According to Nuffield Health, the largest healthcare charity in the country, millions of Britons suffer from lower back pain. It is estimated that around 6 million individuals have lower back pain, which is over one-quarter of the population.
Back pain can be one of the most common causes of chronic pain for many, leading to prolonged sick leaves and reduced mobility issues. Back pain can be debilitating, as it can affect your daily life.
People with back pain can find it difficult to manage easy tasks such as carrying grocery shopping or getting dressed because their pain can affect their strength and range of motion. Additionally, situations where they need to stay in a static position for a long time, such as working at a desk or travelling by public transport, can become unbearable.
For many, back pain can be an isolating and depressing experience that reduces their quality of life. But where does back pain come from?
Stress is the number one culprit
We live in hectic times. The average day can expose you to a variety of stress factors, ranging from traffic on your commute, noise pollution, gossip at work, clients of hell, and having a row with a loved one, to name but a few. So, when stress is everywhere, it accumulates rapidly and faster than your body can find relief. As a result, your body retains the stress it has accumulated throughout the day, leading to muscular tensions that can affect your lower back.
Learning how to manage stress levels and how to detress effectively can help alleviate muscular pain in the lower back.
Your body compensates for muscle weaknesses or bad postures
Did you know that muscle pain could be linked to ineffective postures during the day? For instance, if you don’t have a sturdy core, your back could work harder than usual to maintain your posture or to help with your workouts. If you find that back pain is not going away, it may be worth booking an appointment at an osteo clinic to promote optimal movement. A trained osteopath can identify the source of the dysfunction and help you target it. You could even work together on a strength programme for your core, for example, or learn new healthy ways of sitting. Additionally, they could release the pain through manipulation and postural correction.
Your furniture lacks comfort and ergonomy
The worst thing you can do for your back is to sleep on an old mattress that doesn’t provide the support you need. Mattresses can put your back at risk, so it’s worth checking how old your mattress is!
Another issue with your furniture is its height. Imagine that you bought a house with a pre-installed kitchen designed to suit someone much shorter than you. The kitchen worktops require you to bend, which can lead to back pain in the long term. Some of the most frequently overseen height issues with furniture can include office settings:
- A desk too low for your chair
- Ineffective screen placement on your desk, forcing you to look at an uncomfortable angle
- The chair that lacks a supportive structure
It would be unfair to simplify back pain to only three causes. However, it is important to mention that these are the three most frequently occurring cases of lower back pain. If you suspect your posture, stress levels, or furniture are giving your pain, it’s important to act now!
Image Credits: Sasun Bughdaryan
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