Suffering from long-term back pain is one of the most common conditions. In fact, in the USA last year, 16 million, or 8 percent, of adults experienced chronic or persistent back pain. Whether you’re one of these people or have a new back injury, it’s important to know what could be causing such pain. Read on to find out some of the main causes of back pain.
To state the obvious, we need to look after our back and spine! As well as holding us up straight, it also houses all the nerves that connect our body with our brain. Back pain can be within the spine or around it in muscles and tendons, but anyone of those can be a sign of something that needs to be treated. Most back pain isn’t dangerous but should be treated before it gets worse over time.
Though not always painful, this is extremely common. The American Academy of Orthopaedics suggests that between 8-11 percent of adults have spinal stenosis, mainly adults over the age of 50. This condition is a degenerative spine issue where over time, the gaps between the vertebrae narrow, usually due to wear and tear. This can cause pinching of the nerves in the spinal column, leading to long term pain. Sometimes this can be treated with surgery, but normally just by over-the-counter medication.
Muscle and Ligament Strains
A frequent injury in any age group, commonly caused by improper lifting or carrying of a heavy object. These injuries are commonly seen in those with manual jobs, but also frequently occur in many people’s lives due to simple accidents. The problem with this kind of back pain is that most people leave it untreated. A muscle strain in the back is not to be ignored! Leaving it untreated can lead to further long-term pain and damage.
Bulging or Ruptured Disc
The discs in your spine act as cushioning between the vertebrae, helping to keep you upright and pain-free! However, they are soft and can sometimes bulge out of position or rupture. Again, this is commonly caused by overuse or injury in a manual job and can lead to very severe pain and long term issues. A bulging or ruptured disc can put a large amount of extra pressure on the nerve running down your spine and cause serious pain. This is usually treated with surgery. Discs are either removed or replaced to relieve pain and ensure your spinal column is safe.
A very common and quite treatable condition. Sciatica is the irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower (lumbar) spine down to your feet. This can cause pain running from your lumbar spine, down your hips, leg bones, buttocks, and even feet. Sciatica is often left untreated but is manageable with painkillers injected into the lower back or taken orally. Sciatica can be caused by twisting irregularly, lifting poorly, or just developing on its own over time.
These are simply some of the most common causes of back pain in the world today, there are, of course, various others. Remember, they are all very treatable, so if you are suffering from one, please visit your doctor right away! A sore back is not worth living with long-term.