The beginning of a back pain issue is usually unforeseen and can be sudden or worsen over a period of time. Knowing the type of pain you are experiencing can go a long way in getting the right treatment. The pain can be classified according to the area the pain is radiating from and the intensity of the pain.
Upper and middle back pain
Upper back pain is caused by injury to the tendons and ligaments that have been overworked either during an accident or in daily activities. The wear and tear could result in severe upper back pain. There are also lifestyle causes to this type of back pain like poor posture and obesity. The posture can eventually cause pain to the neck, arms and the upper back.
Some activities can cause the muscles to contract and increase the pain as a result. A simple pain killer can get rid of the pain but if the pain progresses, visit a chiropractor or a physician who will recommend the best treatment. Most of the time the doctor will recommend adjusting your posture and therapy to help release the muscle tension.
Lower back pain
This is mostly as a direct result of injury or trauma, heavy lifting or increased tension at the lower back. The tension can cause back pains and in some cases even muscle spasms. The tension can be relived through therapy and exercise to strengthen the back and weakened abdominal walls.
This is pain extending from the base of your skill to the shoulders and arms. In some cases, it can include the upper back. This pain causes stiffness and headaches in some cases. It develops in people over 50 as a result of strained neck muscles but sleeping in a bad position or sitting in front of your computer for long hours is also likely to cause the same effect.
Sciatica (buttocks and legs)
It is as a result of compression to the sciatic nerve. It is the longest nerve in the body running from the pelvic base all the way to the legs and ending at the feet. Irritation to this nerve can cause pain radiating from your lower back and is also felt in your legs.
The most common cause is a ruptured disc in your vertebrae. It will most likely pass without extensive treatment but in prolonged cases; your physical therapist will recommend selected exercise for you to help in easing the pain.
Chronic and acute back pains
All of the above pains can occur in different measures but they can all be chronic or acute. This is determined by the period they have occurred. Acute pain is short term and is usually less severe while chronic pain has prolonged over a period of time.
If you experience any of the symptoms below, it is important to visit a doctor immediately as they could indicate increased severity.
- A high temperature 100°F and above
- Constant back pain even after resting
- Pain radiating to your chest and upper back
- If you have or have had cancer
- Loss of bowel, bladder control or ability to pass urine
- Pain below your knees and down your legs
- Recent back injury