Acute or chronic back pain might become a big health problem if you don’t take care of your self and keep your body active.
It is even easier to get back pain when you live a sedentary lifestyle. Of course, chronic back pain can also happen due to physical trauma, sudden injuries, or other illnesses.
Once chronic back pain sets in, it can make physical movements extremely difficult and limit how you go about your daily life. Pain medication is often the only management tool people lean on, leading to further health issues, including live issues, dependencies, even kidney damage, etc.
However, knowing what kind of back pain you are experiencing and getting to the root of the problem can help you evaluate the best ways of dealing with it. Let’s talk about the few major types of back pains, their causes, and how to manage them.
Types of Back Pain
There are two major types of back pain that people experience – the upper back and lower back pain. Let’s take a closer look at these types of back pain to understand how to manage them better:
Upper Back Pain:
Upper back pain, or thoracic back pain, is the pain that occurs in the upper region of your back. This part consists of the 12 vertebrae that connect the ribs to the spine. Pain, especially chronic pain, in the upper back is generally flagged as dangerous. This is because some serious health conditions can lead to upper back pain.
Lower Back Pain:
Lower back or lumbar back pain is the pain you feel in the part of your back that starts where the rib cage ends till the upper part of your buttocks. Acute pain in this region is usually not a matter of concern. Doing stretches and other exercises can help you relieve lower back pain. However, chronic pain in the lumbar back region can have a severe underlying cause associated with it.
Is Physical Therapy the Answer?
Most back pain goes away with exercise and lifestyle changes unless you have a severe underlying condition. However, managing some chronic back pain may need physical therapy.
Therapy can take multiple sessions, so finding a local physical therapy center close by can be useful. You will find a physical therapy center nearby in almost every town in the United States. So, unless you live in an extremely remote, rural area, there should be a local physical therapy center a walk or quick drive away.
For example, if you live in Prairieville or St. Gabriel, you are bound to find a therapy center in the greater Baton Rouge Area. Or, if you live in the greater Hartford area, a center in Canton like BodyFit Physical Therapy can be convenient for frequent visits.
Causes and Management of Back Pain
There is a common saying that back pain is one of the worst aspects of adulthood. Due to our hectic lifestyles, we often tend to neglect and misuse many parts of our bodies. This leads to aches and pains that we often don’t have any explanation for, especially back pain, which seems to come out of nowhere.
If you have had an injury and are well aware of the reason, following a doctor’s orders carefully can heal your pain in no time. If you have no identifiable cause for the pain, this may be a cause for concern, so it is better to get it checked. The following issues can cause back pain:
Muscle Deconditioning: This occurs when muscles are not used the way they are meant to be used. Poor posture and unhealthy lounging or sleeping habits can lead to unwanted muscle deconditioning, which can cause upper back pain. Improving your posture, using a posture corrector for support, and selective exercises like stretching, yoga, etc., can help you relieve and get rid of this back pain. Visit a physical therapy (also known as physiotherapy) center if you think you need some guidance.
Muscle or Ligament Strain and Injury: Muscle strain can happen when you overuse your back muscle. Straining your back too much can cause the muscles to get strained.
Misuse of muscles can also occur, especially while lifting heavy objects. If you pick up something heavy and don’t do it with the right technique (such as bending at the knee instead of the back, you can pull an upper back muscle or even injure your spine!
Heavy Injury: If you have had a fall or got into an accident, you might accidentally injure your back. In that case, you might have a severe injury and pain that needs medical attention or physiotherapy. The pain might go away with therapy, or you might need surgery to fix the issue. If you accidentally injure your spine, you can even be left fully or partially paralyzed.
Spinal Disc Related Problems: Spinal discs are an essential part of your spine that cushions between vertebrates and absorbs pressure on the spine. If a disk is herniated, bulging, etc., it can cause back pain. This can lead to a pinched nerve, causing chronic pain in the back.
You might be asked to get a lot of rest and apply hot or cold compression to the spine. Physical therapy is also advised, especially when your disc is only bulging and is not raptured. If you do need surgery, it is better to get it done fast so that it does not lead to more complications.
Arthritis: Arthritis is a bone-related disease that can also be genetic. When a person has arthritis, the cushioning cartilage that protects the ends of your bone wears out. This causes severe pain all over the affected area. Pain from arthritis is chronic and recurring. Sometimes it will go away with rest and a hot or cold compress.
Wearing joint protection and some prescribed medication can help manage this pain. Physiotherapy is often recommended and can be helpful. Your physician might also suggest surgery if the damage is irreversible and serious.
Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis occurs commonly with old age or calcium deficiency. This illness happens when the body is not getting enough calcium to keep the bones strong, becoming brittle and prone to breaking. This causes the bone to become fragile and can easily get fractured or broken. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D helps slow down or cure osteoporosis. Exercises also help strengthen your bones, making them less vulnerable.
Pinched Nerve: When a nerve gets pinched due to trauma or bad posture, it can lead to back pain. When you have a pinched nerve, the doctor can recommend any of the following treatments or a mixture of all, including exercise, rest, muscle reconditioning therapy, hot or cold compress, etc.
Other Causes: If your condition does not meet with any other mentioned before, it can be a serious issue and need to be brought to medical attention quickly. Other life-threatening causes can include spinal infection, various types of cysts, tumors, and even cancer.
Back pain can be extremely inconvenient and painful. The best way to deal with back pain is to find the main cause and deal with it. Anything from rest and therapy to surgery might be needed to treat back pain. Taking the right measures can help you treat your back pain and reclaim your life.