It's 3 am, you're sleeping soundly, and you're awoken by an unmistakable pain. It's located low on your back, and you're not sure what to do. Do you wait it out until morning, reach for a heating pad, or beg your partner to drive you to the hospital?
If you're wondering what the common types of back pain are, we've got you covered. Below, we have a list of common causes of back pain. Put on a hot pad, grab a pillow, and read on!
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is often a result of strains, muscular irritation, or ligament sprains. It can also be caused by spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or osteoarthritis. Poor posture, overexertion during exercise, or simple activities such as sitting for long periods can also play a role in lower back pain.
Treatment for lower back problems typically includes doctor-recommended exercises, physical therapy, over-the-counter medications, or even surgery in severe cases. Maintaining good posture, exercising regularly, and taking breaks to prevent sitting too long are all components for the prevention of lower back pain.
Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain is located in the area of the thoracic spine, or mid-back. It can be caused by poor posture or an injury like a muscle strain, or it can be caused by a medical condition such as osteoarthritis. Symptoms of upper back pain can vary in intensity.
Treatment of upper back pain can involve physical therapy, medications, trigger point injections, or even surgery, depending on the severity of the injured back. Good posture habits, stretching, and strengthening exercises can help reduce the likelihood of future upper back pain. People with severe pain should speak to their doctor to determine the best treatment options.
Sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the legs and causes like:
- other symptoms along the nerve
Treatment often involves physical therapy and medications to reduce the inflammation of the nerves and muscle relaxants to decrease pain. A spinal adjustment may also be recommended to address underlying mechanical issues.
Symptoms of sciatica can be relieved through lifestyle modifications such as regular stretching, yoga, massage, and heat or cold therapy. It is important to speak with your primary care provider if you are experiencing persistent back pain.
Herniated discs are a common cause of back pain and can be one of the most severe. This happens when the cushioning discs between the vertebrae of the spine become herniated or damaged. The inner material of the disc begins to press against nerves and causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the back, legs, and arms.
The pain can be worse when bending or lifting and can worsen over time. Treatment may include physical therapy, medications, or even surgery, depending on the severity of the herniated disc. It is recommended to consult the best back surgeon found here and start your treatment immediately.
It is Best to Consult a Doctor if You Experience These Types of Back Pain
While most types of back pain can be managed without medical intervention through rest, exercise, and hot/cold therapy, it is always best to seek medical advice in case of life-threatening, progressive, or persistent pain. If you experience any back pain, speak with your medical provider and develop a plan to manage it.
Take care of your health, and remember to monitor your back if you notice any discomfort.
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