Shocking statistics reveal that 15 per cent of the worlds adult population is disabled due to back problems and around 35 per cent of adults under the age of 45 suffer from backache.
Sports injuries, lifting weights, the gym, lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity, lack of exercise, regular straining or twisting, sitting for long periods and taking medication that weakens the bones are some of the most common causes of the problem.
But the most severe cases can be found in people suffering from osteoporosis “ a condition where the bones, particularly those in the spine, wrist and the hips “ become thin and weak.
Disc degeneration, narrowing of the spinal canal, thickening of bones, joints, ligaments and gynecological problems, such as ovarian cysts or an infection in the pelvis, are also major factors in causing backache.
Because people hardly ever walk, do not play many outdoor games, use lifts and escalators instead of the stairs and generally lead a very sedentary lifestyle. This leads to a lot of people being overweight. That excess weight puts a lot of stress on your spine and leads to backache.
It is a vicious circle because as people get backache they stop walking and exercising, which in turn leads to them putting on more weight and aggravating the problem. He also advises weight reduction through dieting and exercise to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles.
DRIVING THE POINT HOME
Another major reason for backache in this part of the world is the long hours people spend behind the steering wheel. The pressure on ones back is quite a lot while a person is sitting. He says: People suffering from stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal canal, are particularly at risk of being crippled as their nerves get damaged.
While most other back problems can be solved through simple exercise to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles, severe cases like a slipped disc, disc degeneration and stenosis need surgical intervention.
The best way to avoid back problems is to think about the strain any form of movement [has] on that part of the body. For example, if you have to pick something up from the ground, dont just bend over, always bend your knee and then pick it up, he advises.
Also, dont do something for which you are not fit, and when exercising, dont push your body to extreme limits. Understand your body and work within your muscular structure. Exercising the back, abdomen and shoulder muscles can also help.
Protect your back while sitting, standing and lying down by keeping it straight “ your chin and stomach should be pulled in and your knees bent.
Source – Evening Post