An Ultimate Guide to Back Pain
With muscles, ligaments, nerves, and the spinal cord, your back is a well-built structure. They function together in a systematic manner to support your spinal column and body. The back is a versatile structure in your body but can be vulnerable to injuries and certain health conditions.
The spinal column is the main part of your back. It is safeguarded by 33 vertebrae bones, which pile up one over the other to form a spinal canal. There are five sections to your spine:
- Cervical spine (upper spine)
- Thoracic spine (middle part of the spine)
- Lumbar spine (lower spine)
- Sacrum (bottom part of the spine)
- Coccyx (tailbone)
Each section of your spine is delegated to perform different functions. if the functions of these parts get affected by any health conditions or trauma, it can result in back pain.
However, if the functions of these parts get affected by any health conditions or trauma, it can result in back pain.
Sitting and working for an extended period of time, engaging in vigorous activities, and stress can also lead to back pain. The prevalence of back pain is on the rise these days, with almost every middle-aged person suffering from it at some time.
Back pain can range from a dull ache to a shooting, sharp pain in the spine. The pain may be intermittent, constant, worsen with certain activities such as exercise or sitting for too long etc.
However, back pain may be annoying and interfere with your daily activities; fortunately, the majority of back pain conditions improve or disappear within a few months with proper care and treatment.
Causes Of Back Pain
Back pain can affect people of any age for a variety of reasons. As you age, your risk of suffering from lower back pain increases due to degenerative disk diseases and problems associated with vertebral discs, lumbar spine, ligaments, nerves and lower back muscles etc.
Upper back pain might be caused by aorta disorders, tumours in the chest, inflammation of the spine, etc. Upper back pain can result from aortic disorders, chest tumours, spinal injuries, etc. Any problem with the components of your spine may lead to back pain, and sometimes the cause is also unclear.
Back Pain Due To Strain
Strain, tension, or trauma are the most common causes of back pain.
- Strained muscles or ligaments in your back
- Muscle spasms
- Overstretched muscles
- An injured vertebral disc
- Vehicle accidents, falls, etc. that cause fractures or injuries.
Activities that result in muscle strains or spasms are:
- Improper lifting of objects
- Lifting too much weight without following safety precautions
- When you make an awkward or abrupt movement, especially while playing sports
Back Pain Due To Structural problems
Problems related to the components in the spine structure and some other spinal conditions can also cause back pain.
- Disk rupture
- Bulging disks
- Osteoarthritis of the spine
- Abnormal shape of the spine like scoliosis
- Kidney problems
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Movement & Posture
Back pain can also result from everyday activities and poor posture:
- Coughing or sneezing that is severe
- Over-stretching muscles
- Bending awkwardly or performing certain movements that involve the spine
- Continuously pushing, pulling, or lifting something heavy
- Spending long periods of time sitting or standing
- Sleeping in an improper position
- While using a computer or driving, if your neck is hunched forward or wrongly postured, it can lead to upper back pain
The following medical conditions can also cause back pain:
- A condition known as cauda equina syndrome
- Spinal cancer
- Spinal infection
- Bladder infections and kidney infections
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Sleeping disorders (Insomnia)
There are several risk factors that may contribute to low back pain:
- Activities related to your profession
- Pregnancy in women
- Sedentary lifestyle habits
- Lack of physical activity
- Overweight or obesity
- Drinking & smoking
- Strenuous physical activities
- Genetic problems
Statistically, women are more likely to experience lower back pain compared to men. It may be attributed to hormonal factors.
Back Pain Treatment
In some milder back pain cases, it resolves by taking some rest and following home remedies. Occasionally, medical treatment is necessary, depending on the cause. The treatment intends to manage the underlying cause of back pain.
Safe pain management techniques like taking rest, using ice, and applying heat are effective. In addition to self-care, medications, therapies, and surgery are available.
A spine doctor might recommend medicines depending on the back pain cause and severity:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) medications used as pain relievers.
- Muscle relaxants
- Topical pain relievers
- Narcotics like oxycodone or hydrocodone
- Chronic back pain can be relieved by antidepressants such as duloxetine and amitriptyline
It is important to take these medications under the guidance of a spine specialist because incorrect dosages and medications can cause other problems.
Physical therapy and massage therapy are also an effective option to get relief from back pain.
Surgery for back pain
A spine surgeon would suggest surgery to treat back pain only when the patient experiences severe disc problems, spinal abnormalities, spinal instability, compressed nerves, etc. The surgical procedures for these include:
- Spinal fusion
- Correction of spinal deformities
- And other decompression techniques
Back pain can be treated in one way or another. Over the past few decades, many procedures have been developed to treat back problems. If you experience any back pain problems, don’t hesitate to consult our specialist doctors at Premier Hospital in Hyderabad.
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Santosh Kumar Paila