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Griping pain in the back, especially in the lower part of the back.
Persons most commonly affected: Overweight persons, pregnant and menstruating women
Organ or part of body involved: Back
Symptoms and indications: A sharp jab or a dull ache at the back. The pain sometimes becomes so piercing that a person who is bending over may not be able to straighten up.
Causes and risk factors: Back pain results from a variety of causes. Strains are especially common when overworked or under exercised back muscles perform beyond their normal capacity. Strain of back muscles can be due to participation in a sport, a sudden jerking motion (such as a car braking) or reflex actions like sneezing. Overweight is a leading factor in back pain because it increases the stress on back muscles. Similarly, pregnancy can result in back pain because of the weight or position of the fetus. For some women, menstruation is also associated with back discomfort. Psychological tension, stress or anxiety about everyday problems can also lead to back pain. In addition, back pain can result from diseases of the kidney, heart, lungs, intestinal tract or reproductive organs.
Prevention: Stress to the spine should be avoided. Good posture, when awake and asleep, relieves tension on the spinal column. Wearing properly fitted shoes encourages good postures, as does sleeping on a semifirm bed. Good posture is also important when performing daily activities. Bending at the knees, rather than from the waist, when lifting large, heavy objects places the stress on the legs and helps prevent back injury. Constipation makes back pain worse, so eat plenty of fibre, preferably in the form of vegetables. Consume foods that are rich in essential fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, almonds, walnuts, and ground flaxseeds). Stay away from products that are high in saturated fat and sugar, especially if you are overweight. Avoid caffeine and alcohol products, which are known to worsen inflammation.