Mine bites too.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on February 23, 2010 at 4:08 PM said...

Wow, Karen, that's interesting. I think we should just blame every health woe on hormones. :)

MaryC on February 23, 2010 at 9:00 PM said...

Thanks for the tips, Trish.

Tawny on February 23, 2010 at 10:39 PM said...

Trish, Karen, I was actually listening to something today (my fave podcast guy) who said that science is coming to realize that a HUGE number of our health issues/weight issues can be laid right at the feet of hormones.


Michelle Butler on February 24, 2010 at 9:44 AM said...

Yeah, a lot of focus has been made on hormones lately. Jillian Michaels has a whole weight loss book that focuses on the influence of hormines on weight loss.

Thyroid/endocrine/hormone imbalance problems are getting a lot of general press attention too. I think the big 3 signs of hormone imbalances in women are: irregular periods, more hair than normal and difficulty losing weight.

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