Everything You Need to Know About Persistent Back Pain
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reveals that low back pain is experienced by nearly 80% of adults at some point in their lives, and that it is the most common cause of job-related disabilities. Accidents, poor posture, lack of exercise, and old age are some of the leading causes of low back pain.
Most low back pain isn’t severe and can be cured with proper self-care or through the help of an expert chiropractor from Murray or other cities. Nonetheless, we should still be practicing preventive measures and healthy habits to maintain our spine’s excellent condition. Neglected cases of low back pain may lead to increased severity, which may need costly surgical treatments. Furthermore, a healthy spine will lessen our risks of developing age-related spine conditions.
Types of Low Back Pain
Low back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden piercing sensation that incapacitates a person. Acute low back pain doesn’t usually last long and can be mended with self-care or non-surgical therapies, as mentioned. It also doesn’t hinder a person from doing their daily activities.
If the pain lasts between four to 12 weeks, that will be subacute low back pain. If it persists for 12 weeks and longer even after initial treatment, the condition will be classified as chronic back pain. Acute low back pain can develop into chronic back pain, with around 20% of people experiencing such in a single year.
Causes of Low Back Pain
Sprains and strains cause majority of acute low back pain. Overstretching or tearing ligaments lead to sprains, while tearing tendons or muscles lead to strains. Poor posture when lifting heavy objects causes sprains and strains to the back.
Disc problems such as herniated discs and intervertebral disc degeneration are also among the top causes. The former are a rupture in the disc, whereas the latter is its thinning. Both are typically associated with aging.
Injuries from accidents, sports, and other rigorous activity also often cause low back pain and spinal injuries. Other spinal conditions such as stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column), sciatica (compression of the sciatic nerve), radiculopathy (injury to the spinal nerve root), and skeletal irregularities also contribute to the prevalence of low back pain. Medical conditions, including kidney problems and tumors, are also possible causes.
People at Risk
Constant back pain usually starts between ages 30 and 50. The risks of developing back conditions increase as one gets older, especially with a lack of physical activity. People who are inactive during weekdays then compensate for it with a sudden, intense workout on a weekend can end up more susceptible to back injuries.
People with jobs that require them to lift heavy objects are also at a higher risk, as well as those who have to sit all day. Children who carry overloaded backpacks in school every day may also sustain strains and muscle fatigue.
Ensuring Your Spine’s Health
Be sure to practice the following healthy habits to maintain your spine’s optimum condition:
- Adopting a proper posture when lifting an object. When you sit all day, use an ergonomic chair to reduce pressure on your lower and upper back. Your feet should be flat on the floor, and your monitor should be within your eye level so that you can keep your neck and back straight.
- Getting as much exercise and movement as you can. Stretch your whole body in the morning, then your back and neck from time to time. Opt for low-impact aerobic workouts instead of high-intensity ones.
- Maintaining a healthy weight by keeping a balanced diet and exercising. Drink plenty of water to maintain elasticity and fluidity to the joints. Disc problems occur from loss of fluids thereof; hence, always stay hydrated.
- Investing in pillows and mattresses that offer optimum neck and back support.
- Being alert when you experience pain. If it persists despite treatment, visit a professional right away before the problem worsens.
Remember that our spine is part of our central nervous system, so it’s sensitive. Injuries in that area can potentially incapacitate us for good. So let’s always “watch our backs!”