Any type of pain is tortuous and uncomfortable, but some aches are more impactful than others. In particular, back pain can be some of the most debilitating and irritating pain that plagues you daily.
One of the worst issues with back problems is that they aren’t easy to resolve. Once you start experiencing back pain, it may never fully go away.
This can lead to discomfort in inconvenient scenarios like back pain during road trips. Experiencing back discomfort makes you more likely to feel discomfort in any scenarios that entail sitting still or use of your back, which can make life quite unpleasant.
Because back pain is difficult to treat, it’s better to prevent it if you don’t yet experience it. This requires understanding what commonly causes back discomfort.
We’ll go over this below to help keep your back as healthy as possible!
Sustaining an injury is one of the most common reasons for back pain.
This is because your back muscles are used in almost everything you do. As a result, there are more opportunities for overuse, misuse, strain, or sprain.
Your back muscles are used for walking, sitting, bending, twisting, and they’re often incorrectly used for lifting. As you can imagine, this means your back muscles are in use most of the day.
Back injuries can happen from falling, direct blows, and overexerting yourself during exercise. In particular, one of the most common reasons for a back injury is improper lifting.
Lifting technique is incredibly important, especially when you’re dealing with any significant amount of weight. You should focus on lifting with your core and legs rather than your back and arms.
Your core and legs are much stronger and more dependable than your back and arms. It also means that you’re lifting with a better center of gravity and balance.
Lifting from your back means that you’re supporting weight with fairly weak muscles, which makes you prone to sudden twists or jerks that cause serious injuries when compounded by the weight you are supporting.
With this in mind, back injuries, specifically from lifting, are one of the likeliest causes for back pain.
Various spinal disc problems can also cause back pain.
In the middle of your back is your spine, which connects from your tailbone to your brain stem. Your spine is made of nerve fibers and vertebrae bones that are cushioned by discs.
Spinal discs naturally weaken with age, but they can also deteriorate as a result of injuries and harmful lifestyle choices like improper lifting. When a spinal disc is damaged, it will put pressure on the surrounding nerve fibers and this causes intense pain.
Some common spinal disc problems include a bulging disc, a herniated disc, or a degenerative disc. Initial stages of disc problems begin with a bulging or degenerative disc, during which a disc is under intense pressure and at risk for herniating.
When a disc herniates, then your disk has ruptured and is releasing the inner fluids that fill the disc. As you might expect, this is intensely painful and far more noticeable than a bulging or degenerative disc.
If you haven’t suffered an injury, then your back pain may be a product of a disc problem.
Spinal Cord Complications
Another cause of back pain relating to the spine involves spinal cord complications.
This includes conditions like scoliosis, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and cervical radiculopathy. Each of these complications affects you a little differently, but the pain is a shared symptom.
Scoliosis involves a curved spine, which is often diagnosed during childhood. A curved spine causes pain due to putting pressure on spinal discs and damaging the surrounding nerves and joints.
Spinal stenosis is when your spinal cord begins to narrow. This puts intense pressure on surrounding nerves and your spine as a whole, which results in pain and numbness.
Spondylolisthesis is similar to a herniated disc, but instead of a disc, one of your vertebrae bones has become damaged and out of place. This displacement impacts the surrounding nerves and tissues, which is highly painful.
Cervical radiculopathy involves damage to your nerves around your cervical vertebrae, which are found near your neck. This causes your nerves to send off improper signals, resulting in frequent pain and numbness that spreads into the arms.
Considering your spinal cord is an essential part of your back, any complication with it is another likely cause for back pain.
Lastly, degenerative diseases can also be the source of back discomfort.
In particular, osteoarthritis, spondylosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis can all affect your back. The issue with degenerative conditions is that they progressively weaken your muscles and surrounding nerves.
When this happens in your back, it causes additional pressure on other parts of your back and spine. This imbalance and added pressure cause pain and discomfort.
Unfortunately, degenerative diseases are compounding and this means that the pressure they cause on other muscles and nerves ends in more damage to your back. They are often irreversible and treatment involves the management of symptoms and reducing further damage.
Because degenerative conditions weaken your body, they often lead to back pain.
Back pain is one of the most frustrating types of aches to experience because it usually never fully fades. Making matters worse, you use your back most of the day and this means that back pain will impact everything you do.
Pain in your back can be caused by several different reasons. This includes injuries, disc problems, spinal cord complications, and degenerative diseases.
Most back discomfort is not irreversible, but it may never fully heal. Considering this, you should focus on limiting anything that would result in back pain as much as possible. If you do experience back pain, address it as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.