Proper Back Care
A Complete Guide

Boise, Idaho

The health of your back is essential to your overall well-being. Your back plays a massive role in mobility and strength, and without proper care, it can lead to long-term back pain and even injury. If you suffer from general back pain or back pain due to an injury, read on to learn:

How common is back pain, Capital Surgical Associates.

How Common is Back Pain?

Back pain is a lot more common than you may think. Did you know that back problems are among patients' most frequent complaints to doctors? It's reported that nearly 16 million adults experience persistent chronic back pain. That is 8% of adults!

Many things can lead to back pain and back injury. Whether it's due to aging, an accident on the job, or trauma to the back, all of these factors can impact your back's health, and it's essential to address these issues early on to minimize damage and discomfort that can compound later in your life.

What Causes Back Injuries?

  • Muscle strain or sprain in the back
  • Fracture or dislocation of the spine
  • A ruptured or torn disc
  • An injury leading to compression of the nerves

Functional Decline

Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies do not function as well as they did when we were younger. With that said, one thing that occurs as we age is the wearing away and shrinking of our discs between the vertebrae, which leads to back pain and stiffness as the bones begin to rub together.

Discs help maintain the natural curvature of your spine and allow your back to flex or bend. Even more, discs help absorb shock as you walk or run. So, when these discs become irritated from friction, it can cause a great deal of pain over time.

Another common issue as we age is osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis caused by "wear and tear." Some joints connect the vertebrae and are lined with cartilage. This cartilage begins to deteriorate as you age, and your discs become narrower. As a result, there is more pressure on your joints.

Trauma to the Back

There are many types of trauma to the back that can lead to a chronic back injury. Trauma is generally caused by an acute (sudden) injury. Here are a few examples of trauma to the back.

Identifying an Acute Injury

An acute injury may be sudden or severe. In addition to this, bruising or swelling may develop because of the damage. It is important to note that pain from an acute injury will typically last no longer than six weeks.

Job-Related Back Pain

It is not uncommon for individuals to develop chronic back pain due to tasks performed at their jobs. It is especially the case for those who work hard manual labor jobs. However, whether working or not, anyone can develop back pain.

If you work a job that requires repetitive motion, especially movements that involve rotating the spine, this can lead to a back injury. Simultaneously, remaining in a position for long periods of inactivity, such as sitting for a desk job, can increase the chances of experiencing back pain and lead to injury due to bad posture.

What Are Common Risk Factors for Back Pain?

Understanding what puts you at risk for back injuries is the first step in taking the appropriate preventive measures and ensuring you give yourself the best back care. With that said, various risk factors can increase one's likelihood of experiencing a back injury.


Those who smoke have an increased risk of a back injury. The possible correlation between smoking and back pain and injuries may result from increased coughing, leading to a herniated disc.


Back pain is a common occurrence. However, some back pain may be tied to genetics. Studies show that individuals may have passed down genes that contribute to increased back pain and injury.


Back pain and injuries are more common as you age due to natural wear and tear.

Improper Lifting of Objects

Lifting objects incorrectly can lead to an injury. For instance, if you lift objects with your back rather than your legs can compromise your back. It is especially the case if this becomes a habit.

Lack of Exercise

Individuals who do not regularly exercise can increase their risk of back injuries because unused muscles become weak, making them more susceptible.

Common risk factors for back pain, Capital Surgical Associates.

What Can You Do to Prevent Back Pain?

If you are experiencing severe, persistent back pain, talk with a trusted healthcare provider to ensure you only engage in approved activities for your condition. Here are four preventive back care tips you can utilize to improve the overall health of your back.

  • Processed foods
  • Fast foods
  • Saturated fats
  • Nightshade vegetables

1. Start Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy focuses on delivering the best quality of life through exercise. Physical therapy can improve an individual's ability to move, reduce pain, manage pain, rectify posture, and restore overall function.

A physical therapist might provide passive therapies that decrease pain, such as a heat and ice pack combination. At the same time, a therapist will include active treatments to rehabilitate the spine. These exercises may include stretching, strengthening exercises, and low-impact aerobic conditioning.

Essentially, physical therapy is a personalized approach to improving the health of your back. Even more, physical therapy does not just help decrease current back pain. It reduces the risk of further injury.

2. Exercise Regularly

One of the easiest things you can do to protect your back is to engage in regular exercise. When exercise is done in a controlled and consistent manner, individuals can expect to improve back pain and overall health.

By strengthening muscles that support the spine, you can reduce pressure on the spinal discs and facet joints. In addition to this, exercise will alleviate joint stiffness and improve joint mobility.

Another benefit of exercise is increased circulation, which is essential for distributing nutrients throughout the body. When the spinal discs get their needed nutrients, they become stronger and healthier.

3. Improve Your Posture

Many people underestimate the importance of posture when it comes to back pain. However, improving your posture is one of the best things you can do for your back.

When you slouch, this puts stress on the lower back. More specifically, slouching can harm the intervertebral discs, facet joints, ligaments, and muscles. When you practice good posture, you relieve the stress from these areas and help keep your spine aligned. In addition, appropriate posture helps ensure your bones and joints do not become set in abnormal positions, leading to back pain and injury.

How food can help back pain, Capital Surgical Associates.

4. Watch What You Eat

Diet may be the last thing you think about when it comes to maintaining proper back care, but diet plays a central role in overall back pain and injuries. Many of the foods available today are inflammatory foods that can intensify your symptoms, including back pain. With that said, it's essential to adopt a plant-based diet to reduce inflammation. Include whole foods, meaning foods that are not processed. You should also eat foods that come from plants and exclude animal products.

The main foods to avoid on a plant-based diet include:

  • Processed foods
  • Fast foods
  • Saturated fats
  • Nightshade vegetables

What Are the Treatment Options for Chronic Back Pain?

Dealing with chronic back pain can be overwhelming. The good news is, there are various treatment options available. Here are three medical treatments an orthopedic surgeon may recommend to treat your back pain:

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Surgery

For people that experience severe low back pain, Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Surgery is an excellent option. This surgery focuses on decompression, where it frees up area for your spinal cord and nerve roots. Doing this should give your spinal cord and nerve roots more space to pass through, lessening inflammation and pain as a result. Another benefit of this surgery is that it will improve stabilization by limiting motion between the vertebrae.

Back Pain Treatment Options, Capital Surgical Associates.

Mini Lumbar Fusion

A Mini Lumbar Fusion is a surgical procedure designed to join two or more vertebral bones of your spine permanently. A small incision is made with this procedure, making it a great alternative to Traditional Lumbar Fusion. A Mini Lumbar Fusion is an excellent option for conditions that cause severe pain, such as Scoliosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, or a spine fracture.

Learn More About Spine Surgery

Minimally Invasive Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

This procedure is used to treat damaged intervertebral discs and compressed nerve roots. Minimally Invasive Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion allows for a smaller incision to be made, leading to less surgical trauma and quicker recovery time. This procedure is ideal for worn-out discs looking for a surgical procedure with minimal post-effects.

Who Should You Contact for Help with Back Pain?

Contact Capital Surgical Associates today to schedule a consultation if you have an acute injury or chronic issue with your back that you believe might require surgery.

Properly caring for your back is essential to living a comfortable and happier life. At Capital Surgical Associates, we strive to help our patients get back to normal.

  • Joint replacement surgery
  • Arthroscopic treatment for shoulder and knee sports injuries
  • Upper extremity, elbow, and hand surgery
  • Microscopic treatment of spinal disorders
  • Surgery of the foot and ankle
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Who ARE Capital Surgical Associates?

Dr. Jeffrey Hessing and Dr. Ryan Applonie (formerly of Orthopedic Associates) merged their orthopedic surgical practices with Dr. Miers Johnson and Dr. Steven Williams (of General Surgery Specialists) and general surgeon Dr. Daniel Gay to form Capital Surgical Associates. Their practice encapsulates a multi-specialty group of independent surgeons.

Capital Surgical Associates believes their patients should have choices in their medical treatment and not feel pressured by large hospitals with huge overhead. They were formed to provide the highest quality surgical care at the lowest possible price. Combining their general surgery and orthopedic surgery specialties have ensured their patients receive the most personalized and high-value care possible.

If you are frustrated with being asked to take a number, only to see a medical provider who is not your general doctor, contact Capital Surgical Associates. You will be glad you did.

Contact Capital Surgical Associates Today.

The Capital Surgical Associates in Boise are a group of medical professionals united behind one common goal, providing the best orthopedic and surgical care possible. This demands our entire staff work together to put your health before financial gains. The surgeons who make up Capital Surgical Associates lead the industry by their example of excellence.

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