Backpain Relief

Backpain Risk Factors

We should all be concerned about backpain risk since almost anyone can suffer back pain. However; there are a number of specific factors which do increase your risk. They include:


Age increases backpain risk - the first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 40. Back pain risk becomes more common, or likely, with age. This may to due to wear on the spinal joints, various forms of arthritis or simple lack of exercise and fitness.


Cigarette smoking:

There is no getting away from it - smoking may not directly cause back pain but it certainly increases your risk of developing low back pain and low back pain with sciatica. (Sciatica is back pain that radiates to the hip and/or leg due to pressure on a nerve.) For example, smoking may lead to pain by blocking your body's ability to deliver nutrients to the discs of the lower back. Or, repeated coughing due to heavy smoking may cause back pain.

It is also possible that smokers are just less physically fit or less healthy than nonsmokers, which makes them more vulnerable and at risk to back pain and the likelihood that they may develop chronic back pain. Furthermore, smoking can slow healing, prolonging pain for people who have had back injuries, back surgery, or broken bones.



A diet high in calories and fat, combined with an inactive lifestyle, can lead to obesity, which can put stress on the back. Your spine was never designed to carry a heavy load and will rebel if abused. Simple answer though far from simple to achieve is to lose weight.

Fitness level:

Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles increase backpain risk since they may not properly support the spine. "Weekend warriors" - people who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all week - are more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise is good for the discs that cushion the vertebrae, the individual bones that make up the spine.


Some causes of back pain, including disc disease, may have a genetic component. In other words, if it runs in the family, you are at increased risk.


Occupational risk factors:

Having a job that requires heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling, particularly when this involves twisting or vibrating the spine, can lead to injury and back pain. An inactive job or a desk job may also increase backpain risk and lead to or contribute to pain, especially if you have poor posture or sit all day in an uncomfortable chair. One of those strange situations where those people who do heavy labour and those who don't are both at risk!

And just in case you think we are having a go those of you who are less fit than you know you should be - which is most of us - bear a thought for the very fittest amongst us, the military special forces. They train, and go into battle, carrying backpacks heavier than a human back was ever designed to carry. Despite their supreme fittness, I understand that there are very few over the age of 40 who haven't suffered some back damage.


Race can be a factor in back problems. African American women, for example, are two to three times more likely than white women to develop spondylolisthesis, a condition in which a vertebra of the lower spine - also called the lumbar spine - slips out of place.


The presence of other diseases:

Many diseases can cause or contribute to back pain. These include various forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis and very rarely, cancers elsewhere in the body that may spread to the spine.

Backpain risk? Reduce your risk with good posture, weight control and modest exercise.

Think ahead. Simple lifestyle changes like more 'back friendly' office chairs and more attention to posture and gentle, regular exercise will help reduce your risk of back pain, but accept also that everyone is at risk during their lifetime.

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