Low back pain modifiable triggers identified


Researchers have found that manual tasks that involve awkward postures octuple the risk of acute low back. Other triggers include fatigue and distraction. Associate professor with the George Institute for Global Health and Sydney Medical School at The University of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia professor Manuela Nogueira and her team found that vigorous physical activity increases low back pain risk by three times, while being distracted during an activity increases it by 25 times. Additionally, younger people are at a higher risk when lifting heavy loads than older individuals. The case-crossover study involved about 1,000 patients and was published in the Arthritis Care & Research journal.  

The participants were asked about a dozen physical or psychosocial factors that they may have experienced in the 96 hours preceding the back pain episode. The findings were consistent with those of past studies, but it also shed light on the previously unknown fact that the risk of low back pain was highest between 7 in the morning and midday. Ferreira said that pinpointing the risk factors for back pain is the first step toward avoiding those factors. “Our findings enhance knowledge of low back pain triggers and will assist the development of new prevention programs that can reduce suffering from this potentially disabling condition,” she said.

Low back pain is a global cause of disability, accounting for more than 3% of all emergency visits in the United States alone, according to a 2012 study. Moreover, it is the most common spinal disorder – in fact, the World Health Organization says that it is even more common than diabetes, malaria, and other diseases as well. Eight in every 10 people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Although much has not been done in the way of prevention, there are several alternative treatments for back pain, including electrotherapy and topical treatments like Biofreeze.