Back Pain 101

A common complaint which greatly affects most people is back pain. Many statistics show that approximately more or less 80% of all Americans will have back pain at least once in their lives. Back pain also is one of the common reasons why workers do not go to work thereby increasing the number of absences and increasing as well the number of doctor visits. This condition is particularly painful and uncomfortable, however for some people it can be something serious.

Back pains are triggered by practicing bad posture like when you are sitting, standing, lifting or bending heavy objects from the floor awkwardly. There are some cases where back pain improves after few weeks’ time or even months. Some people also experience pain for a long- term or recurrence of pain for some others. Even though back pain can greatly affect people of any age, it is significantly popular among adults with the age ranging in between 35 and 55 years old. Science say that this condition is quiet associated with the mechanics or how the way our muscles, ligaments, and bones work hand in hand together.


Types of back pain

The most common type of back pain is backache. Pain is located at the lumbago or lower back area. It can also be felt along anywhere near the spine, from the neck up to the hip area. There is also pain such as in the neck and shoulder area. There are many causes of back pain and some of which are the following:

  •  Slipped disc- this condition happens when the discs that are part of your spine becomes damaged. The discs then presses onto the nerves therefore causing an individual to feel severe pain
  • Sciatica- this condition happens when there is compression or there is irritation in the sciatic nerve. This then causes a problem wherein severe pain, tingling sensations, and numbness is being experienced by an individual which then travels down up to the legs
  • Whiplash- this condition happens when there is neck injury which is caused by sudden impact directed to the neck area
  • Frozen shoulder- this condition happens when there is inflammation on the shoulder. The individual then experiences shoulder stiffness and pain
  • Ankylosing spondylitis – this condition happens when there is stiffness and pain along the area where the pelvis and the spine meets. This can be a long- term state condition.


What should you do?

There are cases wherein the pain felt disappears and seeing a doctor can no longer be needed. If you experience back pain shortly for few days only or few weeks then the following tips can help you relieve the symptoms and may speed up recovery: * be active and continue your day to day activities as much as you can

  •  Take OTC painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol as needed only
  •  Use cold or hot compression packs. You can avail one of these on local pharmacies or try to buy some frozen vegetables. A bottle of hot water will work out as well. Pain hinders the life’s simple pleasures.

Although sometimes it may be difficult, try to enjoy and be optimistic when you experience pain. Stay positive because it is very important also and this helps you to recover fast.

Treatments for long-term back pain

Visit a General Practitioner when you feel uneasy regarding your back and if the pain does not go away or improve after six weeks because they are the ones who can give you advice on the treatments or medications available which you can try on and some of these are the following:

  • More potent painkiller
  • Exercise classes- this classes will teach you the specific exercises that will strengthen the muscles as well as improve the body posture
  • Manual therapy- these includes osteopathy or chiropractic, physiotherapy
  • Acupuncture
  •  Counseling- for example the therapy on cognitive behavioral (CBT)
  •  Referral to a specialist clinic to manage the pain and help find support

There are a many other that choose to go to a therapist and get manual therapy. Sometimes they prefer also acupuncture without consulting a general practitioner. You can do this but it will be quiet costly since you will pay for a private treatment most likely around £30-50 on each appointment. When there are no other treatments left, spinal surgery is then advised.