Lower back pain will affect 70% - 85% of people at any point in their lifetime.
It is the most common musculoskeletal condition to affect the elderly. As we age, our spinal cord begins to lose flexibility and agility and takes longer to recover from injuries.
For example, we spend more than 12 hours on average sitting all day. Did you know that in the long term, it increases the risk of diabetes by 112%? According to the Heart Foundation, you're also 147% likely to get heart diseases like stroke or heart attack because of a sedentary lifestyle.
That's not all; according to the CDC, the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease. Do you see the connection yet?
A new study found that 54% of back pain cases result from sitting long hours at desk jobs, which worsens with age.
Here are some health conditions that cause age-related back pain
- Osteoarthritis - is a degenerative condition that affects the spinal cord. When the cartilage between the facet joints breaks down, it begins to cause lower back pain. The pain can increase with time.
- Degenerative disk disease - is not a disease but occurs with age. The intervertebral discs in the spine are well lubricated but lose hydration with time, making it difficult for the spinal cord to resist forces that cause wear and tear. That's part of why we get less active as we get older and can't do the things we used to do.
- Herniated Disc - Discs cushion the vertebral bones in the spine and act as shock absorbers. For example, a tear or rupture in the spinal cord will cause the disc to bulge and strain back pain.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis - causes inflammation in the joints and spine and is a type of autoimmune disease. This condition can be severe and requires care of the elderly and professional treatment to slow its progress.
While some people are genetically more prone to some conditions than others, back pain can be an issue they deal with early on in life. However, there are still some ways to protect, prevent, and slow back pain at any age that involve lifestyle changes.
Gary Foster had some very relevant suggestions about supporting your back while working from home and shared these in a quora answer.
- First, using an ergonomic chair or some product to improve the ergonomics of your working environment.
- He spoke about taking breaks between work. He shared how he follows a 50/10 cycle - of 50 minutes of concentrated work and a 10-minute break. During which he does a 2-minute plank, stretches, and exercises to strengthen his core. He also uses resistance bands of sizes 10 and 20 to do some resistance training. It is a great way to get in some exercise indoors and on the go.
- He does core and back strengthening exercises every morning. He begins with stretching and does a plank which he finds significantly helps his recurring back pain. You can include other core strengthening exercises into your routine that can help reduce back pain.
NapEazy® pillows are beneficial in this case as they provide lumbar support and are not as expensive as an ergonomic chair. It also has plenty of use aside from office ergonomics, for example, while commuting or traveling.