Almost everybody will suffer from back pain at some point or another. It can be triggered by a range of things, including poor posture when standing or sitting, awkwardly bending, or improper lifting techniques. It is rare for back pain to be caused by serious medical conditions.
Some Information on Back Pain Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment:
Most of the time, when you have back pain, it resolves itself within a few weeks, sometimes months. In some people, however, the pain will last longer and it can also be chronic and recurring. Back pain signs, symptoms, and treatment depend on the type of pain that is actually experienced.
The Types of Back Pain:
The most common type of back pain, and the one most people refer to when talking about back pain signs, symptoms, and treatment, is backache. This usually happens in the lumbago (the lower back), although it can happen at any point along the spine, ranging from the hips up to the neck.
However, diseases and injury can also cause back pain, including:
– Slipped disc, which refers to a damage spinal disc, which then presses on the nerve
– Sciatica, which is a compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, leading to tingling, numbness, or pain, usually felt in the leg as well
– Whiplash, which is an injury of the neck caused by a sharp, sudden impact, often during a car accident.
– Frozen shoulder, which happens when any part of the shoulder joint becomes inflamed, leading to stiffness and pain
– Ankylosing spondylitis, which is a chronic condition that causes stiffness and pain at the joint between the spine and pelvis
What to Do:
In the vast majority of cases, back pain does not require any medical treatment. At home remedies and treatments should work. These include:
– Staying active, so that the muscles of the back do not become weakened, or seize up
– Taking over the counter remedies like ibuprofen or paracetamol if needed
– Using cold and/or hot compresses, which can be purchased from most drug stores, but can also be simply made at home using hot water bottles or frozen vegetables wrapped in cloth
If you have back pain, it can be hard to feel optimistic or cheerful, because it limits your activities. However, a positive attitude can actually speed up your recovery.
Long Term Treatment:
In some cases, back pain becomes chronic, recurring, and/or progressive, in which case further treatment may be required. Should your back pain not improve after a few weeks of at home treatment, or if it is severe, you should seek medical attention. A physician may prescribe:
– Stronger painkillers
– Exercise classes
– Support through a pain management clinic
It is possible to self-refer to a physiotherapist or acupuncturist if you want to, but it is unlikely that your health insurance company will then agree to pay for your treatment. That said, if you do self-refer, you will usually be seen much more quickly, which can be beneficial if you want fast relief. In very extreme cases, surgery may be the only alternative.