About 80% of people will experience lower back pain at one time or another in life. If your back pain is chronic and affecting your daily life, what can you do to take control? We are going to look at some of the things that trigger lower back pain. Some are avoidable and others you just need to know how to deal with. Then we will discuss a natural way to get lower back pain help that addresses a potential underlying cause.
Lower Back Pain Trigger #1 – Smoking
The nicotine in cigarettes messes with blood flow in the body. This can affect many different body functions that contribute to back pain. For example, the discs that keep the vertebrae from rubbing against each other rely on a steady supply of blood. Without proper circulation, these discs can degrade prematurely.
Nicotine also affects the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Since you need this vital nutrient for strong bones, it makes sense that bone structures like the spine are likely to suffer if you are smoking. The more and the longer you smoke, there worse the damage to your spine. However, it is never too late to quit!
Lower Back Pain Trigger #2 – Gaining Weight
Your bones, muscles, and joints experience more stress when they have to carry more weight. Of course, being underweight can also affect the structures of the body, so you need to be sure to maintain a balanced, healthy weight. A healthy lifestyle can help you to keep a proper BMI for your height and that will relieve some of the stress on your joints, including the lower back.
Lower Back Pain Trigger #3 – Lack of Activity
When you are physically active each day, it can help you to maintain healthy joints, strengthen the surrounding support structures, and avoid unnecessary weight gain. All of these factors can play a role in back pain. We have already discussed the effect of excess weight on the body, but what about the other benefits of exercise?
When we live a sedentary lifestyle, the joints can stiffen. We are also more likely to sit in a position that is not good for the lower back, so this can lead to premature degeneration of the spine and the early onset of arthritis. Plus, when you intentionally exercise the muscles surrounding the spine, you give the bones more support, and that will help them to stay healthy and function without pain. Daily exercise is really crucial for your back in general, and you need to strengthen your core, in particular.
Lower Back Pain Trigger #4 – Chronic Stress
Chronic stress is a top trigger for lower back pain. It is essential to note the difference between beneficial stress and chronic stress. When an event causes stress, your body releases hormones that create changes to help you deal with the situation both physically and emotionally. However, chronic stress occurs when a person’s stress levels remain high, and these hormones wreak havoc on the body.
At this point, stress can begin to harm the spine. It can cause surrounding muscles to tense up all the time. The blood flow to the support structures of the spine may be affected. You may even gain weight, which can place more pressure on the lower back, especially if the weight gain takes place primarily in the abdominal area.
Some useful stress management techniques include:
- Take things one day at a time – Mark Twain is often quoted as saying: “I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” Sometimes we waste a lot of energy stressing out about things that never actually occur.
- Be reasonable with what you expect of yourself and others – When we are modest about our limitations and allow others to have limitations as well, we often find ourselves less disappointed and stressed on a day to day basis.
- Stay positive – Chose to focus on positive things, always look at the big picture (i.e., “Will this matter in a year?”), and try to give others the benefit of the doubt.
- Be organized – You’d be surprised how much stress occurs because we are looking for something we’ve misplaced or because we procrastinated on a project.
- Take care of your health – Exercising is one of the best ways to combat stress hormones in the body. Plus, when you are healthy, that’s one less thing to worry about.
How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Help with Lower Back Pain
While you definitely want to avoid things that trigger your lower back pain, you also want to go after the underlying source. For some people, the root of the problem isn’t in the back at all but the upper neck. How is this possible? When the top two bones of the neck are misaligned, this throws off the balance of the head. The body will make corrections, but this leads to changes taking place throughout the spine. Where the most significant changes take place is where the pain will occur, and this is often in the lower spine.
Upper cervical chiropractors focus on the top two bones in the neck with precise and gentle adjustments. This allows the body to correct changes that have taken place along the spine. The results can be the end of chronic back problems. Find a practitioner in your area to learn if this is the source of natural lower back pain relief that you have been looking for.