With the rigors of everyday work, the number of people struggling with low back pain appears to be on the increase. Studies have shown that lower back pain is largely responsible for inactivity in the workplace. There’s a general belief that a sizable chunk of the American workforce can expect to deal with the trauma of lower back pain, with the specific timeline for the health challenge varying among individuals.
Like a lot of ailments, the low back pain tends to affect just about anyone, regardless of their gender or social structure. Once the muscles or ligaments in your lower back are strained, pain in that area is the outcome.
Possible Causes of Lower Back Pain
Ailments aren’t so difficult to handle once you understand the cause. Finding the source of the pain makes it easy to resolve them without a load of guesswork.
A significant number of low back pain cases are due to strained muscles and ligaments, but there are other probable causes. From disease conditions to fatal accidents, lower back pain is only an ailment away.
Often, low back pain is associated with underlying issues like a cancerous growth, typically around the spinal area. There’s also a likelihood of niggling low back pain when the vertebral disc is torn in an accident or the spinal root nerve is depressed.
Health conditions like kidney infections tend to affect the lower back with a stifling pain.
Besides accidents and disease conditions, low back pain has a strong connection to senescence. The aging process tends to leave cartilages, tendons, and vertebral discs atrophying, which exposes them to strain more quickly than what’s obtainable in a younger person. An appreciable drop in muscle tone is palpable as you age. Add some awful seating position to the mix, and you have a downright disturbing low back pain to keep you awake through the night.
Living in today’s world often comes with working under immense pressure. Whether it’s seating at a desk and churning out numbers or standing at the gate of an establishment to keep uninvited guests out, the outcome remains the same: STRESS. This would usually come in different forms but the build of the human body often has the back as the fulcrum making its muscles most susceptible to strain.
- Spinal Abnormalities
Due to the position of the spinal cord, low back pain is usually a symptom of an underlying spinal cord condition. Abnormal curvature of the spinal cord like scoliosis, which has one scapula more conspicuous than the other, often results in a painful sensation around the lower back. Depending on the nature of the curvature of the spinal cord, the frequency of the back pain can vary greatly.
Low back pain is usually a symptom of a wide array of ailments, and one such is the inflammation of joints – Arthritis. Conditions that affect the joint are known to result in lower back pain. Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia belong in this category.
- Urinary Infections
Lower back pains due to a urinary tract infection aren’t as commonplace as that occurring as a symptom of one of the previously highlighted conditions. But it’s still persistent enough to be mentioned. A handful of people have been known to suffer excruciating pain in their lower back while struggling with a kidney infection or some peculiarity of the urinary tract.
Certain health conditions like obesity are known to have several symptoms including lower back pain. If your body mass index falls in the obesity category, tackling the root cause of the problem takes precedence.
It’s usually easy to tell if you are struggling with lower back pain as you tend to feel a painful sensation just above the pelvic region. Unfortunately, seeing the bigger picture, which a lower back pain forms a part, will require a physical examination.
A doctor, while taking note of your medical history, will conduct a thorough examination that checks for the condition of your back and understand where the pain fibers are triggered. If motion feels like an uphill task for you, the doctor will conduct a test that checks your reflexes.
Depending on the associated symptoms, you might have to undergo further tests to confirm the depth of the ailment. The deciding question remains: Is the lower back pain just a symptom of something bigger or it just something a solo health challenge?
Usually, lower back pain can be easily ameliorated by simple steps advised by a medical expert, but if these aren’t enough, a more elaborate medical procedure might be requested. This is usually evident in situations t the doctor feels there’s more behind the niggling back pain.
Diagnosis of back pain will also consist of checking for aching muscles and the pattern of pain. If you feel pain with a change in motion or stance, the cause of the back pain can be established.
When should you see a doctor for a lower back pain problem?
Often, lower back pain isn’t difficult to checkmate, but there are conditions where it is a sign of something more benign. It is these situations that the input of a doctor is mandatory. Lower back pain can occur alone due to stress, but it can occur as a symptom of a more acute ailment, and you’ll need to have a doctor carry out these checks.
Lower back pain isn’t limited to only people within a certain age category, anyone can go down with a painful back. However, there are specific traits that make you more susceptible to pain around your back.
With more people consuming processed foods, the number of people struggling with obesity continues to increase. According to NHANES 2016, a whopping 39.6% of American adults are obese. This doesn’t take into consideration the number of adults that are overweight but not obese. Why is this important? Obesity sees the addition of excess weight on the back which leads to the herniation of the vertebral disc and the accompanying pain.
Many people struggling with back pain are unaware that some of their habits are responsible for their predicament. Smoking is one such habit. Taking your nicotine fix disrupts the flow of blood to certain parts of your body including the back. This causes the severe pain you feel sometimes around that area as nutrients aren’t reaching the discs. Also worth of note regarding a smoking habit is the slow pace of recovery when you get injured, so don’t expect any ‘wolverine-like’ body system with this habit.
Besides smoking, another habit that is a known precursor for lower back pain is lifting heavy objects with your back as some kind of make-shift support. This not only increases the risk of back pain, but it makes you susceptible to accidents as your back wasn’t built for that purpose. The legs can bear extraneous weight but not the back.
- Not doing enough exercise
Exercises aren’t just about getting you that delicious figure or maintaining a level of fitness, they can help you keep back pain away. The muscles at the back can become strained if not adequately exercised. When muscles aren’t used regularly, muscle tone drops and pain tends to become the outcome.
The aging process has been known to be behind varying anomalies related to the human body, and back pain is one of such. As you get older, systemic processes observe a downward trend in their mode of operation. Pain in certain regions become a normal occurrence. At the top of that list of areas is – the lower back. Anyone between the ages of 30 and above can expect to struggle with lower back pain at some point in their life.
- Psychologically deviant behaviors
A sound mind is less likely to suffer from lower back pain. For the anxious or depressed, that figure will only increase. According to research done by Harvard Medical Health, people struggling with depression or anxiety experience more pain which isn’t limited to the lower back. Theirs is considered worse off not just for the intensity, but the difficulty faced in tackling the trauma head-on.
- Quit that habit!
Preventing lower back pain is as easy as reducing the associated risk. But that’s certainly no mean feat. Quitting certain habits that tend to increase this risk is a good idea. However, accomplishing such can be equated to a herculean task which is easier said than done. How many people can stop smoking because a health blog suggested that?
- Try exercising
Exercises are also worthwhile in preventing Low back pain, especially if such an exercise doesn’t strain the back. These forms of exercise can strengthen the muscles in this area while improving muscle tone. You can always consult a physiotherapist on the best exercise which can help you in avoiding a low-back pain.
- Watch that weight!
Adding weight is so easy in a time where junk food is the new cool, and eating health appears to be a chore. While staying away from the overweight spectrum can be difficult, it’s nonnegotiable if you are serious about keeping your back healthy and pain-free.
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