Back pain is a very common affliction. In fact, pretty much everyone has felt pain of some kind in their upper or lower back. If you are experiencing pain that just won’t quit, but can’t figure out why, here are a few suggestions. The best part is that once you find the cause, it’s much easier to find the solution.

The most common cause of back pain is a muscle strain. This is caused when you put an unexpected force on your muscles like a twist or a pull. The pain from a common muscle strain will only last a few days; however, if you often participate in a strenuous activity or job, you may have various muscle strains causing ongoing pain.

If you commonly have back pain, but aren’t doing a lot of physically demanding activity, your back pain could be due to a misalignment in your spine from how you’re sitting or standing. Everything from your chair and shoes, to your general posture can affect how your back is aligned. Here are some common causes of back pain:

* Improper footwear. While you may have to pay a little bit more, quality shoes don’t have to be terribly expensive and are generally well worth the investment. Plus they also tend to last longer. If simply buying supportive shoes doesn’t help, try insoles or seeing a doctor about orthotics. Just remember that often these solutions can make the problem worse before it gets better and it may take several months for full relief.

* Posture. Many times minor back pain is caused by your body being improperly situated from poor posture. This can be caused if you slouch when you sit or stand, and even by sleeping in an improper position. Try to sit and stand up straight, and sleep in the fetal position with a pillow between your legs to keep your back properly aligned.

* Improper furniture. While trying to sit and sleep in the right position can help your posture, your chair, desk or bed may be preventing your spine from aligning. If you sit at a desk, make sure your chair is adjusted properly for your height. Your office may even have an ergonomics specialist to help you if you ask. In addition, make sure you have a bed that properly supports your weight, and replace old or outdated furniture.

If your pain is severe, it may be cause by something more serious. Common causes of severe back pain include a herniated disc, osteoporosis, arthritis, spinal stenosis, and sacroiliitis. While these problems are generally not dangerous, it is a good idea to see a doctor to keep the pain from interfering with your daily life. He can recommend exercises, medication, or surgery to help correct the problem and ease pain. Your doctor can also rule out more serious conditions that could be causing pain.

While back pain can be annoying or unbearable, it is treatable. With a few changes, you’ll be feeling better in no time.

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