Cures and causes of back pain in female : Back pain is something that a lot of people will experience in their lifetime and it’s only gotten worse.
In 2009, researchers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that “the prevalence of chronic, impairing low back pain [in North Carolina] increased from 3.9 percent in 1992 to 10.2 percent in 2006,” according to a press release.
Back pain can be separated into two categories: acute and chronic. Acute is pain that lasts less than six weeks and chronic is pain that lasts longer than three months; The Mayo Clinic says that acute pain is the more common ailment.
While this pain might be ubiquitous that doesn’t make it any less serious. It is one of the leading causes of disability and one of the more common reasons people miss work, according to The Mayo Clinic.
But you have to make sure you’re getting your information and treatment from a reliable source. There is a $100-billion-per-year back pain industry in the U.S. and it promises results from procedures like spinal fusion surgery, which in reality have low success rates, according to Quartz and Cathryn Jakobson Ramin’s book “Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery”.
Let’s take a look at some of the main causes of back pain and dig into some of the treatments suggested by experts.
“Ouch!” Why’s that hurt?
Back pain comes in a variety of flavors. It can come on slowly from sustained muscle strain or it can happen in an instant as the result of a fall, according to the National Institute of Health.
There are also more specific conditions like sciatica, which is the result of the “sciatic nerve becomes pinched, usually by a herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on your vertebrae,” The Mayo Clinic writes. It usually goes away within about a week on its own, but you should go to a doctor if it doesn’t improve in that period of time.
But pain can also be caused by something as benign as muscle strain from repeatedly lifting heavy objects. This muscle strain can also be caused by bad posture because your body has to work harder to keep you up right. When standing up your back should be straight, shoulders back, feet shoulder width apart, knees unlocked and your weight on the balls of your feet. When sitting your feet should be on the floor, legs should remain uncrossed, your chair should ideally support the curve in your back, your back should remain straight and shoulders relaxed.
Arthritis, skeletal irregularities (like an abnormal curve in the spine), osteoporosis, pregnancies and stress are all common causes of back pain as well, according to the National Institute of Health.
Back pain is also more common in people who are older and in people who live less healthy lifestyles that include lack of physical activity and smoking.
“I need some relief!”
Acute pain usually goes away on its own. But there are a couple NIH approved treatments to improve pain including taking acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen, and moving more to ease the stiffness in muscles. (You can also follow those helpful tips found in the previous section for improving your posture.)
Chronic pain, however, is a more complicated story. The exercise and pain relieving medication used for acute pain apply here, too, but there are some further steps some might need to take.
One nonsurgical option is traction, which could relieve pain while using it, but it will likely come back after and one study found it to have “little or no impact on pain intensity.”
There are also alternative medicine like acupuncture, which, surprisingly, have stood up to academic research, though researchers aren’t sure why it helps. “For example, an analysis of 29 studies with a total of 17,922 participants with back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache and shoulder pain found that people with those conditions experienced significantly more relief with acupuncture than those who had no treatment,” The Washington Post reported.
One study found that walking with nordic poles (or hiking poles) is an effective way to reduce discomfort if you experience back pain. This works by increasing “balance and stability while redistributing loading from the lower back and lower limbs during walking,” the researchers noted.
Unstables shoes — footwear with arched rather than flat soles — also have been shown to reduce back pain. The shoes are meant to increase core strength, which helps with back pain.
But at the end of the day there are some cases where surgery will be necessary. Herniated disks, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, vertebral fractures and degenerative disk disease are some of the conditions that could require surgical care, according to NIH.
And, don’t forget to lift with your legs.
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