Back pain can affect your day-to-day activities. Like many other Americans, it may also hinder you from coming to work. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) shares that there are over 264 million lost workdays in one year due to back pain. You may experience back pain due to age, excess weight, and lack of exercise.
Causes and Symptoms of Back Pain
Muscle ache is one of the symptoms that indicate you’re suffering from back pain. You may also feel shooting or stabbing pain in your back, making it hard for you to perform your usual tasks.
The pain may also worsen as you move in certain directions, like lifting, bending, standing, or walking. But as you recline your body, the pain somehow improves.
Your back pain may be caused by several factors. For example, acute back pain can be due to a fall or heavy lifting. This type of back pain may last for less than six weeks. Meanwhile, chronic back pain usually lasts for over three months, but it is less common.
Other possible causes of back pain include:
Arthritis – can be mild, moderate, and severe, with some cases progressing and resulting in chronic pain, making it difficult to do daily activities.
Muscle or ligament strain – this may occur after lifting heavy objects or awkward movement. These activities can injure your back muscles and spinal ligaments. You need to be extra careful if you’re in poor physical condition because you might suffer from painful muscle spasms.
Osteoporosis – this disease can result in bone fractures because your body isn’t producing enough bone.
Treatments and Prevention for Back Pain
There are pain-relief creams available, as well, to alleviate your back pain. For example, consider using a cream product that contains capsaicin because it can improve osteoarthritis pain.
You may also want to look for nutritional formulas that contain key ingredients. For example, eggshell membrane, according to Restitute Health, has naturally occurring glycosaminoglycans and proteins that maintain joint health and relieves joint pain.
Heat and cold may help you relieve the pain. Apply a cold pack to the affected area to numb it. You can use cold packs designed specifically for back pains. Remember though, not to apply the cold pack for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Meanwhile, a heating pad can also help you treat stiff or achy muscles. But be careful when you’re using a heating pad because the temperature may be too hot. You should also read and follow the instructions on how to use the pad.
Stretching exercises may also help relieve your back pain. Try reaching your toes to loosen the muscles in your lower back. You may also try lying on your stomach and position your hands face down beside your shoulders, then gently lift your chest up until the top of your head points toward the ceiling.
Proper exercise can help you prevent back pain. It’s ideal to perform low-impact aerobic activities to increase your back’s strength and endurance. These exercises will also allow your muscles to function better.
When the pain doesn’t subside and occurs for long periods, it’s time to see your doctor.