70-90% of individuals will experience back pain at some point in their lives. The pain may range from a dull and constant ache to a sudden and sharp pain that makes it difficult to move. Back pain can be an acute or chronic condition - depending on the individual and the cause of the pain.
Common Causes of Back Pain
Back pain may develop from a variety of conditions or events. The following are the most common causes.
- Muscle Strain - Repetitive heavy lifting or sudden awkward movements may result in strained back muscles or spinal ligaments. This may happen due to improper lifting techniques or weaknesses, such as a weak core. In turn, you feel pain.
- Bad Posture - Bad posture is a common problem in today’s sedentary society. It also may become an issue due to your age, job, or daily activities. Bad posture leaves the spine susceptible to injury. Whereas a good posture is the position in which your body and its tissues is under the least amount of stress. Certain exercises can help fix bad posture and thus, thwart back pain.
- Excess Weight. Excess body weight puts additional stress and pressure on your back and your spine. Losing weight can often alleviate the problem when this is the cause.
- Ruptured Discs. Discs act as cushions between the bones in our spine. The soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture. As a result, they may press on a nerve. However, you can have a bulging or ruptured disk without back pain. Disk disease is often found incidentally when you have spinal X-rays for some other reason.
- Sciatica is a condition where the sciatica nerve becomes compressed due to another injury, pressure from other structures, or a ruptured disc. It can create pain in the low back and shooting nerve pains down the legs.
- Arthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect the low back. It causes degeneration that leads to painful bone-on-bone grinding. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.
- Osteoporosis. Your spine's vertebrae can develop compression fractures if your bones become porous and brittle. Osteoporosis is a disease where bone density decreases. As a result, the bones are easily fractured or broken. This can create weaknesses in the spine and the surrounding bones and tissues.
Common Symptoms of Back Pain
- Muscle pain
- Stabbing or Shooting Pain
- Pain when you are bending, lifting something or even while standing or walking
- Numbness and tingling sensation
Back pain can be avoided, you can prevent its recurrence by improving your physical condition and practicing proper body mechanics.
To keep your back healthy and strong, you need to do the following:
- Regular low-impact aerobics activities. You can choose those moves that don't strain your back. Exercise can increase strength and endurance in your back that allows your muscle to function better. Walking and swimming are good choices. Band Bent - Over row and Seated Cable Row with pause are some of the traditional upper-back exercises. But still, talk with your doctor about which activities you might try.
- Build muscle strength and flexibility. Abdominal and back muscle exercises, which strengthen your core, help condition these muscles so that they work together like a natural corset for your back. Flexibility in your hips and upper legs aligns your pelvic bones to improve how your back feels. Your doctor or physical therapist can tell you which exercises are right for you.
- Good Posture Habits - Your spine is strong and stable when you keep practicing good posture. A licensed health practitioner or physiotherapist can help you identify proper posture style. Often times, they recommend some posture corrector products that can be very helpful for you to achieve a good posture.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight strains back muscles. If you're overweight, trimming down can prevent back pain.
Treatment For Back Pain
In many cases, back pain gets better in a short amount of time. And in some cases, it may go away on its own. However, if your back pain is severe and it doesn’t improve after 3 days, you should seek out the appropriate medical attention. An appointment with your doctor or physiotherapist may be necessary. They can help you determine a proper course of treatment.
Treatment may involve various manual techniques:
- heat or cold therapy,
- exercise program.
An exercise rehab program supervised by your healthcare professional frequently involves strengthening the core. However, activity should be stopped if the pain increases at any point. Further, pain medication may provide a certain degree of relief - especially in severe cases. Over-the-counter medication may include NSAIDs, such as naproxen or ibuprofen. Muscle relaxants and topical pain relievers may also alleviate pain levels.
In more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe narcotics or antidepressants for your pain. Certain types of injections may also be recommended. And in rare cases, surgery may be considered. Typically, treatment is dependant on the cause of your back pain.
Massage therapy has several health benefits for back pain sufferers. It increases blood flow and circulation, giving your muscles and tissues the necessary nutrients to function properly. It further improves flexibility, reduces pain, and consequently, even improves sleep.
At Back To Sport, we have several massage tools that can give you a similar relief to a real massage. These products are well-known brands with proven positive reviews from other customers.
The Original Backnobber II is used by hooking one of its curves over your shoulder or under your arm and using its leverage to apply firm, deep pressure to knots in the muscles of the neck, shoulder, upper and lower back.
SKLZ AccuStick style is designed to massage muscles and release trigger points. AccuStick's unique shape provides leverage to release hard to reach knots.
SKLZ Universal Massage Roller has an ergonomic design that targets the muscles key to back, spine, and total body health. This unique roller increases blood flow and flexibility, while breaking up knots and reducing tightness. These factors help alleviate back pain caused by tight, sore, or aggravated muscles.
Heat therapy may reduce muscle spasms and decrease muscle tightness. Muscles spasms and tight muscles can decrease your range of motion and cause an array of other issues, such as structural imbalances. A heat pack is one of the basic and simple ways to ease back pain associated with muscle tightness or spasms. It works to relax the muscles via increased blood flow.
Common heat therapy devices include heating pads, heat wraps, and hot baths. Our recommendations include the Mueller Reusable Cold/Hot Pack and the Moji Heated Massage Roller.
The Mueller Reusable Cold/Hot pack is ideal for applying cold or heat therapy. The aoft gel can be frozen in the freezer. The pack is also microwavable for the use of the heat component.
The Moji Heated Massage Roller is a game changing dual therapy massage roller. It combines the benefits of traditional foam rolling with the comfort and relaxation of a 30-minute warm massage therapy session. Similar products include the Moji Heated Large Massage Ball or the Moji Heated Small Massage Ball.
Back braces and posture correctors can help you maintain an upright position and good posture. In turn, it alleviates back pain associated with incorrect positioning or posture. It also alleviates strain or stress on the shoulders, relieving other possible issues associated with your back pain. Your doctor or physiotherapist may recommend that you wear the brace or posture corrector during certain activities or a predetermined duration.
At Back To Sport, we have a variety of posture correctors to suit your needs. Our recommendations include the Upright GO Posture Trainer, the Posture Medic-Original, the Vulkan Posture Brace, or the Vulkan Clavicle Posture Brace. The type you choose may depend on the cause of your bad posture or back pain and other factors. The Vulkan Posture Brace is the most basic of our products. However, check with your doctor or physiotherapist to determine which product is right for you and your condition.
The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. The indications provided are not a prescription and cannot substitute the recommendation of a health practitioner. We recommend that you seek the advice of your GP, physiotherapist or health practitioner before buying any item on Back To Sport.