If back pain is starting to seem more like a daily thing — rather than your unexpectedly strained muscles at the gym — you’re not alone. In the United States, over 6 million elderly people suffer from persistent lower back pain. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about 46 percent of persons 65 and older reported having back pain in the previous three months.
Back pain has nearly as many causes as there are ways to describe the pain and symptoms. Although muscular spasms are the most common cause of back pain, the spine can be affected by the same issues as the rest of your body. Here is a list of six unusual causes of back pain that you should know about.
1. Your mattress is either too old or far too soft
That soft mattress that seems like you’re floating on a gigantic marshmallow may feel nice when you get into bed each night, but it’s not doing your back any favors. When you sleep on a soft or worn mattress, your body sinks down, providing less support for your spine.
A mattress that is at least medium-firm, rather than too firm or soft, is the optimal type of mattress for minimizing back pain. Sleeping on a medium-firm mattress increases sleep quality and reduces the chances of getting back pain.
2. Poor posture
Poor posture is one of the leading causes of back pain. Slouching when sitting increases pressure and tension in various areas of the back. Poor posture can aggravate pre-existing back pain. Sitting with proper posture distributes pressure across the back, reducing the need for any one region of the back to endure excessive strain.
3. Vitamin D deficiency
According to some research, people with the most severe back pain have the lowest levels of vitamin D. The effect of the vitamin on bone health might help explain the link. According to a study published in the journal Menopause, postmenopausal women considering spine surgery who had significant vitamin D insufficiency had more severe disc degradation and back pain.
Maintaining your bones strong and healthy can help prevent back pain and other painful conditions. Consult your doctor about your vitamin D levels and, if necessary, consider taking vitamin D supplements.
Did you know that smoking is a significant cause of back pain? Nicotine has a negative impact on blood supply and circulation to the back. It also reduces your body’s capacity to absorb calcium, which helps to build your bones. Both of these conditions can cause early spine aging. Stop smoking today to avoid future issues.
5. Your purse or wallet
Sitting on a wallet can cause structural imbalance, which can cause back pain by elevating one side of your body over the other. Carrying a large purse on one shoulder, on the other hand, generates a spinal and neck tilt, which can result in neck or back pain.
If you carry your wallet in your back pocket, just take it out before sitting, and if your bag is heavy, decrease the strain by having only the necessities and switching shoulders on a regular basis to avoid imbalance
6. Foot issues
If you have flat feet or hyper-pronated feet (the ankle bone rotates inside while the rest of the foot turns outward), you might consider orthotics. These issues cause too much body weight to be placed on the inside of the foot, which can lead to bone imbalances in the knees, hips, and back. Choosing the right shoes or wearing orthotics might help with back pain treatment. Look for shoes that provide enough arch support and cushioning.