Understanding and Coping with Back Pain
According to the Global Burden of Disease, back pain is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Nearly 31 million Americans experience lower back pain, making it one of the top reasons people miss work and visit the doctor.
Although back pain is common, it doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of life. If you’re experiencing mild, moderate, severe back pain, talk to your doctor to determine the cause of the pain and consider these tips for coping with discomfort.
Potential Causes of Back Pain
There are many potential causes of back pain, and understanding the source of your pain is an essential first step in relieving your discomfort. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms to determine your potential cause of back pain.
Strain or Sprain
One of the most common causes of back pain in people of any age is a strain or sprain. A strain is an injury to a back muscle or tendon, and a back sprain is the stretching or tearing of a ligament. Symptoms for both are similar and include pain that gets worse with movement, muscle cramps or spasms, and a decrease in motion. You can strain or sprain your back by lifting heavy objects, exercising improperly, or even sleeping in an awkward position.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes weak and brittle bones and is most common in the hip and spine. There may not be symptoms of osteoporosis in the early stages, but it can eventually cause back pain due to a fracture or collapsed vertebra. It may also cause height loss, poor posture, and brittle bones.
People who experience chronic stress also tend to experience bouts of back pain. When you’re stressed, your muscles can tense. If you’re stressed for long periods, the tense muscles can lead to discomfort. Often the back pain can lead to more stress, resulting in a vicious cycle of stress and back pain.
Also called a herniated disk or spinal disc herniation, a slipped disc is an issue with the rubbery disc between the spinal bones. Symptoms of a herniated or slipped disc included arm or leg pain, weakness in the back and legs, and numbness or tingling. It’s most commonly caused by aging from the natural wear and tear of the body.
Coping with Back Pain
Doctors can treat most common causes of back pain. Depending on the severity of the pain, your doctor may suggest a combination of treatment options.
If you’re experiencing mild back discomfort, stretching is a great way to relieve tension. It’s also helpful in reducing your chances of experiencing future back pain by improving flexibility and range of motion. Try to incorporate stretching into your daily routine, especially when you’re doing a lot of physical activity. Need some stretching tips? Check out our blog post on stretches to relieve back pain.
If your back pain is caused by inflammation or infection, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory to relieve the discomfort. If your pain is mild due to a strain or stress, your doctor may suggest an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen.
Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures
In severe cases where the pain is interfering with your daily life, your doctor may suggest surgery. The good news is that medical professionals, such as those at Mocek Spine Clinic, are using new advancements in back pain treatment for more minor invasive procedures.
If you are living with back pain, the team at Mocek Spine Clinic can help. We offer advanced spine care solutions through patient-centered care, and our purpose is to provide compassionate care designed to allow you to live your life in the least amount of pain possible. Through our minimally invasive spinal treatments, you’re expected to heal more quickly so you can go back to living your life.
To learn more, you can make an appointment at our clinic or give us a call at 501.224.4001.