5 Everyday Causes of Back Pain

Back pain is a common complaint for many adults, and may seem an unavoidable problem as you age. An estimated 31 million Americans report suffering from lower back pain, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Back pain can be the result of illness or injury, but there are many small things that cause chronic back pain. Here are 5 of the most common everyday causes of back pain:

Poor Diet

Poor diet often leads to weight gain, and weight gain puts a lot of stress on your joints. Adding extra weight also forces our bodies to reevaluate our center of gravity, which can put extra pressure on the lower back. Additionally, some foods we eat may cause inflammation in and around the spine, such as processed foods, fast foods, and saturated fats.

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially those with inflammation-busting antioxidants, can help improve back pain and regulate weight.

Lack of exercise

Less than half of American adults exercise on a regular basis, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute. A lack of regular exercise can lead to stiffness, weakness, and de-conditioning as your muscles sit in disuse. This, in turn, causes many people to experience back aches due to inactivity.

A little bit of exercise each week goes a long way. Try some core strengthening exercises such as Pilates or weight lifting, or add in cardio workouts, such as swimming, walking, and biking. Spend at least 30 to 45 minutes two to three times each week exercising to help tone and condition muscles, which can lead to back pain relief.

Poor Posture

Many office environments aren’t set up to provide comfort for 8 or more hours per day. Often, employees lean their heads forward and hunch their backs while looking down at a computer screen. This leads to poor posture habits over time which causes stiffness and soreness.

Ergonomic desks, chairs, and keyboards are specifically designed for maintaining proper posture while working. They combine comfort and design to help with sitting or standing correctly while working.

Improper Shoes

Wearing ill-fitting or improperly structured shoes are a common reason why so many people experience back pain. Old, worn-down soles, high heels, and flip-flops do not provide the proper support your arches need. When you walk or run, your feet absorb the shock from the impact of where your foot meets the ground. This shock penetrates and travels through your body all the way up to your spine, which leads to back pain, or even spinal injuries.

Choose shoes that are going to absorb most of that shock, allowing your feet to pronate, or roll inward correctly. This limits how much your joints and spine are jolted. After all, your feet are responsible for carrying all of your body weight; you’re going to want to make sure they are supported properly.


People who smoke are more prone to experience back pain. Smoking cigarettes causes restricted blood flow, reduced calcium absorption, and stunts new bone growth, which can lead to fragile, weaker bones. As a result, you can experience back pain from the lack of blood flow to the intervertebral disks that help cushion the vertebrae.

The best solution would be to quit smoking altogether. However, for many people that is a daunting task or simply not an option. If you can’t quit, try to limit the number of cigarettes you smoke each day.

Back Pain Experts in Montgomery County, Maryland

At Maryland Orthopedic Specialists, we see a lot of severe back pain. To help ease your suffering and improve your overall health, contact us for prevention and treatment services.

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