Our spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae form 3 natural curves, the cervical (neck), the thoracic (middle back) and the lumbar (lower back). There are many muscles which act on the spine to produce movement and help to maintain posture. The back also connects to the brain through nerves that run through it.
Back pain may present as muscle ache, shooting/ stabbing pain, pain that radiates down your leg, pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing/ walking, or pain that improves with reclining.
Various causes of back pain are strained muscles or ligaments, bulging or ruptured disks, arthritis, osteoporosis or irregularities in skeletal system.
Other reasons could be adverse lifestyle, bad posture, reduced flexibility and lack of proper exercise.
Fluid retention in the body can cause the muscles to swell and press on the nerves, resulting in general muscular aches or experience sharp, localized pains and cramps.
How to manage
- In acute pain, ice is best in the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury because it reduces inflammation.
- Managing your lifestyle can mitigate a nagging pain that comes and goes.
- Exercise and follow a daily routine to improve flexibility (when the back is in good condition)
- Maintain good posture and stretch every 20 mins at work.
- Watch your weight.
- Quit smoking since it can be a cause of persistent back pain. Research also shows smoking can make existing back pain worse.
- You can reduce your risk of back pain with simple lifestyle changes.
- Persistent back pain could also be a sign of a more serious condition. Treatment is required when pain limits a patient’s ability to walk, sit, or stand for prolonged periods of time, or if pain is greater than a 6 (on a scale from 0 to 10). Spinal surgery is usually considered for patients with intense, unrelenting pain (10 on a scale from 0 to 10), weakness, incontinence, or structural instability.