Experiencing back pain is not uncommon. Approximately 80% of adults experience it at some point and back pain has become a leading cause of job disability. Just because it’s a common complaint doesn’t mean it’s necessary to suffer with it.
The back is an intricate body part. The spine itself is made of bone, tissue, cartilage, nerve endings, and tendons. All of these work together to ensure a smooth range of movement. With all the pieces that fit together to make it run, it’s no surprise that back pain can be caused by a list of problems almost as long as the spine itself.
A majority of back complaints are diagnosed as acute or short term, from a dull ache to sharper pain. The majority of these are due to a mechanical problem. The way the elements of the back work together has become disrupted. With the proper self-care the pain goes away in a few days or weeks.
Subacute low back pain lasts longer, typically between 4 and 12 weeks. Beyond that, the diagnosis is chronic back pain, where the pain lasts longer than 12 weeks.
Back pain can be debilitating and reduce your quality of life. Dealing with the pain can be frustrating. A recent study found that paracetamol was only as effective as a leading placebo. The good news is that for the majority of back pain, the acute short-term cases, the back has its own good intentions at its spine. It will rectify itself and the pain will go when the mechanical strain has been taken off it.
By ensuring your lifestyle involves plenty of movement and exercise, your back gets to move through its full range of motion and movement. This allows the spine and supporting muscles to stretch and move in the way they were intended to. It strengthens the spine and prevents many of the causes of back pain. Ensuring you are not stationary or limited in one posture for lengthy periods, especially hunched when working at a desk for example, is a good start.
Maintaining proper posture at work, with strong lumbar support is also highly recommended. Ensuring good posture reduces unnecessary strain on the discs, or wear on the cushioning pads. Ensuring the proper stance when lifting heavy objects reduces the risk of a sprain.
You’ve only got one body. Taking care of it is vital.