Back pain is very common that it affects most people at one point in their lives or another.

Common back pain triggers include bad posture, incorrect lifting, and awkward bending, among others.

Other likely causes include sports injuries, accidents, and muscle strains.

Treatment options for back pain are diverse.

However, before proper treatment can be decided on, a visit to a back pain specialistshould be considered a must.

Causes

Whiplash

Neck injury that results from sudden impact

Sciatica

Irritation or compression of the clean-tuesdaymagazine sciatic nerve that results to tingling, pain, and numbness that may even travel down one leg

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Condition that can cause pain and stiffness

Slipped Disc

Occurs when one of the discs found in the spine gets damaged and presses on the nerves

Symptoms

  • Sharp and localized pain in the neck and the lower and upper back. The pain often occurs after lifting heavy objects or doing strenuous activities. In some cases, however, upper back pain can also be a telltale sign of a heart attack or other life-threatening conditions.
  • Chronic pain felt in the middle or lower back after sitting or standing for long periods.
  • Persistent aches or stiffness felt anywhere along the spine.
  • Inability to stand up straight and not experience pain in the lower back or muscle spasms.

It is ideal that an appointment with the doctor or back pain specialist is scheduled immediately if the following alarming symptoms will manifest:

  • When pain from the back travels to the back of the leg, it can be an indicator of a medical condition known as sciatica.
  • Numbness, tingling, and weakness felt in the groins, arms, and legs. Aforementioned symptoms may be attributed to spinal cord damage.
  • If patient has problems controlling their bowel and bladder movement, seeking medical attention should be considered a must.
  • When pain in the back intensifies when coughing or bending forward, it can be due to a herniated disc.
  • When the back pain is accompanied by frequent fever or urination, it is highly likely that patient has an infection.

Other “red flags” to watch out for that can indicate more serious back issues include:

  • Night pains
  • Trauma history
  • Severe and consistent pain lasting for months
  • Drastic weight loss

Prevention

Exercise

Exercises such as walking and swimming are deemed ideal choices when tackling back pain.

Other recommended disciplines like Pilates and yoga can also significantly strengthen the muscles of the back and enhance flexibility.

Pressure

In order to keep the back strong and supple, putting strain, pressure, and stress on it should be avoided.

It is also important to keep in mind that the way one stands, lifts, and sits can have an impact on one’s overall health.

Treatment

Given that no other serious underlying condition is involved, back pains often eventually go away on its own.

However, for those who would like to alleviate the pain and hasten healing, the following tips will be helpful:

Stay active

As much as possible, it would be ideal to stay as active as you can and carry on with your day-to-day routine.

Take over-the-counter medications

Painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol are proven effective when it comes to alleviating back pain.

Try hot or cold compression packs

You can easily find and buy one from your local pharmacy.

If back pain persists for weeks, visiting a back pain specialist should be a priority.

Apart from giving the patient an accurate diagnosis, a medical professional can also recommend other treatment options like:

  • Exercise classes – a class that teaches exercises that can strengthen the muscles and improve posture might be prescribed.
  • Manual therapy – this can include physiotherapy and osteopathy.
  • Acupuncture
  • Strong painkillers

 

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