Chronic back pain is a problem that a lot of people have to go through year in and year out. What’s very fortunate about this is that chronic back pain is highly preventable. Before you get around to actually dealing with chronic back pain though, you have to find out what’s causing back pain for you.
Causes of back pain
Chronic back pain generally stems from age because muscle elasticity and bone strength decreases as one grows old. Because of this, discs in the back begin to lose flexibility and fluid, decreasing their ability as well to cushion your vertebrae.
Chronic back pain may also be reflective of muscle or nerve irritation or even bone lesions. Where age is not a factor, chronic back pain may also be experienced following trauma or injury to the back, but degenerative conditions like disc disease or arthritis, osteoporosis, congenital spine abnormalities, or joint irritation may also be to blame. Aside from medical conditions in the body, chronic back pain may also be associated with obesity, weight gain during pregnancy, smoking, wrong posture, poor physical condition, and bad sleeping positions.
A lot of people start experiencing chronic back pain though when the back is overstretched after lifting something too heavy, causing a spasm, strain, or sprain in one of the back muscles or ligaments. There are over 50 nerves rooted in the spine so straining your back can put pressure on one of these nerves, resulting in chronic back pain when the strain is not removed.
In more severe cases, chronic back pain may signal a more serious medical condition. If you experience back pains accompanied by loss of bladder or bowel control, fever, and progressive leg weakness, this may be an indication of a pinched nerve. Do make an appointment with your doctor at the soonest time possible in order prevent more permanent damage.
Who are at risk
Almost anyone are at risk of developing chronic back pain because everyone will experience a form of back pain or another at least once in their life. However, those between the ages of 30 and 50 are the once most at risk, partly because of age becoming a factor and the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles. Children may also be victimized by back pain when they have to bring heavy backpacks to school.
Diagnosing back pain
There is no fixed reason why you may be suffering from chronic back pain so there are several diagnostic methods in place in order to narrow down the cause of your pain. Some of the methods available include x-ray, discography, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electromagnetic procedures (electromyography), bone scans, thermography, and ultrasound imaging.
Treating back pain
Treating chronic back pain involves restoring strength and proper function to the back, reducing inflammations, and preventing the recurrence of injury. Only the most severe cases of chronic back pain will require surgery, and even at that, surgery is considered to be the last course of treatment and should be avoided as much as possible. Aside from the actual treatment, chronic back pain may be relieved by bed rest and exercise. Alternative approaches like acupuncture may also be considered in treating chronic back pain.