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How to Know If You're at Risk for Spine Problems

Spine problems can cause chronic, debilitating pain. There are several factors that might place you at a greater risk of developing back pain that is caused by spinal problems. While some of the risk factors for spine problems are unavoidable, others are within your control. By understanding the risk factors, you might be able to take some steps to keep from developing problems with your spine so that you can maintain a healthy back while enjoying better mobility and decreased pain.

Growing Older

One of the risk factors for developing back pain and spine problems is aging. Over time, you may develop conditions such as spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease from the wear and tear that have been placed on your spine. While you can't completely prevent the ravages of aging, you can help to minimize them by regularly exercising, including gentle stretches.

Job-Related Risk Factors

Certain professions carry a much greater risk of developing spine problems. If your job requires you to bend over and lift repeatedly like a nurse or a construction worker, you are likelier to develop back problems. Other types of job duties such as those that require you to spend hours on your feet without breaks or spending hours sitting in a chair that doesn't have good supports may also cause you to develop back problems over time.

Family History

Some spinal conditions such as degenerative disc disease appear to have a genetic basis. If you have a family history of back problems, you might have a higher risk of developing them yourself.

Sedentary Lifestyle

If your lifestyle is largely sedentary, you are likelier to develop problems with your back. Getting regular exercise several times per weak can help you to reduce your chances of developing back problems.

Being Overweight or Obese

Many Americans are overweight or obese. If you weigh more than you should, carrying around the excess weight can place stress on your spine and on your joints. Being overweight may especially cause problems with the discs in your lower back. In order to minimize this potential problem, talk to your doctor about a good weight loss and exercise regimen.

Being Involved in a Car Accident

Even if you don't have any of the other risk factors, you might still develop spine problems if you are involved in a car accident. Motor vehicle accidents may cause many spinal problems, including bulging discs and disc herniations. Getting a prompt medical examination after a car accident is a good idea to make certain that you get the treatment that you need before your injuries worsen.

Spine problems can cause ongoing pain. While it is not possible to avoid all of the risk factors for developing back problems, you can take steps to minimize your risks. Using proper lifting techniques, taking regular breaks at work and using ergonomically designed office chairs may help. You should also engage in a regular exercise program and work to maintain a healthy weight. If you are currently dealing with chronic back pain, the professionals at Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates might be able to help. Contact us today!

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