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The Most Common Causes of Back Pain

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Back pain affects millions of Americans each day, young and old alike. Shoulder, neck and lower back aches can be caused by natural aging and wear and tear, by a sudden movement or injury or even from external stressors that cause tension. Sometimes, the cause of back pain may never even be confirmed.

The good news when it comes to soothing back pain is that more often than not, it is temporary and will not last longer than a few weeks. The other good news is that there is a non-invasive, natural alternative to easing the discomfort caused by back pain. Heat therapy works to naturally alleviate swelling and tenderness, soothing discomfort and helping you feel better fast. Read on for the most common causes of back pain as well as how you can help relieve the pangs of discomfort:

Sitting and Slouching
Today, one of the most common causes of back pain is too much sitting, and doing so incorrectly. The long hours sitting in front of a computer screen and on a commuter train or in your car for your daily commute can really take a toll on your back if you are not aware of your posture and seated position. It's easy to slouch into your chair at the office or get comfy for your trip home at the end of a long day, but doing so may be the cause of your discomfort.

Instead, do your best to sit up straight with your chin out, your feet flat on the ground and your shoulders back. It's important to keep your spine in line. Ensure that your computer is at eye level to help you achieve this. If need be, add some books under your monitor to lift it higher. The same can be said about your reading material on your train ride home. Another thing that can help you at your desk is the Sunbeam® Back Contouring Heating Pad with Lumbar Support. Not only does this firm, self-inflating pad provide support for your back to help you sit up straight, it also provides soothing heat therapy. This heat can help restore blood flow and aid in muscle relaxation, reducing the chance of back pain or discomfort. 

Among older adults who may not be as nimble as they once were, a weekend of golfing, sailing or other recreational activities may result in a discomforting back ache just a few days later. Often this is due to not properly stretching or warming up. One wrong swing of the golf club or misstep on the basketball court can cause a lot of discomfort. However, that doesn't mean you need to stop playing.

One way to work through discomfort is to start moving more during the week. Light jogging, walking, stretching or yoga can help the body become more flexible, as well as stronger. Heat therapy can also help to keep muscles soothed and flexible, as well as relieve tightness or tension in the back once it's happened. For a heating pad that can cover your entire back, there's one great option. The exclusive Sunbeam® Massaging Renue® Extended Back Heat Therapy Wrap has all of the traditional Renue® features with its massage and heat therapy, plus it provides more coverage for the back and spine! 

At 26 inches by 34 inches, this heating pad can cover your neck, shoulders and nearly your entire back. It's perfect for warming up before heading out for your weekend softball game or unwinding and recovering after the big match. Slightly weighted, the edges help to keep it in place and ensure constant contact with the heat and the area of treatment. Soft and snug with its magnetic closure it's easily adjustable. In addition to its heat therapy capabilities this heating wrap also provides four different massage settings for your optimal comfort.

House or Yard Work
Raking leaves, shoveling snow, fixing light bulbs or moving heavy objects are all likely causes of back pain. Most often, it's caused by improper lifting and bending, putting the stress and strain on the lower back rather than the knees. The rule of thumb is to always lift with the knees and never jerk, twist or move abruptly when carrying out these tasks. One wrong throw with a heavy shovel of snow could mean sudden discomfort in your back. Even if it's not a sudden movement, the hours spent working on your feet can also contribute to tension or aching in your neck, back and shoulders.

One of the best ways to avoid back pain while doing household chores and  yard work is to move slowly and carefully, making sure not to overexert yourself. Warming up and stretching beforehand can also help. And at the end of the day, settling down with heat therapy is a great way to unwind and soothe any back discomfort you may have.