Back pain: who never had one after a tiring day? Also called low back pain, this symptom is so common that many people believe it is super normal to live with it. back pains. However, neglecting this nuisance can be quite dangerous! It’s important to discover the root of the problem in order to treat it properly and keep your spine healthy and away from pain. the orthopedist daniel oliveiraspecializing in the spine, talked to us about this subject and brought important information on how to deal with the back pain what could it be and when it’s time to look for a specialist. Check out!
Back Pain: What Can It Be?? Learn the most common causes
Back pain is a very comprehensive symptom, which can be caused by several factors. Daniel points out the most common causes of this problem. “Bad posture and wrong sitting habitslifting excessive weights or performing extreme activities, which can put excessive pressure on the spine, leading to back pain, in addition to the sedentary lifestyle that can lead to muscle weakness and stiffness in the back, increasing the risk of back pain”, explains the orthopedist.
In addition, the expert points out that, often, the cause of pain in the spine can have emotional and psychological roots. “Factors such as stress, anxiety and depression can contribute to the development or worsening of back pain,” says Daniel. Getting heavy in the exercises also ends up causing this problem. “Muscle and ligament injuries due to excessive efforts, incorrect lifting of heavy objects or sudden movements can also be a cause of pain”.
Chronic or acute illnesses also cause back pain
In addition to the usual factors, Daniel recalls that some illnesses – whether chronic or acute – may have back pain as a characteristic symptom. The orthopedist lists the main ones. “One of them is a herniated disc, which occurs when the gelatinous nucleus of an intervertebral disc bulges out, irritating nearby nerves and resulting in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg”, says the doctor. In addition to the hernia, the orthopedist also highlights other reasons:
- – Disc degeneration, caused by the aging process;
- – spinal stenosis, where the narrowing of the spinal canal can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, causing back and leg pain;
- – arthritis in the spine, which can cause inflammation and discomfort in the region;
- – scoliosis, which has to do with the abnormal curvature of the spine, can result in pain, especially if it is severe;
- – pain in the sciatic nerve;
- – diseases such as osteoporosis e fibromyalgia.
Back pain is normal in specific cases, but requires attention
When to know if back pain is normal? According to Daniel, the criterion for making this classification is to understand what is motivating the symptom. “Back pain can be considered normal when it has a known cause, such as, for example, those caused by excessive physical exertion, bad posture or intense activity. They usually get better in a few days with rest, stretching and simple home care measures.”
However, it is important to be alert to signs that something may be wrong. “They can be cause for concern when they become persistent, lasting for more than weeks, increasing in intensity or not improving with simple measures, such as those mentioned above”, explains the orthopedist.
Who is most likely to have back pain?
Low back pain is a very democratic problem: it can reach all audiences and all ages. However, some people have a greater tendency to present this symptom, according to Daniel Oliveira. “There are several groups that are more prone to developing back problems, such as the elderly, as aging is associated with the natural wear and tear of spinal discs and joints; Poverweight or obese peopleas well as sedentary people, since physical inactivity weakens back and abdominal muscles,” he comments.
Other groups may also associate not only weight or overweight, but also health conditions. “People who work for long periods sitting down or who do manual work; pregnant women, due to weight gain and hormonal changes can put additional pressure on the spine; smoking patients because cigarette impairs blood circulation, affects the nutrition of intervertebral discs and impairs the body’s ability to recover from back injuries.”
The orthopedist also points out that anyone who already has or had a genetic issue, or previous injury, in addition to people who live under severe stress, may also be included in the risk groups. People who work with a lot of physical effort can have back pain more easily – and high-impact athletes are no exception to this rule.
Do you have posture? Understand how back pain can relate to it
If you have a very curved spinal posture, the famous “hunchback”, it is possible that this will cause you a lot of back pain. “Posture and life habits play a crucial role in the development of back pain”, explains Daniel Oliveira. “They can strain the spine, weaken supporting muscles, and increase the likelihood of injury and chronic back pain.”
Bad posture, however, is not only to blame for the onset of low back pain, but also a series of bad habits. “In this we can include the abusive use of electronic devices, as they generate additional tension in the neck and back, also due to the wrong posture; lifting heavy objects the wrong way; lack of physical exercises; overweight; the habit of smoking; stress; lack of stretching; and stay in the same position for a long time”, clarifies the orthopedist.
When to see an orthopedist? See how back pain is treated
We have already seen that back pain is quite common, but it is possible to live without this discomfort. Depending on the origin of the problem, it can even be avoided. “The good news is that many back problems related to posture and lifestyle habits can be prevented or alleviated with simple changes, such as adopting correct posture when sitting and standing, practice strengthening and stretching exercisesmaintain a healthy weight and take regular breaks during sedentary activities,” says the doctor.
However, with so many factors that trigger back pain, it’s hard to know when it’s time to treat the symptom seriously and look for the orthopedist. “They deserve medical attention when they are intense, sudden and acute, especially after an accident or fall; when radiated, extending to the legs, especially if accompanied by weakness, numbness or tingling”. Daniel explains that these symptoms may indicate compression of a nerve, such as a herniated disc.
Monitoring other symptoms also requires specialized care. “Loss of bladder or bowel control, along with back pain, may indicate a Cauda Equina Syndrome and requires urgent medical attention; as well as if the back pain is accompanied by fever, swelling, redness or extreme tenderness, which could indicate an infection or inflammation that requires medical treatment. If the pain in the region is the result of significant trauma, such as a car accident, a fall from a height, or another type of injury, it is also worth special attention.”
Treatment for back pain also varies greatly depending on the cause of the problem. “As a way of alleviating pain, it is first necessary to know what its cause is, in order to choose the most effective treatment. Among them we have conservative treatments, with the prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers and muscle relaxants to relieve pain and inflammation”, comments the orthopedist.
There are also non-drug methods, such as physiotherapy, stretching and therapies. In other cases, treatment is required. “It is possible to use corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and localized inflammation, especially in conditions such as a herniated disc, and surgical treatment, when other conservative options are unsuccessful”, he concludes.
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