Back Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention
Back pain remains one of the most common reasons why people visit a doctor or miss work. It also ranks among the leading causes of disability globally. The good news is you can adapt different measures to prevent or relieve most episodes of back pain. If you cannot avoid back pain, simple home remedies and the proper body mechanics can help you get rid of the problem and restore normal function in a few days or weeks. However, you may need to find treatment for back pain in Newtown for the cases that require surgery or pain that does not go away even after trying different home remedies.
Symptoms of Back Pain
Back pain varies from aching muscles to stabbing, shooting, or burning sensations. Additionally, the pain can radiate down the leg or worsen when you bend, twist, lift something, stand, or walk. While most episodes of back pain fade away with effective self-care and home treatment, you may need to see a doctor if the pain goes on for more than a few weeks. Additionally, you may need to seek a doctor’s opinion if:
- You experience severe pain that does not go away with rest.
- The pain spreads down your leg(s), especially if it goes below the knee.
- Causes numbness, weakness, or tingling in the leg(s).
- You notice unexplained weight loss.
Back pain can signify a severe medical condition, especially if it causes new bladder or bowel problems, a fever, or comes after a back injury such as a fall.
Causes of Back Pain
In most cases, back pain comes about due to a cause that your doctor can identify through tests or imaging studies. However, back pain commonly links to conditions such as:
- Muscle and ligament strain- Consistent heavy lifting or sudden awkward movements can strain the spinal ligaments and other muscles in the back. If you are unfit physically, continuously straining the back muscles can result in painful muscle spasms.
- Bulging and ruptured disks- Discs cushion the bones in your spine. In some cases, you can rupture the soft material found in the discs causing them to press on a nerve. However, you can also have a ruptured or bulging disk without feeling any form of pain. A spine X-ray can help identify disc diseases.
- Arthritis- Osteoarthritis is a common cause of lower back pain. In some instances, arthritis affecting the spine can result in the space around the spinal cord becoming narrower. This condition is called spinal stenosis.
- Osteoporosis- This condition causes the vertebrae in your spine to develop painful fractures by causing porosity and brittleness in the bones.
Prevention of Back Pain
You can prevent back pain or recurrence by becoming more physically fit through frequent low-impact aerobic exercises that do not strain the back. Abdominal and back exercises that build muscle flexibility and strength can also help. Additionally, you can maintain a healthy weight and avoid smoking if you want to get rid of persistent back pain. Keeping the correct posture when sleeping, sitting, standing, or lifting can also be of benefit.
In summary, back pain is a common cause of hospital visits and disability. The symptoms include aching muscles, pain that spreads to the legs, and weakness, numbness, or tingling in the legs. Common causes of back pain include osteoporosis, arthritis, bulging and ruptured disks, muscle and ligament strain. Physical fitness, a healthy weight, and quitting smoking can help prevent back pain.