Back pain is a common complaint affecting people of all age groups. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 80% of all Americans will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Typically, it is the lower back area that is affected, although the pain can also be felt anywhere along your spine (from the neck down to the hips).
Back pain, which can range from persistent dull ache to sudden sharp pain and chronic pain, often occurs without a specific reason. In most cases, muscle or ligament strain, accidents, bulging or ruptured disc, excess weight, lack of exercise, skeletal irregularities, arthritis and some types of cancer are some of the major causes. Other potential causes of the condition are related to faulty posture and include slouching, twisting or spending a long time in one position.
Anyone can develop back pain, but some people are more susceptible. Risk factors include age, lack of exercise, excess body weight, smoking, improper lifting and psychological conditions. People who have physically demanding jobs or lifestyles are at higher risk.
What to do When Back Pain Strikes
Taking too much rest is not a solution. Studies show that people who experienced short-term low-back pain and take rest experience more pain and find it more difficult to perform daily tasks than those who stay active. Experts say the key is to get moving as quickly as possible. While it is important to keep exercising, it is equally important to stay away from the activity that caused the back pain. You need to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the back and maintain the optimal posture to take pressure off the nerves. This will reduce back pain.
Exercises help strengthen the core abdominal and lower back muscles and reduce the chances of suffering back pain. Regular physical activities such as walking, swimming along with healthy lifestyle can prove to be great ways to achieve a healthy back.
However, if the pain becomes chronic, you should seek professional advice. A physician should be consulted if the pain lasts for more than six weeks or is accompanied by symptoms such as persisting “pins and needles”, and loss of sensation or weakness of the lower limbs. Early intervention is necessary to prevent chronic back pain from getting out of hand and to avoid the need for surgery.
Treatment for Chronic Pain
Chronic back pain is best treated at a professional pain management center. A detailed evaluation will be first conducted to determine the root cause of the pain. At a reliable healthcare center, a professional and experienced team of pain management specialists, neurologists and physical therapists will work together to create a personalized treatment plan for effective back pain management.
Effective treatment is provided using non-invasive modalities such as physical therapy, hot and cold compresses, NSAIDS, pain relieving modalities such as TENS, pain medication and muscle relaxants, epidural steroid injections, chiropractic, and spinal decompression. For people who are overweight, the physician will recommend enrolling in a weight loss program as a healthy weight is important for a healthy back.