What is Back Pain?
Back pain is condition in which an excruciating pain will be felt in the regions of the back and neck. There can be various reasons that give rise to back pain and the determination of the exact cause of the pain is necessary to obtain suitable treatment.
What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain can be caused due to many reasons.
- Bad posture is considered to be one of the main reasons for the development of back pain.
- Pregnant women are also very prone to succumb to back pain.
- The condition of back pain can arise as a symptom of a serious medical problem. Bladder incontinence, progressive weakness in the region of the legs, trauma to the spine like accident, multiple myeloma, and osteoporosis are some reasons for the occurrence of back pain.
- Back pain can also occur in people who have had a previous history of cancer.
What are Common Types of Back Pain?
Back pain can be classified into four types namely neck pain, middle back pain, lower back pain, and pain in the tailbone region. The classification is based on the region where the pain is experienced.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Back Pain?
Back pain usually arises from the nerves, joints, muscles, and other structures in the region of the spine. The pain can either be in the form of a dull ache or a sharp burning sensation. The pain can also radiate from the spine to the regions of the arms and legs.
How is Back Pain Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of back pain involves a series of procedures. The diagnosis calls for a review of the complete history of your health. Following this, the doctor will perform imaging techniques like X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans.
- X rays provide the details about the bone structure and can be used to check for instability, tumors, and fractures.
- CT scans are useful in identifying specific conditions like spinal stenosis or a herniated disc.
- MRI scans are used for pre-surgical planning. The MRI scans provide details regarding the nerve roots and discs.
Depending on the diagnosis, the methods of treatment can be established.
What is the Treatment for Back Pain?
Non Surgical Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) and acetaminophen are found to be effective in the treatment of back pain. For treating extreme cases, steroids are prescribed.
Epidural injections are also provided to relieve the patient of the pain.
Surgery is the final option of treatment for back pain. Surgery is usually suggested for patients with the problems like a slipped disc, infections of the spine, and tumor. Surgical fusion of the vertebrae to the bone lying below is done in severe cases of back pain.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is absolutely important to regulate back pain. This will include a regular exercise regime and healthy diet practices. Strengthening of the back and abdominal muscles can be done by physiotherapy. Regular core exercises keeps back and abdominal muscles strong. Swimming is one of the best exercises to practice. It can strengthen arms and muscles of the back, thereby getting rid of back pain.
Perform exercises under the supervision of a licensed health professional. Stretching exercises are to be performed daily. You should also avoid smoking as much as you can, as it leads to the degeneration of the spinal cord cells.
Practicing a good posture is essential to get rid of back pain. A good chair bottom is essential to provide support to your spine. Try to use a reclining chair back, set at an angle of 10 degrees. While sitting, see to it that your feet rest on the ground. The forearms should rest on the work surface with the elbows at right angles.
Your sleeping posture can also lead to the development of back pain.
- Sleep by lying on your sides with knees flexed and by placing a pillow in between.
- A soft sagging mattress can case back pain. Invest in a good mattress.
- Do not bend your waist when lifting heavy objects. Instead lift objects by keeping your knees bend. Also carry objects as close to the body as possible.
Home Remedy for Back Pain
Cold compression therapy where a cold pack is applied will be helpful in reducing the pain. Apply an ice pack to the area of inflammation within 24 hours after the pain has developed. Place ice cubes in a bag and then apply them to the painful areas for 20 minutes at a stretch. Usually, blood rushes to the damaged area cause swelling and pain. Immediate cooling can reduce the swelling.
If it has been more than 24 hours since the development of pain, then ice will not work to cure the condition. In such a condition, try using heat to increase the elasticity of the muscles. Heat relaxes tight muscles and increases blood flow. Soak a washcloth in hot water and apply it to the painful area. Moist heat or continuous low-level heat is the best to get relief from the pain. You can also fill a clean and thick sock with uncooked rice and place it in the microwave or 30 to 60 seconds. Check temperature and apply to the back.
Epsom salts reduce back pain. Fill your bathtubs with 2 cups of salt and soak for half an hour. You can see that the swelling will be reduced. Ginger root is another home remedy for back pain. Cut ginger pieces, which are 1 to 2 inches long and place it in boiling water. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds with mild aspirin like effects.
A study conducted by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke points out that, every person experiences back pain at least one time in their life. This is the second most common disease in the US. According to experts, the doctors should provide the patients with evidence based information on the condition and the mode of treatment necessary. As for the patients, experts recommend them to be physically active always, to avoid back pain.