Risk Factors for Low Back Pain
There are many risks factors associated with increased risk of lower back injury. Some we cannot influence, thanks Mom and Dad, and others we can. Some are more obvious than others so I’ll try to fill in the blanks a little. Keep in mind there are slight variations in risk factors depending on which sources are used.
1. Age – Most cases of lower back pain happen during the 4th or 5th decades of life.
2. Sex – Men are more likely than Women to have back pain.
3. Smoking – Smokers are also at an increased risk for developing back pain.
4. Obesity – More weight equals more stress on the spine.
5. Inactive lifestyle – Inactive lifestyles often result in weakened lower back and core musculature.
6. Occupation – Having a job that requires long periods of sitting or a lot of heavy lifting increases lower back risks.
7. Race – Studies have shown that African American Women are 2-3 times more likely to suffer from lower back pain than Caucasian Women.
8. Presence of other diseases – Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, or Scoliosis to name a few.
9. Family History – Like many other conditions, family history of “bad backs” can increase your risk.
10. Large Abdomen – A large stomach is believed to increase sheer stress on the lower back by pulling the lumbar spine forward.
Like risk factors for all other conditions, the absence or presences of 1 or more of the above does not mean you will or will not have a painful back. As mentioned before some can be controlled and others cannot. Controlling that which can be controlled will help reduce your risk of injury.
Bryan M. Steele, DC