Why do people have back problems?

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Why do people have back problems that are acute or chronic?

Oh, my aching back. Sound familiar? Back problems are commonplace. Why do people have back problems so frequently?

Let us count the ways:

Are you aware that you increase your chance of experiencing lower back pain if you smoke? When you smoke, this prevents the necessary nutrients from getting to your disks where they need to be. Back pain will last longer for a smoker because smokers do not heal as quickly. If you have a smokers cough, this can cause your back to hurt.

Other factors that contribute to low back pain include anxiety, sedentary work, obesity, being female, stress, strenuous physical work, depression and getting older.

Back pain comes in a variety of shapes and form. It may be a stabbing pain or a dull ache, and it may be continuous or intermittent. It can occur quickly when you lift something that is too heavy or fall down. Alternatively, it may slowly develop. Staying in shape will help prevent back pain because you are stronger and more agile when you are healthy and in shape.

If your mother or father suffered from back pain, you may too. Back pain can be hereditary. Ankylosing spondylitis is a kind of arthritis that has a genetic component and which affects the spine, resulting in back pain. If you have arthritis of any kind or cancer this can make your back hurt.

Being overweight is going to tax our back as well as your legs, knees, hips and feet, causing pain.

Your pain may be the result of your occupation, where you are required to pull, push, twist and lift. Sitting at a desk all day can definitely make your back hurt.

Your race has a bearing on your risk of developing back pain. Black women are two to three times more likely to experience the lower part of the spine slipping out of place than white women.

Back pain can be the result of a ruptured disk or disks; tense muscles; back spasms or a disk breakdown. If you sprain or fracture your back in an accident or fall this is going to make your back hurt.

Pregnancy and kidney stones can lead to back pain as can scoliosis, fibromyalgia, infections, stress, tumors and endometriosis.

Back pain can be acute or chronic. When pain is acute it starts quickly and endures for less than six weeks. This is the most typical kind of back pain. Acute pain is often the result of an accident or injury. On the other hand, chronic pain lasts for more than three months. It is less common than acute back pain.

Sometimes back pain that will not go away requires surgery, but most of the time you can avoid that.

Surgery may be required if you have spinal stenosis, which causes the spinal canal to become abnormally narrow, or a herniated disk, which means that one or more disks are damaged. Disks cushion the bones in the spine and consist of jelly in the center. When the disk is damaged, the jelly leaks out and results in pain.

Vertebral fractures, which can occur when you are struck in the back, or if you are experiencing deteriorating bone because of the condition osteoporosis may require surgery. Degenerative disk disease, which occurs in older people, results in severe pain because the disks are breaking down. Surgery may be needed to correct this. 

Spondylolisthesis is a condition that appears when a bone, or more than one bone, slips out of place in the spine. If you are suffering back pain because you have a nerve root issue, a tumor or an infection, surgery may be the best resort to ease your pain and prevent the occurrence of more trouble, which can occur if these problems are not corrected. 

If you are experiencing numbness in your legs, tingling, weight loss, trouble urinating, severe pain and/or fever along with back pain, go see your doctor. 

Good treatment for back pain includes the use of hot or cold packs or both. Hot or cold packs can help relieve pain, soreness and stiffness. Heat is good for reducing pain and muscle spasms and cold assists in reducing swelling, and it numbs deep pain. 


Natl Institute for Health: back pain
Mayo Clinic: causes of back pain

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