Back pain is the leading reason for disability worldwide. It is prevalent among people of all age groups. However, it is not a disorder. It is just a symptom relating to different medical conditions. In most of the cases, the cause of back pain is unidentifiable.
Before studying the causes of back pain and the treatment suitable for it, let’s understand what back pain is?
To begin with, what is Back pain?
It is a pain experienced in your back. In other words, it is a pain in different parts of your vertebral column. Now, back pain can be divided into separate parts. It includes neck pain in the Cervical region, middle back pain in the Thoracic region, lower back pain in the Lumbar region. At times, the pain may extend up to the pelvic area. Amongst this, lower back pain is the most widespread.
Further, the stages of back pain vary from acute to sub-acute and chronic pain. One may experience dull, numbing, shooting, piercing, or burning pain, depending on the extent of discomfort. At times, the discomfort of chronic pain starts passing in regions of the arm and leg. However, in most cases, back pain subsides with time.
Symptoms of back pain:
- Pain in the spinal region of your back.
- Numbing pain in the neck, middle back, and lower back.
- Further, back pain causes difficulty to stand, move, sit, or bend.
- Swelling along the spinal cord.
- Lastly, the extended pain in arms and legs is also a sign of back pain.
So, what are the causes of back pain?
Back pain is the result of the problems within one or more parts of the spine. It includes problems within muscles, ligaments, bones, and nerves of your vertebral column.
Let’s understand the different causes of back pain.
- Problems in the structure
There are 33 bones in our vertebral column. The spine is nothing but these interlocked bones stacked on top of each other. Discs between each vertebra cushion them and act as a shock absorber. Hence, whenever these discs bulge, herniate or rupture, it causes the nerves to compress. It causes a great deal of discomfort resulting in acute or chronic pain. Bulging disc and herniated discs are a relatively common cause of back pain.
Direct injury can cause fractures or trauma on the spine. However, the injury isn’t always from an outward blow. Our bones become brittle and porous with age. Thus, causing minor fractures in the bone without any injury. It’s called osteoporosis and is quite painful.
The damage and degeneration of joints in the lower back cause arthritis. This can lead to narrowing of space around the spinal cord. Thus, causing a condition called spinal stenosis.
- Strain and sprain
Now, the sudden awkward movement or incorrect lifting can strain your muscles. It results in stiffness and sore feeling in the back. Further, the consistent strain on back muscles can result in muscle spasms. Stress, Dehydration, and exercise cause muscle spasms. It is the sudden involuntary movement in the back that causes stabbing, piercing pain.
- Referred pain
Most of the time, back pain is the result of pain originating somewhere else. It is known as referred pain and is common for the diseases of kidney, gallbladder, and pancreas.
- Postural problems
Long working hours with inappropriate body postures can result in back pain. More than 50 percent of the working population experiences back pain because of their posture. Be it manual work or sitting in front of screens for long hours at length, back pain remains persistent.
Infections in the spine and its surrounding can cause back pain. However, it is very rare.
Medical conditions like Pregnancy, spinal tumor, Cancer, Kidney stones, etc. causes back pain. Apart from this, sedentary lifestyle and obesity are amongst the other reasons for consistent back pain.
What is the treatment for Back pain?
Back pain can be treated using various treatment after a thorough diagnosis and examination by a doctor. Imaging tests are also used to determine the severity of the disorder if any. Medical history concerning age, trauma, weight loss, injury, fever, etc. is considered. Further, the physical examination usually includes an assessment of origin, causes, reasons, and severity of pain. Based on this diagnosis, the doctor decides the treatment for back pain.
Doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory, muscle-relaxing, and pain-relieving drugs depending on the intensity of pain. These steroids offer instant relief and relaxation from pain. However, overdose can lead to severe problems. Hence, always consult the doctor for dosage and intake requirements.
- Heat/ Ice therapy.
Apply ice packs or ice cubes to affected areas. Also, use warm compressions on the affected areas. Doing so would reduce inflammation and help with the pain.
- Alternative therapies.
These are supporting therapies that help in long term recovery of strained muscles and injury. It improves the stretch and functionality of affected areas. It includes Physical therapy, Massage therapy, Acupuncture, Exercises, etc.
Chiropractic is amongst the best practices to treat back pain. A chiropractor manipulates the spine and underlying problems, causing back pain. This drug-free approach is popular amongst people for its effectiveness in reducing back pain. Scientific evidence shows that chiropractic care, along with traditional care, offers better pain relief outcomes.
Surgery is usually the last resort for treating back pain. It is used only when all the other methods have been proven ineffective.
A combination of one or more of these treatments can cure back pain substantially.
Can we prevent back pain?
Of course, back pain can be controlled if not prevented altogether. However, specific lifestyle changes can maintain the health of the spine and prevent back pain. It includes regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, posture consciousness, building strength, and flexibility.
Conclusively, back pain is the most common phenomenon of disorder in the World. Despite being curable, it can be a lifelong problem, recurring at different intervals.
For more information, please call First Choice Chiropractic at (561) 296-8787.