Back pain is the third most common reason why patients are seeking medical help and are being absent from work. Back pain is uncomfortable and exhausting, and occur as a result of injuries, activities, and some health conditions. It affects people of all ages, and with age it is more likely you will experience lower back pain. We discover the most common causes of back pain, why they occur, how to distinguish between pain that you can treat at home and those that require emergency medical care, and what to do when the cause of back pain cannot be identified. We make recommendations on what you can do in your daily life to avoid back pain or alleviate existing ones. We recommend the best dietary supplement – Acuraflex capsules that simultaneously reduce inflammation and strengthen bones, muscles and ligaments, and are completely natural. Once you apply Acuraflex cream to a sore spot, you will no longer be able to imagine your home pharmacy without it.
- Why does back pain occur?
- Risk factors for back pain
- Back pain – when to seek medical help?
- Treatment of back pain
- Useful tips how to get rid of back pain
BACK PAIN CAUSES
Lower back pain (lumbago) can be associated with the lumbar spine, the discs between the vertebrae, the ligaments around the spine, the spinal cord and nerves, the muscles of the lower back, the abdominal and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar region. Upper back pain can be caused by aortic disorders, chest tumors, and inflammation of the spine. The spine is made up of a complex structure of muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs and bones, which together support the body and allow movement. The segments of the spine are lined with cartilaginous structures – discs of which there are a total of 23 in the spine, act as shock absorbers in the spine and hold the vertebrae together. Problems with any of these components can lead to back pain. In some cases, the cause of back pain remains unclear. Damage can, in addition to the mentioned causes, also occur due to stress, health conditions and poor posture.
Pain caused by strain
Back pain usually results from strain, tension, or injury. Common causes of back pain are:
- tense muscles or ligaments
- muscle spasm
- muscle tension
- damaged discs
- injuries, fractures or falls
Activities that can lead to stress
- Improper lifting of loads
- lifting loads
- sudden and awkward movements
Pain caused by structural problems
Numerous structural problems can also result in back pain.
- Disc rupture – each vertebra in the spine is lined with discs. If the disc ruptures, there will be increased pressure on the nerve, resulting in back pain.
- Bulging discs – In much the same way as cracked discs, a bulging disc can result in more pressure on the nerve.
- Sciatica – sharp and radiant pain passes through the buttocks and down the back of the leg. The pain is caused by a bulge or herniated disc that presses on a nerve.
- Arthritis – can cause problems with the joints in the hips, lower back and other places. In some cases, the space around the spinal cord narrows. This is known as spinal stenosis.
- Abnormal curvature of the spine – if the spine bends in an unusual way, back pain can occur. An example is scoliosis, in which the spine bends to the side.
- Osteoporosis – bones, including the vertebrae, become brittle and porous, increasing the chance of a compression fracture.
- Kidney problems – Kidney stones or a kidney infection can cause back pain.
Pain caused by wrong movements and bad posture
Back pain can also be the result of some daily activities or poor posture. Examples include:
- coughing or sneezing
- muscle tension
- excessive stretching
- awkward movement or staying in an awkward position for a long time
- pushing, pulling, lifting or carrying something
- standing or sitting for a long time
- straining the neck, for example while driving or using a computer
- long rides without a break, even when the back is not hunched
- sleeping on a mattress that does not support the body and keeps the spine straight
Other causes of back pain
Some medical conditions can lead to back pain.
- Cauda equina syndrome (CES) – is a particularly serious type of nerve entrapment. It is a rare disorder where the nerves at the very bottom of the spinal cord are pressed. Symptoms include dull pain in the lower back and upper buttocks, as well as numbness of the genitals and thighs. Sometimes there are bowel and bladder disorders.
- Spinal cancer – a tumor on the spine can press on a nerve, resulting in back pain.
- Infections – Inflammatory diseases of the pelvis, bladder or kidneys can also lead to back pain.
- Sleep Disorders – People with sleep disorders are more likely to experience back pain than others.
- Shingles– an infection that can affect the nerves can lead to back pain. Whether there will be back pain depends on which nerves are affected.
Risk factors for back pain
Lower back pain is likely to affect more women than men, probably due to hormonal factors. Stress, anxiety and mood disorders are also associated with back pain. The following factors are associated with a higher risk of developing low back pain:
- individual occupations
- sedentary lifestyle
- poor fitness
- older age
- obesity and excess weight
- strenuous physical exercise or work, especially if done incorrectly
- genetic factors
- medical conditions, such as arthritis and cancer
Symptoms that require medical attention
The main symptom is pain in any part of the back, and sometimes the pain spreads to the leg and buttocks. Some back problems can cause pain in other parts of the body, depending on the nerves affected. The pain often goes away without treatment, but if any of the following accompanying symptoms occur, you should contact your doctor:
- weight loss
- inflammation or swelling in the back
- persistent back pain, where lying down or resting does not help
- leg pain
- pain below the knee
- a recent injury, blow or back trauma
- urinary incontinence
- difficulty urinating
- fecal incontinence or loss of bowel control
- numbness around the genitals
- numbness around the anus
- numbness around the buttocks
Chronic and acute back pain
- Acute pain starts suddenly and lasts for up to six weeks.
- Chronic or prolonged pain develops over a long period of time, lasts more than three months, and causes permanent problems.
If a person occasionally has attacks of severe pain, and continuously suffers from mild back pain, it may be difficult for the doctor to determine if he or she has acute or chronic back pain.
Treatment of back pain
Back pain is usually treated with rest and home remedies, but sometimes medical treatment is needed.
Over-the-counter pain medications are used, usually nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, which can relieve discomfort. Applying a warm or cold compress to the painful area can also reduce the pain. Rest from strenuous activities can help, but staying active will relieve stiffness, reduce pain, and prevent muscle weakness.
Using pain relief cream, such as Acuraflex cream can help quickly to reduce or completely eliminate pain exactly where it occurs. It also increases the mobility of joints and muscles, instantly calms or eliminates stiffness. It contains an effective formula of natural ingredients that have been known for centuries for their fast and strong action, primarily on acute acute and chronic pain caused by inflammation, sciatica, injuries and degenerative diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis. The ingredients of Acuraflex cream are exclusively of plant origin and, in addition to plant extracts, they contain vitamins, minerals and essential oils. It does not cause side effects, nourishes the skin and has a pleasant smell.
If home treatments do not relieve back pain, your doctor may recommend the following medications, physical therapy, or both.
- Medications – In case non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs do not help well with back pain, the patient may be prescribed codeine or hydrocodone, but for a short period of time. The use of these drugs requires careful monitoring by a doctor as they can create addiction. In some cases, muscle relaxants may be used.
- Antidepressants – Antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, may be prescribed, but research on their effectiveness is ongoing and the evidence is contradictory.
- Physical therapy – the application of hot and cold therapies, ultrasound and electrical stimulation can help relieve pain.
- Surgery for back pain is very rare. If the patient is having a disc herniation, this may be an option, especially if there is persistent pain and nerve compression which can lead to muscle weakness. The most common surgeries are fusion of two vertebrae, partial removal of the vertebrae, discectomy (removal of part of the disc, if it irritates or presses on the nerve), placement of an artificial disc.
- Exercise – As the pain decreases, the physiotherapist may introduce some flexibility and strength exercises for the back and abdominal muscles. Posture improvement techniques can also help. The patient will be encouraged to exercise regularly, even after the pain has passed, to prevent recurrence of back pain.
- Cortisone injections – if other methods are not effective, they can be injected into the epidural space, around the spinal cord. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory drug. Helps reduce inflammation around nerve roots and against stiffness.
- Botox – According to some early studies, Botox (botulinum toxin) is thought to reduce pain by paralyzing stretched muscles in spasms. These injections are effective for approximately three to four months.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy – can help manage chronic back pain by encouraging new ways of thinking. This may include relaxation techniques and ways to maintain a positive attitude. Research has shown that people who opt for cognitive behavioral therapy become more active and exercise resulting in a lower risk of recurrence of back pain.
Complementary therapies can be used with conventional therapies or alone. Chiropractic, osteopathy, shiatsu massage and acupuncture can help relieve back pain as well as encourage the patient to feel relaxed.
- An osteopath specializes in treating skeletons and muscles.
- A chiropractor treats problems with joints, muscles and bones. The main focus is the spine.
- Shiatsu, also known as finger pressure therapy, is a type of massage that puts pressure along energy lines in the body. The Shiatsu therapist applies pressure to the fingers, thumbs and elbows.
- Acupuncture originates from China. It consists of inserting fine needles at specific points in the body. Acupuncture can help the body release its natural painkillers, endorphins, as well as stimulate nerve and muscle tissue.
- Yoga includes certain poses, movements and breathing exercises. Some postures can help strengthen your back muscles and improve posture. Care must be taken that the exercises do not aggravate back pain.
Studies conducted on the effects of complementary therapies have shown mixed results. Some people have experienced significant benefits, while others have not. When considering alternative therapies, it is important to use a well-qualified and registered therapist.
- Regular exercise – helps build strength and control body weight. Certain aerobic activities can improve heart health without straining or twitching the back. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program. There are two main types of exercises that people can do to reduce the risk of back pain – exercises to strengthen the core (back and abdominal muscles) and flexibility training to improve mobility.
- Nutrition – should contain enough calcium and vitamin D, because they are necessary for bone health. A healthy diet also helps in weight control.
- Dietary supplements – use targeted dietary supplements whose ingredients contribute to the health of bones, muscles, tissues and tendons. Acuraflex capsules are an excellent choice because they act on the symptoms in the long term and inside the body, while Acuraflex cream acts externally directly on the painful and inflamed area. Acuraflex capsules contain curcumin and Indian incense for anti-inflammatory action. They do not cause side effects, they have a beneficial effect on the stomach. They restore mobility and flexibility of the whole body, bring long-term relief from chronic pain and rheumatism. They strengthen ligaments and tendons. They speed up recovery from sports and other injuries. They relieve stiffness, swelling of the joints and muscle spasms. They contain magnesium, calcium and vitamins C, B1, B6.
- Smoking – a significantly higher percentage of smokers suffer from back pain compared to non-smokers of the same age, height and weight.
- Body weight – the weight that people carry and where they carry it affects the risk of developing back pain. The difference in the risk of back pain between obese people and people of normal weight is significant. People who carry their weight in the abdominal area versus buttocks and hips are also at greater risk.
- Body posture while standing – make sure you have a neutral pelvic position. Stand upright, head facing forward, back straight, and balance on both legs. Keep your legs straight and your head level with your spine.
- Posture while sitting – a quality work chair must have good back support, armrests and a swivel base. When sitting, try to keep your knees and hips level and keep your feet on the floor or use a footrest. Ideally, you should be able to sit upright with support in your back. If you use the keyboard, make sure your elbows are at right angles and your forearms are horizontal.
- Lifting loads – use your feet, not your back, when lifting items. Keep your back as upright as possible, keeping your legs apart with one leg slightly forward so you can maintain balance. Bend only at the knees, keep the weight close to the body and straighten the legs. Bending your back is inevitable at first, but once you bend your back, try not to bend them further, tightening your abdominal muscles. The most important thing is not to straighten your legs before lifting, otherwise you will use your back for most of the work. Don’t lift a load and bend your neck at the same time – if something is particularly heavy, make sure you can lift it with someone else. As you lift the load, look straight ahead, not up or down so that the back of your neck is flush with your spine.
- Footwear – completely flat or high-heeled shoes burden the back. The ideal height of the heel is two and a half centimeters because this way the weight is evenly distributed on the heel and the front part of the foot. Shoes with a rounded toe are preferable.
- Driving – it is important to have adequate back support. Make sure the mirrors are installed correctly, the accelerator, clutch and brake pedals should be straight in front of your feet. If you travel far, take frequent breaks, get out of the car and walk around.
- Sleep quality– You should have a mattress that keeps your spine straight while supporting the weight of your shoulders and buttocks.