The back pain
I have an awful back pain! What should I do? You’ve probably said that at least once in your life. Or, you’ve heard someone saying that.
You feel a twitch in the upper or middle back, then a heaviness and a strange stab of pain. It strikes without warning: when you’re walking, carrying groceries, crossing the street, bending over, or only turning on a faucet.
The belt of pain pounding across your back is exhausting. You think, ‘What’s happening? What did I do wrong?’ You start to move, but you feel as though you’re cut in half.
Unfortunately, such pain won’t go away, not at all. And IF the issue does disappear in a few days or completely, studies show otherwise.
Over time, the back pain might return in approximately 50 % of patients. Upper or middle back pain can become your bully. It can also become more severe, lasting for weeks, months, or years.
Such an issue can isolate you from friends and family, leaving you miserable and anxious.
How does your back work?
The backbone or the spine is one of the sturdiest parts of our bodies. It gives us strength and flexibility.
The spine is comprised of 24 bones, dubbed the vertebrae. They’re placed one on top of the other.
These vertebrae have some strong discs in between and many powerful muscles and ligaments around them for the best support.
At the bottom of the back, we also have some bones. They are blended and have no discs. And then, there is the either side of the spine. It runs from bottom to top and has lots of small joints.
The spinal cord has a more significant role. It passes inside the vertebrae and protects it.
It cord joins the brain through the base of our skull and to the rest of our body parts by nerves. The nerves, also known as nerve roots, pass through spaces between the bones of the spine.
As we evolve, the structures of your spine, such as ligaments, joints, and discs, age. Sometimes, though, the back pain we experience is not because we age.
Let’s find out the causes and understand the issues better.
Why does my back hurts?
Back pain is a disease that troubles many people. According to researches, seven of ten people will experience back pain at least once during their lifetime.
It’s considered one of the most common reasons some people go to see a doctor.
Luckily, back pain can be treated and prevented efficiently. Also, you shouldn’t worry about surgery, because it is rarely needed.
Let’s take a close look at some back pain causes, and understand better the source of pain.
Back pain usually arises from strained ligaments and muscles, after a sudden movement, or heavy lifting. Sometimes a muscle spasm can result in back pain.
In some situations, back pain might be caused by structural issues, such as:
- Skeletal anomalies. Back pain can arise if your spine bends awkwardly. Scoliosis, for example, is a condition in which your spine arcs to the side, leading to back pain, sometimes more severe than you imagine.
- Sciatica. If a protruding disk pushes on the primary nerve that moves down your leg, and lower back, it can cause sciatica nerve pain. The pain could be sharp and sometimes excruciating.
- Ruptured and protruding disks. Disks are like little cushions between the vertebrae. Sometimes, the smooth material inside a disk could protrude out of place or rupture. Such a condition is strange because many people who experienced this didn’t feel a thing.
- Osteoporosis. Compression fractures of your spine’s vertebrae can happen if your bones turn fragile and porous.
- Arthritis. The joints most frequently affected by osteoarthritis are the lower back, hips, knees, and hands. There are situations when arthritis in the spine can lead to spinal stenosis.
Back pain risk factors
Factors that raise your risk of developing back pain are:
- sedentary work
- older age
- physically strenuous work
- stressful job
When should you go to the doctor?
You should consider seeking medical support if back pain starts to trouble you more than usual.
See a doctor if your back pain:
- causes numbness, bladder issues, weakness, new bowel, or tingling in one or both legs
- follows a blow, fall to your back or other injuries
- the pain Is intense, mainly when you lie down
- it’s associated with pulsation or pain in the abdomen, or even fever
- or, followed by unexplained weight loss
Also, if you start having back pain for the first time and you’re over 50 years old, see a doctor immediately.
Diagnosis and other tests
If you seek medical support, the doctor will examine your back, your ability to walk, sit, stand, and lift your legs. Your reflexes will be testes with a rubber reflex hammer.
These methods help determine the source of pain. However, your doctor might order you one or more tests such as an X-ray, bone scan, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imagining), CT (Computerized Tomography), electromyography, or bone scan.
Back pain treatment
Most back pains get better in a couple of weeks of careful attention and home treatment. Over-the-counter pain relievers might do the trick, and a short period of bed rest is also efficient.
But, your doctor might suggest you some therapies or stronger medications if home treatments aren’t working.
Here are a few examples
In some cases, your doctor might prescribe some medication. From muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, to narcotics such as hydrocodone or codeine, your prescription might include one of these.
Physical exercise and therapy
Physical therapy comprises a variety of treatments, such as ultrasound, muscle-release techniques, heat, ice, or electrical stimulation. All these procedures are applied to your soft tissues and back muscled to diminish the pain.
The therapist can teach you a series of exercises to boost up your flexibility and enhance your back and abdominal strength.
If none of the mentioned above methods don’t relieve your pain, your doctor might recommend injections with cortisone. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory medication.
Botox, medically known as botulism toxin, has been proved to relieve back pain.
How could you prevent back pain?
Start as soon as possible to improve your physical condition. Learn and begin practicing the right body mechanics.
To maintain your back strong and healthy, why don’t you:
- keep a healthy weight
- quit smoking
- build muscle flexibility and strength
Also, consider these body mechanics:
- lift clever
- stand smart
- sit smart
Curious about some alternative medicine?
Many people tried the following and obtained excellent results:
- massage seems to do wonders if your back pain is caused by overworked or tense muscles
- chiropractic care is one of the most popular alternative medicine for back pain
- acupuncture is one of the most ancient methods of relieving back pain. The National Institutes of Health has discovered that acupuncture can be a fantastic treatment for some kinds of chronic pain
Diagnosis is considered an art and a science, too, and finding out why does your back hurt sometimes is a challenge. Pain moves along the puzzling nervous system ways, so the source of pain might be far from where it is supposed to be.
The pain can affect your feelings and lifestyle. You should be cautious when the first signs of back pain occur.
It is significant to know your body and be aware of specific changes. Remember, if you’re feeling insecure, seek medical help.
There are lots of treatments ready to make you feel better, so don’t hesitate, as your life is so important.