Symptoms and Causes of Back Pain

12 Sep, 2022

One of the leading causes of disability worldwide is back pain. Luckily, there are measures you can take to relieve or prevent most back pain episodes. Most of the time, a few weeks of simple home treatment and regular therapeutic stretching will heal your back and ease the pain. Prevention is also key- maintaining a good diet, regular exercise, and proper posture will all decrease your risk of developing back pain. In certain cases of severe, chronic back pain, surgery or non-invasive methods may be required.

Symptoms Of Back Pain

Back pain can be mild or severe, and can range from aching muscles to acute shooting, burning, or stabbing sensations. Sometimes, the pain may radiate down your leg or get worse with twisting, bending, lifting, walking, or standing. 

When Should I See A Doctor?

Most back pain will improve on its own with self-care, plenty of rest, and home treatment within a couple weeks. However, you should contact your doctor if your back pain:

  • Is severe and doesn’t get better with rest
  • Persists past a few weeks
  • Results in numbness, tingling in one or both legs
  • Radiates down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee
  • Comes with unexplained weight loss

In certain cases, back pain may indicate a severe medical issue. You should seek immediate attention if your back pain:

  • Comes with a fever
  • Results in new bladder or bowel issues
  • Is due to a fall, blow to your back, or other injury. 

Causes Of Back Pain

Often, back pain doesn’t have an acute cause for your doctor to pinpoint with a test or an imaging study. Some conditions commonly associated with back pain include:

  • Bulging or ruptured disks: There are disks in between each spinal vertebrae that act as cushions. The soft material within a disk can bulge or rupture and put pressure on a nerve, causing pain. However, bulging or ruptured disks don’t always cause pain, and may only be discovered incidentally during a spine X-ray.
  • Muscle or ligament strain: Regular heavy lifting or a sudden jerking movement may strain the muscles in your back and your spinal ligaments. Constant strain on your back, especially if you’re not in good physical condition, may result in painful muscle spasms. 
  • Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a condition of brittle, porous bones, which can cause your spine’s vertebrae to develop painful fractures.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis in the lower back may result in a narrowing of the space surrounding the spinal cord.

Risk Factors For Back Pain

While anyone can develop back pain, there are certain factors that may put you at greater risk of developing the condition. Some common risk factors for back pain are:

  • Poor physical conditioning
  • Age
  • Diseases
  • Excess weight
  • Improper lifting
  • Smoking
  • Psychological conditions

Contact Us Today

Back pain is an extremely common condition that affects millions of Americans. Most of the time back pain can heal with rest and home care, but if you have chronic, severe back pain, call The Spine and Scoliosis Center to schedule an appointment with a top spinal specialist today.

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