As we’ve previously mentioned, many Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their lives – 8 in 10 of us roughly. For some, back pain is chronic and severe enough to lead them to seek medical help and for a percentage of people that back pain is symptomatic of a larger health issue.
Fortunately for us, most back pain is temporary and easily alleviated. Back pain sometimes comes about because we have been sitting hunched in front of a computer for many hours, for others because of strenuous physical labor. For the easy fixes, exercise, a back pain brace or another simple fix can quickly lessen your pain.
Some common causes of back pain can be easily identified so as to make them avoidable – or, at least, fixable.
- Strained muscles: the most common cause of back pain is an injury to a muscle (strain) or a ligament (sprain). Muscle strains cause up to 85% of back pain experienced. How do you pull a muscle? By overloading it. When you overstretch a muscle, you essentially tear it which causes inflammation, muscles spasms and pain. Lifting heavy weights, pulling on your back instead of using your legs and abs, unexpected twisting or falling down are some of the ways in which back muscles can be pulled.
- Muscle overuse: overusing your muscles means that one group of muscles is being held in tension for too long – this occurs when you remain in one position for too long (such as sitting down) or only work out one muscle group to the detriment of others. The body was made to move and our multiple muscle groups have distinct duties – when one muscle or group of muscles is forced to work harder and/or longer than others, they tire and cause us pain. Lumbar support can often alleviate lower back pain due to poor posture or prolonged seating, while other back brace and supports can help mid-torso pains.
- Nerve pressure: pressure on the nerve roots in the spinal canal can be caused by a herniated disc in the lower back. Herniated discs occur when repeated vibration or motion are applied to the back. Sometimes herniated discs occur simply because of old age due to normal wear and tear as vertebrae and spinal discs become less flexible. In most cases, symptoms of a herniated disc can be managed with nonsurgical treatment and will go away over time.
- Stress: it is well documented that stress wreaks physical havoc on the body – from gastrointestinal disturbances to headaches. Add back pain to that list too. Tension caused by stress and internal turmoil can manifest itself along your spine and cause pain. Acupuncture, exercise, meditation and yoga have all been shown to help as has physical therapy which can be undertaken for as little as two months with results.
Of course, back pain that is extreme in discomfort, prolonged, or accompanied by other symptoms (fever, vomiting etc) ought to be checked out by a doctor to ensure that more serious conditions are not an issue.
Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.
About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. For quality back braces, including a wide lumbar and cervical braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.