Back pain is a widespread reason that pushes people to see a doctor or miss work. It is considered a leading cause of disability worldwide. Most people suffer from back pain at least once.
Thankfully, there are numerous ways to prevent or alleviate most episodes of back pain. If prevention fails, simple home treatment and proper body mechanics often heal your back in a few weeks and keep it working. Surgery is seldom necessary to treat back pain. Check out light therapy for back pain.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF LONG TERM BACK PAIN?…
Back pain that happens suddenly and lasts six weeks or less can be caused by a severe fall or lift. Back pain that persists more than three months is unusual.
Causes of long term back pain include mechanical problems and soft tissue damage. These injuries can be a result of compression of the nerve roots, damage to the intervertebral discs, and improper movement of the vertebral joints.
Repeated heavy loads or sudden awkward movements can tire the muscles of the back and ligaments of the spine. If you are in poor physical condition, a constant back strain can cause painful muscle spasms.
The rear discs are prone to injury. This risk increases with age. The outside of the disc may rupture or herniate. A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when the cartilage that surrounds the disc pushes against the spinal cord or nerve roots. The cushion between the vertebral vertebrae comes out of its normal position.
This can cause compression of the nerve root as it exits the spinal cord and through the vertebral bones. A disc injury usually occurs swiftly after lifting something or twisting your back. Unlike acute pain, it is one of the reasons for long term back pain.
It is another cause of long term back pain. Osteoarthritis can affect your lower back. In some cases, arthritis of the spine can reduce the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.
Vertebral stenosis occurs when the spine narrows and puts pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Vertebral stenosis is most often due to the degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae. The result is compression of the nerve roots or spinal cord by bone spurs or soft tissues.
Compression on the spinal nerves causes symptoms, such as numbness, obstacle, weakness. You can experience these symptoms anywhere on the body. Many people with spinal stenosis notice that their symptoms are worse when standing or walking.
This disorder happens when one vertebra moves toward the adjacent one. There are 5 kinds of spondylolisthesis. The most common are secondary to a defect or fracture of the pairs or to the mechanical instability of the articular facets. The pain can be triggered by the instability of the back or compression of the nerves.
A fracture caused by the cylindrical vertebra, in which the bone basically collapses on itself, can originate in sudden pain. This type of fracture is more common due to weak bones, such as osteoporosis, and is more common in the elderly.
Abnormal curvature of the spine, scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis are conditions that cause abnormal curvatures in the spine. These are congenital circumstances that are usually first diagnosed during childhood or adolescence. An abnormal curvature causes pain and poor posture because it puts pressure on muscles, tendons, ligaments, and vertebrae.
Certain medical conditions can cause long term back pain.
Horsetail Syndrome: Horsetail is a collection of spinal nerve roots that originate from the lower end of the spinal cord. Symptoms include a dull pain in the lower back and upper buttocks, as well as numbness in the buttocks, genitals, and thighs. Sometimes there are disorders of bowel and bladder function.
Sleep Disorders: People with sleep disorders are more likely to have back pain than others.
Spinal Infection: A fever and a warm, tender area in the back could be due to a spinal infection.
Other Infections: Pelvic inflammatory diseases, kidney or bladder infections can also cause back pain.
Spinal Cancer: A tumor in the spine can press against a nerve and cause back pain.
Herpes Zoster: An infection that can affect the nerves can cause back pain. It depends on the nerves affected.
RISK FACTORS OF BACK PAIN…
Anyone can have back pain, even children and teens. These factors can upsurge the risk of evolving back pain:
Oldness: Back pain is more mutual as you get older, starting in your 30s or 40s.
Overweight: Excessive body weight puts additional pressure on your back.
Lack of Exercise: Weak and unused muscles in the back and abdomen can cause back pain.
Incorrect Lifting: Using your back instead of your legs can cause back pain.
Diseases: Certain types of arthritis and cancer can contribute to back pain.
Psychological Conditions: People inclined to depression and anxiety seem to be at enhanced risk for back pain.
Smoking: This decreases blood flow to the lower spine, which can avert your body from providing sufficient nutrients to the discs in your back. Smoking also delays healing.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR…
You should see a doctor if you feel numbness or tingling, or if you have back pain:
- that does not improve with rest
- after injury or fall
- numbness in the legs
- with weakness
- with fever
- with unexplained weight loss