If you have back pain, you know how disrupting it can be to every part of your life. It’s frustrating to not be able to do the things you could normally do. You feel limited in your ability to live your life to the fullest. It also can create strain in your relationships. But did you know that back pain is also one of the most preventable conditions suffered by Americans?

This is because 97% of back pain is caused by mechanical issues. This means for most people the cause of back pain is not an underlying condition, such as scoliosis. This is good news because mechanical issues can be fixed.

In this article, we will explore some of the common behaviors that cause mechanical issues in our back and discuss the best way to create a behavior change plan to fix those issues.

Back pain is just the symptom of a bigger problem

When you’re in back pain it’s hard to not focus on the situation that caused your pain. Maybe you were bending over to pick something up, or you notice an aching pain when sitting for a long time.

Whatever the situation was, it’s important to understand that other factors contributed to your back pain. Behaviors like poor posture, lack of exercise, and poor diet all add up and cause additional stress on the back. This can result in back pain.

If we only focus on getting out of back pain, we are not fixing the behavior(s) that caused our back pain in the first place.

The better way to treat back pain

We need to begin to focus on fixing the underlying behavior(s) that caused our back pain. For example, if you can identify you sit with a ‘slouched’ posture in the afternoon when you are at work. Start practicing good posture during specific times in the afternoon. You can even go one step further and set reminders to help you practice the behavior.

The most important question to keep in mind while starting to change your behaviors is:

  • Why is this important to me?

Once you have identified why changing this behavior is important to you, begin putting a plan in place. Ask yourself these questions to develop your behavior change plan:

  • What is a behavior I can start changing today?
  • Where do I practice this behavior?
  • When do I practice this behavior during the day?
  • Who can help hold me accountable to change this behavior?
  • How will I know when I am successful in changing this behavior?

By answering these questions, you are creating a behavior-change blueprint.  You can then start making small changes from what you identified to start changing your identified behavior.

Begin changing your behaviors today

At Telespine we not only teach behavior change, we live it. Our Telespine Health Coaches are experts in helping clients understand behavior change. We can help you to better understand your behaviors and teach you how to create lasting habits. Let us help you begin feeling better today. Contact us for more information.


Chien JJ and Bajwa ZH. What is mechanical back pain and how best to treat it? Current pain and headache reports. 2008; 12: 406-411.

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