We all have suffered from back pain at some point in life. Whether you are young or old, this condition is very distressing. On average, every one out of nine people will face back pain in their life. In this article, we discuss how to get rid of back pain in detail.
We have tried to organize all pieces of information into a concise and compact way. Everything described here is scientifically authentic. Read through the article to learn more.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is back pain?
- 2 Mechanism of back pain:
- 3 What are the symptoms:
- 4 What are the risk factors for back pain?
- 5 How to prevent back pain?
- 6 Treatment of back pain:
- 7 Is back pain serious?
- 8 Effects of back pain on your health:
- 9 The FAQs About back pain
What is back pain?
Back pain is a broad term. In the general definition, pain in the posterior part of the body due to any cause is back pain. It can be due to muscles, the spine, ligaments, skin, etc. Back pain can be due to mechanical or physiological causes. E.g. trauma, ligament torsion, muscular inflammation, disc prolapse, visceral pain, etc.
Back pain is divided into two types. If it is less than twelve weeks, is acute. If it is more than twelve weeks, it is chronic. According to research, about 10.7% of females and 7.5% of males, in middle age will suffer from it.
Mechanism of back pain:
The mechanism of back pain depends on the causative factor. The most common cause of back pain is non-specific. More than eighty percent of back pain has no localizing sign. Pain pathways are complex. Let us break it down in simple terms. Suppose, you have a disc prolapse. Your spinal nerves are compressed between two discs. So, you feel back pain.
Sometimes, the pain is due to referred visceral pain. Such as –Peptic ulcer disease, Acute cholecystitis, Acute pancreatitis, cancer, etc. Low visceral input is translated into high somatic output. So, you have back pain.
What are the symptoms:
Back pain can affect one or more locations of the back. E.g. cervical, thoracic, lumbar, buttocks, flanks, etc. Most of the pain arises from the lumbar area. The symptoms can range from mild to severe.
The common symptoms and signs of back pain can be the following:
- Muscular pain
- Pain on waking up
- Pain characters: stabbing, shooting, crushing, constant discomfort, etc.
- Radiation of pain: Front of abdomen, flank, groin, thigh, etc.
- Worsening of pain on movement such as lifting, bending, leg rising, running, etc.
- Pain improving in rest
- Associated symptoms: fever, nausea, chest discomfort, cough, etc.
What are the risk factors for back pain?
Back pain can be a result of single or multiple risk factors. Some factors initiate the process, others aggregate the ongoing process. It is not necessary to have all of them. Some people face back pain sporadically. On the other hand, it may be a feature of chronic disease.
The most common risk factors are listed below:
Age: It is a common disease for middle-aged and elderly people. Rarely may occur in young people.
Sex: Females are more prone to have back pain.
Familial history: It may run in the family
Bodyweight: More weight means more pressure on the body. People having a BMI of more than 30 is at risk.
Lifestyle: Back pain is more common for a sedentary lifestyle. People who are inactive may face back pain more frequently.
Chronic diseases: Prolonged disease conditions like diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, chronic renal disease, Cushing syndrome, etc increase back pain.
Drugs: Drugs like steroids, azithromycin, methotrexate, etc can cause back pain.
Bone disease: Diseases like osteoporosis, osteomalacia, Paget’s disease, spondylitis, etc can cause back pain.
How to prevent back pain?
Prevention is always better than cure. It is partially true for back pain as it is a chronic condition. But we can modify our lifestyle to reduce the frequency and severity of it. Firstly, we need to identify the existing risk factors. You may have noticed, some of those are modifiable. For example –High BMI, inactive life, smoking, drugs, etc. We must avoid them as much as possible.
The factors that can not be modified, may create a difficult situation. We must control those conditions to achieve a healthy life.
So, to prevent back pain, we can do the following:
- Lose weight: Ideal BMI is within the range from 18.5 to 24.9 kg per square meter.
- Be more active in life: If you have a desk job, do not sit for a long period. Work for thirty minutes, walk for five minutes, and then repeat.
- Regular exercise: simple exercises like walking, running, skipping ropes, etc.
- Healthy food habit
- Proper posture during sitting and standing
- No more smoking
- Control other diseases like diabetes, renal disease, hypertension, etc.
Treatment of back pain:
For a proper treatment of back pain, we must identify the main cause. Medical history, clinical examinations, and laboratory investigations will help to confirm a diagnosis. For example – if pain occurs with straight leg raising, it may indicate lumbar disc prolapse. Tests like radiography, CT scan, MRI, blood test, etc will narrow down the differentials.
As treatment totally depends on the cause we suggest you visit a doctor. We can recommend you to give a look Back to Life Erase My Back Pain Program. This course has helped many people with chronic back pain.
Is back pain serious?
Back pain may indicate a serious underlying condition. You must watch out for the red flag warning signs. We have listed these below:
- Significant weight loss without any cause
- Prolonged use of steroids
- Previous cancer
- Reduced immunity
- Any history of parental drug use
- Previous trauma or injury
- In the case of older patients, low energy trauma or fall
- Any urinary symptoms like urinary tract infection, acute retention, stress incontinence, nocturia, etc.
- Neurological symptoms like saddle anesthesia, generalized weakness of legs, fecal incontinence, etc.
- Back pain does not respond to conservative treatment.
Effects of back pain on your health:
Back is a chronic disability for people around the world. On an estimation, every year thirty million people have a new onset of back pain. Most of them are in the age range of thirty-five to seventy years. As other chronic diseases are rising so does the back pain.
Back pain has a tremendous effect on your body and mind. Some diseases may accelerate it, while it can result in other pathologies. Back pain increases the risk of bone fracture. Back pain has a negative impact on your rental health, too. It can lead to distress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, etc.
What are the complications of back pain?
Back pain can cause many local and systemic complications. We have listed the most common ones in the following:
- High risk of fracture
- Chronic disability
- Ligament tear
- Spinal cord compression
- Erectile dysfunction
Back pain is a chronic health issue. It can be overwhelming for many of us. In this article, we have given a perspective on how to get rid of back pain.
If you have a serious problem, please do visit a physician. We hope, this article has helped. Thank you for reading.
The FAQs About back pain
Answer: Yes. Overweight can a leading cause of lower back pain. More weight means more pressure on your skeletal system.
Q. Can posture affect the severity of back pain?
Answer: Posture can aggravate back pain. You need to maintain a straight spine position. Do not sit for a long period.
Q. What exercises to follow for back pain?
Answer: Many exercises you can follow. For starters, try walking, running, swimming, etc. You may contact a physiotherapist for proper guidelines.
Q. Should I see a doctor back pain?
Answer: If you have continuous back pain or any of that red flag signs, please contact your doctor urgently.