Back pain is a very common condition that affects more people worldwide than pretty much any other illness. Of all types of back pain, lower back pain is the most frequent. According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 8 out of 10 Americans will report some sort of back pain or at least once over the course of their lives. This also means that back pain triggering conditions represent a huge portion of the $14.2 billion in medical costs caused by work-related illnesses such as overexertion.
More and more people suffer from back pain due to a sedentary lifestyle, an unhealthy diet, aging, and so on.
Most people will experience back pain in one of the following regions:
- The upper back and neck (cervical spine)
- The middle back (thoracic spine)
- The lower back (lumbar spine)
Back pain can be blamed for more lost workdays than any other illness. So, if you are experiencing debilitating back pain that’s preventing you from being productive at work, it might help to know that you’re not alone. A back specialist in West Orange will offer a wide range of minimally-invasive treatments. All you have to do is schedule an appointment with our board-certified back doctors, at one of New Jersey spine centers.
Back Pain Causes and Risk Factors
Acute or chronic pain can be triggered by many different things, be it acute injuries or chronic conditions. Our back specialists will provide an accurate diagnostic and a customized treatment plan based on the root cause of your backache. Our spine care specialists will guide you through the whole process and they’ll take care of every disc, every vertebra, every nerve, and every facet joint that’s affected.
People who belong to the following categories are more likely to develop back pain:
- Older people
- People who have sedentary jobs
- People who are overweight
- Manual laborers
- People who suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions
Back pain affects people differently and it can be triggered by a wide range of affections. It is quite common for back pain to be nonspecific, which means that the underlying cause is not clear. But, most patients who suffer from back pain will suffer from one of the following conditions:
- Herniated discs– having a bulge in one of the intervertebral discs can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, thus triggering severe back pain
- Degenerative disc disease– as we get older, our intervertebral discs start to lose their function. As our back becomes less flexible, we start to experience back pain.
- Muscle strain– if you’ve recently injured your back or damaged one of your muscles, you might be dealing with a muscle strain. This is a common occurrence and although it can be quite painful, it will usually go away on its own.
- Lifestyle and occupation– a sedentary lifestyle, a job that forces you to spend hours on end in front of the computer, or a job that puts too much strain on your back will most likely result in back pain.
- Spinal Stenosis– when the spinal canal becomes narrower, the nerve roots and spinal cord become compressed. This can lead to severe pain and other unusual symptoms such as numbness or cramping.
How to Avoid Back Pain in the Workplace?
As mentioned above, a lot of people develop back pain due to their sedentary lifestyle, which is more often than not associated with a desk job. Although the office is nice and cool during summer, warm in winter, and usually considered a safe work environment, sitting down for prolonged periods of time can have serious consequences.
Spending a lot of time in front of the computer makes you less flexible, more likely to gain weight, and slowly but surely sets you up for back pain. When you concentrate, you probably lean forward towards your screen and slouch. Bad posture and a lack of proper ergonomics associated with a low-quality chair is a recipe for disaster.
But all is not lost, you can minimize the risk of developing back pain by doing the following things:
- Choose a high-quality ergonomic chair. Make sure it supports your back and your neck.
- Take frequent breaks and stretch regularly. You shouldn’t sit down for more than 1 hour at a time. If one hour has passed, get up and walk around the office and stretch your back.
- Get more exercise in your free time. It’s a well-known fact that regular physical activity is the best back pain remedy. Get at least 3 hours of moderate exercise or 1.5 hours of vigorous exercise to get good results.
- Quit smoking. This nasty habit reduces blood flow to your intervertebral discs causing them to degenerate faster and increasing your risk of developing degenerative disc disease.
- Eat healthily. A sedentary lifestyle goes hand in hand with an unhealthy diet. To reduce the strain you put on your back, try to maintain a healthy weight. Avoid snacking while working and replace soda with plain water or tea (no sugar). To have an easier transition from snacking to a healthy diet, replace your snacks with apple slices or carrot sticks.
At Pain Treatment Specialists, we offer non-surgical and non-opiate treatment options that will relieve your pain and improve your mobility and overall health. Whether your pain is caused by a condition, degeneration, or injury, you should always try interventional pain management before considering back surgery.
If you want to learn more about the interventional pain management treatments offered by our West Orange, NJ back specialists, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment. Visit our website or give us a call and our friendly staff will guide you through the whole process. Don’t let back pain prevent you from doing the things you love!
Come see us at our West Orange, NJ pain center and get a correct diagnosis and a customized treatment plan based on your needs and preferences. Dr. Laura Lombardi, Dr. George Hanna, or Dr. Shane Volney will happily offer medical advice, discuss your symptoms with you, and help you get rid of your backache. You can find us at our West Orange, NJ Pain Center, near the Essex Country Club, and at our other spine care centers in Paramus and Clifton, NJ.