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Dr. Darris GentryNov 10, 2015 3:53:51 PM5 min read

The 5 Most Common Causes of Back Pain

It has been suggested that up to 80% of the US population suffers from Back Pain, whether it is excruciating pain that puts you on the ground, or just a slight tweak you feel when getting out of bed this morning, all of us have at least experienced some discomfort coming from our backs.

Back pain is one of the most common medical conditions reported in the U.S. and you are likely to experience it at some point in your life.

Luckily, there are several common causes of back pain that can all be prevented.

Today we are looking at 5 Common Causes of Back Pain and how you can begin to remedy the problem.

It's important to see a back pain doctor if you have constant back pain.


Table of Contents

Sit Up Straight

One of the most prevalent causes of lower back pain is poor posture.

Most people spend a lot of time sitting, and when we are sitting, we are typically slouched over in a caveman posture.

When we sit in this posture for an extended amount of time our hip flexors begin getting shorter and tighter, pulling us even further forward.

This creates a lengthening effect in your lower back muscles and it begins to reshape your natural pelvic tilt making you a less effective mover.

The easiest ways to begin correcting this position is to ask your boss for a stand-up desk that places your screen at eye level and allows you to stand up for most of the day.

This will begin to decrease the amount of pressure placed on your lower back and lumbar discs and will help maintain proper blood circulation.

Also, go over to a door frame at your work, hook your fingers around the top of the frame, and slowly allow your body to drop down as though you are trying to hang from the frame.

This will help decompress your spine as well, also relieving low back pain.

Note: Try to use a metal frame, don't break off a wooden door frame at work if you're not sure it's going to support you. 


Quit Smoking

We all know that one of the causes of lung cancer is smoking.

But cigarettes don't just damage your heart and lungs.  They could also be damaging your spine and lower back.

According to Dr. Jeffery Katz "Smokers have a higher incidence of recurring back problems."

Nicotine restricts blood flow to vertebrae and discs, so they may age and break down more quickly.

It may also interfere with the body's ability to absorb and use calcium properly, leading to osteoporosis-related bone and structure problems. 

Either way, your spine is going to suffer, and you will experience lower back pain.


Don't Stop Moving

Since we sit most of our day, that means we probably aren't moving enough.

And unfortunately, the all too common advice people with lower back pain symptoms get from their doctor is to ice, rest, and take a pain reliever.

This only adds to our sedentary lifestyle, and a sedentary lifestyle usually causes low back pain.

While this can be alright in the acute inflammatory stage of care, you need to go beyond this to help alleviate ongoing symptoms. 

Low-impact activities like walking, using the elliptical and swimming boost blood flow to back muscles while relieving pain and stiffness and strengthen your low back.


Eat Healthy Foods

The typical American diet lends itself to a host of problems including high levels of low-level inflammation throughout our bodies from digesting processed foods.

Try getting more anti-inflammatory foods. If you need some help here is a link to some high-quality anti-inflammatory foods that can help Relieve Back Pain.


Lose the Fat and Get A Stronger Back

Multiple studies indicate that if you are overweight, your risk for back pain increases.

Studies show that overweight people do not respond as well to treatment as healthy weight low back pain sufferers because of elevated inflammation levels inside of an overweight person's body.

If you currently carry too much extra body fat, eliminating it should be your primary goal to help reduce chronic back pain symptoms.


How Do You Know If Back Pain Is Serious?

Now that we know the causes of back and lower back pain, how do we know if it's serious?

Back pain can be as commonplace as a sneeze.

But there are times when your spine just doesn’t feel right.

So you may be wondering how you can tell if your back pain is serious.

There are some common signs and symptoms which could indicate a more serious medical condition requiring further evaluation and treatment.

Several red flags that when paired with back pain that can indicate a serious issue can include:

  • Persistent fevers
  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Blood in the stool or urine
  • Progressive numbness or weakness in the legs
  • Inability to urinate or have a bowel movement
  • Loss of bowel/bladder control
  • Pain at night
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Balance problems
  • Pain not alleviated or worsened by different positions
  • Recent IV drug use
  • Progressive worsening of pain despite relative rest
  • Recent trauma

Some symptoms can come on suddenly while others can ramp up gradually.

You may also have a medical condition that can bring on these so-called red flags.

That medical condition could be:

  • Fractures
  • Herniated disc
  • Nerve compression
  • Cauda equina syndrome
  • Tumors
  • Disc disease
  • Kidney infections or kidney stones
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spinal instability
  • Meningitis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Transverse myelitis
  • GI ulcers
  • Thoracic or abdominal aortic aneurysms


Contact The Arrowhead Clinic Today

Knowing the common causes of your back pain and whether or not it is serious is half the battle, but you shouldn't stop there.

Always seek a doctor's help at the first sign of back pain so you can be accurately diagnosed, and to be sure your condition isn't worsened.

A chiropractor will be able to pinpoint the causes and location of the back pain.

Chiropractic care is extremely effective in treating the spine and soft tissue injuries commonly associated with back pain.

Thousands of people visit chiropractors every day for relief from neck and back pain, lower back pain, and many other ailments and injuries.

If you live in the Georgia or South Carolina area and would like a free consultation from an experienced and professional chiropractor near you about your injury, don't hesitate to click the button below.


Free Chiropractic Consultation  




Dr. Darris Gentry

Dr. Darris Gentry is Arrowhead Clinic’s Duluth Chiropractor. He specializes in treating accident victims as well as people suffering from chronic pain conditions. With the use of manual and hands-on spinal adjustments, he is able to help restore proper function and mobility to patients’ bodies. Dr. Gentry has been a practicing chiropractor for over 20 years. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and Life University, one of the country's top chiropractic schools. He enjoys treating patients who have back pain, neck pain, sciatica pain, and spinal trauma from all sorts of accidents. His main goal is to help his patients physically improve and reduce and manage their pain. Dr. Gentry is a motivated individual who enjoys helping others reach their goals. Healthcare, in all aspects, remains his main interest. He loves being a chiropractor and having the ability to help others. One of Dr. Gentry’s recent patients stated, “The staff is so welcoming, and Dr. Darris Gentry is amazing. He helped me throughout my treatment.” Dr. Gentry provides free, same-day consultations to all potential patients. He is available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. During the consultation, Dr. Gentry will ask questions regarding medical history and a person’s current physical condition, and the type of symptoms they are experiencing. He takes the time to thoroughly examine and diagnose each patient’s condition before coming up with an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to their particular recovery needs.