Oh, my back is aching!
If you’ve just exclaimed, “Oh, my back is aching!,” you’re not alone. Most people miss classes or work and go to see a doctor due to back pain and it is a global leader in causing disability. Back ache is common and affects approximately 80 percent of people at least once in their lives. It can be a mild, constant or recurrent pain, or it can be a sharp, sudden ache. Acute back pain is usually sudden and can last anything a few days and a few weeks. When back pain lingers and stays for at least three months, it is considered as chronic.
Back pain causes
The structure of your backside is a complex made up of muscles, nerves, bones and joints. This usually makes it hard to pinpoint precisely the cause of back pain, but experts agree that it is the working together of these components that cause back pain. The majority of back pain cases aren’t as a result of severe disease or damage, but due to minor injuries, strains or sprains, or an irritated or pinched nerve. Such back pain is likely to be triggered by the daily activities at work or home, or they can gradually develop over time. Possible back pain causes include:
- Slouching in chairs,
- Overusing your muscles, for instance in sports,
- Bending for long periods or bending awkwardly,
- Sitting or driving in a bent position, or for long hours without rest,
- Pulling, pushing, carrying or lifting heavy loads,
- Twisting awkwardly.
In some instances, back pain can develop abruptly and without any apparent reason. You can, for example, wake up in the morning experiencing a back pain that you have no idea what caused it. Back pain risk factors include anxiety, depression, obesity, smoking, undertaking strenuous physical exercise, being pregnant, and long-term use of certain medication that weakens the bones.
The good news
The good news is that most back pain will go away by itself although it may take some time. You can undertake some measures to avert or relieve most episodes of back pain. If preventive measures fail to work, proper body mechanics and simple home treatment will normally restore your back to optimal functioning within weeks and for the long-term. Resting and taking over-the-counter pain killers will help, but remaining in bed for one or two days can worsen your situation. On rare occasions surgery is needed in back pain treatment.