What are the Risk Factors of Back & Neck Pain?

Risk Factors of Back Pain

With more than 30 million Americans experiencing lower back pain at any given moment, back pain isn’t all that uncommon. However, there are certain risk factors that may increase the odds that you’ll experience some form of back pain or related neck and shoulder pain to the degree that you’ll need further treatment beyond a little rest and relaxation. Dr. Hyun Bae, MD and his team of spinal specialists present some of the most commonly reported risk factors of back and neck pain:

  • Aging

    Muscles and joints, not to mention the bones of the spine, can degenerate with age, often resulting in temporary back pain from overexertion that one may not have experienced when younger. This age-related degeneration can also increase the odds of developing chronic conditions such as cervical spinal stenosis from compression of the spinal column.

  • Exercise

    While not getting enough exercise can increase a person’s odds of experiencing backaches and pains, the same can be true if one overexerts him or herself at the gym.

  • Weight

    Poor physical fitness can result in back pain that starts at an unusually early age, getting progressively worse over time. Fortunately, this is one risk factor that can usually be reversed by simply adopting an appropriate exercise routine.

  • Pregnancy

    Carrying a baby puts a lot of extra stress on the spine, explaining why back pain is a common complaint among pregnant women.

  • Genetics

    While maintaining good overall health can certainly help prevent back pain, a family history of back issues also boosts the odds that a person will experience similar issues, providing an added incentive to take preventative measures (i.e., annual exams, routine screenings).

Simply having a “risk factor” doesn’t mean you’ll develop back pain. Statistically, it just means that you’re at increased odds for experiencing back pain. If you have one or more of these risk factors, consider speaking with your doctor about possible steps you can take now to prevent or minimize the risk of developing serious back issues.

For individuals who are living with chronic and persistent back pain, it may be time to talk to a spinal specialist to discuss your options. From conservative methods such as physical therapy to medical intervention such as spine surgery, a professional will be able to correctly diagnose your problem and provide you with the best options for a positive outcome.

If you are interested in learning more about back or neck pain or would like to schedule an in-person consultation with a trusted physician in Santa Monica, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. We can help you schedule a consultation and get you on the road to a pain-free lifestyle. Call 310-828-7757 today.