Back pain can take many forms. Generally speaking, back pain is among the most common causes of disability in the US according to the National Institutes of Health. However, back pain can affect people differently. Some people only experience dull muscle aches. Others may feel sharp, stabbing pain that can be legitimately debilitating. For some, back pain can manifest itself when bending down, lifting something, or walking. Other people may feel pain in their back somewhat randomly. In order to successfully treat back pain, it’s important to first identify the root cause of your discomfort. That’s why the healthcare providers at Family Practice Center have highlighted a few of the most common causes of back pain.
Common Back Injuries
There is perhaps no more common source of back pain than muscle strains and sprains, especially in the lower back. A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon in the back is torn. A sprain refers to a tearing of a ligament in the back. Both strains and sprains can be caused by a one-time injury or by gradual overuse. Additionally, the discs that act as cushions between the bones in the spine can bulge or rupture, leading them to press on a nerve and cause considerable back pain.
Certain health conditions can affect the spine, leading to back pain. Arthritis or osteoarthritis, a form of arthritis that occurs when cartilage and bone begin to break down, can cause pain, inflammation, and swelling in the lower back. Some people may also experience spinal stenosis, a debilitating condition where arthritis in the spine leads to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord. Degenerative disc disease occurs when normal changes that take place in the discs of your spine like drying or cracking cause pain. Skeletal irregularities like scoliosis can also lead to back pain over time. For people with osteoporosis, the spine’s vertebrae can develop compression fractures easily when the bones have become porous and brittle.
Back pain can also be triggered by simple behaviors and habits in our normal day-to-day lives. For instance, a sedentary lifestyle including hours of sitting in front of a computer at work each day can contribute to posture issues and back pain. Regularly lifting heavy objects, especially when lifting improperly with your back instead of your legs, can cause back pain over time. Being overweight can put additional strain on your spine and lead to back pain and posture problems. Your emotional health can also impact your back. High stress levels can lead to additional muscle tension in your back.
Whether you have experienced a recent back injury, or you suffer from regular back pain, there are steps you can take to soothe your pain and find relief. During your appointment at Family Practice Center, our providers will work to find the root cause of your issue and determine the best-possible treatment plan. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers today, please contact Family Practice Center. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, and so much more.