Lower Back Pain – Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Lower back pain is a relatively common occurrence that you may unfortunately already be familiar with. There are a wide range of factors that can lead to lower back pain. Fortunately, there are also methods that have been proven to effectively alleviate this type of pain, one of which is chiropractic therapy.

Am I at Higher Risk for Developing Lower Back Pain?

There are a variety of aspects that can help determine whether you are at a higher risk of developing lower back pain. Some of them are under your control while others are unavoidable.

Anyone can have back pain. Factors that can increase the risk for low back pain include:


  • Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. Loss of bone strength from osteoporosis can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. The intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age.
  • Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. “Weekend warriors”—people who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all week—are more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of intervertebral discs.
  • Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.
  • Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis (a form of arthritis that involves fusion of the spinal joints leading to some immobility of the spine), have a genetic component.
  • Job-related factors: Having a job that requires heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling, particularly when it involves twisting or vibrating the spine, can lead to injury and back pain. Working at a desk all day can contribute to pain, especially from poor posture or sitting in a chair with not enough back support.
  • Mental health: Anxiety and depression can influence how closely one focuses on their pain as well as their perception of its severity. Pain that becomes chronic also can contribute to the development of such psychological factors. Stress can affect the body in numerous ways, including causing muscle tension.
  • Smoking: It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.
  • Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.
  • Psychological factors: Mood and depression, stress, and psychological well-being also can influence the likelihood of experiencing back pain.

National Institutes of Health

man experiencing back pain after lifting boxes
senior man experiencing back pain while working on laptop computer

Preventing Lower Back Pain

While you cannot influence your age or genetics, you do have the power to take control of other risk factors to help reduce your risk of experiencing lower back pain. Engaging in a healthy level of physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and refraining from harmful habits like smoking can greatly lessen the chances of having to deal with lower back pain.

digital rendition of the spine in front of a doctor

Treating Lower Back Pain

Even if you take every precaution to prevent lower back pain, there is no way to guarantee you won’t experience it at some point in your life. However, there are plenty of chiropractic therapy methods which can help alleviate your back pain. At Merckling Family Chiropractic, we can also teach you steps you can take to prevent and alleviate back pain from your home. We will work with you directly to develop a treatment plan specifically tailored to your unique needs. There is no need for you to continue suffering from back pain. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so we can begin helping you to heal naturally.

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