Whether it’s a dull ache that never lets up or a sharp pain that strikes without warning, back pain can make it hard to work, drive your car or walk across the room.
You can’t control all your risk factors for back pain. Getting older puts you at greater risk for back pain. In fact, most people first experience back pain in their 30s or 40s. You also have no control over your heredity. One form of arthritis – ankylosing spondylitis – has a genetic component.
Fortunately, you can influence a few major factors that affect your risk for back pain.
Here are three tips to help prevent back pain from starting or ever coming back.
Exercise. Staying physically fit can help reduce the likelihood of having back pain. Back pain is more common in people who are out of shape. If you aren’t exercising already, talk to your doctor about starting a walking routine. Many people find walking is the easiest way to get exercise because it doesn’t require a gym membership or expensive equipment.
Don’t smoke. Decades ago, we knew very little how smoking affected our bodies. Today, research shows that smoking makes it hard for nutrients to reach the disks in your spine. If you have a smoker’s cough, you can wind up with back pain. Smokers also take longer to heal, which means your back pain may last longer than someone who doesn’t smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your health provider.
Maintain a healthy weight. If you have trouble losing weight, talk to your doctor about a medically supervised weight loss program. Learn how to lose weight safely and keep it from coming back. When you’re overweight, the extra pounds stress your back and create pain.
+ Learn about The Spine Center of Hampton Roads which helps patients of all ages with back and neck pain. Our specialists use X-ray, MRI, CT, bone scan and other advanced diagnostic tools to evaluate each patient’s individual needs. Physical therapy is available at Bon Secours In Motion Physical Therapy locations throughout Hampton Roads.