What are the common factors that cause back pain?
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Back pain is a common problem. You can identify it by a shooting, burning sensation. The pain gets worse if you bend and twist, or while walking or standing for a long time. There are certain simple home treatments that can fix your back pain or provide relief. It is rarely the case when you may need to undergo surgery to treat back pain. Back pain can be identified by the doctor with the help of a test or an imaging study.
Common causes of back pain are:
Muscle or ligament strain
In our day to day life we indulge in strenuous activities and these may knowingly or unknowingly cause back pain. Activities such as heavy lifting can strain your back muscles and ligaments. A sudden movement can sometimes cause painful muscle spasms.
Bulging or ruptured discs
Discs act as cushions between the bones and the soft material inside them can bulge or rupture causing severe back pain.
Osteoarthritis not only causes joint problems, it also affects the lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can occur and lead to a condition called spinal stenosis.
This is another condition where your spine’s bones become porous and brittle. This may lead to back pain.
It is true that anyone can develop back pain, including children. However, older people are at higher risk of experiencing back pain.
Lack of exercise
If you have weak muscles that you do not use much to perform daily activities, it may lead to back pain.
If you are obese or overweight, it naturally means there’s extra stress on your back and it causes back pain.
People who are prone to depression and anxiety have a greater risk of back pain.
Smokers are more prone to have back pain. This is because people who smoke will cough more, which leads to herniated disks. Smoking also decreases blood flow to the spine and may cause osteoporosis.
Here are a few ways to prevent back pain:
- To keep your back healthy and strong, exercise regularly. You can try doing low-impact activities that don't strain your back, rather strengthen and allow your muscles to function better.
- Be careful about your body weight. If you are overweight, you may experience excess back pain.
- Quit smoking as it increases your risk of low back pain.
- Stand in the correct position. Try not to stand for too long as it puts stress on your lower back. A good standing posture can reduce the stress on back muscles.
- Same is the case with sitting. Choose a comfortable seat with back support, armrests. Do not sit in the same position for long hours. You must get up, walk around and change your position frequently.
- Avoid heavy lifting. In case you have to do it, keep your back straight and bend only at the knees. Hold the load close to your body and you can also ask someone for help.
Back pain is so common that numerous products are available in the market which claims to treat it. Products may range from pain relief sprays, special shoes, back supports to waist belts, mattresses, etc. but you must see a doctor who can examine your condition and suggest what’s best for you. While most back pain gradually improves with self-care and home remedies within a few weeks, if you have a back pain for longer or one that doesn't get better, seek immediate care for your back pain.