What causes non-specific back pain?
Non-specific back pain is a common problem, with 1 in 6 Australians reporting the problem and 4 out of 5 experiencing it at some time in their life. Here are some common causes.
For at least 9 in 10 people, back pain is not caused by any condition and is referred to as non-specific back pain.
Non-specific back pain can result from a range of factors, such as:
- Poor posture
- Weak back and abdominal muscles
- Muscle strain or spasm
- Sitting for too long, such as at a desk or in a car
- Lack of physical activity
- Being an unhealthy weight
Things that may help:
- Exercise. This improves your posture and helps your muscles to support your spine. Exercises that can help prevent back pain include:
- Low-impact aerobic exercise (such as walking, tai chi or swimming)
- Strengthening exercises, such as lifting weights, climbing stairs, or hiking
- Stretching exercises, such as Pilates and yoga
- Maintaining a good posture at home, in your workplace, or in your car. Try not to slouch, and use equipment that supports your back, such as a lumbar support or footstool if you need one.
- Maintaining a healthy weight is also important.
- Safe lifting in your home or workplace. Whenever you pick up a heavy load, squat down, hold the object close to your body, and lift with your legs.
- Avoid high heels — wearing high heels can place strain on your back.