MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain will happen to 80-percent of people in their lifetimes.

So, what causes it?  And, how can you prevent it? Good Question.

“A lot of people who are in very good shape can have back pain if their posture is poor, if they’re incorrectly doing bending and lifting activities,” Dr. Richard Printon, a chiropractor with Hennepin Healthcare said.

Back pain is so common because the spine supports the entire body, which means small ligaments and joints in the back are supporting a lot of weight.

Printon says when people push their vertebrae beyond its normal limit or spend lots of time hunched over.

“When we lose that curvature, we put the back under stress and strain,” Printon said. “We push the disc material backwards, we irritate the joints and ligaments so we irritate the nerve endings, which triggers pain.”

Arthritis and osteoporosis can also predispose people to back pain.

Dr. Printon says that most important thing to do if back pain occurs it stay moving and avoid sitting for extended periods of time. Proper stretching also helps, especially when it’s in the opposite direction of what caused the pain.

For most people, back pain will go away on its own.

“We [treat] conservatively — first of all stretching, then exercise, ice, heat, medication, injection, surgery,” Printon said.

As for prevention, good posture is key, following by exercise and strengthening the core and back muscles. It’s also important to properly lift heavier items.

If the back pain is intense, lasts more than two weeks, was caused by an injury or fall, or keeps occurring, Printon suggests visiting a doctor.

Heather Brown