Unfortunately, if you’re an American, you can expect to have back pain at some point in your adult life; in fact, your chance of experiencing some form of back pain is eighty percent. In addition, it is among the top reasons why people visit the emergency room and it is the fourth most common ailment in the United States.
Not very long ago, it was widely believed that back pain was a result of the deterioration of one or more discs in the spine, which can cause damage to the nerves that exit the spinal column. It is a known fact that many adults over the age of 40 have some disc deterioration. However, many people with disc deterioration do not feel any pain. Although disc problems can be a source of back pain, strained muscles are more of a problem. The back can also be weakened by bad posture, stress, and extended periods of inactivity, which can make it more susceptible to pain as a result of exercise or injury. If the back is weak, even the minor action of coughing or turning can bring about extreme pain. When someone suffers from chronic back pain, it is usually a result of reduced flexibility, ligament as well as tendon injuries, spinal misalignment, and muscular imbalances in the back.
Just because many of the cases of back pain can be traced to the muscles, it does not mean that other circumstances can’t contribute to the problem. Other common factors that put unwanted pressure on the back muscles are obesity, pregnancy, osteoporosis, arthritis, as well as kidney, bladder, pelvis and prostate disorders. In addition, digestive problems and constipation can also cause pain in the back area.
Implementing proper lifting techniques are crucial in order to prevent back strain or injury. People with previous back injuries should especially take heed to this advice.
Fortunately, suffering from back pain now does not mean that you’re going to have to endure painful surgery or a life time of agony. Alternative treatments for back pain are becoming more prevalent. For instance, you can successfully prevent and treat it with stretching, bodywork, proper exercises, stress management, and supplementation. Though, if you continue to experience acute pain for more than a few weeks, then it is time to consult your physician immediately, there may be other underlying factors that are causing the pain. Unexplained back pain could be a signal of osteoporosis, stroke, or cancer. Consult your physician immediately if the pain moves from your back to your legs or if you experience the loss of bladder, bowel, or muscular control.