Causes of back pain and its treatment
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Causes of Back Pain
Back pain will inhibit millions of Americans this year, and an estimated 80% of us will experience back pain sometime in our lives. For some, the pain can be excruciating. Back pain can be caused by a large number of injuries or conditions, thus making a proper diagnosis both difficult and critical. Back pain that occurs with other symptoms like fever and chills, severe abdominal pain or bladder and bowel problems can be an indication of a serious medical condition, and should be evaluated by your doctor immediately.
Musculoskeletal strains are more common among people who live sedentary lifestyles. Those with a higher level of physical fitness generally have stronger muscles in the back, legs and abdomen, all of which help support the back. Perhaps the most significant risk factor is obesity. The strain of carrying excess weight can contribute greatly to back pain. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help control obesity, and reduce the frequency of back pain episodes.
There are many conditions that can cause back pain other than musculoskeletal strains. They include:
• Arthritis, a disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Three types of arthritis that affect the spine are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankolyzing spondylitis.
• A herniated disc, or ruptured disc, occurs when the hard outer coating of the discs, the circular pieces of connective tissue that cushion the vertebrae, are damaged. These discs may leak, irritating nearby nerves. A herniated disk can cause severe sciatica, nerve pain that radiates down the leg.
• Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, compressing the nerves inside. It is often caused by bone spurs which are a result of osteoarthritis. Compression of the nerves can lead to pain, numbness in the legs and the loss of bladder or bowel control.
• Spondylolisthesis is a condition where a vertebra of the slips out of place. As the spine tries to stabilize itself, the joints between the slipped vertebra and adjacent vertebrae can become enlarged. This can pinch nerves, causing low back pain and severe sciatica leg pain.
• Vertebral fractures can be caused by trauma or by osteoporosis, a disease where the bones become fragile.
• Degenerative disc disease is an aging process where the discs between the vertebrae break down over time.
How to Prevent Back Pain
Simple lower back pain can be caused by straining the muscles, tendon or ligaments of the lower back. The most effective prevention is to take care as to how you lift heavy objects. Do not try to lift any significant weight by bending over the object. You should bend your knees and then lift with your legs. Avoid twisting your body while lifting. When moving heavy objects, pushing is less stressful than pulling. Routine activities, such as housework or gardening, can cause back pain. Avoid standing flat-footed while bent over.
A sedentary lifestyle will contribute to back problems. Regular exercise will improve the flexibility and strength of the muscles which support your lower back. These include the abdominal muscles, as well as those in the legs and back. A simple exercise routine can help prevent back pain throughout your life. Obesity is a common cause of back pain. Aerobic exercise can help manage weight concerns. Swimming, jogging or even walking are all activities that will help you lose weight and feel better.
In addition to exercise, a proper diet is essential in managing your weight. However, there are also two nutrients, calcium and vitamin D, that help build healthy and strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, which can cause bone fractures that lead to back pain.
Many people whose jobs involve sitting for long periods of time experience back pain. It is important to get up and move around regularly. If driving for long periods of time, take the time to stop and get out of your vehicle.
Stretching your muscles and improving blood flow to your lower body will help prevent back pain, as well as help keep you alert for the rest of your trip.
Changing the position in which you sleep can also help prevent back pain. The best positions are either to sleep lying on your side with your legs bent, or lying on your back with a pillow under your knees. A firm mattress is usually the best bet. A sheet of plywood can be placed between the box spring and the mattress in order to increase the firmness of your bed.
Non-Surgical Treatment for Back Pain
Back pain may be relieved with a variety of techniques. For most common occurrences of back pain, a regiment of rest, hot and cold compresses, exercise and therapy, as well as various pain medications can be used to reduce the pain and provide a level of comfort.
Hot and cold compresses, used separately or by alternating, can have great benefit in reducing back pain. Heat is used to relax the muscles. It works by dilating the blood vessels, which improves the flow of oxygen to the affected area and reduces pain and muscle spasms. Cold packs are used to reduce inflammation, such as that from arthritis or injury. This works by decreasing the size of blood vessels and the flow of blood to the area. It is important to avoid prolonged application of either heat or cold packs, especially near the organs found in the abdominal cavity.
Exercising is of great benefit both to someone suffering from back pain and for anyone hoping to avoid it in the future. If you are suffering from acute back pain, exercising may not be possible or even a good idea.
However, for chronic back pain, a regular exercise program is recommended. Exercises will help strengthen the muscles that support the back, and increase flexibility and range of motion. A physical therapist can help you in developing an exercise plan that is suitable for you and your condition.
Nonprescription medicines can be used to reduce pain. They include medications like aspirin Tylenol, which are meant for general pain relief. Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to reduce swelling. These include such nonprescription medications as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). Stronger prescription-based medication is available, both as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory.
Exercise For Back Pain: Treatments
It is expected that any kind of pain in back is a serious problem, which can affect about 80% of the population. Many people suffer from serious back pain, which can go in a few days or weeks. There are several remedies, which can begin with simple pain relievers and physical therapy to surgery for critical back problems.
The Optional Treatment for Back Pain Many patients are going to have an optional treatment instead of the traditional methods, as they are easy and cost-effective. These methods are beneficial in treating the distress, saving the patient from undergoing medical examinations and unnecessary surgery. This can finally save a lot of money, which is spent on medical bills and health, care costs.
There is one natural treatment for alternative back pain. The examples of some of the alternative treatment methods are as follows:
Acupuncture: Acupuncture needles are placed in a pathway where one feels pain on the back. The needles release the blocked energy from affected areas. In a latest survey on 150 patients suffering from back pain, the patients, which had acupuncture over traditional methods, become pain free much faster and for long time.
Capsaicin Cream: This is the content one can find in chili peppers. It is very efficient when massage on the distraught area four times in a day. One can get it at health food stores, medical stores and online.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and muscles. A shortage on Vitamin D can become reason of chronic muscle pain in your back. Milk, fish and cereal are good sources of vitamin D.
Music Therapy: Music Therapy has proven most beneficial as well as a depression reducer among people who suffer with chronic back pain. The practice of listening to soft music will reduce stress and depression and these are related to chronic backache.
Vitamin B-12: Vitamin B-12 is also vitamin, which is very effective for reducing pain in back. The dairy products and meat are very good sources for Vitamin B-12.
Magnesium: Magnesium is very essential for muscle growth, healthy bones as well as provides a very good immune system for just a few of the advantages of mineral. Magnesium rich foods are green vegetables such as spinach, whole grain breads, nuts and bananas.
The other methods to work on pain in the back are yoga; willow bark and Bowen therapy. Each of these treatments takes its own time to treat the backache.
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