- Back pain is a common complaint worldwide, leading to disability and missed workdays.
- Poor posture, physical inactivity, emotional stress, and a poor diet are common causes of back pain.
- Early diagnosis, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, medications, and surgery may be used to treat back pain.
- Maintaining good posture, staying active, reducing stress, and eating balanced diets can help prevent back pain.
- Treatment options for back pain should be tailored to the individual’s condition and lifestyle habits for maximum effectiveness and improved quality of life.
Back pain is one of the most common complaints among people all over the world. It has become so common that many consider it a part of everyday life. However, there is nothing normal about having recurring bouts of back pain. It is essential to identify the cause of the pain and address it appropriately. Here’s what you need to know about it, why it happens, and how to get treated.
Back Pain: How Common Is It?
It’s estimated that about 16% of the population in the United Kingdom reports having chronic back pain. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide, accounting for more days off work than any other condition. In the United States, it is the second-most common form of musculoskeletal pain and the most common reason people visit their doctor or a hospital’s emergency department.
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain can have various causes. Here are some of the most common:
One of the most common reasons for back pain is poor posture. When we spend hours sitting, standing, or walking with our heads down, shoulders hunched, or spine poorly aligned, we stress our spinal cords, often leading to back pain. To prevent back pain due to poor posture, ensure that you sit with your spine upright, shoulders relaxed, and your feet firmly on the ground. If you spend long hours working at a desk, investing in an ergonomic chair that provides enough support and encourages good posture would be helpful.
A sedentary lifestyle is another common reason for back pain. When you fail to maintain an active lifestyle, you weaken the spinal muscles and make yourself more susceptible to back pain. Regular exercise helps to strengthen the back muscles, prevent injuries, and promote overall health. You can start with low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, or walking and gradually increase the intensity as your fitness level improves.
Poor Sleeping Habits
How we sleep at night can also contribute to back pain. Sleeping on your stomach places pressure on the lower back while sleeping on your side can cause misalignment of the spine, leading to discomfort. It is best to sleep on your back or side with a pillow under your knees to help maintain the spine’s natural curvature.
Stress can take a significant toll on your body, including your back. Emotional stress can lead to muscle tension and knots in the back muscles. Practicing mindfulness, meditation, or yoga can help reduce stress levels, leading to decreased back pain.
A poor diet can lead to inflammation and weight gain, which can cause back pain. Foods high in sugar, fats, and salts can cause inflammation. Eating a balanced diet consisting of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats is best. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can also help prevent dehydration, which can cause muscle aches and spasms.
There are various treatment options for back pain. Here are four of those treatment options:
You must get diagnosed with any spinal problems early on. A reliable DEXA scan service can do this. This scan utilizes X-rays or CT scans to assess the bones and joints of the spine. This allows for early identification of potential problems, enabling you to begin treatment without delay.
Physiotherapists can help individuals with back pain by combining exercises, stretching, massage therapy, and other techniques to strengthen the skeletal muscles and promote better posture.
Chiropractors use spinal manipulative therapies such as manual adjustments and mobilization to help restore joint movement and reduce pain. If done correctly, these treatments can improve the quality of life for those with chronic back pain.
If lifestyle changes do not provide sufficient relief from back pain, your doctor may recommend medications such as over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or opioids.
Surgery may be an option if your back pain is severe and does not respond to the above treatments. Your doctor can help you determine if this option is right for you.
Back pain can be a debilitating condition that affects our ability to go about our daily tasks without discomfort. Understanding the causes of back pain and how to treat it effectively is essential. By taking preventative measures such as changing your lifestyle habits, seeing a doctor early on for diagnosis, and seeking appropriate treatment options, you can manage back pain more effectively and improve your quality of life.