The Hush Post: 8:00 am|4-minute-read
Back pain is a common illness, affecting eight out of ten people. It is one of the common reason for absence from work and takes you to a doctor. Back pain can be caused due to injury, long-term use of a particular muscle, bad posture or other medical conditions. It can affect people of any age, for different reasons. As people get older, the chance of developing back pain increases. The spine plays a very important role in the functioning of the body. It is that part of the central nervous system which is responsible for all of the body’s functions. The spine supports the weight of the upper body and helps to bend and twist in any direction.
Who is prone to back pain?
- Age is one of the most common factors for back pain. It normally starts between the age of 30 and 40 years.
- Injuries caused by accidents, fractures to the spine could result in back pain.
- Weak, inactive muscles in your back and abdomen could lead to back pain.
- Being overweight puts tremendous pressure on the back, especially the spine.
- Some types of arthritis and cancers can also cause back pain.
- Improper lifting or heavy lifting can leads to back pain.
- People prone to depression and anxiety appear to have a greater risk of back pain. When you are under stress, your back muscles contract and tighten up. Prolonged tightening of these muscles can cause pain.
- Cigarette smoking also reduces calcium absorption. It prevents new bones to grow. Smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis (brittle, fragile bones). However, coughing from heavy smoking can cause back pain.
- If you are doing a sitting job or you are inactive, it can make the back muscles weak resulting in back pain.
- If you sit or sleep with a wrong posture, back pain will occur.
- Back pain among pregnant women is common since there is excess weight in the front portion of the body.
How does back pain occur?
1. Back pain happens because something is amiss with the spinal joints, muscles, discs, and nerves fitting together. This can happen due to many reasons. Some of the examples are pushing, pulling, lifting, or carrying something heavy.
2. Standing or sitting for long periods.
3. Keeping the neck forward, while driving or using a computer.
4. Continuous driving without a break can cause back pain.
4. Sleeping on a mattress — cosy ones — which do not support the body and keep the spine straight.
5. Pelvic inflammatory disease, bladder, or kidney infections may also lead to back pain.
6. Persons with sleep disorder are more prone to back pain, as compared to others.
When to consult the doctor?
- Weight loss
- Inflammation or swelling on the back
- Persistent back pain, where lying down or resting does not help
- Pain down the legs
- Pain that reaches below the knees
- Any injury, blow or trauma to the back
- difficulty in urinating
- Numbness around the genitals, anus or around the buttock
- Unexplained weight loss
Common ways to relieve back pain:
- 1. The common way to get relieved from back pain is to apply ice or heat to sore back muscles: Ice may be applied for 10-20 minutes. Place a wet towel between the ice bag and your body. While heat is not recommended for the first 48 hours of back pain. After that, it can be applied with a maximum of 20 minutes at a time.
2. Backwards or forward movements: Some people find that doing slight backward or forward bends can help relieve back pain. If an exercise decreases your pain, repeat it frequently throughout the day.
Tips to prevent Back pain
- Exercise: One of the most important things you can do to prevent back pain is exercise. If you aren’t in good shape, you’re more likely to hurt your back. Exercise helps keep your joints fluid. It helps you keep your weight down. If you are overweight, it will result in more strain on your back. The best prevention is stretch your legs & arms to keep back pain away.
- Eat right: If you have good eating habits, you not only maintain a healthy body weight, but you also do not put unnecessary stress on your body. If your intestines are working and functioning properly, it will maintain your spine because your inside and outside are connected to one another.
- Sleep sideways: Don’t sleep flat on your back. The best position for sleeping is on your side. A supportive mattress and pillow for your head are complete essentials.
- Maintain proper posture: If you practice good posture, you will maintain the natural curves of your back and help keep it strong.
- Reduce stress: Constant tension can cause back pain. To get relieved from it, stress reduction activities like yoga, meditation, deep breathing can be done.
- Quit smoking: It’s well known that smoking raises your risk for heart disease and cancer, including lung and colon cancers. But most people don’t realize that smoking also can be a cause of persistent back pain. Research also shows smoking can make existing back pain worse.
You can reduce your risk for back pain with simple lifestyle changes. However, should you experience back pain, don’t ignore it. It could be a sign of a more serious condition. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and what you should do to find and treat the cause.