Back pain tends to be one of the most common medical conditions in the United States, 80 percent of Americans face problems with their back at some point in their lives. Moreover, back pain is one of the most common causes of work-related disability. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), back pain is considered chronic if it lasts 3 months or longer. Here is the list of six medical reasons for back pain you might not know about.
1. Strain or sprain
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, strain and sprain are the most common causes of back pain. A strain affects the muscle and a sprain affects the ligament. Both of them can be caused by gradual overuse or injury (like playing sports or lifting weights). The pain spreads to the buttocks but it doesn’t reach the legs. You can also get muscle cramps.
Anti-inflammatory meds, a short period of bed rest, and physical therapy are considered to be the most effective treatment methods. Physical activity is also very important because the lack of it may lead to arthritis or herniated disc. If you don’t want to transform your back pain into a chronic phase, it is better to visit the doctor and treat the acute condition.
2. Being overweight
Body Mass Index (BMI) is the weight-to-height ratio that estimates body fat. If your BMI is over 25 (overweight) and especially if it exceeds 30 (obesity), you have an increased risk of chronic back pain. Fat in the stomach area is a big problem. An overweight abdomen pulls you forward and destroys your lower back. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercise, stress reduction, and adequate sleep can help you get rid of excess weight.
Chronic back pain usually starts to bother people between the ages of 30 and 50 and the condition usually worsens with age. People gain weight, do less exercise and become more sedentary. This leads to the fact that the muscles lose their tone, the discs compress, and the joints start scraping against each other. The body also becomes less efficient at healing itself. Even if you are completely healthy, you can’t avoid physical changes when you get older.
4. Foot problems
Legs are the foundation of the body. Any foot problem can result in back pain because this condition affects normal gait and add extra pressure on the back hips or knees. If your feet don’t have enough support (weakness of the arch) or one leg is shorter than the other, an orthotic insert may help align your legs and relieve pressure from your back
Endometriosis is the condition in which tissue that lines the inside of the uterus begins to grow outside it on nearby organs. This condition can cause prolonged pain in the pelvic area and in the lower back. Painful sensations usually worsen during menstruation. The problem is that this condition is quite hard to diagnose and you may need a pelvic exam and ultrasound. The most common treatment options for endometriosis are pain medication, hormonal contraceptives, and surgery.
Low back pain during pregnancy is quite common. The additional weight in the belly shifts the center of gravity and pulls the back. In addition, hormones weaken the ligaments in the joints of the pelvis in preparation for delivery. In order to prevent problems, it is better to maintain proper posture, sleep on your side, wear shoes with low heels, exercise, and massage aching areas.