Back Pain

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Back Pain


Back pain happens to be one of the most common reasons people such as, athletes, retirees, university students, adolescents etc go to the doctor or miss work and it is a main cause of disability worldwide. 

Fortunately, there are measures that you can take to prevent or alleviate most back pain episodes. If prevention doesn’t work, proper body mechanics and simple home treatment will heal your back pain within few weeks and keep it normal. Unlike other chronic medical conditions, surgery is rarely needed to treat back pain.

Causes of back pain 

The human body is composed of a complex structure of disks, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and bones, which work together to aid the body and enable us to move around. The segments of the spine are protected with cartilage-like pads called disks. Medical problems with any of these components can lead to back pain. 

Back pain can result from strain, medical conditions, and poor posture, among others 

  1. Strain

Back pain commonly results from strain, injury or tension. Mentioned below are frequent causes of back pain:

  • Damaged disks
  • Muscle tension 
  • Injuries, or fractures 
  • Muscle spasm 

Activities that cause strain or spasm include:

  • Lifting objects that are too heavy 
  • Improper lifting of objects 
  • Making an awkward and sudden movement 
  1. Structural problems 

The structural problems that may also result in back pain include:

Kidney problems: Kidney infections or kidney stones can cause back pain 

Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can result in problems with the joints in the lower back, hips, and other places. The one that occurs around the spinal cord narrows is known as spinal stenosis. 

Osteoporosis: This is a medical condition that causes bones, including the vertebrae of the spine to become porous and brittle that makes compression fractures more likely. 

Bulging disks: A bulging disks can lead to more pressure on a nerve 

Ruptured disks: Each vertebra in the spine is protected by disks. If the disk ruptured, it will cause more pressure on a nerve, resulting in back pain. 

  1. Movement and posture 

Some everyday activities or poor posture can cause back pain. Examples include:

  • Standing or sitting for a long time 
  • Driving for hours without a break 
  • Sneezing or coughing 
  • Over-stretching 
  • Bending awkwardly for long periods of time 

Other causes of back pain 

Some medical conditions that can cause back pain include:

Cancer of the spine: The presence of tumour on the spine may press against a nerve, resulting in back pain. 

Shingles: This is an infection that can the nerve, resulting in back pain. 

Other infections: Kidney infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, or bladder may also lead to back pain 

Infection of the spine: Warm area on the back, or fever could be due to an infection on the spine, which may cause back pain 

Symptoms of back pain 

The major symptom of back pain is an ache or pain in the back, and sometimes down to the buttocks and legs. 

When to see a doctor 

If the following symptoms occur, retirees, adolescents, university students etc are advised to see their doctor:

  • Urinary incontinence 
  • Difficulty urinating 
  • Numbness around the anus
  • Numbness around the buttocks 
  • Pain down the legs etc

Treatment of back pain 

Back pain usually goes away with home remedies and decent rest, but sometimes medical treatment is recommended. 

Home treatments 

This entails resting from strenuous activities, moving around to ease stiffness, reduce pain, and prevent muscles from weakening. 

Medical treatment 

If home treatments fail in relieving back pain, medical treatment is strongly recommended. 


Back pain is rarely treated by surgery. Surgery becomes an option only if a patient has a herniated disk, especially if there is persistent pain and compression of nerve, which can result in muscle weakness. 

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