Backache is one of the prevalent medical problems among adults. Normally, it refers to the pain in the spinal nerves, intervertebral joints, muscles or bone-on-bone pain. Backache can either be acute or chronic. Although acute pain improves on its own or with the help of mild pain relief medicines, chronic back pain may extend for several months.
Usually, the pain is progressive, which may get worse over a period of time. Once the cause for backache is determined, you can go for appropriate treatment methods to eliminate the source of pain altogether. With the right treatment, the backache can be resolved and you can resume your normal activities.
Common Causes For Backache
Acquired or Congenital Disorder
Backache can also be caused due to degenerative, congenital or inflammatory disorders including spondylosis, spinal stenosis (spinal canal is narrowed creating stress on the nerves or spinal cord), scoliosis (spine has abnormal curvature), rheumatoid arthritis (a chronic autoimmune disease, which causes inflammation in joints), osteoporosis, osteomyelitis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia (a chronic condition that causes tenderness, stiffness and pain), discitis (intervertebral disc infection), ankylosing spondylitis.
Injury or mechanical changes can usually cause backache. Mechanical changes imply the changes that occur when your spine is moved during obstructions, weight changes or other kind of physical changes, which are either causing pain or impeding movement.
Traumatic or mechanical backache causes include: Pregnancy, obesity, muscle tension or spasm (including stress-induced tension), ligament sprains, invertebral disc degeneration, herniated disc, fractured vertebra, sports or exercise injury and bone spurs.
Poor Physical Postures
Poor physical postures or avoiding ergonomic principles at workplace can lead to backache. An average person spends about nine hours slouched or hunched in front of the screen every day. A research has found that increased usage of the latest tech obsessions like Tablets and Smartphones can create pain and aches in our back, neck and shoulders. Therefore, it is important to do neck exercises and take regular breaks. Sitting all day puts more strain on the vertebrae and disks than walking or standing.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
This is one of the reasons for backache, as the bedtime belly-flop puts pressure on muscles and joints. However, sleeping on your back or side keeps your spine neutral and elongated. If you still prefer to snooze on your belly, slide a pillow (a thin one) under the hips to ease the pressure on the muscles, ligaments and disks.
Regardless of your sleeping posture, it is important to go for a mattress that is neither too hard (this is uncomfortable for shoulders and hips) nor too soft (puts pressure on the joints and back). A study has established that people (with chronic back pain), who slept on medium-mattresses had less aches than those, who snoozed on firm beds.
Ignoring The Core Muscles
‘Six-pack abs’ is what comes to our mind, when the word core is mentioned. However, core consists of a range of muscles including buttock, pelvic, side and back. All these muscles work jointly along with the abs and allow us to stand upright, rotate, twist and bend. In short, these muscles support all the movements in the body. Crunches focus only on abdominal muscles, whereas core exercises like planks, squats and lunges strengthen many of the muscle groups that support the spine. Incorporate these moves to strengthen your back and keep the backache at bay.