You wake up one day and feel like you’re carrying the world on your back. Any type of stretching or moving you do to “readjust” yourself only leads to a pang of pain shocking you to agonizing pain.
While back pain is often joked as something that plagues only the older people, it can happen to almost anyone—active, passive, working or non-working. It’s one of the most common medical problems in the country; it can happen to 80% of adults in their lifetime, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Finding the cause of back pain is another story. According to Harvard Health, this type of disability tends to be more of a neurological than spinal concern. Your bones degenerate over time; by theory, as you get older, you should have more pain on your back. Harvard Health also noted that 20% of adults don’t experience back pain at all due to the nervous system learning to adapt to the pain.
But when your back pain just won’t go away, here’s what may be causing that unbearable pain.
Sometimes, people are born with weird spinal curvatures. One of the well-known causes of back pain is scoliosis. Instead of having a normal spinal curve, scoliosis curves your bones even further. Most cases it’s all just manageable, but it can put significant strain on your muscles, tendons, vertebrae and ligaments. Children are sometimes born with it; adults can get it later in life, albeit rarely. Depending on the severity, doctors might prescribe a back brace or surgery to treat the condition.
Who would’ve thought there’s even a right way to stand or sit? Having a bad posture can wreak havoc in your back in the long run. Repetitive actions or staying a single position in long periods of time can cause muscle tension and tightness that leads to your backache. While it’s comfortable to sit or stand the way you’ve always done it, fixing your posture, where your spinal curves are balanced and aligned, can prevent further back pain. Some even go to chiropractors to help correct their posture.
Bones can degenerate to the point that the cartillages between the joints and discs in the neck and lower spine breaks. Osteoarthritis of the spine causes swelling and pain in your back. Men as young as 45 or below can get osteoarthritis, though it’s more common in women older than 45. It can occur frequently on overweight people or those with tasks that require repetitive movements.
There are times when your spinal discs are compressed so much that they bulge out of their position and cause pain. Herniated or ruptured discs can occur anywhere in the spinal column. Typically, herniated discs are a symptom of an even worse condition, such as sciatica (when the herniated disc hits the sciatic nerve) or cervical radiculopathy (when the herniated disc affects the neck).
Being disabled by back pain can be the worst feeling in the world. When you suffer chronic back pain, it may cause you unbearable pain to the point that you can’t do your job or the things you used to love properly. Noting that 85% of sufferers have undentifiable, “non-specific” back pain, knowing what’s causing your back pain can help you seek the right treatment. With hundreds of billions of dollars being funneled to back and neck pain treatments, you better get the proper procedure for your condition, otherwise, you’ve spent a lot for nothing.