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Things to Know About Back Pain

04 August 2023

Back pain is such a common ailment that it's actually difficult to find someone who hasn't had to deal with it at some point in their lives. In fact, about 85-90% of people have had back pain, with various causes.

Back pain can happen for a number of reasons, from injuries to complex conditions. Regardless of the reason, back pain can be seriously painful, and if you don't manage it in time, you could find that it gets worse over time.

The pain can be divided over the three sections of your back: upper, middle and lower. Each of these happens due to different causes.

Here are some things to know about back pain.

Things You Should Know About Back Pain

Different Types

There are actually different types of back pain that occur for different reasons. The cure for back pain will also depend on what type it is.

For example, acute back pain is that which lasts a maximum of 6 months, and is usually as a result of injury or sprain. Hurting yourself while playing sports, for example, could result in back pain, but as the damaged tissue starts to heal, the pain itself also goes away.

Chronic back pain lasts longer than 6 months and cannot be attributed to tissue damage specifically. While it could be a long-lasting effect of an injury, it is usually not directly related. Chronic back pain is most commonly associated with health complications or any surgeries that may have been carried out in this area.

Neuropathic back pain is related to the nerves in the back and will usually be there to stay forever. While chronic back pain can eventually go away, neuropathic pain is usually managed by avoiding things that trigger this pain, rather than trying to find an all-out cure. Neuropathic problems are usually a result of injury or trauma that leave the area hypersensitive to pain.

Different Areas

As mentioned earlier, back pain can occur in different parts of the back as well. The large majority of people tend to face lumbar spine issues - that is, lower back pain - and this is largely due to unnecessary strain being placed on the muscles here. This could be because of hunching over your desk or not taking care of your body dynamics when lifting heavy items.

However, cervical (neck) and thoracic (middle and upper) back pain is also starting to become common, most often due to irritated muscles or injuries to the spine.

Knowing exactly where your back hurts is also important because your doctor would be able to recommend the right kind of treatment based on what area is in pain.

Spine Weakness Can Cause Back Pain

Spine health is actually quite important when it comes to back pain. In fact, some conditions that affect the spine can cause further problems with your back.

For example, osteoporosis is a condition that makes the bones lose density throughout your body. Naturally, this will also affect your spine. When the spine becomes less dense, it also becomes brittle and thus may get injured more easily.

On the other hand, you could also have conditions like arthritis that makes your spine narrower. Arthritis affects the cartilage, which is how the spine narrows down. When this happens, the nerves within the spine get compressed and this can cause pain.

Making sure you are keeping up with spine health is important - not just because of how fragile and important your spine is, but also because it could develop into painful problems.

Spinal Fractures Are Not Uncommon

Spinal fracture sounds scary, but they are not actually very uncommon. In fact, spinal fractures occur about 1.5 million times per year in the United States. These are naturally one of the causes of back pain.

When the bones of the spine are weak, spinal fractures become more likely to occur. While some fractures may be because of injuries or traumatic impact, sometimes just the fact that your bones are weak is enough.

Spinal fractures will usually result in a very severe and sudden pain, with difficulty in twisting or bending. Walking may also be difficult, and your spine may end up curved unnaturally.

Avoiding a spinal fracture is another reason why you should always stay on top of your spinal health!

You Don't Need Surgery

As horrible as back pain is, you actually don't need surgery for it most of the time. It's definitely painful, and many of us who have experienced back pain would agree that sometimes, surgery sounds like the better option, if only to get us out of the misery immediately.

But many instances of back pain are related to the muscles and are not serious, and thus, can be dealt with without needing to resort to surgery.

While it takes time, back pain can very easily be treated at home by making sure to care for yourself, using pain relievers and massages and even heat therapy. Stretching is also very important to make sure your back stays in good condition.

In fact, even if your back is in good health, stretching can make sure it stays that way, because you never know when your muscles will decide that they've been tired out too much.

Sometimes, you may need further help, such as physiotherapy or muscle relaxants, but these are usually paired with daily exercises and self-care. Sometimes, in more serious cases, you may need steroid injections or nerve stimulation methods to help, but most cases of back pain are easy to deal with through exercise only.

Back pain is common, but it is still serious though! If you're dealing with back pain, it's always a good idea to get a professional's opinion on the causes and find an appropriate way to deal with it.

Being Proactive Can Help

Again, a healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of exercise is always going to be good for your back. Being active helps improve circulation, which is necessary for the muscles in your back to heal if they've gotten too tired out, and also makes sure to keep them moving so they don't become stiff and tense.

Keeping a healthy weight is also important, as is trying to strengthen your core muscles so that the pressure is taken off the ones in your back.

However, being too active may backfire at times. You don't want to push yourself beyond your limits, since this will only serve to injure you further. Be aware of your limitations when you're working out and avoiding putting strain on your body so that you don't accidentally injure yourself.

Different Causes of Back Pain

There are actually multiple causes of back pain! Some of these may be simple, like injuries and trauma caused from impact, a fall, or something similar. This type of back pain is sudden and you will always know why it happened.

Other times, it may start up slowly, and you may not be able to identify a cause. This could be because of sprains and strains in the back muscles, or even health problems like arthritis, scoliosis, herniated disc and other such things.

If you don't identify these causes in time, you could end up with more serious problems, so it's always important to look into it when you first notice the problem.

Posture Is a Culprit

You'd be surprised, but your posture can do quite a lot for your back - either keep it straight and safe, or put pressure on it and make it hurt. In fact, your posture can put pressure on all parts of your back.

When you sit at a desk, you may often find yourself hunched over your computer or papers, and this can cause the muscles around your upper back and neck to get stiff and tense. Over a few hours at a time is enough to make you notice the stiffness, but if this happens everyday, you'll start to notice consistent back pain that doesn't go away.

The same is true for your lower back. Without proper lumbar support, you will end up with consistent back pain, because the muscles in the area remain tense even when you're not putting pressure on them.

That is why your posture is so important. To avoid these problems, investing in a good chair is necessary.

The Ergonomic Office Chair Mesh Swivel Chair 606 is one example of a good chair. It comes with an S-shaped backrest that keeps your posture straight and avoids the pain that comes with longer sitting time. It also has a headrest to keep your neck and head supported so that you don't end up with pain around this area.

The chair also has armrests for you to avoid muscle, joint or nerve problems in the arms as well, and the height adjustment lets you customize your workspace depending on your height and stature. It also has a mesh back that provides optimal airflow.

If you need a good chair to keep your back safe while you work, this chair is perfect for you.