Do you spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer at work and get intense back pains at the end of the day? Do you wince in pain every time you lift a box or any other object? Has bending over to pick something up from the floor become difficult?
Men and women, whether young or old, can get back pain. This health problem common around the world, causing people to miss work or school, visit a doctor more times than they would like, or have less fun and enjoyable moments in life.
What are the warning signs of back pain?
Experiencing persistent pain in the back is not a good thing. It prevents you from doing a lot of things — from common day-to-day stuff, such as walking, standing, and sitting comfortably, to more physically demanding activities, such as sports, weight lifting, and hiking.
You have back pain if you suffer from:
- Aching of the muscles in your back
- Pain that feels like your muscles are being stabbed
- Pain that starts from your back and extends down to your legs
- Pain that gets worse every time you stand, bend over, lift, or walk
- Pain that gets a bit better every time you recline or lay in bed
It is best that you go see a doctor immediately to find out the cause of your back pain and the appropriate treatment for it.
What are the common causes of back pain?
There are many different things that can cause back pain. Below are some examples:
♦ Strain in your back muscles or a ligament
If you made a sudden awkward movement or lifted really heavy stuff, you can strain the muscles in your back and the ligaments in your spine. This is highly likely to happen if you are not in good shape and are not used to being physically active. The extra strain can cause extremely painful muscle spasms that may take some time to disappear.
This is a disease characterized by the inflammation of the joints. It is very common with the elderly and triggers a number of symptoms, including pain, swelling, stiffness, limited mobility, and redness in the affected area. If it occurs in the lower back or spine, it can cause the area around the spinal cord to narrow, resulting in a medical condition known as spinal stenosis.
This is a condition in which the bones lose density and become porous, brittle, and weak. Its most common symptoms are back pain due to a fractured vertebra, a hunched posture, decrease in height, and frequent bone breakage and injuries.
In some cases, though, back pain may signify an underlying condition that requires immediate medical attention, including:
♦ Kidney stones
These are salt and mineral deposits that form in your kidneys that cause severe lower and side back pain, pain when urinating, and pink or red-colored urine.
This is a condition characterized by pain in the musculoskeletal system, particularly the areas above and below the waistline, and accompanied by memory problems, sleep issues, mood changes, and fatigue.
♦ Spinal infection
A spinal infection can come about because of injuries, fungi, viruses, bacteria, after undergoing spinal surgery, or having HIV, cancer, or diabetes. It causes muscle spasms, severe back pain, swelling in the back, fever, and even numbness in the legs.
What can you do to relieve lower back pain?
There are many different exercises that you can do to get rid of back pain. By doing them at least once a day, you can feel better and be more efficient at work or in school. Here are highly recommended back exercises for you to try:
1. Knee-to-chest stretches
This exercise works on your lower back, hips, and thighs, loosening tensed muscles and promoting relaxation. To do it, start by lying face-up on the floor. Bend your knees, keeping both of your feet flat on the floor. Pull your right knee as close to your chest as you can. Stay in that position for a few seconds, before going back to starting position. Repeat, but use your left knee this time.
2. Child’s pose
This is good for the spinal extensors, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus. It can eliminate the tension in your spine, shoulders, and neck, improve blood circulation in your back, and enhance your flexibility. To do it, start with both of your hands and your knees on the floor. Then, pull your lower body back, resting your hips on your heels and your abdomen on your thighs. Go back to the starting position. Repeat. Make sure that you keep your hands planted on the floor at all times.
This routine strengthens the abdominal muscles and loosens the tension in the lower back. It is also good for the hamstrings and glutes. To do it, start by lying face-up on the floor. Bend your knees, keeping both of your feet flat on the floor. Push your back against the floor by using your abdominal muscles. Hold that position for 10 seconds. Release, as you take deep breaths. Repeat.
4. Sphinx stretch
This builds strength in your spine, abdomen, chest, and buttocks. To do it, start by lying face down on the floor. Extend your Tuck your arms, hands, and elbows underneath your shoulders, with your palms facing down. Lift your head, neck, shoulders, and chest using your lower back, abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. Make sure that your pelvis is pressed hard into the floor. Stay in that position for one minute or for as long as you can, as you make deep breaths. Go back to the starting position. Repeat.
This engages the buttocks and strengthens the lower back. To do it, start by lying face-up on the floor. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart, and place your arms at your sides. Lift your buttocks off the floor until that parts of your body between your shoulders and your knees forms a straight line. Hold that position for as long as you can. Return to starting position. Repeat.