Back pain is the leading cause of disability and can affect people of any age group. Back pain is debilitating and uncomfortable and will have you missing work to seek treatment. As you age, chances of developing back pain increase because of factors like medical conditions, injury, disorders, or previous occupation.
Causes Of Back Pain
Causes of back pain can be difficult to pinpoint, causing frustration. However, some common causes of back pain are:
Structure Related Problems
- Osteoporosis: Porousness and brittleness of bones like the spinal vertebrae causing compression fractures.
- Disk problems: These include ruptured and bulging disks that increase pressure on nerves leading to back pain.
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis causes narrowing of the spinal cord; spinal stenosis.
- Abnormal spinal curve: Unusual spinal curvature like scoliosis where the spine is curved sideways can result in back pain.
Strain Or Injury
Back pain can result from muscle spasms, tension, strained ligaments or muscles, a fall, fractures or injuries, and damaged disks. Activities like lifting a heavy object or lifting something improperly can lead to these strains and injuries.
Poor Posture And Movement
Everyday activities like movement and poor posture can lead to back pain. These include over-stretching, long periods of bending, driving, sitting, or standing, and sleeping on the wrong kind of mattress.
Other Medical Conditions
They include spinal cancer and infection, sleep disorders, infections of the bladder and kidney, and Cauda equina syndrome.
Back Pain Treatment
Regular exercise guided by your spinal physician can relieve back pain because exercise should suit your specific condition and symptoms. They include flexibility, aerobic, stretching, and core strengthening exercises, testing pain tolerance limits, and retraining your posture.
Muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs, and analgesics can help control back pain, although most bring about unwanted side effects. For back pain caused by smoking, you can use vaping products like JUUL to reverse these effects.
Treatments like epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, and nerve ablations can be applied when the cause of pain is known. However, they cannot be used on their own because they do not offer long-term solutions.
A healthy weight can assist in reducing back pain. Diets high in refined sugars and Trans fats like processed foods can contribute to inflammation and being overweight or obese that can put pressure on your spine.
Surgery is a rare option for treating back pain. However, in chronic cases where there are nerve compression and persistent pain, herniated disk surgery is performed. Some surgical procedures include artificial disk insertion, fusion, partial vertebra removal, and discectomy.
Over the counter pain relievers that have no steroids like ibuprofen can offer relief. You can also reduce pain by placing an ice pack or compressing the painful area with hot water.
Lifestyle changes, like taking short breaks when doing strenuous activities and making slow movements, will prevent muscles’ weakening and reduce back pain. Other relaxation strategies, like yoga and meditation, are recommended.
Back pain can be frustrating, depressive, and irritable. It is necessary to identify the root cause of back pain to make changes by getting a diagnosis from your physician. You can relieve back pain naturally by making required lifestyle modifications or get medical treatment. In rare cases, you might need to have surgery done.