They say that death and taxes are two of life’s certainties. However, if you are like 60 million other adults in the United States, you can add back pain to the list.
Back pain affects everyone from all walks of life.Since 1997, lower back pain has affected at least a fourth of the American population. Also, this common yet potentially debilitating condition has led to more days off work than car trouble and other health problems.
You may have experienced lower back pain at some point in your life. From this experience, you know firsthand how it can drastically affect your quality of life.
Knowledge of the causes and effects of back pain can go a long way in your well-being. Keep reading to learn more.
Why Does Back Pain Occur?
Back pain often manifests the same way across populations. For the most part, the most common complaints of patients include:
- Sharp or dull pain
- The appearance of the above-mentioned after changes in position
Any of these symptoms can present themselves on any part of the back. However, the lower back is the most common site of back pain.
Back pain can occur for the following common reasons:
- Bending down too quickly to grab something or tie your shoe
- Overextending yourself on a golf swing
- Sleeping flat on your back
There are, of course, specific ways that each of these common examples can cause back pain. Some of these include compressing the spine, twisting suddenly, and even osteoporosis.
The intervertebral discs are tissues in between the bones that make up the spinal column. Serving many purposes, intervertebral discs also act as shock absorbers for the spine.
Despite the resiliency of these tissues, they can swell and herniate out of their spinal origins. Swelling and herniation are often the results of excessive axial loading. When intervertebral swelling occurs, the most common sign is pain in the affected area.
And since the sacrococcyx (lower back) is the most weight-bearing segment of the spine, swelling and herniation occur here often.
Sudden Twisting With an Offset Load
Twisting is not itself bad for the lower back. Many positions in Yoga and Pilates have positions that involve a twist. Done slowly and gradually, spinal twist positions can have therapeutic benefits.
Twisting becomes dangerous when it is sudden and done with an offset load.
An offset load can be any implement where much of the weight lies at the end. Examples of offset loads are golf clubs, sledgehammers, and even baseball bats.
The force from swinging these implements adds to the traction or pull. With enough force, the spine may twist and rotate beyond its normal axis of rotation.
Over the course of many swings, the spine and discs can experience wear and tear. When this occurs, back pain is the result.
Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease. The fractures that result from it can lead to physical deformity and back pain.
As time passes, the osteocytes (or bone cells) become less capable of synthesizing calcium. As a result, bones become less durable and become susceptible to breaking.
When a break occurs, pain is the result. In the case of lower back pain,osteoporosis can cause chronic pain due to broken segments of the spine and local trauma. As well, this leads to kyphosis (stooped posture) and Paget’s disease (shortening of the spine) in the elderly.
What Lower Back Pain Can Do To You
Lower back pain can be detrimental to you physically, occupationally, and financially. Due to the reduced quality of life it can engender, lower back pain can also take a psychological toll on you.
You May Be Prevented From Performing Many Activities
Lower back pain can be a major limiting factor when choosing activities to perform.
Having this condition can prevent you from playing many sports and engaging in many fitness programs. Also, you may find helping out around the house even more challenging.
Your Boss Might Give You Less Hours At Work
This may not sound bad. However, it should concern you if:
- You are paid by the hour.
- Your occupation is physically demanding.
If so, your lower back pain can be a liability to your employer. As a result, your boss might give you less hours — and with this comes reduced pay.
Your Psychological Health Can Be Negatively Affected
Many people who suffer from chronic lower back pain report feelings of helplessness and depression. In fact, a Georgetown University study discovered that these feelings occur in as many as three-fourths of adults with back pain.
Final Word: Address Your Lower Back Pain With A Pain Specialist!
Despite its prevalence and severity, back pain does not need to be a death sentence. There are still actions you can take towards your lower back health.
You do not always need to seek a professional’s services for back pain. After all, you may have experienced it and still managed to get on with your day. However, when your lower back pain starts to affect other areas of your life, you need professional help.
Here at the North Texas Pain Institute, we specialize in assessing and managing all kinds of pain, including lower back pain.
If you have a bad back, let us know. You can expect us to provide you with the best kind of lower back treatment!