The Enemies Of Your Back

The leading causes of low back pain are the result of too much or inappropriate stress on the spine. By identifying the enemies of your back, you will be better armed against unpleasant surprises.

What are the causes of back pain?

Often considered the “evil of the century,” back pain affects almost everyone (more than 90% of the population). What are the most common causes of back pain? The point with Guy Roulier, osteopath, and Dr. Charley Cohen, a rheumatologist.


  • The leading causes of back pain
  • Back pain: women-specific causes
  • Secondary causes of back pain
  • Some tips to guard against back pain

The leading causes of back pain

Difficult to give a simple explanation for these pains because there is a bundle of possible reasons. Among the most common reasons:

  • Unusual stresses of the column. A heavy load to carry, a move, a long drive can cause the classic “lumbago” or the appearance of pain most often in the lumbar (lower back).
  • Bad posture repeated, at the office or by car (stay in a sitting position with a round back, head bowed) and inappropriate gestures. “The vast majority of pain is related to poor use of the spine or caused by stress, “says Dr. Charley Cohen.
  • A sedentary lifestyle: the lower the back muscles, the lower the risk of suffering from low back pain. It is, therefore, essential to exercise, to stretch, to walk, to strengthen the abdominal muscles.
  • Stress and burnout. The famous popular expression “to have your back ” speaks for itself …
  • A lack of hydration: taking care to drink enough water can properly hydrate the muscles and intervertebral discs (composed of 80% water).
  • An unbalanced diet or too rich in meat, fat, sugar does not fight against inflammation. On the contrary, we should favor fruits and vegetables, Omega 3 “Think also vitamin D which promotes the maintenance of good bone and plays a role in reducing pain, ” says Dr. Charley Cohen.
  • A lousy sleep, caused by infested bedding (mattress too hard or too soft), a short position or bad habits.
  • The osteoarthritis of the column which may appear to quarantine related wear “natural” spine. It can manifest as pain or remain silent.

The overweight which constitutes a factor of osteoarthritis and causes back pain

Neglect: It is not desirable to get used to the pain. A small inflammation or lesion left unmentioned can become more severe and eventually lead to other problems. “A microlesion will cause friction of the joint which eventually can cause osteoarthritis, tendon wear, disc fissure, fibrosis, sciatica …” says Guy Roulier, osteopath.

Back pain: women-specific causes

While low back pain seems to be shared, women suffer more from neck pain and low back pain for a variety of reasons:

  • The pregnancy;
  • Wearing high heels;
  • Anatomical specificities: chest, arch of the back more marked;
  • Greater sensitivity to stress
  • A more pronounced predisposition to depression or fibromyalgia causes pain in the end.
  • Secondary causes of back pain
  • Pain in the back may be symptomatic of a specific disease such as:
  • The fibromyalgia with diffuse pain and unexplained;
  • The osteoporosis;
  • Infection or tumor
  • Dental malocclusion;
  • Spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis;
  • An ulcer in the stomach;
  • A kidney stone.

Some tips to guard against back pain

If your professional activity is sedentary, remember to move regularly: ” People who have shift work should get up and make movements every 30 minutes to stretch, relax the muscles and allow the microcirculation to happen “, says Guy Roulier, osteopath against stress and overwork, adopt a  relaxation technique such as sophrology, meditation. Take the time to relax. If you can, get a massage regularly.

Muscle your back: preferably practice sports such as swimming or gymnastics that promotes sheathing, abdominals, stretching (Pilates, Yoga). The brisk walk, the paddle, some martial arts ( tai chi chuan, qi gong) are also recommended. However, avoid sports that cause risks of falling: skiing, rugby, horseback riding, cross-country cycling.

Stretch each day and be sure to hydrate yourself: “Between morning and evening, we lose 2 cm in height due to dehydration of the intervertebral discs,” says Guy Roulier.

Adopt the proper postures: bend your knees when you go down to pick up an object, keep your back straight, stretch frequently, avoid hyperextensions of the column.

When you drive a long way, stop every 1 hour 30 minutes or 2 hours from walking, doing some stretching, and hydrating yourself.

Change bedding if your mattress is not adequate.

Sleep on your side or your back. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.

If you are prone to lumbar pain, consider wearing a lumbar belt for handwork, driving, or when you have to make repetitive gestures. This allows distributing the load on all intervertebral discs better.

If you have suffered from scoliosis, flat feet, do a regular check-up with an osteopath or specialist to avoid or slow the onset of osteoarthritis over time.

Finally, in case of pain, do not wait to consult your doctor.