Back Pain

Causes, Symptoms and Treatments for Back Pain

More people become disabled because of lower back pain than any other ailment worldwide. This stands to reason because back pain as a whole is one of the main reasons people miss work. Because of the magnitude of back pain and the problems it causes for people, it’s no small wonder that so much emphasis is placed on it by medical professionals. That said, following are some of the common causes, symptoms and treatments for back pain.

Causes

You may experience back pain because you’re overweight, have poor posture, wear shoes with little support, overwork your muscles or sit in a hunched over position eight hours per day at work. Lower back pain in particular comprises approximately 70 percent of all back pain or injuries. While your back pain causes may stem from one of the aforementioned reasons, pain in the lower back can occur due to a muscle or ligament strains, arthritis, bulging or herniated disks, kidney stones or even back pain cancer.

Symptoms

Primary symptoms of back pain can vary from sporadic dull aches to consistent sharp pain. Common symptoms of cervical pain, which affects your neck, include aching, sore trap muscles, stiffness and weakness that radiates through your shoulders, arms and hands. If you have a herniated disk or arthritis, you may experience lower back pain or numbness that radiates down your buttocks and legs to your feet and toes. This referred pain is created by a network of nerves, especially the sciatic nerve, which runs from your back, through your groin and down your legs.

Treatments

The first thing you do for back pain relief is to rest. That is, stop all physical exercise that affects your injury. Then take back pain medications like naproxen or ibuprofen to reduce aching and inflammation. During the first couple days, apply an ice bag to reduce swelling and pain, and then use heat to promote healing. Chiropractors can help you manage discomfort with manipulation and flexion tables. Another advanced treatment is biofeedback therapy, where you learn to control bodily functions like pulse rate and breathing to reduce back pain.

Prevention

You can do much for back pain relief by maintaining good posture. It also behooves you to exercise regularly. Stretching exercises help reduce muscle stiffness. For example, squeeze you traps with your arms raised to relieve upper back pain. Use resistance training such as weight lifting to strengthen muscles surrounding injured areas. Focus on your core muscles for your lower back, for example, which are in your lower back and abdominal areas.