The statistics surrounding back pain are staggering. One study found that 50% of Canadians experienced back pain in a six month period. And 85% of working Canadians will suffer back pain at some point in their lives. Estimated annual medical costs to treat chronic back pain are between $6 billion and $12 billion.
Lower back pain when bending forward is the most common trigger for back pain.
Why Do You Get Back Pain from Bending Over?
When you’re told to work on your ‘core’, it generally means to strengthen the muscles in your mid-section. They are very important because they are at the ‘core’ of just about everything you do physically. Your lower back supports your core muscles.
And your core does more work than you realize. Think about it this way. Let’s say you weigh 150 pounds. Most of that weight will be in your upper body, from your waist up. Even if you bend forward from your hips empty-handed, imagine the stress that places on your core and lower back. It is now supporting 80 or 90 lbs in mid-air!
Common Causes of Back Pain
While too much stress is the basic cause of lower back pain, there are many different ways that stress can be exerted.
- A Slipped Disc – The discs in your spinal cord are pads of tissue that cushion the interaction of your vertebra, allowing for a full range of motion. When you bend forward, the front of the disc is compressed and the back of the disc expanded. That can force the disc backward. And then you’ll have a slipped disc.
- Pinched Nerves – Pinched nerves happen when there is undue pressure on a nerve. Slipped discs can pinch the nerves in your lower back. You can also pinch a nerve by remaining in the same position for too long, like sitting at your workstation, or through repetitive motions.
- Facet Joint Problems – Facet joints are pieces of cartilage that connect your vertebrae. They help keep your back from overextending itself. But the cartilage can become thin and weaken, resulting in lower back pain.
If you liked this post, check out our recent article on the connection between your emotional and physical health.