Today’s high-stress, sedentary lifestyle has led to a common condition afflicting a majority of the population – back pain. As common as the common cold, pain in the back and particularly the lower back is likely to occur in individuals between the ages of 30 and 50. Whether mild or severe, back pain should never be ignored and allowed to turn into a chronic condition.
The causes of back pain are varied and can range from a muscle strain to trauma caused by accident and even bad posture. Allow us to take you through some of the primary causes of back pain:
Degeneration: Degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis affect the lower back and lead to a narrowed space near the spinal cord. As your bones become porous and brittle due to osteoporosis, the vertebrae can develop compression fractures.
Skeletal irregularities: Backaches may also be caused by scoliosis, a condition where the spine curves to one side.
Ligament or muscle strain: Frequent heavy lifting or sudden jerks during movement may cause strain to spinal ligaments and back muscles.
Spondylosis: This age-related condition affects the joints and discs in your cervical spine causing severe pain and stiffness.
Bad posture: Standing or sitting for long periods, slouching and not maintaining a neutral pelvic position can exert a lot of strain on the back muscles, thus leading to pain and discomfort.
Improper workouts: Unsupervised heavy lifting at the gym can cause severe damage to the back. Many gym enthusiasts forget to keep their backs straight at the time of lifting weights and can end up heavily damaging the spine.
Motor accidents: The jerking motion or whiplash caused during motor accidents can cause heavy injuries to the spine resulting in chronic back pains.
Consequences of back pains
Minor or major, any injury to the back can be cumbersome and even debilitating. Here’s how your back changes after an injury:
Disc problems: The disc breaking in the lower spine leads to a severe pain in the lower back, leg pain and further symptoms like weakness and numbness.
Prolapsed intervertebral disc: This condition involving a herniated disc can produce symptoms such as lower neck or back pain, numbness and muscle weakness.
Sciatica: This painful condition follows the path of the sciatic nerve and affects the lower back and legs. The pain varies from a minor ache to a piercing, burning feeling.
Nerve problems in back: Damaged peripheral nerves of the back can lead to excruciating pain, so much so that walking too could become a challenge.
Numbness and weakness in legs: Back pain can gravitate to the legs resulting in a pins-and-needles sensation, numbness or weakness. The cause of such conditions stems from the sciatic nerve and travels along its path.
The bad news is that back pain is an inevitable and inescapable reality. But, the good news is that it can be prevented and relieved to a large extent. The right posture, active lifestyle and proper body mechanics can help in keeping back pain at bay.