How many times have you had the misfortune of waking up in the morning and facing a severe stiffness in your lower back? Have you been driving for a few hours for the much-awaited family vacation and your spine aches? We try to find out why and how back pain is creeping into our societies.
A backache refers to any sort of pain that originates between the level of 3rd cervical vertebrae and 5th sacral vertebrae. Probably the, most neglected kind of pain. We take this for granted and pop in over the counter pills, But beneath your college telling you it is exertion, there might lie a significant problem. As long as your back ache subsides with rest, you can heave a sigh of relief. But if your pain is persistent, consult your general practitioner immediately.
What causes back pain?
Back muscles(Quadratus, Trapezius, and Lattisimus) are a few of the biggest muscles in our body. As a result, these muscles take the entire weight of the upper body. Any activity involves one or more of the back muscles. Also, multiplying the problem is a weak Spine-Hip joint. A single point has to take the entire weight of the body. This presents a potential point for back pain to start. Here we take an in-depth look at the various causes of a backache.
A strain is probably the most important factor. Let’s keep it straight, all your hours at the gym will be of no use if you do not work on your core. And, every time you work on your core exercises, your back suffers. Sure, muscles grow with repetitive microscopic breaks but overstretching might present itself as a potential muscle tear. Also, work that involves frequent bending takes a toll on your lower back.
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Movement and Posture
IT professionals and those working in the corporate sector are the usual victims of this. As you keep a bent posture facing your computer, the back muscles adjust their max stretch capacities. All is flowery in the beginning, but once you start venturing out, the back muscles are stretched beyond their usual limits. Welcome, back pain!
Also, sudden forceful movements may also be responsible for backaches. Sudden sneeze, twisting, long stretches of a drive, are all responsible factors for your backache.
Structural and Anatomical Problems
To being with, structural and anatomical problems are one and many. A few common ones causing back pain are listed below.
Ruptured, Herniated and Bulging Disks
The vertebras of our spine are cushioned to each other by discs. A rupture in one or more of this discs causes pressure on the nerve coming out of the intervertebral joint.
Herniating disks are caused when the disk bulge out of the small space between the two vertebrae, which is meant for a nerve to come out. This puts pressure on the nerve root and is responsible for pain.
In the context of back pain, Osteoarthritis can be due to narrowing of the joint spaces. This allows lower mobility of the spine and restricts movements causing pain.
We often tend to overlook the concept of referred pain, when it comes to back pain. Kidney ailment causes a kind of pain referred to as Loin to Groin pain. Back pain caused by kidney problems can have a terrifying and often damaging pathology underneath, and it is best to consult a urologist if you suspect other symptoms.
Two common abnormalities are seen – scoliosis and kyphosis. The abnormal curvature of spine often puts pressure on the discs, this causes them to bulge, or worse, herniate. The nerve root come under compression, and hence the back pain.
Although rare, certain diseases can be responsible for back pain.
Ankylosing Sponolysis is a silent disease and usually will not express before teenage years. The damage would have been done by then, Difficult to identify, consult your rheumatologist immediately if you feel morning stiffness.
Cauda Equina syndrome
Cauda Equina is a tuft of nerve that arises from the lower end of the spine. This syndrome can be accompanied with a dull ache, and bowel and bladder incontinence.
Pelvic inflammatory diseases, kidney ailments, and herpes zoster infections are often linked to lower back pain.
Cancer of the spine
Although extremely rare, a tumor within the spinal column can compress the nerve roots, and produce a dull pain
Although this is a brief guide on the causes of back pain, do consult your General Practitioner immediately if you encounter a persistent backache, or if your back pain does not subside on its own. Often a back pain is just the tip of the iceberg.