04 Aug Back Pain: What Could Be Causing It?
Back pain is a common complaint for young and older people alike. It is a common reason people visit the chiropractor or miss work and is a major cause of disability. Acute back pain is typically caused by an injury like falling or heavy lifting. It is categorized by pain that comes on suddenly and lasts fewer than 6 weeks. Back pain that lasts longer than 6 weeks is considered chronic; it is not as common as acute pain. Most people in their lifetime will experience back pain at least once. Thankfully, measures can be taken to prevent back pain and, when it occurs, relieve its symptoms.
Symptoms of Back Pain
Back pain signs and symptoms include:
- Muscle aches or spasms
- Lessened or limited flexibility
- Numbness or pins and needles feeling
- Pain into your legs
- Shooting or stabbing pains
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain can be caused by a large number of things, including:
Muscle, Ligament, or Tendon Strain — Heavy lifting or intense, sudden movements can cause you to strain your back muscles or ligaments and tendons.
Ruptured or Herniated Discs — Discs are cushion-like shock absorbers in the spine. The soft material in a disc can bulge (become herniated) or even rupture and can put pressure on a nerve causing pain. It should be noted that not all bulging discs cause pain.
Arthritis — The lower back can be affected by osteoarthritis and can lead to spinal stenosis, this is where the space around the spinal cord narrows.
Osteoporosis — If your bones are porous or brittle the vertebrae in your spine can develop compression fractures.
Skeletal Irregularities and Deformities — Back pain can be caused by any irregularities in the spine, like severe scoliosis.
Everyone is susceptible to back pain, even kids and teens are not exempt. There are many factors that go into it, however, these factors may increase the risk of developing back pain:
Age — As your age increases, so does the likelihood of developing back pain. It is very common among adults aged 30 and older.
Overweight — Too much weight puts stress on your back muscles and bones.
Disease — Certain diseases like arthritis and cancer can cause back pain.
Lack of Exercise — Weak muscles are unable to protect your back against injury that leads to back pain.
Poor Form When Lifting — Back pain can be the result of improper lifting form.
Preventing Back Pain
While it’s not entirely in your hands, there are some things you can do to help prevent back pain:
Exercise — Regular low-impact exercise will help increase muscle strength and endurance. This protects your back against injury and helps you function better by maintaining a healthy weight. Be sure to use good form when performing exercises.
Use Good Posture — Proper posture helps reduce the stress on back muscles and disperses weight evenly. Bad posture leads to imbalances causing knots, aches, and other pains. To learn more about the importance of using good posture, click here.
Seeking Help for Back Pain
Reaching out to an experienced chiropractor like Dr. Templeton of Spinal Rehab of North County can help reduce the painful symptoms of back pain. Call us today at 801-477-6310 to learn about our New Patient Special that includes an evaluation, massage, and adjustment.