Back pain is one of the disorders that received the highest number of complaints. Approximately 60 million Americans have grumbled of back pain. Doctors also say that 80% of Americans will experience this condition at some point in their lives.
Any person of any age can suffer from back pain, but you are more prone to feel back pain if you are between the ages 35 to 55.
Health specialists point out that back pain has something to do with the harmony of motion of your bones, muscles, and ligaments. The more stress these body parts bear, the greater possibility you experience pain. Hence, your posture while sitting and standing may trigger back pain.
Types of back pain
Back pains may be classified into the areas where it is located. Health professionals categorize them to upper back pain, middle back pain, lower back pain, or low back pain with sciatica.
Back pain, especially if felt regularly and severely, can also be a symptom of a health condition or injury such as:
- Ankylosing spondylitis – a disease that can lead to some parts of the vertebrae in the spine to fuse together
- Bulging, ruptured, or slipped disks
- Cancer of the spine
- Muscle or ligament strain
- Sciatica – pain in the lower back originating from a spinal nerve root compression in the region
- Shoulder inflammation
- Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis
To know if you have any of the above severe conditions, experts advise you to consult with doctors. If your doctors clear you of these ailments and still experience back pain, your condition might be triggered by the following risk factors:
- Aging – the older you get, the more susceptible you are to back and other forms of pain
- Gender – females experience more back pain than males
- Mentally stressful and straining job
- Pregnancy, since additional weight adds pressure at the back
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Smoking – inhaling toxic substances in cigarettes can lead to back pain
- Sleep disorders – those who suffer insufficient sleep are prone to experience back pain
- Strenuous physical exercise and work, especially if not done properly
Causes of back pain
Our actions and internal events in our body contribute to back pain. Introducing any stress on any part of the network of nerves, muscles, and bones can cause pain in the back area. Here are the kinds of stress that our backs experience in the posterior part of our body:
Muscle strain – this is the most common source of back pain. This suffering is usually triggered by over- and improper use of muscles such as:
- Strained muscle and ligaments
- Lifting improperly and lifting heavy objects
- Abrupt and awkward movement
- Muscle cramps
Structural problems – problems in the internal organs in your body can strain your muscles. Irregularities since birth and diseases mentioned above can also generate pain.
Improper posture – Your posture can result in muscle strains that cause and even worsen back pain. Awkward body movements and everyday activities such as long periods of sitting can burden the middle and lower back.
Relieving and preventing back pain
There are ways to relieve back pain, and most of them have to do with our movements and the condition of our muscles. Here are some simple steps to relieve pain in the back:
- Exercise regularly to strengthen and stretch your muscles – The more flexible and firm your muscles are, the more capable they can bear the stress. Even simple daily stretching and strength exercise, especially those targeting the back can relieve the pain.
- Maintain your posture – Irregular posture can put pressure on the back. As much as possible, your spine should be leveled horizontally. Habitual slouching can strain some parts of your back and may even result in deformation of your back.
- Choose the right mattress in sleeping – You spend one-third of your life sleeping. During this moment, your back can take an improper posture that can cause back problems. Spine doctors suggest you buy quality bed products such as gel memory foam mattress that give adequate support to your back whatever your position is all throughout your sleep. Your mattress also affects the quality of your sleep, which you need for keeping a pain-free back.
- Take regular breaks from sitting – Sitting for long periods can stress your back muscles. You need to stand up and go away from your desk to loosen the muscles in your back.
- Take some alternative treatments – Taking regular sessions of yoga, back massage, and chiropractic care can relieve the pressure on your back.
Back pain is a common condition that can be treated if addressed properly. With regular consultations with your doctor and forming the habits above, your back can be freed from strain and pain.
Ethan Wright is a health enthusiast who believes every great day begins with a good night sleep. He is currently a researcher and writer for Bedding Stock, an online retailer of gel memory foam mattress in the USA. When not wearing his writing hat, you will see him traveling to places with his journal.