Written by David Jones

Back pain can interfere with your daily life and make it painful to do things like walk or climb the stairs. Some patients may need ongoing therapy, medication, or even surgery to help keep the pain at bay. For many, it can be severely debilitating and even prevent people from working and functioning normally. The severity of back pain people encounter can vary, with injuries ranging from a herniated disc to a compressed spinal column or a pulled muscle, all resulting in a painful and uncomfortable way of life.

The variety and location of the pain that is experienced often depends not only on the diagnosis but the cause itself. Some common causes of back pain include injury from improper lifting, dealing with a hard impact from a vehicle crash, or just spending too much time sitting with poor posture. Even stress can be a contributing factor, along with improper sleeping positions. When the spine is over-extended or the surrounding muscles are strained, severe back pain can result. Those who work at a desk and people who work in labor-related jobs such as construction are both at a higher risk.

Approximately 47 percent of Americans suffer from chronic back pain, and at least eight out of every ten people will experience temporary symptoms of pain at some point during their lifetime. One way to curb the problem is to ensure proper posture while sitting, lifting, and standing. Good posture helps to keep the spine properly aligned and minimizes pressure on the discs and muscles. Ergonomically designed desk furniture can help as well as regular stretching to keep the spine aligned and back muscles limber. Shoulders should be held back while standing and sitting, and your neck should be positioned upward, with your eyes level with the top of your monitor while on a computer. Avoid leaning forward, since this will create excess pressure on the joints, neck, and back.

Frequent slumping or poor posture over a long period of time causes pressure and strain on the muscles surrounding the spine, resulting in pain that can range from mild to extremely severe. In some cases, this pain can radiate down to the legs, resulting in an even more unpleasant experience. When it comes to lifting heavy objects, they should always be picked up using the leg muscles and never the back. Pick items up straight, and do not twist as you lift. Twisting while lifting can cause the back muscles to tear and become inflamed.

Chiropractic treatment can help with many cases of back pain, but there are also a few other natural remedies, like daily stretching exercises and yoga, that can help. Stretching at least twice per day can improve symptoms. Practicing yoga improves balance, reduces stress, and helps strengthen your core, which can improve back support. Regular exercisers should always wear comfortable, cushioned shoes that minimize impacts from walking, jogging, and running. When the muscles in your back are stretched on a regular basis, it helps keep them strong and capable of handling the weight of your body much better. Stretching can help people develop a stronger back that is capable of handling long-term sitting, lifting, and working. Acupuncture can also help some patients who are coping with back pain. Regular therapeutic massage and spinal manipulation are other ways that the pain can be treated and kept under control. If you're currently dealing with back pain, talk to your doctor to find out what some recommended methods for effective treatment are so that you can go on to live a pain-free life.

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