When it comes to back pain, there are some causes that are blatantly obvious, for example you bent down to pick something up and felt a twinge and now it hurts to walk; while others might have you a little more confused – you woke up in the morning and all of a sudden you can’t bend down without pain shooting through your body.
Back pain can be debilitating, regardless of if it’s minor or major. It can stop you from doing the activities you’d normally do, particularly things like bike riding or kicking the ball around with your kids, and if it isn’t taken care of early, it can lead to much bigger issues. The majority of back pain that people get hits the lower back, and often, no cause can be found. Less than 10% of people who have lower back pain will actually develop chronic pain that lasts for months or years. So that’s a good sign.
Rather than self-diagnose, your best bet is to go and see your local physical therapist in Jersey City and they’ll be able to help you pinpoint the cause and the effect of your pain. If necessary they can also refer you to your doctor or hospital for further testing.
If you have already booked yourself an appointment but you’re still curious as to the various causes of back pain, we’ve come up with a list to help guide you.
The basic causes of back pain include carrying or lifting something, twisting, coughing, bending over for long periods of time, sneezing, standing for too long, pulling or pushing something heavy, stretching too far, hunching your shoulders and back (for example when you’re sitting at a computer all day or driving the car); and long periods of driving.
This is generally caused by lifting something in the wrong way. If you don’t have the correct posture when you pick something heavy up, you risk straining your muscles and ligaments. It can also cause a muscle spasm which will provide you discomfort.
There are five types of structural pain that can cause back pain. Arthritis is one of the most common and people who suffer from osteoarthritis cane experience problems in their hips, lower back, knees and their hands. Another is curvature of the spine, also known as scoliosis. This is when the spine curves to the side, causing pain. A ruptured disk in the spine will cause increased pressure on a nerve, shooting pack through your back; bulging disks are similar; while sciatica is a shooting pain that goes through your buttock and into your leg (this is common with pregnant women due to the added weight on their pelvis).
Other, less common, but more serious causes of back pain include:
- Cancer of the spine
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Kidney infections
- Spinal infection
- Sleep disorders
If you also have a fever, weight loss that is unexplained, bladder or bowel problems, or the pain is much worse when you’re lying down, go to the doctor or hospital right away.
According to research, the bad news is that in around 85% of cases for people with back pain won’t be able to find the cause. But the good news is, that you if you have a physical therapist on hand that you trust, they will be able to help you to do the right exercises and provide you with the right massages to at least give you a little bit of relief.
Treatments might include things like chiropractic services that will focus on alleviating pain through the gentle manipulation of the spine; and medical massage which delves into the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia of your problem areas to help relieve your back pain (and accompanying pain, such as headaches and neck pain).
You might also consider spinal decompression therapy which involves use of a technological device that effectively treats things like herniated and degenerative discs, sciatica and spinal stenosis; and physical therapy – which includes a number of different procedures aimed at helping to get your back in working order again as soon as possible through myofascial release techniques, the use of heat, dry hydrotherapy and exercises.