Back ache affects us all at some point in our life, especially if you live a sedentary life and sit at a desk all day, yet whilst for most people it lasts less than a month; there is a growing trend where things such as unsatisfactory jobs are triggering back pain.
In fact in one recent study of 315 people, researchers at the University of Western Australia found that those who resign themselves to a job they don’t like are more likely to develop lower back pain than those who maintain a positive attitude.
Yet this back pain is completely psychological…
When examined by doctors, anatomical tests showed no reason for their ongoing daily pain; however this pain in many cases persisted for more than 6 months.
Is this uncommon?
Not really. There are a number of triggers for back pain including psychosocial factors such as job satisfaction and mental stress. Take a look at the following contributors:
- Age – once you hit 30 the discs in your back begin to gradually deteriorate losing moisture and slowly shrinking. As a result this puts greater stress on the facet joints which can become arthritic causing back pain.
- Fitness – the more unfit you are, the higher your chances are of developing back pain as lack of exercise can lead to loss of muscle flexibility, weak muscles (stomach and back) and increased pressure on your spine because of weight gain.
- Posture – slouching and standing/sitting all day can all contribute to poor posture and increased pressure on your lower back.
- Genetics – some of us are more prone to back ache than others due to structural abnormalities in our spine, and this is not helped by activities which place stress on your back i.e. lifting, bending.
- Psychosocial – as that study clearly proves, sometimes back pain is not triggered by actual problems with our back. Stress, anxiety, depression, mental stress and job satisfaction can all lead to physical symptoms.
How can I overcome back pain?
Whatever group you belong to, it is possible to experience back pain relief and put discomfort behind you.
Each of the following techniques in fact, can offer you a measure of natural joint pain relief and are easy to fit into your day to day life:
- Exercise – this will not only help to improve your mobility and shift excess weight (by strengthening your back and stomach muscles), exercise is also a great way to lift your mood and rid yourself of stress and anxiety.
- Compresses – hot compresses can help to reduce back pain and offer you a measure of back pain relief by relaxing your muscles and improving your mobility.
- Lift properly – if lifting is an unavoidable part of your life, make sure that you are using the correct lifting techniques i.e. lifting with your knees, not your back, and that you don’t lift anything too heavy.
- Massage – not only is massage incredibly relaxing, it also helps to increase blood flow and circulation to these sore muscle, increasing your recovery time.
Back pain doesn’t have to rule your life, not when you are able to recognise the cause. So the next time you feel back pain coming on, ask yourself what may be the cause and tackle it.
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