Published: Jul 16, 2010
An estimated 8 out of 10 people suffer from back pain, making it the most common medical problem.
Symptoms can be from a minor muscle ache to a sharp pain, limited range in motion and the inability to stand up straight. It can come suddenly, from an accident or lifting something heavy. It can also develop slowly due to the result of age related changes in the spinal cord.
Back pain is one of our society’s most common medical problem and chances are that if you don’t have it yet, you might experience it someday. Regardless of how back pain feels, you will know when you are suffering from it.
Back pain usually originates from the muscles, joints, nerves and bones in the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a complex network of muscles, nerves, joints and tendons which can all be factors in producing back pain. The pain is often divided into neck pain, lower back pain, upper back pain or tailbone pain. Individuals can also experience pain in the arms and legs because large nerves from the spine extend into these parts of the body.
Approximately 98% of back pain patients are diagnosed with nonspecific acute back pain. The remaining 2% of back pain may be caused by an underlying condition such as metastatic cancer, spinal osteomyelitis and epidural abscess. Also, herniated disc is the most common neurologic impairment which is associated with this condition.
Acute or short term low back pain generally lasts from a few days up to a few weeks. It is usually the result of trauma to the lower back or Arthritis.
Pain from Trauma can be caused by:
Back pain usually goes away with or without treatment. However, back pain can also be a sign of a serious medical problem:
An individual suffering from back pain can experience the following symptoms:
The goal of treatment is to restore proper function and avoid recurrence of injury. Most back pain can be treated without surgery, some of the treatment for back pain includes:
The theory behind back pain prevention is somewhat controversial. It has long been said that exercise and general good health can prevent back pain. This is not necessarily true and several studies have showed that high impact activities increase the chance of back pain while low impact activities such as cycling, swimming can increase fitness without straining the lower back.
To avoid back pain people should:
Applying ergonomic principles in home and office can also reduce the risk of back injury and help maintain a healthy back.