(CARLSBAD, CA) – Back pain. More than three-quarters of Americans experience it at some point in their lives. Back pain can be a muscle ache, stabbing pain, limited range of motion, shooting pain down the leg, or an inability to stand straight. Regardless of how back pain manifests itself in each individual, it can be debilitating and hinder your daily life activities.
The most common reason for back pain is straining a muscle, typically from unsafe heavy lifting. Skeletal abnormalities, bulging disks, and sciatica are additional reasons for back pain. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett points out that there are other surprising causes of back pain.
Vitamin D Deficiency – Those twinges of pain in your lower back can be a result of low levels of Vitamin D in your body. Since Vitamin D is directly related to bone health, then the bone structure of the lower back suffers with Vitamin D deficiency. Ask your doctor about taking a daily supplement of up to 2,000 IU of Vitamin D if you suffer from an achy back.
Leg Length – Sure, we’d all like longer gams, but did you know that the length of your legs can actually contribute to lower back pain? Doctors are finding that a discrepancy between the lengths of your two legs creates a tilt in the pelvis and imbalance in your posture. Your doctor can test for leg-length discrepancy by measuring the length of your legs in standing, seated, and supine positions.
Iliopsoas Muscles – The iliopsoas is actually a combination of the psoas and iliacus muscles, which attach to the lumbar spine, run through the abdomen, and allow for hip flexion. Commonly referred to as the “dorsal hip muscles” or “hip flexors,” these muscles can shorten over time, due to prolonged sitting and insufficient stretching. The shortened muscles result in lower back pain.
Dehydration – Disks, located between every two vertebrae in our spines, serve as shock absorbers. Each disk has two parts: an outer ring, primarily composed of a gelatin-like substance, and an inner region, which is largely comprised of water. When the disks lack proper hydration, they can’t handle the load of impact that is placed on your back from daily tasks.
Constipation – Irregularity in your bowel movements can create blockage in your intestines, which consequently causes pressure in your lower back. Try eating more fiber and drinking more water to get things moving.
If you’ve ruled out the obvious reasons for your achy back – muscle strains and bulging disks – then talk to your doctor about one of these lesser-known causes of back pain. It could be that stretching your iliopsoas muscle, drinking more water, or adding a little Vitamin D to your diet makes all the difference.
Meanwhile, whether or not you currently have back pain, Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett suggests following the Mayo Clinic’s recommendations for prevention of back pain. The Mayo Clinic advises regular, low-impact aerobic exercise as well as core-strengthening exercises to ward-off back pain. Being overweight can also place excess strain on your back muscles, so a regular fitness regimen can help carve off a few pounds and relieve the pressure on your back.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,800 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in all 50 states and 32 countries. For more than 40 years, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive fitness program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.