If your back aches, you're not alone. Four out of five adults experience at least one bout of back pain at some time during their lifetime. In fact, low back pain is the fifth-leading cause of trips to the doctor in the United States.
In addition, back injuries are the leading cause of work-related disability. Even though back pain is rarely life-threatening, the annual cost in terms of lost productivity, medical expenses and workers' compensation benefits runs into the tens of billions of dollars in the United States.
Causes of Back Pain
Although back pain is common, it's also quite possible for you to prevent most back problems with simple steps such as exercise and adopting new ways to sit and stand. Even if you've injured your back before, you can learn techniques to help avoid recurrent injuries.
Back pain can occur for no apparent reason and at any point on your spine. The most common site for pain is your lower back because it bears the most weight and stress.
Back pain can have many causes:
Osteoarthritis Back sprains and strains Herniated Disk Osteoporosis Fibromyalgia
Low Back Pain Symptoms
The term “low back pain” is used to describe a spectrum of symptoms. Depending on the cause, low back pain may be dull, burning or sharp, covering a broad area or confined to a single point. It can come on gradually or suddenly and may or may not be accompanied by muscle spasm or stiffness.
Leg symptoms can be caused by lower spine problems that place pressure on a nerve to the leg; they can occur on their own or along with low back pain. Leg symptoms can include pain, numbness or tingling usually below the knee.
Back Pain Prevention
With a little care and attention, you may be able to avoid an aching back in the first place. Getting in better physical condition may help prevent back pain.
To keep your back healthy and strong:
Regular aerobic activities that don't strain or jolt your back can increase strength and endurance in your lower back, allowing your muscles to function better. These aerobic exercises include walking, swimming or biking. Talk with your doctor about which activity is best for you.
Build muscle strength and flexibility
Conditioned abdominal and back muscles work together like a natural corset for your back. Flexibility in your hips and upper legs allows for proper pelvic bone alignment, which improves how your back feels. Doing several simple exercises on a regular basis can help support and align your back.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight puts strain on your back muscles. If you're overweight, trimming down can prevent back pain.
Back Pain Self-Care
A sore back usually settles down or improves within four weeks, unless there's a serious medical condition causing the pain. See your doctor if you don't experience any improvement after 72 hours of home treatment.
These steps can help you treat back pain at home:
Prolonged bed rest isn't a good idea for back pain. Light activity speeds healing and recovery. If your back hurts, stop the aggravating activities, but try to keep up activities that aren't painful.
Apply cold, then heat
Sources of heat and cold, such as a hot bath and hot or cold compresses, can soothe sore and inflamed muscles. Use cold treatment first. Immediately after injuring your back, apply ice several times a day, for up to 20 minutes at a time. Put the ice in a bag, then wrap the bag in a cloth or towel to keep a thin barrier between the ice and your skin. Use ice for as long as spasms persist. After spasms and acute pain subside, you can apply heat from a heating pad or heat lamp to help loosen tight muscles. Limit each heat application to 20 minutes.
Results and expectations from the Advanced Massage Therapy Center:
Bach pains are most commonly muscle referral. Also misalignment of the hips cause the spine to curve and muscles are strained and triggered. Most common pain is caused by improper workout and too much abdominal work. Other back pain can be caused from organ tightness. Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, stomach and liver dysfunctions are just a few reasons for back pain. Therapy must include verification of all systems to determine possible dysfunctional problems. After evaluation and initial therapy, pain causes are understood and usually pain is reduced. More advanced cases will require more visits.
Recommended Therapy: NeuroMuscular Massage; CranioSacral Massage; Lymphatic Drainage Massage & Visceral Manipulation Massage