Does your back hurt? According to studies, back pain affects four out of five adults, and sometimes it’s so painful you’re forced to rest and limit your daily activities. In fact, medical experts estimate that nearly 80% of the population experiences back pain at some point in their lives. What’s more, back pain happens to people of all ages including adolescents, adults, and elderly people.
Back pain affects individuals for a variety of reasons, including arthritis and other chronic conditions. The pain can occur in your upper, middle, and lower back, and may radiate to your legs and other areas of your body.
What Causes Back Pain?
Your back pain can be related to any number of conditions, including osteoarthritis, or OA.
OA affects millions of people, especially older adults. OA often causes symptoms in people over the age of 40, and the spine is a common target for this chronic joint condition. Other common causes of back pain include:
- Nerve and muscular problems
- Degenerative disc problems
- Traumatic accidents or falls
- Sports injuries
- Poor posture and body mechanics
- Overuse injuries
Your back pain may start as a dull ache or cause more intense pain, and you might have trouble sleeping or making yourself comfortable. Back pain can be so severe that you may also experience radiating pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in other parts of the body.
In some cases, you might know the cause of your back pain. For example, if you recently worked in your garden for four hours, you may notice your back is stiff and sore afterwards. If your symptoms clear up after a day or two of rest, you may have simply strained a muscle in your back. However, if back pain is persistent and severe with no apparent cause, it is important to see your doctor. You should also see your physician if:
- You have had an accident or have taken a fall
- The pain prevents you from doing your usual daily activities
- Back pain lasts several weeks or spreads to other areas of your body
- Your back pain is so severe that you can’t sleep, sit, or walk comfortably
How is Back Pain Diagnosed?
During your exam, your healthcare provider will test your range of motion and ask about your symptoms. You might also need tests such as x-rays, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), or a CT scan. These tests are not always necessary, but your doctor is the best person to decide which tests, if any, are indicated.
How is Back Pain Treated?
The treatment plan for back pain depends on the cause of your pain and where it is located. If back pain is temporary, some home remedies such as rest and icing the area might be useful. Some people take pain-relieving medications for severe back pain. However, these medications have side effects, and some pain relief drugs can be addictive if taken for extended periods of time.
Most people need help managing back pain that is more persistent. Fortunately, Flexogenix® offers nonsurgical treatments so you can quickly return to the activities you enjoy every day. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about taking care of your back so that you can enjoy your active lifestyle.