Most people experience back pain at some point in their lives. It can be extremely mild, such as after a strenuous workout at the gym. Or the pain can be so debilitating that medical intervention is required.
Symptoms of back pain include the following:
- Muscle ache and pain
- Shooting or stabbing sensations
- Intense burning in the lower back
- Back pain that radiates down the leg
- Pain that intensifies when bending, twisting or lifting
- Discomfort that is present when standing or walking
Back pain causes
As far as health conditions go, back pain can be complicated to diagnose and treat. That’s because back pain causes are not always easy to identify. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, sometimes a back injury produces pain weeks or months later so there’s no clear connection between the cause and effect.
Also, sometimes the back pain is due to nerve or soft tissue damage. Even with the most sophisticated scans and imaging tests available, it’s difficult to detect any problems with the back physiologically, so diagnosing and prescribing treatment can be a challenge for physicians.
Below are some typical back pain causes:
- Muscle or ligament strain – This is the most common back pain cause. Repeated heavy lifting or moving in awkward directions can strain the back muscles and spinal ligaments. The result is painful muscle spasms, particularly if you’re in poor physical shape, since lack of muscle tone and strength in the back can make the health condition worse.
- Spinal disks that are bulging or ruptured – An accident, or simply wear and tear can cause the disks that cushion the vertebrae (bones in your spine) to shift out of place. Since this cushion material is soft, it can easily bulge or even rupture, applying pressure on the nerves in the area. Many cases of back pain are related to problems with the spinal disks. Keep in mind, however, that it’s possible to have a bulging or ruptured disk and not experience any back pain at all. In fact, many people don’t even realise they have a slipped disk until it’s discovered on an imaging test performed for unrelated health conditions.
- Osteoporosis – It tends to affect older people although osteoporosis can sometimes happen when you’re younger. This disease turns bones porous and brittle, making individuals more prone to developing painful fractures. If a fracture occurs at your spine’s vertebrae, this can contribute to acute and chronic back pain.
- Osteoarthritis – This condition occurs when the protective cartilage between your bones deteriorates over time. Although osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body (hands, knees and hips), it’s very common in the spine. If left undiagnosed and untreated, arthritis in the spine can lead to spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord which can cause back pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness.
How to prevent back pain?
One way to prevent back pain is to keep your back muscles healthy and strong. Here are 5 useful tips:
- Regular Exercise – Low impact exercise is best for those who have a history of back pain. Focus on activities that strengthen but don’t strain or jolt your back. Walking, swimming and elliptical training are all good choices. When in doubt, ask your physician to recommend the best exercises for your particular health condition.
- Stay within a healthy weight – Carrying excess weight on the body puts a lot of strain on your back muscles. It can also make you more susceptible to developing conditions such as arthritis and osteoarthritis. Studies show that keeping your weight down has a protective effect on the body’s bones, muscles and other organs.
- Keep your muscles strong – any exercises that strengthen your core create strong and healthy back muscles. One way to help your body build a strong back is with truSculpt Flex. It’s a proven advanced technology that delivers high frequency bio-electrical muscle stimulation to the back, helping to boost muscle strength and endurance. truSculpt Flex treatments have shown to increase muscle mass by 30% on average. Another exciting development for those suffering from back pain is that truSculpt Flex has shown in clinical studies to reduce chronic low back pain and improve range of motion and flexibility.
- Watch your posture – If you tend to slouch, try to maintain a neutral pelvic position. If your job requires you to stand for long periods of time, place one foot on a low stool (alternating feet) to take some pressure off your back. If you have a desk job, get a chair with good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base. Placing a pillow behind your back can remind you to maintain good posture. Get up and walk around every hour to stretch your back.
- Avoid heavy lifting – If your profession requires you to lift heavy objects then let your legs do all the work. It’s important to bend only at the knees while keeping your back straight. Avoid twisting or jerking motions. If an object is too heavy or an awkward shape, ask for help to lift or move it.
When to seek medical intervention?
Fortunately, most back pain improves over time without having to see a doctor. If you’re experiencing any of the following, however, contact a medical professional right away:
- You’ve sustained a fall, accident or injury
- The pain persists longer than two weeks
- There is no improvement with rest
- Severe pain that shoots down one or both legs
- You’re experiencing weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
- You have a fever
- Bowel or bladder problems accompanying back pain
We invite you to book a consultation at Restoration Clinic in Mt. Hawthorn to determine if truSculpt Flex treatments are right for you. Call us now at (08) 9025 3218.