Overview of Back Problems

Back pain is a common condition that affects 8 out of 10 people at some point in their lives. Whether from injuries, bad posture, or aging, back problems are widely experienced by people on a regular basis. As such, there are a breadth of factors that can cause backache and severe back pain in everyday life and sometimes over longer periods of time. Accidents, injuries, muscular and nerve issues, aging, and stress are only some of the causes of back problems and their symptoms.

Symptoms of a Backache

Some of the common symptoms of back problems include:

  • Muscle aches: This includes soreness around the shoulders, hips, or around the rib cage. Muscle aches are often caused by strenuous activity from sports or other physically-demanding activities. It can also occur from sitting too long in the same position or from bad posture.
  • Sharp pain: A sudden, sharp pain can sometimes occur around the lower back as well as form muscle spasms. These are often experienced sporadically in various parts of the body.
  • Radiating pain: This can be identified by pain that starts in one location and spreads to other areas upon movement. Leg pain can sometimes be caused by radiating sensations from lower back problems.
  • Difficulty standing and sitting: If you're having difficulty standing for short amounts of time or experiencing a strain on the lower back when sitting, it is definitely a sign of bigger back problems.
  • Chronic pain: Bad back pain that lasts for more than 3 months can be considered chronic. These need to be addressed by a physician or certified pain specialist in order to receive treatment and prevent them from becoming something worse.

Common Conditions of Back Problems

Sore backs and spine pain can lead to several back pain conditions. The most common include:

  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Bulging disc
  • Herniated discs
  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Facet syndrome
  • Spondyloitis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Torn disc

Diagnosing Back Problems

Most forms of back pain tend to disappear after a few days. These include a sore back, back strain, or backache. Making adjustments in posture, exercise routine, and activities are usually the best ways to remedy most back problems and eventually overcome them.

Severe back pain, particularly spine pain or other bad back pain, could indicate larger underlying issues that should be verified by a certified physician. In most cases, an imaging test such as an MRI, CT scan, or X-ray, is conducted to determine the root cause. Depending on the results, treatment is then recommended. This could be as simple as using heating and cooling packs on the affected area, or in rare cases, lead to surgery. The only way to know for sure is to speak with a physician and receive testing for definitive answers to your back pain problems.

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