Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek out healthcare or miss work. There are various root causes, ranging from minor to severe. This article is a brief overview of the causes and treatments for back pain in its many forms.
Experiencing back pain? Read on for more about finding relief!
Common causes of back pain
Due to the complexity of the back, pain can come from many different causes. The back has forty separate muscles, most of which are vulnerable to injury just like any other. Some of the most common causes of back pain include sprains (tears in muscle and tendons) and strains (tears in ligaments). These injuries can happen from overload during heavy lifting or lifting with improper form, as well as the more common day-to-day actions like bending, twisting, or even sneezing. Sprains and strains can range from minor tears that may require rest and a bit of ice to severe tears that are painful, limit movement, and may require surgery along with several months recovery.
The back also contains the crucial bone structure of the spine and its vertebra. The average spine consists of about 24 to 33 bones (depending on age) called vertebrae. Each vertebra plays a very distinct role in protecting the spinal cord, allowing for complex movement in the back, and bearing the upper body weight. Due to the high number of moving parts in the spine, it’s particularly vulnerable to certain injuries like fractures, disk problems, and malalignment. In other words, each vertebra can be broken or shifted in a way that causes pain and affects the whole back. These injuries can happen during traumatic events like car accidents, sports injuries, or long-term afflictions like spinal stenosis.
Finally, the back can be directly and indirectly affected by a variety of diseases and afflictions. Arthritis – Inflammation of the joints can be a major cause of pain in the body as we age. The back contains many joints and is thus especially vulnerable to arthritis pain. Osteoarthritis, one of the more common forms of joint inflammation, can lead to erosion of the soft tissue and cartilage that acts as a shock absorber and lubricant for moving joints causing painful grinding between bones and vertebrae. In rare cases, back pain can also indicate diseases such as a spinal tumor, degenerative disc disease, or osteoporosis.
Treatments for back pain
There’s a wide variety of treatment options for back pain depending on the cause and severity, some of which include: medications, physical therapy, hands-on manipulation, injections, and in severe cases, surgery. Before exploring those options, there are non-invasive effective home treatments you can try.
Two of the most commonly suggested treatments are hot and cold therapies. For the first 48 hours after an injury or the onset of pain, a cold pack, or ice can be used to numb the area, slow blood flow, and decrease inflammation. After this, introducing heat therapy can increase blood flow, open blood vessels, and improve flexibility and pliability in muscles allowing them to relax. For long-term pain, healthcare professionals often recommend alternating between hot and cold.
Another essential technique for relieving back pain is physical activity and exercise. Exercise can loosen stiff muscles and help build strength and mobility. Exercise can also increase blood flow throughout the body and hasten the natural healing process after an injury. Stretching, another form of physical activity, can help release tension held in the muscles and ligaments, relieving stress associated with back pain and providing some relief.
Finally, when prescription medication doesn’t feel like the best option or side effects seem too risky, many people turn to over-the-counter topical salves, sprays, and creams for a different approach to back pain relief. These products fall under a category broadly known as analgesics – purpose is to relieve pain by using various organic compounds like menthol, camphor, and capsaicin to reduce pain.
Ice Plus pain relief products use fast-acting menthol to provide a cooling sensation to relieve soreness just minutes after application. Whether the pain is from a fracture, sprains, strains, or arthritis, applying Ice Plus allows menthol’s cooling properties to temporarily desensitize nerve endings, decrease blood flow to the problem area, and stop pain dead in its tracks. Visit here for more information about your muscle & joint relief today!
When experiencing back pain, sometimes it feels like we’d do anything to find relief. The above article is a general resource for learning more about back pain and suggests several methods that might help. For specific cases, especially severe or chronic pain victims, it’s vital to do your research and consult with a medical professional to create the best plan for you.
The information on Ice Plus Magazine Blog is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, endorse, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professionals and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Ice Plus and the Editors are not responsible for the accuracy of information provided to the Ice Plus Magazine Blog by contributing authors and institutions or for the use of any information on Iceplusrelief.com. Thank you for reading our blog. You can shop for all Ice Plus Relief products here.