Updated: Jun 5
Do you feel like back pain is always lurking around the corner? Have you been dealing with back aches? Could they be causing you to lose sleep at night because of how uncomfortable the symptoms are? If so, you're not alone. Almost everyone has experienced back pain at one point or another. Nearly 80% of Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their life, and most of that pain stems from not treating it as a serious issue.
Back pain can keep you sidelined and force you to do things differently, getting in the way of your active and healthy lifestyle. But our Manhattan pain management center can help relieve your back pain. So why is it so easy to get back pain? This blog will explain how people develop back pain easily and how you can alleviate it before it becomes unmanageable.
The Back is a Very Complex Part of the Body
The spine is made up of more than 30 different bones, and these bones are held together by ligaments, muscles, and tendons. The spine is divided into sections called vertebrae. Each vertebra has one or more joints called facets. The facets allow movement in your spine, but they also provide stability. It consists of several regions with different functions and different types of musculature. Since your back is so complex, it's not surprising that many problems can affect it.
When you experience back pain, it usually means that something has gone wrong with this structure. For example, you may have injured yourself by doing something like lifting something heavy or twisting too hard during an activity like yard work, or you may simply have been sitting all day long in one position without moving around enough to keep your muscles loose. In either case, you likely have discomfort in your back area because there are many ways for this part of the body to get injured or strained.
• You Spend a Lot of Time Sitting
Sitting for long periods of time is not good for your body or your mind. When you sit for long periods of time, it puts stress on the discs in between your vertebrae — the bones that make up your spine. This can cause back pain and even weaken the muscles in your back, so they're less able to support your spine effectively.
• You Don't Exercise Regularly
Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent back pain because it strengthens your core muscles — those in your stomach and back area — which help support your spine and protect against injury.
If you're not exercising on a regular basis, then you're probably not getting enough physical activity, and this can easily cause your back to ache. However, regular exercise can help reduce the risk of back pain by improving muscle strength, flexibility, and posture. It also increases circulation, which improves oxygen supply to muscles and joints which helps prevent stiffness and soreness.
It's important to find the right exercise program for your back pain, and a physical therapist can help with this process. The type of exercise you choose is important because it can affect your pain levels.
• You're Not Stretching Enough
When you don't stretch enough, your muscles become tight and tense — which can lead to pain and discomfort in your back. Stretching your back before and after physical activity because it helps keep your muscles flexible and free of tension. Not only that, but stretching also improves circulation in your body and increases flexibility around joints and tendons in your spine — both things that help prevent future injuries.
• You're Not Being Mindful About Your Body
Though it's easy to blame an injury or sudden strain on an activity you were doing at the time, there are ways to avoid these issues in the future. For instance, if you're going to spend more than 10 minutes sitting down, it's important to get up and stretch every once in a while. Your back should also be taken into account when performing any physical activity — make sure you don't bend over improperly or hold any awkward positions too long.
• You're Not Sleeping Well
A lack of sleep can lead to tight muscles that cause pain in the back region. This can happen because when we sleep, our bodies release muscle relaxants that help keep our muscles loose while awake and active. Without these muscle relaxants released during sleep, it's easier for tight muscles to pull on ligaments and joints, causing discomfort or pain.
• You Lift Things the Wrong Way
One of the most common reasons for back pain is lifting heavy objects incorrectly. For example, you pick something off the floor and twist it at your waist instead of bending at your knees. You pick up something heavy and then twist to look around it rather than turning away from it first. You bend over too far when gardening or reaching for something on a high shelf.
• You Make Sudden Movements
If you make sudden movements or lift heavy objects, your back is at risk for injury. This is because your spine has different curves in different regions, which allows for flexibility and mobility. When these curves are out of alignment or injured, your body won't function correctly, and this can lead to pain and other issues, such as muscle spasms and stiffness.
Seek Help from a Health Professional
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for a doctor's visit. It's also one of the most common reasons people miss work. Back pain can be caused by a wide variety of factors, from poor posture to injury. Back pain is usually caused by some kind of strain in your back.
If you're experiencing consistent pain for several days and it isn't eased by rest, or if other symptoms like weakness or numbness accompany your back pain, it's important to see a pain doctor right away. Treating back pain sooner can help prevent serious complications or permanent damage to your spine.
You should see a pain doctor if your back pain is:
➜ Severe — It hurts so much that you can't stand up straight or move around.
➜ Nagging — It never seems to go away and keeps getting worse.
➜ Recent — You're having new back pain for the first time, or it has come on suddenly after months or years without any issues.
➜ Worsening — Your back pain gets worse over time instead of better.
Fortunately, there are many different treatment options available to help relieve back pain. The pain doctor can help determine if your back pain is serious and figure out what type of treatment may be best for you. For example, you may need physical therapy if there's no obvious cause of your pain and you still have symptoms after two weeks of rest. Physical therapy can also help reduce the risk of future episodes of back pain by helping correct posture and strengthening muscles around the spine.
A cortisone injection may be recommended if the specialist thinks inflammation is causing your back pain rather than a specific injury or condition such as arthritis or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine). Cortisone reduces swelling and inflammation, which may relieve your symptoms temporarily.
Relieve Your Back Pain
The pain and discomfort of back pain are surely enough to ruin anyone's day—or week, or month. It's not fun to experience and can be hard to cope with. While this article is meant to be educational, it's also a great source of encouragement. Most people realize that they need help dealing with back aches when the pain becomes too much; the goal is to prevent it from ever reaching that point in the first place.
The good news is that you can learn how to prevent back aches and keep them from returning. Yet, getting better won't happen overnight, but there are things you can do to help yourself feel better and keep your stress levels down. And if you're in constant pain, it may be time to see our Manhattan pain management specialists.