Back pain is the most common medical issue, which affects millions of people, especially teenager, who spends most of their time sitting, whether it’s a job or something else.
Even, In school children have back pain is also seen, due to stuck on mobile all the time, and it was seen a lot in covid where all worked from home.
There are some habits, that increase the risk of back pain, cause more chance to get back injury, slipped disc, etc.
Its treatment can do at home such as exercises, and certain prescribed medicines, if it is mild, and surgery may be needed if this becomes worse.
Lower back pain is most commonly seen in most people around the world, followed by upper pain, and middle (which is seen in some cases).
It is becoming more common among young people in recent years. there can be two reasons for this – specific and non-specific.
- Specific – This includes injury in the back, infection, slipped disc, or any disease.
- Non-spcific- Muuscle weakness, or hamstring strain.
There are multiple reasons for lower, upper, and middle back pain, such as:
Any type of injury that affects your lower back causes back pain, which can injure or damaged ligaments, tendons, damaged disks.
Strains (overstretch), sprains (tears in muscles), and spasms (contraction in muscles) can also cause lower back pain.
There are many health conditions, which may result in this.
- Nerve and spinal cord issues
- Kidney stones – It can be as pain as pinching a pin, usually on one side
- Pregnancy – During pregnancy, it is common, due to pressure that is put on the stomach, which can trigger the pelvis and backbone.
- Infections – An infection can affect the nerve, such as bladder, kidney infection, pelvic inflammation disease, which may lead to pain.
- Tumors – That destroy the spine, and nerves.
- Other infections: Pelvic inflammatory disease, bladder, or kidney infections may also lead to back pain.
- Herniated discs
- Arthritis – In this situation, bone density and strength decrease, which promote more chances to fracture, and back pain.
- Endometriosis – The buildup of tissue at the side outside the uterus.
- Spinal nerve inflammation or injury
- Sciatica – IIn this, the sciatic nerve travels through the spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg, causing pain in the affected areas.
- Over weight
There are many other conditions, that can trigger your nerve, muscles, or side muscles, tissues that possibly affect pain.
Posture and movement
In today’s time sitting posture, and sleeping, standing, or walking movement, can major affect your upper, lower and middle back, causing pain.
Some activity or posture can lead to back pain. which include:
- Long time sitting is main reason for back in young people
- Over strething
- Wrong strethch or bending
- Standing for long time
- Lean working or driving for long periods of time without a break, can causes upper, and lower back pain
- Sleeping in wrong way
- Lifting overweight can cause it, which can enhance the risk of slipped disc.
- Sneezing or coughing (it can put pressure on the back muscles and cause a spasm of pain).
- Carrying or pushing something for a long time, can affect back.
2. Early signs
The main symptom of back pain is an ache on a specific spot which can spread the pain all over the back.
Sometimes pain can travel through a nerve to the other area of the body, such as the buttocks, legs, stomach, toes finger.
Here are common symptoms. which include:
- Increasing pain during lifting, bending
- Pain that comes and goes
- Long time sitting
- Worse pain, when sitting, standing, running
- Pain to even stand for a while
Some serious symptoms are:
- loss of urine control
- Pain during sneeing or coughing
- Weakness on arms and legs
- Stiffness when getting up, which is more visible in cold season.
Upper and middle back pain common symptoms such as:
- A sharp pain, or mild, while sitting
- Muscle tightness or stiffness
3. Who at More Risk of back pain?
It can affect most people, but some people are more chance of getting pain, which can increase day by day. which include:
Overweight people: Due to its own weight which increases pressure on the spinal cord, lead to lower back pain, also increases the risk of diseases.
Sitting job person: In today’s time, many people have a sitting job, which puts pressure on the discs, leads to back pain, and can get worse with prolonged sitting.
Aged: After the age of 30, the density of bones starts decreasing, which increases the risk of arthritis, back pain, and fracture significantly.
Genes: Studies have shown that back pain can run in families.
Diseases: Arthritis is the most common disease, that causes lower back pain, which leads to swelling, stiffness, pain in joints.
Smokers: It can block proper blood flow and oxygen supply to the discs, which developed lumbar disc, osteoporosis, lung diseases, etc.
NOTE: Smokers are more at risk of chronic back pain after an injury, and bones take time to heal.
Other conditions or situations that may also increase the risk of back pain are:
- Pregnant women
- Loaded backpacks in children, can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.
- Older people
- Poor diet or lack of nutrition
- Stress and depression also influence muscle tension and causes it
4. Covid and back pain
Many covid positive people felt lower back pain.
But according to the covid experts back pain is one of the most common symptoms of Covid-19.
Dr. Arora says, that Covid infection promotes a hormone called cytokines (which is pro-inflammatory in nature).
Cytokines lead to the formation of a prostaglandin (E2), which activates all the pain sensors in the body.
A doctor usually, asks about your symptoms, where does it start, medical history like injury, an underlying medical condition that can lead to back pain.
If no medical condition is caused by this, then the doctor may perform some imaging test or scan. which include:
- CT scan: These scans generate the bone, muscle, and tissues, nerves, vessels, structure, then they can reveal the bone pain.
- MRI: It usually used to confirm a herniated disc diagnosis. It is used to locate exactly the point on the spine that affected.
- X-ray: It outlines the broken bone and arthritis, but this alone can not show problems.
Some other tests that may perform by a doctor include:
- Bone tests: It is a nuclear imaging test which track several types of bone disease such as tumors, fractures. it might used in severe cases.
- Electromyography: It sends electrical activity in a muscle, which can detect if muscle weakness, with the nerves that control the muscles.
- Blood tests: This can evaluate any infection, inflammation, cancer, arthritis, or any other diseases.
- Discography: In this, injection insert into your pain area, which helps to show the damaged areas on CT scans taken following the injection.
- Myelography: In this, dye is injected into the spinal canal. which specific the tissues, blood vessels, etc show up more clearly on an x-ray.
Its treatment can go away by doing some exercises, but in severe cases, the doctor will tell the treatment after seeing your conditions or symptoms.
A doctor may suggest this treatment. which include:
- Pain relieve, which reduce the pain that causes by nerve, muscle or weak muscles, but don’t over use.
- Creams, or sprays by applying it to the skin, it involves providing a feeling a hot or cold to the nerves and stimulating them.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, which works reduce inflammation.
In this, applying ultrasound, and electrical ways can stimulate the muscles to reduce their tension and relieve pain.
Once muscle pain is reduced, then the can therapist starts some ways, which can strengthen back muscles, improve mobility, flexibility, and also help in improving body posture.
After the pain is gone, some advice is also given by the therapist to prevent the back pain from coming back.
Bed rest may need if the pain is increased.
NOTE: The doctor may suggest you belt (which tie around the waist, which acts as a support) if you have faced more pain while sitting or walking,
Heat and cold therapy, can ease pain, reduce swelling, and improve mobility
Get enhanced in physical exercise to help strengthen the muscles that support the back, which can improve mobility, posture, and positioning.
Strong muscle decrease the risk of back pain, talk to your therapist before starting any physical exercise.
Yoga is also one of the best ways to treat it, which I have experienced myself.
Some yoga asanas which you should try in back pain are:
- Cobra asanas – It is one of the best yoga for back pain relief, doing 8 to 10 times.
- Setu bandhasana – In this, lift your hip upwards, and support back, because back is still weak. stay this position for 30 seconds and gradually increase.
- Cow position
- Bhadra asana – if your back is hurting, then better to perform it in lying down perform.
- Pawanmuktasana – This is very good hip opening asanas, which imporve flexibility to your lower back. And stay this position for 30 seconds.
- Dhanurasana – It is recommeded by all yoges for lower back.
Some other techniques, that you should get done by a professional.
- Breathing exercises
- Massage, can provide substantial healing and pain relief for many lower back problems (2)
- Relaxation techniques
- Chiropractic care
If your condition or symptoms are more severe then the doctor may also advise you for surgery. surgery is rarely used for upper and middle back pain.
However, it also has some side effects.
7. Prevention Tips
- Avoid lifting heavy weight
- Do exercise daily, atleast 1hour
- Avoid long time sitting, if not posssible, take rest after 30 to 40 minutes.
- Maintain healthy weight with proper nutritious diet with sufficient daily intake of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D to promote new bone growth.
- Wear comfortable foot wear
- Eat a healthy diet include – calcium, vitamin D rich foods.
- Always sleep on a firm surface, and sleep on left side or one side
- Quit smoking, which increases the risk of osteoporosis and impedes healing.
Due to its own weight which increases pressure on the spinal cord, leads to lower back pain, also increases the risk of diseases.
It is becoming more common among young people in recent years, due to sitting posture, and some habits.