How Common Is Lower Back Pain
Around four out of five people have lower back pain at some point in their lives. Its one of the most common reasons people visit healthcare providers.
Some people are more likely to have lower back pain than others. Risk factors for lower back pain include:
- Age: People over 30 have more back pain. Disks wear away with age. As the disks weaken and wear down, pain and stiffness can result.
- Weight: People who are obese or carry extra weight are more likely to have back pain. Excess weight puts pressure on joints and disks.
- Overall health: Weakened abdominal muscles cant support the spine, which can lead to back strains and sprains. People who smoke, drink alcohol excessively or live a sedentary lifestyle have a higher risk of back pain.
- Occupation and lifestyle: Jobs and activities that require heavy lifting or bending can increase the risk of a back injury.
- Structural problems: Severe back pain can result from conditions, such as scoliosis, that change spine alignment.
- Disease: People who have a family history of osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer and other disease have a higher risk of low back pain.
- Mental health: Back pain can result from depression and anxiety.
Beat Chronic Back Pain
Theres three certainties in life: death, taxes and back pain. If you get chronic back pain and its hard to get up, bend over, or lift things, keep reading.
Back pain happens to everyone at some point. When back pain becomes chronic you need a different approach than wait and see.
At first, your back pain would go away with a little rest. Then, the pain became worse, happened more often, and lasted longer. Now, the pain never completely goes away.
The problem is that back pain returns more often and severe or never completely resolves.
Your back is very stiff getting out of bed in the morning. Putting on your own socks is a difficult task. It takes both arms and a groan to stand up after sitting. Your back feels tired standing in line. You avoid lifting anything heavy because it hurts after doing so.
At its worst, back pain drops you to the floor and leaves you bed-ridden for days. Theres no relieving position and pain meds only take the edge off. You awake from sleep every time you roll over. You feel stiff, fatigued and fragile.
If this sounds like you keep reading. Ill explain how to beat chronic back pain.
Look Into Getting A New Mattress
How old is your bed? You may be surprised to learn that the average life span of a mattress is less than 10 years. Theres no hard-and-fast rule, says Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the division of pain medicine at Stanford University, but if your mattress is sagging significantly or is more than six to eight years old, Id think about getting a new one.
Something else to consider: A firm mattress may not do your back any favors, says Carmen R. Green, MD, a physician at the University of Michigan Back & Pain Center. A number of studies over the years suggest that people with lower back pain who sleep on medium-firm mattresses do better than those with firm beds, she says.
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Massage Therapy For Low Back Pain
Studies have shown that massage treatments can help relieve chronic low back pain. Massage treatment can restore people to their usual activities of daily living and lessen pain. Massage therapy is limited, and would not be the most effective solution for patients with spinal complications, injuries, or disk problems since massage focuses on the release of muscle tension and not on the structure of the spine itself.
Achieve A Healthy Weight
More than 70 percent of people in the U.S. are overweight and nearly 40 percent are considered obese. Carrying extra weight can significantly strain your back muscles and spine.
Losing weight can be difficult however, doing so can help control your back pain, prevent the condition from getting worse, and even potentially eliminate the need for pain medication or surgery. If you need help losing weight, request an appointment.
“There are many alternative treatments for back pain, many of which are easy to do at home and affordable, with no doctors prescription necessary.”
Carlos Bagley, M.D.
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Secret Number One: Back Pain Becomes Chronic Because Of Our Lifestyles
People throughout their life will most likely experience lower back pain at some point. According to some estimates over 90% of people in the developed world will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. The reasons for this are variable but may have something to do with a sedentary lifestyle. As a society we generally move less than our ancestors did this may be part of the reason for the increase in lower back pain especially with chronic cases. This leads to a tremendous level of disability and lost time from work, family activities, and negatively effects a persons quality of life and general sense of well-being.
If we were to continue gentle movement and gradually resume activities, in many cases the pain completely disappears. Although this does not address the origin of the problem, it would most certainly prevent it from becoming chronic.
Bonus Tip: Consider Taking A Vitamin D3 Supplement
If your doctor agrees, consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement. Vitamin D is essential for bone, neuromuscular, and immune system function. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement can help reduce back pain by increasing the absorption of calcium in your body and improving bone strength.15
Finding the perfect pain relief technique is usually a process of trial and error, making it worth exploring various approaches. Try these natural pain-relieving strategies for your back pain and see what works best for you. Severe pain that is not relieved by self-care must be evaluated by a health professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
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Things You Can Do Instantly To Relieve Chronic Pain
- Suzanne Monroe
Are you in pain? Whether you wake up with a shooting pain in your back, or experience the aches of arthritis, or are dealing with an injury that never did heal correctly, you need to find relief and quickly. And if youre passionate about holistic health, you might be searching for natural ways to deal with your chronic pain.
Chronic pain is something that is not fully understood by medical science and has mostly been dealt with through prescribing strong pain medication, especially opiates. While these drugs might be appropriate for dealing with the excruciating pain immediately after surgery, they arent healthy when used to deal with chronic pain.
Thankfully, there are plenty of natural ways you can reduce your chronic pain and get back to feeling healthy and strong again. Here are 18 things you can incorporate into your life to start feeling joyful and pain-free once again.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain
Symptoms of lower back pain can come on suddenly or appear gradually. Sometimes, pain occurs after a specific event, such as bending to pick something up. Other times, you may not know what caused the pain.
Pain may be sharp or dull and achy, and it may radiate to your bottom or down the back of your legs . If you strain your back during an activity, you may hear a pop when it happened. Pain is often worse in certain positions and gets better when you lie down.
Other symptoms of lower back pain include:
- Stiffness: It may be tough to move or straighten your back. Getting up from a seated position may take a while, and you might feel like you need to walk or stretch to loosen up. You may notice decreased range of motion.
- Posture problems: Many people with back pain find it hard to stand up straight. You may stand crooked or bent, with your torso off to the side rather than aligned with your spine. Your lower back may look flat instead of curved.
- Muscle spasms: After a strain, muscles in the lower back can spasm or contract uncontrollably. Muscle spasms can cause extreme pain and make it difficult or impossible to stand, walk or move.
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The Paradox Of Our Health Care System
In the case of our medical system in Canada the more expensive and invasive a procedure is, the higher the chance that it will be publicly funded. While in principle this makes sense to prevent large out-of-pocket expenses for people, it also leads many people to have years of unsuccessful treatments up to and including surgery where sometimes not required or helpful. If we could match people up with a skilled physiotherapist at the time of their injury, they would be much more likely to recover and remain well for the long term since a good physiotherapist will have some insight about the reason for the problem in the first place.
Can I Prevent Back Pain
You may be able to prevent back pain that happens because of overuse or moving the wrong way. The following tips may help:
- Get regular exercise that keeps your back muscles strong. Exercises that increase balance and strength can lower your risk of falling and injuring your back or breaking bones. Your doctor may recommend that you try tai chi or yoga.
- Eat a healthy diet with enough calcium and vitamin D, which help keep your spine strong.
- Maintain a healthy weight to avoid stress and strain on your back.
- Sit up straight. Try to support your back when sitting or standing.
- If you have to lift something heavy, use your leg and stomach muscles, not your back.
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More Advanced Care Options
Surgery When other therapies fail, surgery may be considered to relieve pain caused by worsening nerve damage, serious musculoskeletal injuries, or nerve compression. Specific surgeries are selected for specific conditions/indications. However, surgery is not always successful. It may be months following surgery before the person is fully healed and there may be permanent loss of flexibility. Surgical options include:
Implanted nerve stimulators
- Spinal cord stimulation uses low-voltage electrical impulses from a small implanted device that is connected to a wire that runs along the spinal cord. The impulses are designed to block pain signals that are normally sent to the brain.
- Dorsal root ganglion stimulation also involves electrical signals sent along a wire connected to a small device that is implanted into the lower back. It specifically targets the nerve fibers that transmit pain signals. The impulses are designed to replace pain signals with a less painful numbing or tingling sensation.
- Peripheral nerve stimulation also uses a small implanted device and an electrode to generate and send electrical pulses that create a tingling sensation to provide pain relief.
Should I See A Chiropractor For My Back Pain
Spinal manipulation is used by chiropractors and osteopathic physicians to treat low back pain in selected patients. Spinal manipulation applies hand pressure to areas of the low back to relax irritated muscle and lessen the intensity of the pain.
Traction, using pulleys and weights to lengthen and stretch the spine can result in temporary relief. Both techniques will not treat any underlying causes of back pain, but rather offer a temporary relief from lower back pain.
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How Goodpath Can Help
Chronic back pain is not always easy to overcome, but exercises of this type can put you on the right path to feeling better.
Need more? Take our personalized quiz to create a customized back pain program.
After you answer a few short questions, we will build you an integrative plan complete with solutions such as exercise videos, recommended medications, and other remedies reviewed by our medical team.
Ask Your Doctor About Biofeedback
In recent years, biofeedback a type of mind-body technique that uses electrical sensors to help you make subtle changes in your body has grown in popularity as an effective way to manage back pain. A suggested that biofeedback could reduce the intensity of back pain and muscle tension, both as a standalone treatment and when combined with other treatments.
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Stretching And Strengthening Your Back
What Is Lower Back Pain
Low back pain can result from many different injuries, conditions or diseases most often, an injury to muscles or tendons in the back.
Pain can range from mild to severe. In some cases, pain can make it difficult or impossible to walk, sleep, work or do everyday activities.
Usually, lower back pain gets better with rest, pain relievers and physical therapy . Cortisone injections and hands-on treatments can relieve pain and help the healing process. Some back injuries and conditions require surgical repair.
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Ways To Treat Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery
Back pain is considered chronic if it lasts three months or longer. It cancome and go, often bringing temporary relief, followed by frustration.Dealing with chronic back pain can be especially trying if you dont knowthe cause.
Overlooked Remedies For Lower Back Pain Relief
When lower back pain persists and continues to interfere with your quality of life, multiple treatment options may be needed for adequate relief. Below are some back pain treatments that are commonly overlooked or underused. Try one or more of these remedies to see which one, or combination, works best for you.
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Treating Lower Back Pain: How Much Bed Rest Is Too Much
Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit a health care provider. The good news is that the pain often goes away on its own, and people usually recover in a week or two. Many people want to stay in bed when their back hurts. For many years, getting bed rest was the normal advice. But current studies recommend no bed rest at all and stress that staying in bed longer than 48 hours not only wont help but it may, in fact, actually delay your recovery. Heres why:
Staying in bed wont help you get better faster.If youre in terrible pain, lying down for a day to help ease the distress may seem like a good idea, but moderating your activities and staying active in a limited way is a more effective way to control your symptoms. Research suggests that if you can find comfortable positions and keep moving, you may not need bed rest at all.Research shows that:
- Lying down longer than a day or two day isnt helpful for relieving back pain.
- People can recover more quickly without any bed rest.
- The sooner you start moving, even a little bit, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to improve.
Who needs bed rest?Almost no one! The only people who might require time in bed are those with unstable spinal fractures awaiting surgery.
When should I see a health care provider?You should see your health care provider right away if:
- Heat or ice
Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
Is It Muscle Strain Or Sciatica
Back pain that occurs after excessive exercise or heavy lifting is frequently a strain injury. However, occasionally these activities cause disc injury and rupture or herniation. When a herniated disc irritates the sciatic nerve, it can cause back pain and, in some people, leg pain.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a form of nerve pain caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that runs down through the buttocks and extends down the back of the leg. Pressing on or pinching of the sciatic nerve causes shock-like or burning low back pain. Sometimes people feel as if the pain radiates down through the buttocks and down one leg, sometimes even reaching the foot.
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