Why does my back hurt?

X-ray of back pain

It is said that “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

You might have developed back pain but you do not need to continue suffering from it.

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work, and it is one of the leading cause of disability worldwide. Back pain often happens because something is off in the way your spinal joints, muscles, discs, and nerves fit together and move.

Fortunately, you can take measures to prevent or relieve most back pain episodes. If prevention fails, simple home treatment and proper body mechanics often will heal your back within a few weeks and keep it functional. Surgery is rarely needed to treat back pain.

Back pain often develops without a cause that your doctor can identify with a test or an imaging study. Conditions commonly linked to back pain include:

Muscle or ligament strain:
Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can cause strain in the back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you’re in poor physical condition, constant strain on your back can cause painful muscle spasms.

Bulging or ruptured disks:
Disks act as cushions between the bones, known as vertebrae in your spine. The soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. However, you can have a bulging or ruptured disk without back pain. Disk disease is often found incidentally when you have spine X-rays for some other reason.

Arthritis:

Diagram of an arthritic knee

Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.

Skeletal irregularities:
A condition in which your spine curves to the side (scoliosis) also can lead to back pain, but generally not until middle age.

Osteoporosis:
Your spine’s vertebrae can develop compression fractures if your bones become porous and brittle.

Emotions:

Different masks depicting negative emotions

Don’t underestimate the power of feelings to bring on pain. Stress can lead to muscle tension in the back, and depression and anxiety may make the pain feel even worse.

Back pain can be brought on by actions and inactions in your day-to-day life, like:

Habitual bad sitting posture,
Lifting heavy objects incorrectly,
Being overweight,
Not exercising,
Always wearing high heels, etc.

Let’s talk prevention:

You might avoid back pain or prevent its recurrence by;

Exercising:

crossfit man tired relaxed after workout exercise

Regular low-impact aerobic activities. These will be those exercises that don’t strain or jolt your back. They can increase strength and endurance in your back and allow your muscles to function better. Walking and swimming are good choices. Talk with your doctor about which activities you might try.

Maintain a healthy weight:
Being overweight strains back muscles. If you’re overweight, trimming down can prevent back pain. Quit smoking. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit.

Stand smart:

Wrong and right standing posture

Don’t slouch. Maintain a neutral pelvic position. If you must stand for long periods, place one foot on a low footstool to take some of the load off your lower back. Alternate feet. Good posture can reduce the stress on back muscles.

Sit smart:

Right and wrong sitting postures

Choose a seat with good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base. Placing a pillow or rolled towel in the small of your back can maintain its normal curve. Keep your knees and hips level. Change your position frequently, at least every half-hour.

Lift smart:
Avoid heavy lifting, if possible, but if you must lift something heavy, let your legs do the work. Keep your back straightt. No twisting. Hold the load close to your body. Find a lifting partner if the object is heavy or awkward.

Buyer beware:
Because back pain is so common, there are numerous products that promise prevention or relief. Ensure you speak to a health expert before trying any out.

Depending on the cause of your pain, your treatment could include lifestyle changes, medication, or possibly surgery. Talk with your doctor if your back isn’t feeling right. He can help you discover what’s causing the hurt and can help you feel better.

Also note that some backpains are caused by medical conditions and thus we need to always seek medical advice.

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