It is not a must you be critically ill so as to rule out you have a back problem. Back problems start off as small problems and later progress to something chronic if not treated during the early stages.
Let’s start off with a small assessment test and see if our backs are healthy.
A: Do you have a swelling on your back?
B: Do you have persistent back pain even resting do not relieve the pain?
C: Do you have pain that that reaches below the knees?
D: Do you have any difficulties during urination?
E: Do you find yourself pooping uncontrollably?
F: Do you have numbness in your genitals?
G: Do you have numbness around your anus
H: Do you have numbness around your buttocks?
If you possess one of the above signs, you need to get your back checked before your condition gets bad.
Back pain problem is a common complaint. Around 80% of the people around the world complain of back pains at least once or twice in their lifetime. As simple as it looks, back pains can make you miss work or even have frequent visits to the doctor. If treated early, it has zero effects on you.Back pain problems can affect anyone, but mostly people between the ages 35 years and 55 years.
Studies reveal that back pains are associated with the way our backbones, back muscles and ligaments work together.
National Health Service recommends the following groups of people to seek medical advice if they experience any back pain problems.
• Anybody under the age of twenty or older than fifty-five years.
• Any patient who has been using steroids
• Anybody who abuses drugs
• Patients who have cancer
• Any person who had a case of cancer
• Patients with weak immune systems
There are two main back pain problems – Lower back pains and upper back pains. The upper back pains are caused by the presence of tumors in the chest, disorders of the aorta or inflammation in the spine.
Lower back pains are the most common and are associated with the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, the ligaments located around the spine, lower back muscles spinal cord, the spinal nerves or the spinal discs.
What is the main cause of Back pains?
The human back is made of a complex structure that consists of bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles. If any problem occurs to these components, you start experiencing pain in your back. Not all back pains come due to issues that arise from these components, some of the back pains are unknown.
The main cause of back pains is strain either to the back muscles or ligaments. Strain to the back is mainly caused by lifting heavy things improperly, lifting too heavy items and awkward or abrupt movements.
2. Structural Problem
As we have seen, the backbone has a complex composition of nerves, ligaments, tendons and muscles. If one these components are not working as they should, you will definitely get back pains. The following are some of the structural problems of the backbone that can bring about back pains.
• Ruptured Disks
The backbone is structured in a manner that a disk cushions each vertebra of the spine. In case the disk ruptures, the pressure is exerted on the nerve thus resulting in lower back pains.
Causes of Ruptured Discs
The main factors that cause backbones to rupture are aging or tear and wear of the discs. Also, diseases like degenerative disease can cause the discs to rupture. Below are some of the causes or factors that encourage backbone discs to rupture.
• Sudden accidents or trauma to the back such as car accidents, injury during a sport or a fall or blow that is directed to the back.
• Sudden or improper movement of the back that is mainly caused by lifting heavy objects. This mainly occurs to people who are involved in physical labor activities or drive for long distances.
• Individuals who are obese or are overweight
• Persons who do not participate in any physical exercises or are less active – are not involved in any regular activities
• People who smoke or take alcohol frequently.
• Occurs mainly in men who are between 30-50 years. Studies show that men at this ages are prone to herniated discs.
• Family history and genetic inheritance
In case you suspect to have ruptured spinal discs, immediately schedule to visit a spine specialist to have your backbone checked. Doing this will guarantee you to have a healthy.
Ruptured Lumbar Discs Symptoms
The symptoms of ruptured discs differ from patient to patient. Mainly, they are dependent on the location of the ruptured disc on the spine. Patients feel the effect of the ruptured discs when the vertebrae exert pressure on the nerve. When the pressure is exerted on the nerve, you may experience the below symptoms;
• Dull or achy pain
• Sharp and intense pain
• Back muscle tightness or back muscle cramping
• Needle-like pain or tingling in your arms or up and down of your legs
• General weakness of the affected area.
The symptoms of ruptured disks can be confused with conditions of other diseases such as cancer of the spine, spinal stenosis, and bone spurs. Visiting a qualified spine specialist for right diagnosis is important.
• Bulging Discs
Bulging of the spinal discs has the same effects as ruptured disks on the nerves on the spine but exerts more pressure. It occurs when a spinal disc bulges out and exerts pressure on the spine. The pressure exerted on the nerve transmits sensory information that causes pain on the affected area or numbness or tingling effects on various parts of the body.
Back problems caused by bulging of lumbar discs are reversible without the need to go for surgery. Here are some indicators will show you that you are suffering from bulging lumbar discs
• Tingling effect or pain in the neck, arms, fingers or shoulders is a good symptom of bulging disc in the cervical area.
• Pain on the upper part of the back that radiates to the area of your chest and stomach is a good indicator of bulging of the thoracic disc.
• Lower back pains are good indicators of bulging of the lumbar disc
Causes of Bulging Discs
If you suspect to have bulging discs, please make sure to visit a specialist before your discs rupture and cause further damage to your body. Before even thinking of treating bulging disks, first get to know what the causes are to prevent re-occurrence. Below are some leading causes of bulging discs.
• Obesity or excessive body weight.
• Effects of degenerative disc disease.
• Trauma or injury to the back
• Bad standing or sitting posture.
• Bad sitting, sleeping or standing posture.
• Strenuous physical activities such as lifting heavy things, driving.
Abnormal curvature of the Spine
The human spine can sometimes have an abnormal curve. When this occurs, patients normally experience intense back pains.
Causes of Abnormal Curvature of the Spine
This is a condition that occurs in patients who have one shoulder higher than the other. This makes the patient have uneven hips or waistline.
Scoliosis is caused by many factors including cerebral palsy, spinal bifida or degenerative condition that might have been triggered by injury to the back.
The most common scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis that nobody knows its cause.
This is the condition of the back that makes a person to have a sway back which makes the buttocks to protrude. The condition makes the patient have difficulties in moving in certain directions.
Lordosis is caused by spondylolisthesis- a condition that occurs after the vertebra slips over the lower vertebrae. Also, osteoporosis that makes the vertebrae prone to fracture can cause Lordosis.
Infections like discitis can also cause the back problem condition. Individuals with a genetic disorder of dwarfism are mostly affected by the condition.
Kyphosis is a back disorder that makes the head to protrude or bend forward, the upper back to be humped and the back and legs to be weak.The main cause of Kyphosis is infections of the spine and also osteoporosis.
Diagnosis of Abnormal Curvature of the Spine
To properly diagnose an abnormal curvature of the spine, you must visit a spine specialist for accurate diagnosis. The diagnosis in involves thorough physical examinations combined with imaging tests. X-rays are the best to show any spinal abnormalities and also the extent of the curvature.
You can also opt to have CT, or MRI scans to show the details of the spinal curvature clearly.
Other causes of the spine include;
• Cancer of the spine that causes a tumor that presses the nerves on the spine that cause back pain.
• Infections on the spine that results in back pain and also elevated body temperatures.
• Pelvic inflammatory diseases in women and also kidney infections can also lead to back pains.
• Individuals with sleeping disorders can also experience back pains.
• Bad mattresses are another cause of back problems. They do not support all the body thus making the back to remain crooked all through the night.
Risk Factors for Back problems
There are so many risk factors that are connected to back problems. If you are in a position to avoid one or more of the below factors, you will be in a better position of saving yourself from back pains that are a result of back disorders.
• Depression caused by a stressful job
• Pregnancy – nearly 99% of pregnant women complain of back problems.
• Age – As people age, they become more prone to back aches as compared to children or young adults.
• Gender – Complains of back aches are more common in females than men
• Strenuous physical exercises that are not well supervised or guided by a gym attendant.
• Performing strenuous physical activities- lifting or pushing heavy objects.
When to see a Doctor
Back pains do not mostly cause any serious problems. It can be easy to treat back pains with home remedies accompanied with good self-care. Most importantly, if you have back pains take long rests, and the pain will go away by itself.
Below are some events that you should see a doctor immediately.
• If you had a fall or blow on your back.
• When the back pain is followed by any fever – whether high or low fever.
• If the back pain is accompanied by bowel or bladder issues.
Make sure always to visit a doctor if the back pains;
• Do not go away even after taking long rests.
• If the back pain extends to one or both legs especially if the pain goes below the knees.
• WhenIf the back pain causes numbness or tingling effects to your legs.
• If severe weight loss follows the back pains.
Most importantly, individuals with a history of cancer, use of steroids, osteoporosis or drug abuse should seek medical advice if they experience any back problems.
Back problems are treatable. Let no one lie to you there is no cure. The crucial step you should take is to take note of the symptoms and try to connect with the causes. This will help you control any unforeseeable events that may be fatal. Remember, the spine makes you mobile and enables you to do numerous physical activities. It anything crazy happens to it, trust me, you will be bed ridden for the rest of your life.