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When you’re older, back pain can be the result of conditions like degenerative joint or disk disease, fractures from osteoporosis, other other effects of aging on the spine. If you can’t blame any of that because you’re on the younger side, here are five reasons for low back pain.

  1. Your posture is poor (blame your devices!)
    When we’re hunched over our phone or laptop, we put a lot of stress on our neck, spine, and low back. Our largely sedentary lifestyles aren’t helping either.

    Try this: Get a headset if you’re in the habit of of holding your phone by pressing your chin to your shoulder. Remember to take frequent breaks from your desk, and practice good posture even if you’re just sending a quick text.

  2. You’re unhappy
    We wrote about the connection between mood and body pain recently, but here’s the short version – feeling blue or dealing with serious mood disorders like depression can make it hard to effectively manage pain. You’re also less likely to exercise or make healthy food choices, and it can affect the quality of your sleep too. These are all contributors to low back pain.
  3. Your shoes aren’t supportive at all
    Your feet support your body’s entire weight. Without adequate support, your exposing your body to a lot of stress. And that can set up a number of other issues, including:

    • Incorrent posture and abnormal foot function
    • Pain in the low back, hip, knee and feet
    • Excessive shock transmission up through the body

    An abnormal walk also leads to imbalances throughout the lower extremities, including the knees, ankles and feet. When your feet hurt enough that it affects how your walk, your whole body compensates. And that can mean low back pain – in addition to aching feet.

  4. Your core is too weak
    Weakness in your core often presents with low back pain. That’s especially true if your core is weak and your abdomen is pendulous.

    Try this: Improving core strength with exercises like planks may not give you the six-pack abs of your dreams, but it could pay off with reduced low back pain.

  5. Your muscles are too tight
    Short, tight muscles – think hamstrings, hip joint capsules and rotators – can all contribute to low back pain.

    Tip: Stretching exercises can help lengthen and release those muscles, which will help relieve some of that low back pain.

A chiropractor can also help you pinpoint the true cause of low back pain. Here’s what you can expect during your first chiropractic experience with Dr. McSweeney here in Reno.

One last tip – low back pain sufferers of all ages nearly always benefit from simple movement. That’s what causes the nociceptors (pain receptors) to fire, which can reduce your pain. Even if you’re just walking, movement is what your body is designed to do. Do your best to balance sitting with equal amounts (or more) of functional movement.