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As spinal surgeons in Orange County, it’s not surprising we see many patients suffering from lower back pain. In fact, among global health issues, chronic lower back pain was found to be the leading cause of disability in 2015. Up to 80 percent of Americans have experienced symptoms in their lifetime, with 25 percent of Americans reporting back pain at least once in the past three months.
In many cases, the source of back pain is an obvious injury or due to disease. In some cases, however, symptoms seem to emerge from nowhere. Patients are unaware that lower back pain may result from ordinary daily activities that appear unrelated to their discomfort.
Proper alignment is an important part of preventing pain and promoting spinal health. Though many of us give little thought to the way we sit or stand, back pain is often caused by hunching over a mobile device, a sedentary workplace, or repetitive motions. Plus, if you regularly carry an oversized purse or heavy bag carried on one shoulder, the weight of your bag is not evenly distributed on your back, throwing your spine out of alignment and causing pain or numbness in hands and arms.
If you are a smoker, we have another reason for you to kick the habit. Among patients referred for treatment of lower back pain, 54 percent are cigarette smokers. Research suggests that smoking-related lower back pain may be caused by nutrient and oxygen deprivation to spinal tissues due to impaired blood flow.
Many episodes of chronic lower back pain are linked to a lack of essential vitamins in the diet, with the most common culprit being low levels of vitamin D.
Lack of Exercise/High BMI
Back pain is commonly reported by overweight and obese patients. Carrying extra weight can strain back muscles and throw the spine out of alignment. A lack of exercise causes a weakening of core and spinal muscles, making it harder to support extra weight comfortably.
For many patients, a few adjustments to your lifestyle could be the key to easing lower back pain symptoms. When you visit our team of spinal surgeons in Orange County for a lower back pain consultation, we will help you develop a treatment plan that includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle and proper posture. These simple solutions are the first steps towards total spinal health, and we are happy to help you begin your journey.