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What Triggers Back Pain?

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Many reasons for sudden back pain are obvious—pulling or twisting when lifting, slipping or falling. But a recent study indicates that several factors conspire to increase the risk of acute back pain, like being tired or distracted during an activity.

The study, published in Arthritis Care & Research, examined modifiable, short-term causes of acute low back pain, such as physical activity or injury. Researchers studied 999 people with low back pain who visited a primary care clinic. Nearly half the patients reported severe pain lasting 24 hours or longer after onset. Performing a manual task in an awkward position was the most common back pain trigger reported. Heavy lifting was also a common trigger. Fatigue, physical exertion and distraction during a task significantly increased the risk of back pain.

The risk of developing low back pain after heavy lifting was highest among 20-year-old participants but decreased fivefold among 60-year-olds. However, 60-year-olds were 65 times more likely than 20-year-olds to hurt themselves during sexual activity. Other common triggers included holding objects too far away from the body; lifting heavy loads; slipping, tripping or falling; engaging in moderate or vigorous physical activity; and consuming alcohol.

By making a few simple changes to your daily routine, you can avoid back pain. Be aware of your surroundings to avoid tripping or falling—the study found that being distracted increased the risk of sudden back pain by 25 times.



Posted in Back Pain on January 19, 2016

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