Back pain is one of the most commonly faced problem in today’s time. According to the latest data, approximately 80% of Americans are living with low back pain or have experienced it at least once in their life. While back pain is an uncomfortable and painful situation, it is not a serious disorder. However, it is advised to seek a medical help if you are feeling significant weak because of your back pain.
Back pain causes
The human body is made up of a complex structure of muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments. The spinal bone at the back is cushioned with cartilage-like pads and any problem with this component leads to pain in the back. There are certain instances when the real cause of back pain has not been found.
Some of the most common causes of back pain include:
- Strain: You might get a back pain if you are suffering from strained muscles, strained ligaments, or a muscle spasm. You can also experience a back pain by lifting something too heavy or lifting something improperly.
- Structural Problem: If you are experiencing a back pain there are high chances that you might be suffering from ruptured discs. Patients suffering from arthritis also experience pain in their joints, lower back, hands and knees.
- Cancer or infection: A tumor located on the spinal cord or a person with tender warm area can also experience back pain, which only worsens with time.
- Poor Posture: One of the most commonly observed reasons of back pain is wrong posture. Bending awkwardly, standing for a long period, pushing something. Carrying someone, muscle tension, over-stretching and bending down for long periods can cause back pain.
Sign and Symptoms
Back pain is recognized by pain anywhere in the back, sometimes traveling down to the legs and buttocks. In a majority of cases, the signs and symptoms become clear within a short span of time.
If you are seeing any of the following signs accompanying the back pain, go see a doctor:
- Elevated Body Temperature.
- Pain Down The Legs.
- Weight Loss.
- Pain Reaching The Knees.
- Inflammation on The Back.
- Difficulty Urinating.
- Trauma or Blow to the Back.
- Numbness Around the Buttock.
- Fecal Incontinence.
- Persistent Pain in The Back.
Back pain is associated with a number of risk factors. Read on to know more!
- A sedentary Lifestyle.
- A mentally Stressful Job.
- Older Adults are More Susceptible to Back Pain.
- Female Experience Back Pain More Than Males.
- Pregnant Women are Much More Likely to Get a Lower Back Pain.
- Anxiety and Depression.
- Obesity and Improper Posture.
- Strenuous Physical Exercise or Improper Workout.
Diagnosing Back Pain
General physicians are able to diagnose a back pain after conducting a physical examination. However, there are some further tests that can be recommended by the doctor to suspect back problems. Some of them are:
- X-rays: X-ray is often used to see the alignment of the bones and to check whether the patient is suffering from broken bones or not. X-rays are not ideal for detecting problems with the spinal cord, discs, muscles or nerves.
- CT scan or MRI: CT scans or MRI is good for revealing problems with tissues, blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, and bones.
- EMG: Electromyography or EMG measure the electrical impulses produced by the nerves. This study is used to confirm nerve compression that occurs with spinal stenosis or herniated discs.
- Chiropractor: A chiropractor generally diagnoses back pain by visual inspection or by touching. Most chiropractors also ask the patients to get imaging scan results along with blood and urine tests.
Treatment for Back Pain
If you have been thinking how you can get the lower back pain treated, there are a variety of ways to do the same.
- Heat and Ice Packs.
Back pain is generally treated with over the counter drugs and painkillers but some doctors suggest the patient to rest for a couple of days to get rid of the problem. If you are suffering from a back pain that does not respond well to OTC painkillers, there are high chances that the doctor will prescribe you NSAIDs.