Back pain is a common problem that affects most people at some point in their life.
It may be triggered by bad posture while sitting or standing, bending awkwardly, or lifting incorrectly. It’s not generally caused by a serious condition.
Back pain includes lower back pain, middle back pain, upper back pain or low back pain with sciatica.
Most cases are mild and unrelated to injuries such as herniated disks or arthritis, but they can still turn a desk job or road trip into an uncomfortable experience.
Fortunately, you can take measures to prevent or relieve most back pain episodes.
3 Simple Ways to Relieve Back Pain in Just 60 Seconds
Here are three techniques you can try right at your office (Watch the video).
Americans sit on average for 6 hours to 13 hours a day, depending on which study you read, says Dr. Delitto, a professor of physical therapy and dean of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.
Being sedentary for long periods has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and other life-shortening illnesses. But one of the biggest problems arising from prolonged sitting is pressure between the disks of the spine, he says.
“When you’re standing, the small of your back has a natural curve,” says Dr. Delitto. “But when you’re sitting, the lower back hunches the other way. That will lead to a low-grade pain.”
Most back pain gradually improves with home treatment and self-care, usually within two weeks. If not, see your doctor.
Contact a doctor if your back pain:
- Is accompanied by unexplained weight loss
- Is severe and doesn’t improve with rest
- Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
- Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee
Also, see your doctor if you start having back pain for the first time after age 50, or if you have a history of cancer, osteoporosis, steroid use, or drug or alcohol abuse.