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Back Pain - Symptoms, Causes , Diagnosis, Treatment & More

 

Back pain is one thing that many people experience at some point in their lives. Although the pain can be slightly different for each person, it's usually accompanied by muscle spasms, aching and tingling sensations, and shooting pains that can feel like an electric shock to the nerves or a dull ache around the organs. The good news is that back pain isn't always just bad without relief. The following article will share with you some great advice on how to find relief from back pain and prevent it from returning.

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Symptoms:

The most noticeable signs of back pain are usually muscle spasms, aching and tingling sensations, and shooting pain in the limbs.[ 2 ]

Although these symptoms can vary slightly, they usually occur along the spine. These muscles often contract and relax when you bend down or try to straighten your body up, making it hard for you to fit into smaller spaces. The spasms are also caused by irritation of the nerves that run along your spine. Your vertebrae may also become compressed or bruised due to the pressure that is placed on them when you move around. These symptoms are typically accompanied by other symptoms, such as numbness in the limbs and problems with movement or balance.

When to see a doctor?

If you have any of the symptoms that have been mentioned, it's important to see a doctor to determine whether or not you're suffering from back pain. However, there are some signs that can be signs of a problem. If you experience sudden changes in posture when you move around, a change in muscle strength or sensation, and if your pain is accompanied by other signs such as tingling sensations, lack of coordination and dizziness, it's important to see a doctor. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's best to do your own research before seeing a doctor to determine whether or not they are signs of back pain.

Back Pain: Causes and Risk Factors:

There are many causes for the type of back pain that you can experience. Each cause can be different for each person, but some of the most common reasons include:

1. Bone injury or strain. Injuries to your back can cause pain and loss of motion in the affected areas. These injuries are usually caused by an accident or poor posture over an extended period of time.

2. Disc herniations. Discs in your back can become compressed, creating pressure on the nerves, muscles and tendons that run through the discs.[ 3 ] When these are damaged, they can lead to pain and loss of mobility.[ 4 ]

3. Spasms in the muscles and spine: When you experience spasms in your lower back muscles, they can cause pain above and below your waist as well as in your legs. These spasms can last for just a few minutes, or they can last for a few days.

4. Bone deformities. Bone deformities in your spine can cause scoliosis, which is when the spine curves to one side. This condition causes pain and dysfunction in the spinal column.

5. Arthritis: Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes joint stiffness and pain.[ 5 ] It's typically caused by wear and tear on your joints, but it can be caused by other factors as well.[ 6 ]

6. Infections: Spinal infections are rare, but they can occur if you injure your back. The infections can be caused by bacteria, which creates pus and other substances that can cause inflammation.[ 7 ]

7. Metabolic conditions: Metabolic conditions such as diabetes can cause back pain. The pain is caused by the swelling that develops in the feet and legs due to nerve damage.[ 8 ] When you have diabetes, high levels of glucose can be present in your body tissues, which can lead to cell death and pain throughout your body.[ 9 ]

8. Prolonged muscle strain: If you perform strenuous activities over a long period of time without giving your muscles a chance to rest, they will become strained. Strain on your back muscles can also occur when you lift heavy objects without using proper form or technique.

Back Pain Diagnosis:

After you've seen a doctor, they will ask you to describe your symptoms and how long the pain has lasted. They will ask how the pain feels and whether or not it worsens or improves at any given time of day. They may also ask about your stress levels, whether or not you have changed positions recently and if you've done anything physically different recently from what you normally do.

These questions will help them determine what type of back pain you're experiencing for easier diagnosis. The doctor may also check your muscle spasms to see if there's a problem with the nerves that control your muscles. This can be done using an electromyography test or an x-ray test.

You may be asked to sit on a special machine for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) imaging of your muscles. An x-ray test may also be done to check the cartilage or joint surgically.

After the diagnosis is made, the doctor will decide what treatment options will be used to help you recover.

Treatment:

The type of treatment you've received will depend on the diagnosis and the reason for your pain.

Some treatments may include:

1. Rest: If your doctor determines that you have a muscle strain or spasm, back pain relief will be given through bed rest and/or physical therapy to help relieve the pain over a short period of time.

2. Pain medication: Pain medication such as ibuprofen can be used to reduce the inflammation in your back and relieve the pain in your muscles.[ 10 ]

3. Heat therapy: If there's an infection that is causing your back pain, heat therapy can be used to kill off pathogens before they cause damage in tissues. Heat therapy can also be used to help relieve pain before other treatments have time to work.

4. Medications for nerve pain: If you have a herniated disc, medications can be used to relieve the discomfort. These medications may include anti-seizure drugs for discomfort and muscle relaxants that are non-addictive.[ 11 ]

5. Spinal injections: Steroid injections can be used to reduce pain in your lower back if it's related to an inflammatory condition such as arthritis.[ 12 ] If steroid injections don't work, they may be followed by epidural injections into the space around the spinal cord where there is nerve inflammation and irritation caused by inflammation and irritation of other nerves in the area.[ 13 ]

6. Surgery: Surgery may be necessary if the pain from your back is caused by a bone deformity, spinal infection or injury, disc degeneration or if your back pain is interfering with your daily routine. The surgery can often be done as an outpatient procedure and has fewer risks than many other types of surgeries.[ 14 ]

7. Physical therapy: Physical therapy can be used to help you regain muscle strength and use of the affected areas in your spine. This may alleviate some of the pain that you're experiencing from your back and help improve your movement in these areas.

8. Lifestyle changes: While lifestyle changes are not typically a treatment for back pain, they can sometimes help relieve symptoms such as stress and depression.

Some lifestyle changes that may help relieve your pain include:

1. Exercising regularly.

2. Maintaining an optimal weight.

3. Using proper posture at all times and avoiding slouching or prolonged standing.[ 15 ]

4. Getting enough sleep .

5. Practicing stress management techniques such as deep breathing exercises and meditation . 

6. Eating a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish and whole grains to promote overall wellness in your body.[ 16 ]  If you're suffering from back pain, please see your doctor for diagnosis, treatment and further information about what you can do to get relief from your pain.

Prevention:

Back pain can happen for a number of reasons. Here are some ways to help prevent back pain from ever occurring:

1. Proper posture: Good posture helps align your spinal column and lower back for proper function and spinal health. Straightening up your body during work can help reduce stress that may be causing pain in your back.[ 17 ] When you're standing or walking, make sure your feet stay pointing forward at all times to maintain good posture and avoid slouching.[ 18 ] You also want to keep ends of arms and legs together so that they don't get caught between them when lifting heavy objects.[ 19 ]

2. Getting regular exercise: Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which will reduce stress on your back and strengthen your back muscles. You want to make sure you're using proper spinal posture when performing any type of physical activity, including yoga and weightlifting.

3. Having an ergonomically-friendly workstation: Adjusting certain aspects of your workspace can help prevent prolonged strain on your arms, legs, back and shoulders. To prevent straining your neck and shoulders from repetitive motion in the workplace, be sure to adjust the seat height of your chair.[ 20 ] Whenever possible for the type of work you do at a desk job (or even at home), use an ergonomic chair with good lumbar support. This will help keep your back straight and reduce the risk of back pain. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor to avoid slouching and keep your shoulders relaxed and down.[ 21 ] If necessary, try a footrest so your feet are able to rest comfortably during work. Using a footrest can help prevent fatigue for muscles that support you during work.[ 22 ] Keep a small stool next to or behind you so you're able to lean against it when needed. This can help relieve pressure from bending forward or lifting heavy objects.[ 23 ]

4. Maintaining proper weight: Excess weight puts more stress on your back and may cause back pain if it's not properly supported. Make sure you're getting enough exercise to maintain a healthy weight, and if needed, see your doctor for any necessary changes in your diet.

5. Using proper posture when standing or sitting: While it's important to maintain proper posture when you're at work, this is also important for other times during the day. Make sure your back is always straight and kept perpendicular to the floor. To avoid straining your back during long periods of time, try using a footrest so you can support more of your weight on the front part of your body.[ 24 ] While sitting, it's good to keep a small stool nearby so that you're able to use it when needed as an extra support while sitting.[ 25 ]

6. Preventing injuries: Preventing injury is important, as back pain is a common result of sports injuries and strain. While it may be tempting to avoid these kinds of activities due to pain, if you're injured, seek medical help so you can get proper care and treatment to help return your strength and mobility. Walking or lifting something heavy when it's not appropriate can also cause back pain when you don't take precautions or use proper techniques.[ 26 ]

7. Eating a healthy diet: There are a number of things that we all need to be doing in our diets every day to promote good health. This includes eating fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish and whole grains. Eating balanced meals on a daily basis helps keep your spine healthy so you can prevent back pain.[ 27 ]

8. Drinking plenty of water: Water is essential for optimal health of your body and to keep functioning properly. Drink water throughout the day to help keep your body hydrated and reduce the risk of becoming dehydrated.[ 28 ] Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after physical activity because dehydration can cause back pain.[ 29 ]

If you're suffering from back pain, please see your doctor for diagnosis, treatment and further information about what you can do to get relief from your pain.

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