Back pain is among the most commonly reported medical issues in the U.S., and even if you take great care to maintain proper posture and exercise, it’s likely that you’ll deal with it at some point. Back pain, and even neck pain, are generally symptoms of other conditions, and you may need medical help to deal with them. This is especially true if you notice that the pain persists for over a week or if the pain spreads down one or both of your legs. Here are just four of the most common causes and some things you can do about them.

1. Injuries

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If you’ve suffered a sports injury or been involved in something like a car accident recently, these are some of the most obvious causes of back and neck pain. Of course, you don’t need to have something as drastic as a major spine injury to encounter pain.

Simple pulled muscles or tendons from repeated heavy lifting can be enough to cause it. This is particularly true of people with jobs that require intensive labor, such as construction work. New technology is constantly in the works to reduce strains and improve ergonomics for these kinds of jobs.

If you need to treat a pulled muscle or tendon that’s causing pain or stiffness, you’ll first need to avoid any activity that might aggravate the problem. You’ll also want to apply ice packs to the affected area, as cold helps reduce inflammation, which is a major source of pain. You can also reduce inflammation by compressing the area or getting a massage.

2. Aging and Arthritis

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Age is one of the greatest risk factors for back pain and discomfort, especially since issues like arthritis become more likely the older you get. While many people believe that arthritis is a single condition, it’s actually just an informal way to refer to joint pain. Some of the most common symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, and a loss of motion. Treatment of these conditions will depend on their sources, so it’s important to visit your doctor and get an accurate diagnosis.

Visiting a chiropractor can be a great way to keep the symptoms in check. Facilities for chiropractic care, such as this Denver chiropractic center, provide non-surgical methods for treating joint pain and other conditions. Treatment plans include chiropractic adjustments for misalignment, massage therapy, spinal decompression therapy, and more. Speak with an experienced chiropractor to find your best option.

3. Excessive Stress

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Putting strain on your back and neck is one of the surest ways to get them to hurt, and most people do this for long periods every day. Consider how common office or work from home jobs are or how long people tend to stay seated while watching TV or playing video games. A standard office chair often doesn’t come with the best backrest, and it may not include armrests either. Staying in uncomfortable office chairs for a long time can easily start causing back problems.

This is why it’s a great idea to look into good gaming chairs. Even if you’re not a gamer yourself, you can probably appreciate the comfort and features of the best gaming chair, such as adjustability, lumbar support, a headrest, real leather, and even memory foam. Maintaining good posture in a comfortable gaming chair makes it even better.

4. A Lack of Exercise

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While extreme exercises can put you at risk for a back injury, not exercising at all means that your back muscles aren’t used properly, and this weakness can lead to pain while performing everyday tasks. Fortunately, just some low-impact aerobic exercises can take care of this and have you feeling better in no time. Try going on walks more often, or take a swim once in a while, and you should start noticing a positive difference.

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