Have you ever come across anyone complaining of back pain? It’s a pain that affects people in their upper back, mid back, and lower back, and it can be mild or severe. Whenever people with this issue try to bend and pick something, they feel the excruciating pain. Sometimes, it can even affect their mobility.
Causes Of Back Pain
Understanding the causes of back pain is essential for effective prevention and management. The following are some of the various causes of back pain:
1. Your occupation
Back pain can also be attributed to the kind of job you’re doing. Some work requires strenuous activities that affect your back. For instance, construction workers, nurses and caregivers, warehouse workers, delivery drivers, etc., either have to bend and carry equipment, stand or sit for longer hours, or move heavy objects daily.
Let’s examine delivery drivers. Their job can make them sit for a more extended period, which can take hours. Apart from eating or resting, the only breaks they get are when they are lifting the packages to customers. This proves that while sitting can be a harmless exercise, maintaining such posture for extended periods without specific exercises can cause pain.
2. Lifestyle factors
Old age, obesity, smoking, lack of accidents, and accidents can result in back pain. Now let’s examine each of them:
First, note that back pain is a respecter of no person and can affect both young and old. However, it seems to affect older people from 30 severely and is very common when they cross 60, resulting in chronic back pain. As we age, some parts of our body decline in function, including the bone density and muscle mass related to the spine. Unfortunately, this can result in osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis, eventually causing back pain.
After gaining weight due to a high-calorie diet, genetics, old age, etc., it can make your spine suffer and quicken its degenerative process. Then, you’ll experience conditions like herniated disks or spinal stenosis, resulting in back pain.
When you smoke, the toxins in the cigarette can enter your blood, flowing to your spine and weakening its disk. Also, when you keep smoking, you might get osteoporosis, which can cause back pain.
We cannot control everything, including accidents that can be dreadful or fatal. Back pain-related accidents include falls, sports injuries, car accidents, etc. In the process, the back structure may be damaged, including muscles, ligaments, and spinal disks, resulting in acute or chronic back pain.
When you don’t exercise, you’ll weaken the muscles. Exercising like stretching, waking, jogging, etc., warms the muscles and helps you avoid strains and sprains that cause back pain.
Some diseases can cause back pain in several ways. They can either weaken the bones, affect the spine’s structure, cause inflammation to the joints, cause tumors on the spine, etc. Some include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, cancer, etc.
Types Of Back Pain
There are various types of back pain, and they include axial pain, radicular pain, referred pain, and chronic back pain. Muscle strain, poor posture, or overexertion are often associated with axial back pain, a dull ache, or a sharp sensation. This pain doesn’t exceed the back region.
Conditions like herniated disk or spinal stenosis are associated with radicular pain (radiculopathy). This back pain can extend to the leg as a sharp pain when a nerve root is irritated or compressed. Meanwhile, conditions like kidney stones or pancreatitis are associated with referred back pain, which can extend to other body parts, including the hips, thighs, or buttocks.
Lastly, injuries or structural issues in the spine are associated with chronic back pain. It occurs when you realize that your back hasn’t been resolved yet; instead, it has surpassed over three months.
Treatment Of Back Pain
There are several ways to treat back pain. You can consider over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or prescription medications to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Moreover, you can do exercises like stretching, bird dog, wall sits, hamstring stretches, partial crunches, etc., to strengthen the back muscles, enhance flexibility, and reduce pain.
Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area will also help to lower inflammation, soothe muscle spasms, and temporarily relieve back pain. If the back pain is severe, injecting corticosteroids into the affected area is another option to get similar results. Furthermore, for illnesses like herniated disks, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disk disease, surgery will reduce pressure and stabilize the spine nerves.
Back pain can affect most older people, and other factors can contribute to it. However, it can be treated through medication, exercises, surgery, etc.