5 Things that Attribute to Back Pain

Back pain is an epidemic in our society. It does not discriminate on age, gender, or ethnicity. So, what are factors that may not be obvious reasons for your back pain?

1. Commute Time

Oahu traffic can be downright painful! Its simple math: the longer you sit in your car, the greater the chance of back pain. Sitting places about twice the amount of pressure upon your spinal joints and discs thus resulting in achy, painful commuting. In addition to the time you spend driving, the vibrations from the vehicle and our lovely Oahu potholes cause more jarring damage upon your spine.


2. Smoking

We all know that smoking is obviously one of the most un-healthiest habits there are. But, what you probably didn’t know is that nicotine decreases blood flow throughout your body which means a reduction of nutrients to your spinal discs and joint tissues. Less nutrition results in degeneration of the cells of the discs and joint tissues thus causing pain. A recent study found that about 17% of people diagnosed with nicotine dependence report low back pain.


3. Extra Pounds

Approximately 20% of overweight individuals have reported low back pain. The extra pounds results in an increase pressure upon the spinal joints, muscles, and discs. Spinal joints that experience more pressure wear down faster causing pain. The added weight strain and fatigue the spinal muscles which tend to be deconditioned. And, the spinal discs have a greater risks of compressing, bulging, and/or herniating which may result in severe, long-term pain.


4. Drinking

Alcohol use may relate to back pain due to individuals skipping workouts or not working out at all. There is also a greater tendency for smoking and being overweight that goes with drinking. Around 15% of people who admitted to alcohol abuse also complained of back pain.


5. Depression

When the mind is stressed, the body is stressed. Depression can affect the body physically by slumping the posture, increasing muscle tension, altering heart and respiration rates, lowering pain tolerance, and decreasing physical activity. A depressed stated can also result in unhealthy coping strategies such as smoking, drinking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Almost 1 out of every 5 individuals with depression reports back pain. 


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