Back pain accounts for 264 million days of missed work per year. This averages close to 2 workdays per full-time employee in the company. Around the world, back pain is the leading cause of disability.
In fact, scientists predict that over 80% of people will experience serious back pain at some point. Though most people will recover fairly quickly a small percentage will experience chronic back pain and disability. This may be preventable.
If doctors catch back pain symptoms early they can potentially stop things from getting serious. How do you know when your back pain is getting serious?
You can check out our complete guide to back pain symptoms.
Table of Contents
When to See Your Doctor About Your Back Pain Symptoms
Though neck and back pain is extremely common there are signs that you may need physical therapy or a doctor. Here are some serious signs that you need medical intervention:
- Unexpected weight loss
- Numb or weak legs
- Recent slip and fall accident
- Increased pain even after resting
You may also need help finding a physician that specializes in back pain.
Causes of Back Pain
Though back pain can occur suddenly and without cause there can be conditions that are linked to serious back problems. These issues include strains to your muscles or ligaments, a ruptured disk, or osteoporosis.
Risk Factors For Serious Back Pain
Though back pain is extremely common it doesn’t impact all groups equally. There are certain biological and lifestyle factors that impact your likelihood of developing chronic symptoms.
The most common factor is age. As we age back problems become more frequent beginning around our mid-thirties or forties.
Having a disease also has a huge impact on back pain symptoms. Illnesses like arthritis or certain kinds of cancer can have a huge impact on your vulnerability to back pain.
Preventing Back Pain
The best way to deal with chronic back pain issues is to prevent them before they start.
You can prevent back pain by regularly exercising with low impact activities. These should be exercises that don’t put a lot of strain on your joints or back. Some good examples of activities are swimming, rowing, skiing or walking.
Another good prevention option is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This involves keeping your weight relatively low. Excess fat can put extra strain on your muscles and back making injury more common.
Strangely, one great way to prevent back pain is to quit smoking. There have been many studies showing that previous and current smokers were more likely to have lower back pain symptoms. The risks of back pain increased with the number of cigarettes.
Want More Advice on Living a Healthy Life
Back pain symptoms don’t have to lead to serious or chronic problems. If you are careful about the way you care for your body you can prevent serious issues from occurring.
If you want more advice on healthy living, check out other articles in our lifestyle section today.