Back pains are a widespread problem that causes people to miss work or school or underperform physically. According to a health report, it is the number one cause of disability in the world, and it is experienced by almost everyone at least once in their lifetime.
Because of how impactful back pains can be to one’s life, it is best to be familiar with what causes them, what their symptoms are, and how they are treated. With sufficient information on back pains, you will know what to do if you encounter it before your condition gets worse and goes out of control.
What are the common signs and symptoms of back pains?
People who get struck by back pains experience a variety of signs and symptoms, such as:
- Intense stabbing or shooting pain in the back
- Pain that spreads down to the legs
- Pain when standing, lifting, walking, or bending
- Pain that disappears when reclining
If you manifest these symptoms, you have to see a doctor who can look at your problem closer and find the best and most effective way to remedy it.
What causes back pains?
Back pains can occur for many reasons. Usually, they are due to:
If you work a job where you have to do a lot of heavy lifting or if you suddenly made an awkward movement, you may end up straining the muscles in your back and the ligaments in your spine.
Common among middle-aged and elderly people, osteoarthritis is a joint disease in which the bones, joints, ligaments, joint lining, and cartilage are worn down due to aging. It is the most prevalent form of arthritis, and it can affect the knees, hips, hands, spine, and back.
Also called a ruptured disc, slipped disc, or bulged disc, a herniated disc is a condition in which a disc in the spine is displaced or pushed out. It often occurs in the lumbar spine or lower back, as a result of injury or excessive strain in the back.
A type of bone disease, osteoporosis causes bones to weaken and become brittle, increasing the risk of fractures in the hip, wrist, and spine. It strikes the elderly quite often, especially those that lose their bone density at a faster rate than normal.
Your spine should form a straight line down the middle of your back. If it is misaligned, you have spine curvature, which can cause a curve or hump to appear on your back, back pains and discomfort, and pains and aches in the legs.
In some cases, back pains are brought about by some underlying medical condition that can be serious and require immediate medical care. They can be a symptom of bladder problems, bowel movement issues, or an injury.
What increases your risk of back pains?
Both old and young people can get back pains. Even teenagers and children are not safe from this risk that can significantly lower the quality of their lives. Below are risk factors that can raise your likelihood of developing back pains:
Usually, people who are in their 30s and 40s start experiencing back pains more often than the younger ones.
Being overweight or obese
Because you are packing extra fat and carrying extra weight, you are putting extra stress on the different parts of your body, including your back.
Lack of physical activity can leave the muscles in your back, abdomen, and nearby areas unused and weak, making you more prone to back pains.
If you have bad posture when sitting, you can get back pains. If you exercise and do not bother following the proper form for your workout, you can get back pains too. If you lift an object and use your back rather than your legs, expect to get back pains.
How are back pains diagnosed?
If you go see your doctor, you will undergo a physical exam to see the extent of your condition. You will be asked to sit, walk, stand, lift your legs, and so on, and let them know how intense the pain is while doing each task.
If necessary, you will also be required to undergo an x-ray, MRI scan, CT scan, blood test, electromyography, or bone scan.
How can you cure your back pain?
Treating and preventing back pains can easily be done by observing proper body mechanics. For a strong and healthy back, you should:
Get regular exercise
There are plenty of aerobic activities that can benefit your back. They boost your back muscles’ strength, stamina, endurance, and flexibility, allowing you to be more physically able. Some highly recommended exercises are walking, running, and swimming.
Maintain a healthy weight
You have to strive to get down to or sustain a healthy weight. You should eat lots of foods that are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Avoid junk foods, fast foods, and other foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt.
Observe proper posture
It is important that you learn to stand or sit in a way that prevents or at least minimizes back pains. Do not slouch while you are at work sitting in front of your computer. Pull your shoulders back and suck your stomach in when walking.
Use an ergonomic chair
Choose a chair that offers good quality lower back support. If you sit for long periods, it can reduce the amount of stress on your back muscles.
Get a massage
To relieve the inflammation in your back muscles, you can get a therapeutic massage. The kneading and gliding strokes and motions can untie the knots in your back and improve circulation in your body.
Consult your doctor
If your back pains are happening often, you should go see your doctor. You might need to take certain medications, such as muscle relaxants and pain relievers, which your doctor can prescribe.