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3 Reasons Why Your Back and Neck Pain Are Getting Worse, Not Better

Struggling to alleviate back and neck pain? As two of the most common types of musculoskeletal pain, back and neck pain can take a toll on a person’s physical and mental health. If left unattended, they may develop into chronic pain.

If you live an active lifestyle, make ergonomic changes in daily tasks, and engage in back and neck-friendly exercises and stretches, you’re probably wondering why the pain is still persisting. Continue reading to find out what may be the culprit.

a man experiencing debilitating back pain

1. You May Be An Avid Smoker

Smoking is known to increase the risk of debilitating back and neck pain. According to research, smokers are three times more likely to develop chronic back pain than nonsmokers. Smoking prevents new bone growth and reduces calcium absorption in the body. Not only does this weaken the bones, but it also results in slower healing.

As your bones become more fragile and brittle, you may develop a serious back and/or neck condition like osteoporosis or lumbar disk disease. As the cervical discs in your neck are damaged, you may struggle to move your neck without feeling slight stiffness and discomfort. As you age, these symptoms will worsen if left unaddressed.

Recommended Read:The Basics of Back Pain and Spinal Anatomy

2. You May Have An Unattended Back Or Neck Injury

a woman holding her neck in pain

In many cases, people develop back and neck injuries without even realizing it because the injury may develop over time. As a result, you don’t experience immediate pain, but, instead the discomfort is more gradual as though it’s “sneaking” up on you.

If you exercise rigorously, repeatedly lift heavy objects, have an incorrect posture, or practice poor body mechanics, your back and neck may sustain the damage. As the injury worsens, the pain will become more noticeable.

In these instances, consulting an orthopedic doctor is one of the best ways to get diagnosed and treated on time.

3. You’re Stressed

Stress and anxiety play a big role in exacerbating back and neck pain. When you feel stressed and overwhelmed, the mental turmoil manifests by triggering the tightening of muscles. As the back and neck muscles become tense, they begin to sustain damage.

When the back is affected, this condition is known as tension myositis syndrome (TMS). When stress and tension build in the neck, you may also develop persistent headaches.

To nip the damage in the bud, try to eliminate stress from your life. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to consider therapy. While putting your physical health first is important, prioritizing your mental health is just as imperative. These measures will go a long way in improving your back and neck health in the long run.

Recommended Read: 4 Possible Causes of Neck Stiffness and Pain

Treat Back and Neck Pain at Houston Physicians’ Hospital

If you’re showing symptoms of chronic back and neck pain, click here to find an orthopedic doctor who’s right for you. Our treatment plans include medication, physical therapy, neck surgery, and back surgery, among others.

Apart from diagnosing and treating back and neck pain, we also specialize in performing knee replacement surgery across Southeast Texas, including Houston, Galveston, Clear Lake, Webster, and League City.