Back pain is among the most common problems affecting millions of people worldwide, according to KeepMoving.com.sg. Usual triggers include incorrect heavy lifting and improper posture while standing, bending or sitting. It may also be caused by more serious medical conditions. Often, you feel ease in several weeks or months, but some individuals can experience long-term or persistent pain.
Potential Causes of Back Pain
Your back is made up of a structure of bones, muscles, disks, tendons and ligaments, with the spine being protected by pads similar to cartilage. Back pain manifests when you have issues with one of these components. It commonly appears in the lumbago or lower back, but you can also feel it in the spine, hips and neck. Back pain is normally caused by strained ligaments or muscles, heavy or incorrect lifting, sudden awkward or abrupt movements, and muscle spasms. Other potential causes of back pain include:
- Sciatica – Occurs when your sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated, resulting in pain, tingling sensations and numbness.
- Slipped/Prolapsed/Herniated Disc – Happens due to a damaged spine disc pressing on your nerves.
- Frozen Shoulder – Shoulder inflammation that results in stiffness and pain.
- Whiplash – An injury to the neck due to sudden and forceful impact.
- Abnormal Spine Curvature – People with abnormal spine curvature, those with scoliosis for example, are more likely to have back pain.
- Arthritis – Arthritic people usually experience pain in their back, hands, knees and hip joints. Some even develop spinal stenosis.
- Osteoporosis – Happens when your bones, which include the spine’s vertebrae, become porous and brittle (usually with age), resulting in increased risk for compression fractures.
When to Get Professional Help
You should consult a doctor if your back pain symptoms also come with the following:
- Persistent and constant pain, more so at night
- Chest pains
- High fever
- Sudden weight loss
- Difficulties with urination, and bowel and bladder control
- Abnormality or swelling in your back
- Numbness around the anus, buttocks or genitals
- The pain started after a severe accident
Know that these coexisting back pain symptoms can be indicative of more severe conditions that require medical attention sooner rather than later.