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Blog | 01.10.20

9 Things to Know About Back Pain

Back Pain Infographic

Who is affected?

Back pain affects 80% of the world’s population: It’s no secret that at some point in their lives, most people will experience back pain. It’s a leading cause for missed work days and of job-related disability, and the number of people experiencing it is on the rise. 

Back pain is more prevalent among women than men: Due to a variety of factors, chronic back pain tends to be more common among women, especially during pregnancy and hormonal changes post-menopause

Back pain typically begins affecting people between 40 and 60 years old: This is generally when our age start “catching up with us,” which includes some new aches and pains. That being said, many people also experience back pain at a younger age (in their 30s), but this can depend on multiple variables, such as genetics, lifestyle, and more.  

 

What can cause it?

Improper (or lack of) exercise: Making abrupt movements, lifting too much weight, and using improper form can all lead to back injuries, whether it’s at the gym, at work, or simply doing household chores. That’s why professionals stress the use of safe lifting and emphasize the importance of knowing your physical limits. At the other end of the spectrum, a lack of exercise can weaken the supporting muscles in your back and cause a stiffening of the spine, increasing the chance of injury. 

Poor posture, especially at work: Most adults spend the majority of their days sitting at a desk, which has been shown to be generally horrible for your health. When you add poor posture into the mix, the health risks are even worse. Over time, the stress of poor posture can cause physical changes to your spine that can have long-lasting effects – blood vessels and nerves constrict, discs compress, and supporting muscles weaken.

Pregnancy, especially during the third trimester: During pregnancy, the body secretes hormones that relax ligaments around your pelvis. While this is the body’s natural way of preparing for childbirth, it can also cause back pain if your joints become too mobile – especially when you’re carrying around the added weight of a baby. 

 

How can you alleviate it?

Sleep on your side (with a pillow between your knees): Sleeping on your stomach can put an extra strain on your back while you sleep. Instead, try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees – this will prevent your upper leg from pulling your pelvis and spine out of alignment. If you sleep on your back, placing a pillow beneath your lower thighs can help maintain the natural curvature of your lower back and prevent you from straining your spine as you sleep.

Use a lumbar support to improve your sitting posture: As mentioned above, a poor sitting posture can have long-lasting impacts on your overall back health. By adding extra support to your lumbar area (lower back), you can fill in the unsupported areas of your back and alleviate the strain caused by poor posture. That being said, it’s important to find a lumbar support that actually fits your spine, otherwise it will not be effective. The Spry Recovery pillow is designed to mold to your exact shape, allowing it to fit the contours of your spine. Click here for a video explaining how the Spry Recovery pillow can be used at home and at work to improve your sitting posture and alleviate back pain.

Remain physically active: If possible, it’s important to stay active and keep your blood flowing. Low impact exercise like walking, swimming, yoga, pilates, etc. are great ways to keep your muscles strong, particularly those which help support your back and neck. For those with limited mobility, there are several supplemental exercises that can help maintain back health! As always, consult with your doctor beforehand to see which exercises are safe for you.