Causes and Types of back pain. How to cure it.
Health: Lower back pain is one of the most medical problems that are faced by many people after a certain age in the world. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, they have found out that approximately 75 to 85% of Americans will experience severe back pain at least once in their lifetime.
Lower back pain is natural especially as you age because your back loses strength and resilience. It is the leading reason that more than 80 % of adults visit a doctor for the back at some point in their lives. Let us know what exactly is the lower back pain and how to get relief from it.
What is lower back pain?
The lower back spine carries the weight of your entire upper body and various biomechanical stresses that occur with the movement making it one of the most crucial parts of the body. The lower back region is also scientifically known as the lumbar region of the spine.
The lumbar spine is made up of five vertebrae (back bones). Each vertebra is a complex structure consisting of various layers to perform various tasks. Each vertebra looks similar to a large disc that is filled with a cushiony gel wrapped in a tough membrane in the forefront to act as a shock absorber.
On the back side of the vertebra, there are two cartilage-lined facet joints to allow smooth movement. Altogether the Complex assembly of the disc, facet joint, and the cushiony gel facilitate the spine to safely bend and twist performing various actions.
In addition to these, the lower back also consists of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Ligaments are the strong bands to help the vertebrate discs altogether and tendons attach the muscle to the vertebrae. Tendons and ligaments are the safety structures to limit excessive movement preventing harm to the spinal cord.
Common causes of lower back pain
While there are many causes of lower back pain, it is divided into three main categories. When you visit a doctor for a checkup, he would estimate in which condition your case might fall. The types are mechanical, organic, and idiopathic.
- Mechanical: People suffering from back pain are often triggered due to abnormal spinal movement or abnormal movements of the complex structure present in the lower back falls under this case.
- Organic: In this case, people experience back pain due to health complications like spinal cancer.
- Idiopathic: There is no specific reason for the occurrence of back pain in some cases. Simple lifestyle changes and stress management can help overcome this.
Types of back pain
- Degenerative Disc Disease
Although the name appears so complex and scary, degenerative disc disease is a common condition in which the disk gets damaged causing pain. As you age the disc becomes thinner and flatter due to the increase in wear and tear. The friction between the vertebrae causes pain while moving.
The back pain resulting from the pinched or irritating sensation from the sciatic nerve is called Sciatica. The Sciatic nerve runs down from the lower back of our body through our hips and buttocks down through each leg. So in this condition, people experience pain generated from the lower back running down through the leg.
Spondylolisthesis – In which condition a vertebra slides out of position disrupting the spine alignment and causing the compression of the nerve roots between the discs. Although This misalignment can happen anywhere throughout the spine, it most commonly occurs in the lumbar region (lower back). The misalignment of the vertebra is often caused by either disc degeneration or a fractured vertebra.
How long does the back pain last
Back pain can be categorized into three categories namely acute subacute and chronic. When your lower back pain lasts from a few days to 4 weeks is known as acute back pain. When the lower back pain lasts between 4 to 12 weeks it is called subacute back pain. If it lasts for longer than 12 weeks, it is called chronic back pain.
Studies have shown that people suffering from acute back pain can go on to develop chronic back pain when left untreated.
Although some people may experience severe back pain causing major inconvenience, one may not worry that something is seriously wrong. As back pain usually resolves on its own as our body’s tendency. But it is advisable to visit a doctor if it lasts more than a couple of days.
Home remedies to cure back pain naturally
Unless you have had an injury like falling from a height or an accident, you need not rush to the doctor immediately for back pain. It is best to try the mentioned simple self-care techniques first at home and visit a doctor if none of these works.
- Avoiding bed rest
Many people have a misconception that complete bed rest can eliminate back pain. But many clinical studies have found that patients who actually truck bed rest experienced more pain and recovered slowly when compared with patients who stayed active.
- Ice or heat pack
Many people find it very relaxing and reduce pain and swelling after using a block of ice or hot pack for at least 20 minutes. Always ensure to wrap the ice cubes in a towel to avoid injury to your skin. Doctors usually recommend using an ice pack in the first 48 hours after injury and later moving on to a combo of ice and hot pack to get relief.
- The Counter (OTC) remedies
You can also go for short-time pain relievers to get relief from the pain temporarily. You can use over-the-counter pain relievers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen, and naproxen, to relieve pain.
You can also opt for topical creams gel purchase or press that are applied on the top of the skin. These external applicants stimulate the nerves under the skin providing the feeling of warmth to lessen the sensation of pain.