Have you ever bent over to grab something from a drawer, or lift something quite heavy, and suddenly you feel this sharp pain or muscle spasm in your back? Well, the truth is, we are often guilty of not treating our backs the way we are supposed to, as according to everydayhealth.com, back pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
If you work a nine to five job and have chronic pain, or back pain in general, you are not alone. Back pain is a common problem for so many people, especially lower back pain. Chronic back pain is a bigger problem than some might realize, regularly causing people to rack up doctor visits and missed work days. The American Chiropractic Association reported that lower back pain affects 31 million Americans. Here is a guide to lower back pain, and some helpful treatment tips.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
The lower back refers to the lumbar spine. This type of pain can affect those in their twenties and continue through much of their adult life. Lower back pain usually results from strain of some kind, whether sudden or built up over time. The most common cause of lower back pain is a muscle or ligament that is pulled or torn. As the spin and back are strong and complex structures, there can be herniated disks, sprained ligaments and muscles, and irritated joints, which all contributes to pain. Lower back pain is characterized by either chronic or acute pain in the low back area caused when tissues in your back become tight and inflamed. This pain can be persistent or intermittent, and can last weeks to even years.
Lower back pain can range from throbbing to stabbing, sometimes depending on the cause or location of your painful condition. Symptoms are caused by a variety of things, but if not careful the pain can continue to get progressively worse. Other factors that contribute to lumbar pain include:
- Lifting heavy objects and materials
- Sitting for a prolonged period of time
- Sedentary and physical jobs
It is important to note, that major lifestyle changes will most likely be required to help relieve your chronic pain. Chronic pain is not curable, only preventable.
How to Treat Lower Back Pain
1. Maintain a healthy diet: Losing weight can be a huge factor in taking the weight of your ligaments and joints. People who are obese are at risk for extreme back pain. Eat a healthy diet and make an exercise plan that is right for you.
2. Maintain proper posture: Posture is important, especially when at a sedentary job, such as in an office or desk setting. It is important to take breaks every now and again, to relieve pressure on your back.
3. Stretch: If you experience debilitating lower back pain, stretching is a crucial part in helping ease pain and reduce the risk of muscle spasms.