Back pain is a common problem among adults in the United States. An estimated 31 million people experience low back pain at some time in their lives. The causes of this widespread back pain vary considerably. If you experience pain and are unsure of what’s behind it, consider these common causes of back pain and the changes you can make to relieve the discomfort.
1. Repetitive Stress Injuries
In many cases, chronic back pain is the result of repetitive injuries to the muscles of the back or spinal discs. Repeated motions from work tasks or athletic activities can result in injury, and then re-injury, of the same structures in the back. Changes in ergonomics at work, bracing of the back and therapeutic methods can help to relieve this type of pain.
2. Disc Injuries
Individuals may experience injuries to the discs that act as cushions between the bones of the spine. Injuries can result from auto accidents, sports injuries or other actions, leading to disc problems. Medications, injections, chiropractic manipulation and surgery can help to relieve pain from disc injuries.
Like other joints of the body, the spine can develop arthritis as a result of normal tear and tear. Osteoarthritis, a common form of arthritis that develops with aging, can cause chronic back pain that becomes progressively worse. If you have developed back discomfort unrelated to an injury or overuse, it may be because of worsening inflammation from arthritis. Medications are available that can help back pain due to arthritis.
4. Compression Fractures
Over a lifetime, people can often acquire a number of small injuries to the spine from normal work and recreational activities. Sometimes, these injuries reach a breaking point, leading to a collapse of the vertebra. This condition is called a spinal compression fracture. It often occurs after the age of 60 and is sometimes related to thinning of the bones, a medical condition called osteoporosis. Several different, minimally invasive procedures are available to relieve the pressure on vertebrae. In addition, underlying osteoporosis can be treated with a number of medications. It’s best to contact a specialist company like Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates for help with this issue.
5. Scoliosis or Other Spinal Irregularity
In some cases, back pain results from irregularities of the structures within the back. Individuals may have curving of the bones of the spine, called scoliosis, or other problems that affect normal spinal function. Medication, physical therapy, bracing and surgery are often necessary to correct these problems to reduce discomfort.
Finding the source of your back pain can be difficult. However, once you have determined the cause of the problem, you can implement effective measures to reduce your discomfort and improve your spinal function. A number of options for treatment are available to help with back pain. When you have pinpointed the cause, you then determine the best solution for your needs.