According to recent research, four out of five adults experience back pain in their lifetime. It is one of the main causes of absentees among the working class. In most cases, back pain manifest as a dull ache, sharp or searing pain.
Though it may not be as serious as such in the first instance, without precautionary measures and proper medication, it can result in disability. However, not all back pain is the same. There are a variety of causes that range from accidents, sedentary lifestyle to even ignorance in matters of individual health.
Back Pain Causes
We listed some of the main causes of back pain below. You should seek a medical professional if you are dealing with sharp back pain. However, for additional lumbar support and back pain relief, you should try a Zero Compression Back Brace.
Herniation occurs when one of the rubbery cushions (disks) slips in between the vertebrae that make up the spine. Often, the jelly-like cushion tears and pushes in the tougher exterior. Herniation causes the spinal cord to strain when doing your normal errands hence resulting in numbness and pain. Herniations are common among the elderly due to aging-related tears. Also, it can be caused by using the back muscles to carry heavy loads in the wrong way and traumatic events due to falls or a back blow.
Sciatica happens when the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body is put to pressure. This can be due to a herniated disk, spinal narrowing or bone spurs. It comes with a lot of pain in all the parts of the body that the nerve covers. These include the lower back and the sides of the leg. Symptoms of sciatica include tingling, numbness, and weakness of the leg, and pain in the lower back.
Muscle strain in the lower back is referred to as a lumbar strain. It results from stretching of the tendons, ligaments and the lower back muscles. Intense twisting or overstretching of the back is the most popular cause of the lumbar strain. It is common among the sportsmen and weight lifters.
Pain due to muscle strain always extends down to the buttock without reaching the leg. Often, you will find it hard to move the back since it becomes stiff. In most cases, first aid measures such as application of ice pack cure the problem in a month. However, the condition can be prolonged by poor sitting posture.
The human spine is made up of vertebrae, spinal cord and nerves, all of which are interconnected bones. For flexibility, each vertebra is separated by a connective disc. It is the disc that changes in size when you bend or rotate the spine. Dislodging of the spinal disc causes a bulge in the spinal canal. These can be due to factors such as age-related spinal friction, body overweight, poor posture or lifting of heavyweights. You can recover from this condition by adapting to effective postures. Otherwise, you can seek medication in case of intense back, neck or shoulder pain, numbness or tingling and inability to move.
Spinal stenosis is the condition where holes through which the spinal cords run are too narrow. Hence, they squeeze the cord, resulting into pain, numbness or weakness. Spinal stenosis can be caused by factors such as tumour, arthritis, injury or infection. Some babies are also born with narrow spinal holes.
Muscle injuries occur when the muscles are overstretched or torn. This can be as a result of overuse, fatigue or improper use of the muscle. Muscle injuries in the back can lead to intense pain in the lower back and impair efficient movement among the affected muscles. You can recover from the muscle injury by protecting the affected muscles, rest, elevate or compress the affected part before consulting your doctor for further treatments.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease refers to the deterioration and break down of one or more spinal discs. It is common among the elderly and often leads to numbness, weakness or radiating pain in the legs and back regions.
It is worth noting that the condition is not always a disease. It solely emanates from aging factors. As you grow old, so are the spinal's shock absorbers (spinal discs). Upon wearing out, there is usually friction between the vertebrae hence leading to pain.
Osteoporosis refers to the bone disease that occurs when the body bones become porous and too little. A porous bone is too weak to sustain pressures hence breaks from even sneezing, minor bumps or fall.
Osteoporosis results from aging factors. Usually, you won't recognize it unless you do a bone density test. However, where you suspect that you are growing shorter with a curved spinal cord, it is prudent to consult your doctor. If you wait for the bone to break, you may fail to handle the back pain that results from a broken spinal bone.
This is the most popular form of arthritis that is brought bear wearing of the cartilage that cushions the end of various bones in the body. It is common in the joints in the knees, hands, spine and hip. Symptoms of this joint include; stiffness, tenderness, back pain, inflexibility, swelling, spurs and grating sensation.
You can minimize the progression of this disease by exercising, maintaining a good posture, healthy living and seeking medication.
Health-Based Back Pain
You can experience back pain due to poor health habits. If you can focus on a healthy diet and exercise, that will help your back muscles feel much better.
Nicotine, the powerhouse behind smoking, impairs the efficient flow of the blood to the vertebral disks. It also increases their rates of degeneration.
Sedentary Lifestyle and Lack of Exercise
Most people that live a sedentary lifestyle are prone to excess body weight. They have no time to jog, sweat or exercise. This leads to lack of abdominal strengthening, poor posture and back pain.
Best Postures for Lower Back Pain
Poor posture stresses and strains the back muscles, nerves and the spine. It is how you sit that defines the future anatomy of your spine. When sitting always make sure that the hip is positioned higher than the knees. With this, you will find yourself sitting along the imaginary line that runs from the length of the back, through the head to the ceiling. Do not rotate the pelvis forward since this will automatically cause your lower back to curve. There are posture correctors in the market that you can use to achieve this.
Adopt food timetables that are rich in calcium and vitamin D. These two nutrients are vital for body bone formation and strength. You can opt for the economical vitamin D source through sun baking.
Lastly, exercising will strengthen the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles in the lower back. Some of the exercises and stretches that remedy back pain include the plank, bird dog and the arch.