Back pain is considered the most common form of disability, contributing to the most days taken off of work, and a considerable amount of physical stress suffered by adults of every age. As such, if you’re worried that your back pain is becoming more common, it might be important to have a think about what the causes might be and, if you discover that, what you can do about it next. Back pain can become debilitating, so it’s important to get it checked out if it’s starting to become an even somewhat prevalent part of your life.
Injuries to the back
Back pain can often start with a specific injury to the soft tissue, ligaments, joints, or spine that, when not appropriately treated, can linger for a long time. Any injury to the back should be taken very seriously, with your doctor involved in your treatment. Some of the most common causes of back pain can include things like muscle and ligament sprain. This might happen when a muscle or ligament is stretched too far and tearing happens. This can happen when lifting objects, moving your back too suddenly, or as a result of sports injuries. This can cause very acute pain but, when treated right, should not result in long-term pain.
Generally speaking, there are two types of back pain, mechanical and inflammatory back pain, as shown at https://creakyjoints.org/symptoms/inflammatory-vs-mechanical-back-pain/. Mechanical back pain is usually pain as a result of issues with vertebrae, spinal joints, or soft tissues. Inflammation, however, is often described as the swelling of tissue of the body, often as a result of an immune response in the back that mistakenly targets your spine or supporting structures. Ankylosing spondylitis is the most common cause of back pain as a result of inflammation. While there is no direct cure, it can be treated through a combination of exercise, physiotherapy, and anti-inflammatory medicine.
Considered a form of chronic inflammation, arthritis is a condition that affects over 50 million adults. People over the age of 45 are at a greater risk of arthritis, and it affects women slightly more than it affects men. There are many different kinds of arthritis, however, many of them affecting people as young as in their teenage years. Symptoms that can indicate arthritis include pain in the joints as well as the back, stiffness, redness, and swelling, as well as a decreased range of motion. If you are concerned that you are experiencing the symptoms of arthritis, it may be best to see specialists like https://www.uhhospitals.org/services/rheumatology-services who can help narrow down accurately what type it might be and, therefore, the best route of treatment.
This is a condition that directly affects your back. Scoliosis is defined as excess curvature of the spine, often in a C-shape or an S-shape. It can develop as a teenager due to the way your spine is growing out of place, or as an adult as a result of things like spinal degeneration. A lot of people who have scoliosis do not suffer any more symptoms of back pain than the average person. However, depending on how severe it is, it can require the wearing of a brace to correct the spine or even surgery. If you are diagnosed with scoliosis, then the help of professionals like https://scoliosisinstitute.com/scoliosis-doctors-near-me/ might help you live better than it than regular doctors. Taking specific fitness steps, improving your posture, and other lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms greatly.
Another condition that is more likely to affect older adults, and older women especially, is osteoporosis. Effectively, this is a condition that results in the decreasing of bone mass over the years, and it typically affects the hip, wrist, and spine more seriously than other parts of the body. As such, people with osteoporosis are more likely to experience back pain but also fractures that can be very painful. A bone density test as shown at https://www.choosingwisely.org/patient-resources/bone-density-tests/ can help diagnose any osteoporosis. If it is caught early, then medication can play a huge role in diminishing the symptoms and halting the progression of osteoporosis, ensuring that you retain as much of your bone density as possible.
This is one of the lesser-known conditions explored here. It is commonly understood that fibromyalgia likely happens due to some abnormalities in the nervous system but, beyond that, it is not well defined. What is known is that it presents as symptoms of pain that can appear all throughout the body, with back pain being one of the most common expressions of the condition. Fatigue, depression, headaches, problems with memory and concentration, and tingling or numbness can all be symptoms of fibromyalgia, as well. Though this condition may not be as well understood as some of the others listed here, there are still ways to treat it, including prescription painkillers, physical therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Stress and anxiety
While many of the causes of back pain might have their roots firmly planted in the physical world, it’s important to know that your mental health can also affect your physical health. In particular, stress has a specifically prominent relationship with back pain. Being more stressed can cause or exacerbate back pain, to put it simply. The relationship is not clearly known, but there are theories that include things like changes in your breathing as a result of stress increasing tension in the mid-back, the production of cortisol (the stress hormone) leading to more back inflammation, and the impact that stress can have on your sleeping and fitness levels then going on to affect your back, as well. While the relationship might not be the clearest, most will agree that stress and back pain are very closely linked.
The above examples may not tell you exactly what might be causing your back pain. However, hopefully, they do indicate how crucial it is to get the root cause of your symptoms.