Most people at some point or another in their lives will complain about back issues and you might have been a victim of it as well. Even though our daily movements and activities might not be the main reason but often back injury and other back related problems can occur due to everyday overuse, wear and other more significant reasons like sports, recreational activities or even work related injuries.
So what exactly does back pain entitle?
In a nutshell, back pain can cause issues from anywhere in the neck right down to your tailbone. Your back consists of bones and the joints of your spine, which is also known as the vertebrae and the discs that separate your spine. The main purpose of these discs is to absorb shock as you move and walk. Back problems can also arise from the muscles and ligaments that make up your spine, and hold it together. At other times back pain can also be due to problems in nearby organs such as kidneys etc.
According to a study carried out by American Association of Neurological Surgeons it was found out that approximately 75 to 85 percent of Americans will experience some sort of back pain in their lives. While for out of those around 50 percent will have more than one episode of back pain within a single year. Although most cases getter bette3r on their own without any surgical intervention, but if you feel like your problem is persisting despite regular treatments then talk to your doctor about considering more effective options.
How to treat your back pain?
Although most individuals who experience back pain do not need extensive treatment procedures. In most cases over the counter pain medications are sufficient to cope with the pain but in severe cases where the pain becomes unbearable, stronger medications might be required which are available only on prescription from your doctor.
Other ways to get rid of back pain can be by using topical rubs, ointments to remedy pain, muscle relaxants which are especially effective in treating muscle spasms, and muscle relaxants etc.
Surgery is usually the last choice your doctor would recommend. But be extremely careful, back surgery can be tricky and not all doctors who claim to be expert can help you so do your research before you go for extreme interventions.
What causes back pain?
The most common causes of back pain arise due to strain and other problems with the structure of your back
Often caused by incorrect lifting of heavy objects as well as abrupt or awkward movements; strained muscles can result in back pain. At times strain is also referred to as the sore feeling or stiffness you experience after some off routine activity like spending a few hours on your neglected yard, going out for a game etc. Something you usually don’t do.
Your spine consists of interlocking bones, stacked on top of each other. The spinal discs are basically tissues that cushion the space between each spinal cord. At times when these discs rupture, bulge or suffer a hernia; this can cause the nerves in your spine to get compressed. Herniated discs can be especially painful and can also manifest in sciatic pain or irritation of the sciatic nerve. Pain, tingling and a feeling of numbness in your leg or legs are some of the symptoms you might experience if you suffer from sciatica.
Other diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis which can weaken bone structure as well as cause damage to your spine can also be a reason for back pain.
Other, not so common causes of back pain
Apart from the usual cause, there are many other potential causes of back pain but these occur rarely but can prove to be quite fatal so make sure to consult your doctor if you experience any recurring back pain
After ruling out the more common causes of back pain your doctor might test you for the following causes like:
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis: Which is essentially the displacement of one spinal cord onto another
- Cauda equina syndrome which is a serious medical emergency. This entitles the loss of nerve function in the lower spine.
- fungal or bacterial infection of the spine
- cancer or nonmalignant tumor in the spine
- kidney infection or kidney stones
- In some cases previously untreated or undiagnosed back injury can also result in chronic back pain.
What are the risk factors for back pain?
According to medical studies and doctors you are at more risk of back pain if you
- Happen to work in a deskbound environment
- Don’t exercise very often
- Engage in out of routine high-impact activities
- Suffer from emotional problems like anxiety or mental stress
- Old age can also be an important factor for back pain
- Obesity can also cause back pain
How to prevent back pain?
While more serious symptoms might require proper medications and doctors’ intervention, here are some tips for you to prevent the more common types of back pain
Carry less weight
Carrying heavy loads like heavy bags, briefcases, purses etc. can often add unnecessary strain to your neck and spine. Try to carry bags that help redistribute the weight e.g. backpacks or even bags with wheels can be a good alternative to carrying heavy loads
Exercise your core muscles
Working your core can also be a good option to train your body to be stronger, resilient and reduce chances of pain or injury to your neck and spine.
Work on your posture
Improving your posture can be an efficient and effective way of preventing or dealing with back pain. A poor posture can result in unnecessary pressure or stress on your spine.
Stretching often is also a good way to prevent back pain as it helps improve and regulate circulation in muscles in all of the body.