From a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet to slumped posture and chronic conditions, back pain may be caused by a combination of factors. Fortunately, many of them are within your control. Whether you’re currently experiencing back pain or want to prevent unnecessary pain in the future, review the following causes of back pain and available treatments.
Controllable Causes of Back Pain
Back pain can stem from multiple sources that can be controlled through a change in habits. The following culprits top the list of preventable back pain causes:
- Immobile lifestyle. Failing to exercise results in a lack of muscle development, which is required to adequately support the spine. Increasing low impact exercise, like swimming or walking, may provide relief.
- Poor diet. Eating an abundance of processed and fatty foods can lead to excess weight gain and obesity, two factors known to significantly affect levels of back pain.
- Slumped posture. Sitting in a slumped position, also known as the desk posture, can contribute to loss of muscle strength and soreness in the mid- to upper back.
Medical Conditions Causing Back Pain
Chronic back pain caused by medical conditions is not controllable by a change in habits or furniture, but is somewhat alleviated through medical intervention. The following medical causes of back pain are some of the most common:
- Sciatica. Often called a pinched nerve, sciatica refers to pain experienced in the lower back, buttock, and leg area stemming from a pinched sciatic nerve.
- Trauma. Injury to or surgery on the spine can result in scarring, inflammation, and muscle strain in the affected area.
- Degenerative disc disease. A gradual loss of water in the discs separating vertebrae can lead to chronic back pain made worse by movement.
- Spinal stenosis. When the spinal canal narrows due to degeneration, bone spurs develop as joints become arthritic; this combination of symptoms leads to debilitating back pain.
- Arthritis. Though osteoarthritis is most common, various types of arthritis can cause chronic back pain.
Available Treatments for Pain
Between alternative therapies and traditional medicine, many pain management treatment options are available, including the following:
- Acupuncture. A staple of Eastern medicine, acupuncture stimulates the body’s nerves along certain pressure points to enhance healing and alleviate pain.
- TENS unit. Using electrodes, a TENS unit is noninvasive and stimulates the nerves to improve pain over time.
- Surgical intervention. From Racz procedures to steroid injections, safe surgical procedures provide patients with significant pain relief.
Coping with chronic pain is challenging, but finding the right treatment doesn’t have to be. If you’re suffering from back pain and want to learn more about treatment options, contact American Pain Experts today.