There are ways to avoid surrendering your mobility and happiness to debilitating back pain. Knowing how back pain occurs and how to alleviate it will help you live pain-free and prevent future occurrences.
yourfootpalace.com gathered information on why we experience back pain and several ways to find relief, and how you can stop it from happening again.
Back Pain Causes
Back strains and sprains are the most typical causes of back pain. You can injure muscles, tendons, or ligaments when lifting something excessively heavy or not lifting an item in the correct manner. More sensitive people can even strain their back just by sneezing, coughing, twisting, or bending over. Other common causes of back pain include:
- Osteomyelitis (discitis)
- Bulging or ruptured disks
- Poor posture habits
- Nicotine consumption (cigarettes, vape, chew)
- Kidney failure
- Kidney stones
- Violent sports-related impacts
While these are all contributing causes to back pain, there are some signs that should alert you to the need to seek medical attention. These signs include:
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness
- Persisting pain after an accident
- Pain is worse at certain times or in certain positions
- Difficulties with your bowels or urination
- Pain for more than seven days
- The pain extends to other body parts
- Unexplained weight loss
- You’re running a fever
These signs may seem innocuous, but they may indicate a far more severe condition than a simple sprain.
Tip: Avoid self-medicating with any over-the-counter medications until consulting a physician. Primarily if you are already taking any prescription medications.
Recognize Different Types of Back Pain
Back pain may be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Back pain can be a sudden, sharp, and debilitating pain or a dull, annoying, and constant ache.
Acute Back Pain – This pain lasts from a couple of days to a few weeks. It is typically caused by an accident, fall, or improper lifting. Acute back pain will usually get better on its own, without any type of treatment. However, there may be times when you should seek medical care.
Chronic Back Pain – This type of back pain lasts for more than 3 months and is much less common than acute back pain. Typically, chronic back pain can be successfully treated without surgery.
Ways to Relieve Back Pain
Depending on the source and severity of your back pain, there are a few remedies that may help ease the pain or discomfort until your back returns to normal. Consider the following:
- Cold compresses or an ice pack
- Physical activity
- Limited bed rest
- Spinal Manipulation or adjustment (Chiropractor)
- Exercise to strengthen your core muscles
- Sleep with a pillow under your knees
- Increase your calcium and vitamin D consumption
- Change your shoes (less than 1-inch heels)
- Correct your standing and sitting posture
- Halt all nicotine consumption (cigarettes, vape, chew)
- Lose excess weight
- Topical rubs and ointments
Surgery may be considered for people with structural abnormalities/defects, nerve compression, or spinal cord compression. However, surgery is usually reserved for those that haven’t responded to non-surgical treatments with medication and therapy.
Note: Once considered the “gold standard” of back pain treatment, bed rest has fallen out of favor. Doctors now realize that it’s better to keep moving so muscles don’t stiffen.
Preventing Back Pain
An intelligent approach to preventing back pain is to keep your back muscles flexible and strong. The following steps will help protect your back and prevent back pain:
- Exercise and stretch at least 2 days a week
- Practice proper posture by standing and sitting up straight
- Avoid excessively heavy or awkward lifting. (When lifting from below waist level, bend your knees and keep your back straight). This makes your leg muscles do most of the work
- Get active and eat healthily
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can severely strain your back
- Destress by participating in activities you enjoy
Tip: Pain and discomfort are ways that your body uses to communicate that something is not right. Masking any type of pain with over-the-counter medications or just ignoring it can exacerbate the principal cause.
Why Does My Back Hurt?
In this article, you discovered why back pain can occur, how to relieve it, when to seek medical attention, and what you can do to prevent it.
Addressing your back pain can help you relieve it, prevent the development of other, more severe health concerns, and maintain your pleasant disposition.
Ignoring or self-medicating back pain can allow it to mask more severe underlying conditions and potentially cause your debilitation or hospitalization.
Disclaimer: None of the content on this site, regardless of subject or date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician.