3 Common Leading Causes to Back Pain

A back pain episode may seem sudden but usually there is path you can trace that lead up to it. Often it is not one thing that contributed to the back pain episode but there are some common scenarios leading up to it. Below are three.

Prolonged Sitting

backOne of the biggest changes in our working world today, particularly in developed countries in Singapore is the shift away from manual labour to knowledge based type services. This almost always means long hours pecking away at the laptop or meetings either in group or speaking into a conference voice set. With the intense concentration that such activities require, we often ‘forget’ the time. Our bodies were designed for movement. In fact, there are a number of basic body functions that simply require movement or at least assume that we move at least once in while. Simple thing like bed sore in bed-bound hospital patients are common because they lie static for long periods of time. Even fluid retention in the ankles and calves of patients in wheels chairs as their calves muscles don’t “work” to pump to fluid back up towards the main body trunk. The health of the spinal components like discs need you to move. Discs have poor blood supply. When you move, fluid circulates through the discs and nourishes them. So even if you have the best and most expensive ergonomically designed chair, move and get up and walk around once in a while. This is a simply preventive measure that goes a long way to warding off back pain episodes.

Putting Your Back Into It

While this seems like good advice when effort is required, we really shouldn’t when lifting heavy items or even light ones. We all have heard stories of people pulling their back just from bending down to pick up something small and light like a piece of paper.  We often forgot how much weight our lower back muscles have to bear to support our bent over upper body. Making a simple assumption that half your body weight is in the waist up and say you weight some 70kgs, that’s 35 kgs of upper body weight.  Lever that weight off your waist and you can now imagine how much actual weight that your lower back muscles have to support. Lifting especially heavy lifting should be done using your legs as much as possible. Wiki-how has an good video and instruction guide on lifting heavy objects.

Weekend Wargames

This fits the weekend warrior to the ‘T’. Combined that “Prolonged Sitting” above, it is just like an accident waiting to happen. Ease into things gradually. If in doubt, that a health screen or musculoskeletal assessment. Sporting activities usually involve movements that we don’t make in our daily routine, like rapid side-to-side movement, or extreme trunk and body rotation. We may be fit and healthy in our regular movements but not the sports specific ones. So do be mindful.

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