Back pain is something that many people in the West have to deal with at some point in their lives. Usually it begins in middle age, but it can happen much earlier.
It turns out, though, that the causes of back pain aren’t always what you think. It’s not just a matter of the bones and joints becoming worn out as time passes. Instead, the reasons for back pain can be much more subtle than that.
In this post, we take a look at some of the strange reasons your lower back hurts and what you can do about it.
Sitting Down Too Long
Most people associate back pain with heavy lifting. But it turns out that sitting down too long is also a major concern. When you remain in one position for a long time, it causes the discs in your back to compress, pushing vital lubricating fluid out. When this happens, your back then becomes significantly less comfortable than before.
Hamstrings are muscles that run down the back of your legs, connecting your butt to your knees. Sometimes people can develop back pain if their hamstrings are too tight. In many cases, if the hamstrings are too short, people need to stretch their lower back muscles even more – and that leads to fatigue and other issues.
The good news is that you can usually solve tight hamstrings with practices such as yoga. Yin classes are particularly effective since these require you to hold stretches for three minutes or more.
Walking incorrectly can also lead to back pain. If you have a tendency to walk on your tip-toes or on the outside or inside of your heels, that can create imbalances that put more pressure on the spine.
Fortunately, custom orthotics can solve this issue. They’re similar to inserts that help to rebalance the body and reduce the stress on the spine, knees and hips.
Some people can develop infections in their spinal discs that lead to pain. MRI scans show that bacteria are able to thrive in these environments because they are a long distance from the blood supply.
Unfortunately, these infections are very difficult to treat. Antibiotics carried by the bloodstream can’t penetrate the cartilage easily, allowing the bacteria to continue thriving.
Doctors typically recommend specialist treatment in these cases. Without any intervention, bacteria damage the discs, setting the patient up for further pain in the future.
The aorta is the main artery leading out of the heart. An aortic aneurysm is when it expands like a balloon and then pushes up against tissues elsewhere in the body. Sometimes this expansion can cause back pain. Pressure from the front of the body creates tension in the deep tissues.
This condition, as you might imagine, can be potentially serious, so it is a good policy to get treatment immediately. Aortic aneurysm is more common in people who smoke and those who have obesity. If you experience severe pain suddenly in your back, go to the emergency room immediately.