All of us are familiar with the plight of back pain. Everyone has experienced it at least once in life. And while the condition sounds like a normal phenomenon that happens to people, it can often lead to disability among people.
Out of all, the most common kind of back pain is lower back pain. It can often become a severe condition that affects the lower spine region.
Read the blog further and gain complete insight on backache, including its common symptoms, causes, risk factors, and treatment alternatives.
What Are The Symptoms Of Back Pain?
The main symptom of backache is intense pain anywhere in the back that can even extend to the buttocks and legs. Although, some types of backaches can trigger pain in other body parts, which depends on the affected nerves.
However, check with a doctor if you are suffering from chronic back pain accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Swelling or inflammation of the back
- Persistent backache
- Pain that reaches below the knees to down the legs
- Difficulty in urinating
- Urinary incontinence
- Lack of control over bowel movements
- Numbness around anus, genitals, or buttocks
- Recent trauma or blow to the back
What is chronic back pain?
If your backache lasts longer than three months, it is qualified as chronic back pain. It doesn’t necessarily have to be incurable. You can temporarily seek relief by medicines or any other medical treatment. However, if it still lasts for three months or more, you probably suffer from chronic backache.
When To See A Doctor?
Seek medical assistance in case :
- Your back pain doesn’t relieve with rest
- Injury of back
- Back pain accompanied by fever, weakness, numbness in the legs, and unascertained weight loss.
- If you are suffering from chronic back pain.
What Causes Back Pain?
If the pain starts suddenly and gets relieved within six weeks, it is called acute back pain and is less complicated. However, back pain that has existed for more than three months is rare and is referred to as chronic back pain.
What is the most common cause of back pain? Check out below-
- Skeletal Abnormalities
- Muscle Or Ligament Strain
- Ruptured Disks
- Sitting Disease
What causes back pain in females?
Backache among females can be due to some different causes. Most women suffer severe backache due to their menstrual cycle. This is due to the fluctuation of hormones in the body.
Another reason why women suffer from backache in pregnancy. This is also the phase when the female body undergoes massive chemical changes to accommodate childbirth. Therefore, pregnant women too might suffer from backache.
Postmenopause is also when women are prone to problems like backache. This is due to the reduction in estrogen levels in the body, thereby leading to spinal disc degeneration.
What Are The Risk Factors For Back Pain?
- Age: People develop back pain generally between 30 years and 40 years. So, increasing age can be considered one of the most prominent risk factors.
- Being Overweight: The extra body weight can strain your back.
- Physical Inactivity: The unused and fragile muscles in your back and abdomen region can give rise to back pain.
- Medical Conditions: Some types of arthritis and cancer can lead to backache.
- Smoking: Smoking decreases the blood flow in your lower spine. As a result, your body cannot deliver sufficient nutrients to the discs in the back. Not only this, but smoking can also decelerate the healing power of your body.
- Improper Lifting: Using your back rather than legs can cause backache.
- Psychological Factors: People susceptible to anxiety and depression are at an elevated risk for backache.
Back pain relief- treatments for the condition
There are plenty of ways to back pain treatment to cure your condition. However, begin with trying back pain relief measures that are natural and more convenient-
1. Watch Your Weight
Obesity is one of the leading causes of backache. To cure the condition, begin with working out to lose weight. This is one of the most significant back relief measures individuals must implement.
It will also relieve you of back muscle pain.
2. Quit smoking
It’s not an easy task for an active smoker to quit smoking at once. Talk to your healthcare specialist and know about some of the most effective ways.
3. Exercise Regularly
One of the most important things you can do to prevent backache is to keep moving. Muscles are meant to move; if you do not touch them, you’ll hurt yourself in doing even some simple movements. Exercising will not only keep your body active but will also improve your posture.
Choose low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, etc., and maintain a healthy body weight with minimal strain.
4. Sleep Sideways
Sleeping sideways can be very beneficial. If you’ve developed a propensity to sleep on your stomach, you can keep a pillow under your lower abdomen. Having a suitable, supportive headrest and mattress is also very essential. In this way, you can have an adequate, restful sleep to ease all of your discomforts.
5. Avoid Stress
Stress is the root cause of several ailments, including back pain. Stress can create unnecessary tension in your muscles, which can be the reason for your back muscle pain. Any activity that reduces your strain can be advantageous in keeping back pain at bay. The activities include:
- Deep breathing
- Guided Imagery
What Are The Back Pain Treatment Alternatives?
We have discussed some of the back pain relief measures that you can try on a personal level.
This section will come across some of the most popular back pain treatment alternatives. But before opting for any of them, consult with your doctor as delaying standard care can be evil for your health.
Studies suggest that specific alternatives can efficiently reduce mild to moderate back muscle pain when tried with a comprehensive treatment plan.
There may not be scientific evidence to prove that massage therapy can be supportive. However, many people have reported that it calms and helps relieve chronic back pain.
Chronic back pain can also bring about anxiety and depression – massage therapy can quickly cure them. It is one of the most widely used lower back pain treatment alternatives during pregnancy.
Acupuncture for back pain
Acupuncture is a traditional therapy that has become widespread and well researched for addressing back pain. In this, the doctor inserts thin needles through the patient’s skin at specific points on the body to varying levels of depth. The needles are not intended to cause harm, pain, or discomfort.
Acupuncture was first introduced in China some 2500 years. Our body has more than 2000 pressure points as per traditional Chinese medicine. They are linked by pathways or meridians, which formulate a flow of energy called Qi. When these points are stimulated, they can correct the disparity and enhance energy flow. In this way, it relieves back pain and improves your health.
Acupuncture for back pain can be a surprisingly helpful treatment alternative to your problem.
Chiropractic care is believed to be one of the safest and most effective treatments for lower back pain, a type of sudden trauma that results from getting tackled or moving a piece of massive furniture. It involves spinal manipulation and appears to lower symptoms and improve functioning in patients suffering from acute low back pain, sub-acute low back pain, and chronic low back pain. Use chiropractic care and exercises to speed up the recovery process and prevent future episodes of back pain.
Certain studies suggest the effectiveness of chiropractic care in relieving headaches and neck pain.
Scientists believe that there’s a close association between back pain treatment and vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that you can quickly get with adequate sun exposure. The nutrient is also available in some foods like fish with small bones, fortified milk, etc.
Get Enough Calcium
Calcium is essential for maintaining the good health of bones and teeth. In addition, getting adequate calcium and vitamin D can ease the back pain caused by conditions that impact bone strength and mass, like osteoporosis.
As calcium improves bone health, that doesn’t mean you need to take too much of the nutrient. Some of the calcium-rich foods are listed below:
- Dairy products like milk, yoghurt, and cheese
- Green leafy vegetables like broccoli
- Canned sardines
If you cannot get enough calcium from the diet, consult a healthcare specialist who can prescribe an excellent health supplement.
Eat An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
What we eat and how much we eat can prevent and avoid a series of medical conditions, including certain types of backache. In addition, studies suggest that having an anti-inflammatory diet can benefit backache as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs).
The following foods can help fight inflammation:
- Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, kale, and collards
- Nuts, including walnuts and almonds
- Seeds of chia, pumpkin, and sunflower
- Healthy, monounsaturated fats such as avocado, olive oil, and canola oil
- Fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel
- Bright-coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrots, oranges, blueberries, beets, tomatoes, strawberries
Small international studies have illustrated the significance of hypnosis for chronic lower back pain. Hypnotherapy can make a person more open to accepting suggestions. In addition, a patient’s behaviours can be transformed by utilizing the technique, which can be the reason for your chronic back pain.
This therapy teaches people to enhance their posture and eradicate bad habits like slouching, increasing muscle pain and tension and decreasing mobility. Millions of people worldwide have used this therapy for hundreds of years to relieve their chronic back pain.