Four out of every five people suffer from an achy back, as back pain has been cited as one of the most common complaints among Americans, with approximately 80% of all Americans having experienced low back pain at least once in their lives, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Back pain can range from dull, constant aches to sudden, sharp jabs that make it hard to move—it can also begin very quickly during the onset of a sudden fall or when doing heavy lifting. This back pain can get worse slowly over long periods of time.
Experts claim that back pain is associated with the way the bones, muscles, and ligaments in the back work and connect together. Typically, pain in the lower back is linked to the discs between the vertebrae, the bony lumbar spine, as well as ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdomen, and pelvic internal organs. Pain in the upper back may be due to disorders of the aorta, tumors in the chest, and spine inflammation.
Are you in a world of pain? Here are some nasty culprits to bad backs and other related symptoms to take careful note of.
Causes of Back Pain
Because the human back is composed of a complex structure of muscles, ligaments, tendons, disks, and bones, any problems with any of these components can and will lead to some sort of back pain.
There are a number of ways to wreck your back, but a few major offenders including not stretching, not paying attention to your movements, and years of wear and tear are most often to blame. Here are some other causes of back pain:
• Strains or Spasms – The most common causes of back pain are strained ligaments and muscle spasms, which can be caused by improperly lifting something, lifting something too heavy, or abrupt and awkward movements.
• Structural Problems – Issues such as arthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica, ruptured or bulging disks, and an abnormal curvature of the spine (i.e. scoliosis) can also cause unpleasant back pain.
• Infections or Cancer – More serious culprits like Cauda equina syndrome, cancer or infection of the spine, or other infections like pelvic inflammatory disease, shingles, and bladder or kidney infections may also lead to back pain.
• Sleep disorders and Bad Mattresses – Individuals with sleep disorders are more likely to experience back pain, compared to others. Also, if a mattress does not support specific parts of the body and keep the spine straight, there is a greater risk of developing back pain.
Ways to Prevent Back Pain
Though an all too common daily hassle for many, there are steps to be taken to lower the risk of developing back pain that mainly consist of simply addressing some risk factors.
Regular exercise is key, as it helps build strength in the muscles, as well as keeping body weight down. It’s been said that along with activities that do not strain or jerk the back, low-impact Aerobics activities are best. The two main types of exercise that people can do to reduce the risk of back pain are core-strengthening exercises (exercises that work the abdominal and back muscles, helping to strengthen muscles that protect the back) and flexibility exercises, which are aimed at improving flexibility in the core, including the spine, hips, and upper legs.
Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight if needed is also important since the amount of weight people carry (as well as where they carry it) affects the risk of developing back pain. The difference in back pain risk between obese and normal-weight individuals is considerable.
Strong bone health from ample calcium and vitamin D every day also helps, along with not smoking and practicing good posture both sitting and standing. Be sure also to avoid heavy lifting whenever possible and when unavoidable, make sure to lift by bending the legs and keeping the back as straight as possible.
Let Us Help
For many people, back pain seems like an unavoidable discomfort. But you may have more control than you think. To learn more about treatments options and to find out how to best manage symptoms, contact Yashar Neurosurgery today.
Over the years, Doctor Yashar has become a preeminent Neurosurgeon in the Los Angeles, San Fernando, and Santa Clarita areas, specializing on all aspects within the field of Neurosurgery, along with a special emphasis on both Spinal Surgery and Interventional Neurosurgical Procedures. He and his team are committed to providing compassionate care and empathy to all of their patients.