Back pain is a frequent cause of missed work and medical treatment. It can be distressing and debilitating.
It can be caused by an accident, physical exertion, or certain medical disorders. Back pain can strike people of any age and for a variety of reasons. As people age, their risk of having lower back pain increases as a result of variables such as previous profession and degenerative disc disease.
Lower back pain may be caused by the bony lumbar spine, the discs between the vertebrae, the ligaments that surround the spine and discs, the spinal cord and nerves, the lower back muscles, the abdominal and pelvic internal organs, or the skin in the lumbar area.
Upper back pain might be caused by aortic issues, chest tumors, or spine inflammation.
Back discomfort can be caused by spinal problems such as osteoporosis.
The human back is a complicated system comprised of muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, and bones that function in unison to support the body and allow us to move.
The segments of the spine are cushioned by discs, which resemble cartilage.
Back pain can be caused by any of these components. In other instances, the source of back discomfort is unknown.
Strain, medical issues, and poor posture, to name a few, can all cause damage.
Back discomfort is frequently caused by strain, tension, or injury. Back discomfort is frequently caused by the following:
- Muscles or ligaments that have been strained
- A muscular spasm muscle tension injury, fracture, or fall
- Among the activities that can result in strains or spasms are the following:
- Lifting something incorrectly lifting anything that is too heavy in a sudden and clumsy manner
Issues of structure
Back pain can also be caused by a variety of structural issues.
Ruptured discs: Disks cushion each vertebra in the spine. When a disc ruptures, increased pressure is placed on a nerve, resulting in back pain.
Bulging discs: Similar to ruptured discs, a bulging disc can place additional strain on a nerve.
Sciatica: It is a strong, shooting pain that runs down the buttock and down the back of the leg. It is caused by a bulging or herniated disc impinging on a nerve.
Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect the hips, lower back, and other joints. In rare instances, the area surrounding the spinal cord becomes congested. This condition is referred to as spinal stenosis.
Spinal abnormal curvature: If the spine curves abnormally, back pain might follow. Scoliosis is one such condition in which the spine slopes to one side.
Osteoporosis: Bones, particularly the vertebrae of the spine, become brittle and porous, increasing the likelihood of compression fractures.
Kidney problems: Kidney stones or infection of the kidneys might result in back pain.
Related: Shin Pain Causes and Treatment
Circulation and posture
When using computers, adopting a very slumped seating position can result in an increase in back and shoulder difficulties over time.
Back discomfort can also be caused by certain daily activities or bad posture.
Several examples include the following:
twisting coughing or sneezing muscle tension bending awkwardly or for extended periods pushing, pulling, lifting, or carrying something standing or sitting for extended periods straining the neck forward, such as when driving or using a computer long driving sessions without a break, even when not hunched sleeping on a mattress that does not support the body and keeps the spine straight.
Back pain normally resolves on its own with rest and home treatments, but medical treatment may be essential in some cases.
Treatments at home
Pain management medications available over-the-counter (OTC), mostly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can alleviate discomfort. Additionally, applying a hot compress or cold pack to the affected location may help alleviate discomfort.
While resting from heavy activity may be beneficial, moving around will help alleviate stiffness, minimise pain, and prevent muscles from deteriorating.
If self-care measures do not alleviate back pain, a doctor may prescribe the following medicine, physical therapy, or a combination of the two.
Back pain that does not react well to over-the-counter analgesics may require a prescription NSAID. For brief periods, codeine or hydrocodone, both of which are opioids, may be administered. These conditions necessitate close monitoring by a physician. Muscle relaxants may be used in some instances.
Antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, may be prescribed, although research on their usefulness is ongoing, and the data is inconsistent.
Physical therapy: Applying heat, cold, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation to the back muscles and soft tissues, as well as other muscle-release techniques, may assist decrease discomfort.
As the discomfort subsides, the physical therapist may add some back and abdominal muscle flexibility and strength exercises. Additionally, posture-improving techniques may be beneficial.
The patient will be encouraged to continue practising the techniques consistently, even after the pain has subsided, in order to avoid recurrence of back discomfort.