Chronic back pain is a common ailment that strikes people nationwide. It occurs when there is a strain put on the muscles in the lower back region. Irritated joints, ruptured disks and sprained ligaments are responsible for back pain. The pain can range from a dull feeling to an overall sharp sensation in the lower back area. Back pain is the main cause of disability and more people miss work due to back pain than for any other reason.
Symptoms of Back Pain
Most people experience the same signs and symptoms of back pain. These may include:
- A sudden shooting or stabbing pain in the lower back region
- Pain that temporarily goes away when in a reclining position
- Muscle aches that subside temporarily with medication or continue for months
- Pain that goes down your leg
- Back pain that gets worse doing movements such as bending or lifting
- Pain while standing or walking
You should consult with your doctor if you experience any of these medical concerns in addition to your back pain:
- Bowel or bladder issues
- Pain does not improve overtime
- Pain that shoots down legs and extends beyond the knee
- Experience weakness, tingling or numbness in your legs
- Sudden loss of weight
Causes of Back Pain
The back consists of ligaments, bones, joints and muscles. At any moment, one of these important parts of the body can become strained, broken or irritated causing intense back pain. Most causes of back pain consist of sudden movements such as reaching up or toward the ground or poor posture. Automobile accidents and sports-related injuries can result in back pain. Obesity and stress are other known factors for back pain.
Sometimes a person may experience back pain without a direct cause such as a sprain or injury. Your doctor can conduct a test for any one of these conditions related to back pain:
- Arthritis or more commonly osteoarthritis
- Skeletal malformations such as scoliosis
- Degenerative disk disease
- Ruptured or herniated disks
- Spinal stenosis
- Medical conditions involving the internal organs such as kidney stones, blood clots and kidney infections.
Who Suffers from Back Pain?
Nationwide, an estimated 31 million individuals experience back pain. Around 80% of adults have had a form of back pain in his or her life. Back pain can affect anyone from the young to the elderly.