Back pain is associated with a number of possible causes. In some cases, back pain affects the lower back, while in other cases, it affects the upper back. This pain can occur suddenly, which is called acute pain, or it can develop slowly over time, which is called chronic pain. Acute pain mainly results from injuries, while chronic pain can come from wear and tear on spinal structures or an underlying condition, such as arthritis. Common causes of back pain include ruptured or bulging discs in the spine, muscle strain, ligament strain and osteoarthritis. Sciatica, which is back pain that occurs when something presses on the sciatic nerve in the lower back and leg, is another common cause of back pain. Other possible causes include osteoporosis, which makes your bones brittle, and scoliosis or another condition that causes abnormalities in the spine.
Relief for back pain depends on what is causing it and how severe it is. Acute back pain from minor injuries often improves with nonprescription medications, heating pads or ice packs and light stretching exercises. For more severe back pain or chronic back pain, treatment options include prescription medications, topical pain relieving products, cortisone injections, physical therapy and surgical procedures.
Chiropractic care can provide effective pain relief when conventional treatments are not enough. This type of care also gives you a nonsurgical option to consider if you prefer avoiding surgery for back pain. Chiropractic adjustments at Health First Injury & Pain Centers can help ease pain and other symptoms of spinal problems, such as bulging discs and sciatica. These adjustments help promote healing in the spine, which leads to pain relief. Our services also include physical therapy, which can help you make your back muscles stronger while you recover. Physical therapy also allows you to work on your range of motion to restore normal flexibility. We also offer nutritional counseling to help you maintain a healthy weight, which helps reduce the risk of back pain.
There are several ways to lower your risk of dealing with back pain again. These include taking steps to make sure your back is strong and flexible, such as doing low-impact activities that don’t put pressure on your back and working on strengthening your back and abdominal muscles. You can also work on improving your range of motion to keep your back flexible and less prone to damage. This involves doing stretching exercises that target your back muscles.
Other ways to prevent back pain from recurring include maintaining a healthy weight, so that there is less strain on your back muscles and practicing good posture rather than slumping or leaning while you stand or sit. It’s also important to be careful with how you lift heavy objects. Remember to lift with your knees rather than putting all of the pressure on your back muscles. Sitting with some support for your lower back, such as a pillow, can also help prevent pain from flaring up again.