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The Cause of Back Pain: What is It?

The Cause of Back PainBack pain is one of the leading causes of missed days at work and time off from school. Because back pain affects nearly everyone of every age, there are numerous reasons it can occur. Most back pain causes are not serious or even life-threatening. While in rare instances, back pain could signal a much more serious health problem. Here are the common causes of back pain that many people experience.

Your back pain may be caused by a minor strain or inflammation in the soft tissues surrounding your spinal cord and vertebrae. The strain can be caused by a minor injury such as falling on your knee or stepping on your toe. A more common cause of strain to your spinal cord and vertebrae is spinal stenosis or narrowing of your spinal canal. This narrowing can cause compression, or irritation, in your nerves and discs, which can result in pain, numbness, and tingling sensations. Stenosis is the most common cause of back pain, but it can also be associated with serious conditions such as osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis.

Your back pain may also be caused by a lack of flexibility in your soft tissues, specifically the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These structures, once strong and healthy, become less dense as we age. As a result, these muscle tissues, ligaments, and tendons are less able to provide the cushion and strength necessary to prevent injury and alleviate pain. Exercises to improve your flexibility not only help you prevent back pain but strengthen your muscles and decrease the risk of injury and soft-tissue swelling.

People often experience back pain after performing simple activities like lifting. Lifting, especially when done incorrectly, can lead to upper body muscle strain, which can lead to neck and upper body pain. It is important that you pay close attention to how you are lifting and always perform proper form. Do not twist or lift unevenly, and make sure that you do not perform repetitions that strain any muscles or ligaments. If you feel any pain or tingling in your arms or shoulders after lifting, stop the exercise and get help.

One of the more common causes of lower back pain is spinal stenosis. As you grow older, your spinal canal narrows, which can result in compression of the nerves in your spine. You may experience numbness, tingling, or other symptoms as a result of this narrowing. Spinal stenosis can also cause symptoms in your legs, such as leg pain or weakness. This weakening of the spine can affect your walking as well as your ability to sit properly and can lead to further complications if left untreated.

While the above-mentioned causes of lower back pain are all treatable, they are not curable and will need to be treated for the rest of your life. For those that may already be suffering from this condition, there are some treatments that may help alleviate the symptoms and allow you to live a longer, healthier life. Massage chairs offer various massage therapy treatments to help you relax, improve mobility, and reduce the chronic pain that you experience on a daily basis.

If you suffer from a condition that affects the intervertebral discs, you may need to take extra measures to protect your back. This could include wearing a brace that supports your vertebrae and protects your spinal cord, avoiding excessive twisting and turning, and using a lumbar support cushion as well as strengthening your abdominal and pelvic muscles. Exercises can also help improve your posture and strengthen your back and abdomen. A good massage therapist can educate you on how to perform exercises that will correct poor posture and help improve your posture and decrease the pain you feel from your back pain. As previously mentioned, preventing poor posture from happening in the first place is a great way to prevent back pain, and this is one of the easiest ways to help reduce your back pain.

If there is an underlying cause to your lower back pain, other treatment options include physical therapy, medication, and more extreme cases where the spine is removed and the discs replaced. The cost of these methods varies, and depending on the type of treatment your physician decides is necessary, it could end up being quite costly. Luckily, there are cheaper, non-invasive alternative methods of treating back pain like acupuncture and taking x-rays.