There was probably a time when we visited the doctor or nurse complaining of back pains. Perhaps we have also experienced a dull ache around our back area when we get up quickly or picking things up from the floor. Back pains are a common ailment for a lot of people and are not a comfortable or pleasing experience. Despite that, back pains are usually not treated as a serious condition. Back pains occur because of a variety of medical conditions that involve parts of the back like the muscles, ligaments, nerves and the vertebra or vertebrae, which are the bony structures that make up the spine.
Back pains can happen to anyone at any age. However, back pains are noticeably common among adults between the ages 30 to 50 years old. According to experts when we experience back pains, it is because of the way the ligaments, bones, and muscles are connected and how it is working together.
The anatomy of our back
To better understand why back pains occur, our backs are made up of a series of intrinsic structures that involve the bones, muscles, ligaments, disks, tendons. Padded cartilage that looks like disks cushions our spine to keep it from injuries. However, when problems occur in these areas, it can often lead to back pain. Usually, the cause of back pain is not always found.
How does a back pain happen?
When back pain occurs, it is usually noted by the following symptoms:
– A sudden stabbing or shooting pain that can go all the way from the back to the foot
– A dull, painful feeling around the lower back
– Standing up straight becomes increasingly difficult
– A decreased ability to move around and difficulty flexing the back
Often, these symptoms occur but is short-lived and can only last a few days or weeks. However, when the symptoms occur for more than three months, it is known as chronic back pain.
What are the causes of back pain?
There are a lot of reasons why back pains can happen to many of us. The most common problems are strains or misuse of our back or problems with the structure.
When our back muscles and ligaments are strained or misused, it will cause aches in our back. Strains usually happen when we move our backs at an incorrect position like lifting things off the ground when we move to an abrupt and awkward position. For example, lifting objects that are heavy and improperly can cause a strain on the back.
The other common cause of back pain is when there are problems with the structure of our back involving the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and disks. These structural problems include:
- Osteoporosis – When our bones become brittle and damaged, including the spine’s vertebrae, the fractures can likely happen and cause back pain.
- Arthritis – This is when problems occur with the joints in the lower back, hips, hands, and knees which can cause lower back as a result.
- Bulging or ruptured disks – this occurs when the cartilage that is cushioning the vertebrae in our spine gets ruptured or bulges, there will be pressures on the nerve, resulting in back pain.
- Sciatica – this happens when a sudden shooting pain that travels from the buttocks down to the leg because of the ruptured or bulging disks which cause pressure on the nerve.
- Scoliosis – people with scoliosis usually have their spines curved abnormally or unusually. This would result in back pain.
There are also severe problems that can cause chronic back pains. However, these are often rare. The best way to have this condition checked by a specialist if these problems are regularly experienced. The other causes that can be determined when common causes are being ruled out are:
– When the vertebral body is being displaced, a condition called generative spondylolisthesis.
– When there’s a loss of function of the nerves at the lower portion of the spinal cord. This is a condition called equine cauda syndrome.
– The spinal canal becomes narrowed or thinned or what is called spinal stenosis.
– If there is cancer or tumor in the spine area.
– When there is a bacterial or fungal infection in the spine.
Not only can the problems stated above cause back pains. Often, our everyday activities which give us bad posture can contribute to the cause of our back pains. Activities like lifting heavy objects, moving awkwardly, standing or sitting for extended periods, straining the neck when using the computer or driving.
While back pains can be unpleasant, there are cases when back pains can resolve itself without medical attention. All it needs is just home treatment and being careful about how we use our backs. Below are some ways you can do to relieve problems of back pain.
- Applying oil or ointment
There are plenty of ointments and rubs that can help relieve the pain of back pain. Other forms of this can be through gels, creams, patches that you can apply on the affected area to reduce the symptoms
- A hearty body massage
There are a lot of scientific studies that prove the benefits of body massage. Gentle massages is a good way to ease the sores and tensed muscles as well as provide a soothing and calming sensation. Massage therapies are noted to reduce back pain and improve posture effectively.
- Do yoga or stretches daily
Exercises or daily stretches can help people with back pains. Not only that, it helps loosen the tensed muscles and restore them to prevent future problems. Suggested stretching or yoga poses that can help include cobra pose, press-ups, and standing backbends.
- Types of food to eat to relieve back pain
What we also eat matters when it comes to relieving back pain. Although the studies are still minimal, eating less food that contains high amounts of acid and more that is alkaline. Adding herbal and food supplements can also help back support.
- Posture is important
Since many of us are spending a lot of time sitting or standing, it is important to know that it can be bad for our backs than we realize. Improving our posture can help relieve and reduce the symptoms of back pain. When you are on the computer, it’s important that the keyboards are within reach to avoid slumping.
- Be attentive to your sleeping positions
Sleeping positions can contribute to back pains. When you sleep on your back, place a pillow underneath your feet. This way, it can help align your back and prevent back pain and aches when you wake up. If you like to sleep on the side, place a pillow between your knees to help ease the muscles and prevent tension.
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