According to the Global Burden of Disease 2010, lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. It is also one of the most common reasons that people miss work, second only to upper-respiratory infections. The pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, piercing pain. The latter can make it difficult to move. Back pain can start off mildly and get worse over time, or can come on suddenly, for example if you fall or lift a heavy object.
Acute and Chronic Back Pain
Back pain can be classified as acute or chronic. Acute pain, the most common type of back pain, starts rapidly and lasts about six weeks. This can be caused by an accident or occur due to excessive lifting. Sometimes, the pain can be a result of a lifetime of bad habits. On the other hand, chronic pain lasts for more than 3 months.
Despite medical advances, it can be quite difficult for doctors to determine the exact cause for many back problems, making it tricky to prescribe back pain treatment. The good news is that most acute back pains due to sprain or strain get better without medical intervention within a few weeks. However, there are times when treatment is required.
Causes of Back Pain
There are various causes of back pain; in fact, sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint a particular cause. Below are just some examples of the causes of back pain:
You spend too much time sitting – People spend too much time sitting in front of computers or TV screens these days. And if we’re not hunched over our desks at work, we’re texting or checking social media on our gadgets which create more aches and pains on our shoulders, necks and backs. It’s important to take breaks in between our screen time to reduce the chances of incurring back pain.
You are depressed – For years it’s been known that physical pain can lead to feelings of depression. However, a study conducted by Dr. Linda Carroll and her colleagues from the University of Alberta in Canada revealed that depression is a risk factor for onset of severe neck and low back pain, and that people who suffer from depression are four times as likely to develop intense or disabling neck and low back pain than those who are not depressed. Aside from consulting your physician for your depression, you can engage in mood enhancing activities, such as yoga, exercise and deep breathing, to help ease feelings of stress.
Your fashion choices – Stilettos have long ago been identified as the culprit for back pain in women. That doesn’t mean that sandals, flip-flops and ballet flats can’t cause problems, too, since they provide little to no arch support. The trick is to alternate styles throughout the week so you’re not wearing a particular pair of shoes every day. Make sure that you buy and wear shoes that fit properly and offer good arch and heel support.
Your sleeping position and mattress – Sleeping on your side or back is ideal since it keeps your spine elongated and neutral, while sleeping on your stomach places pressure on joints and muscles which can cause back aches. Make sure your mattress is in the middle range for firmness (not too hard and not too soft) and to use a pillow that keeps your head in line with your spine.
Back Pain: Louisville Treatment
In Louisville, individuals suffering from minor to severe back pain can take advantage of low level laser therapy. This non-invasive, painless and drug-free remedy is administered by medical practitioners for the relief of back pain. The Class 4 K-Laser treatments offer benefits including managing pain and inflammation while accelerating tissue regeneration in hard and soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, or even bones. As it draws water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area, the laser energy increases circulation and creates an optimal healing environment that reduces swelling, muscle spasm, stiffness and pain.
Improvement in conditions, such as reduced pain, may be felt after the first treatment. However, it is not uncommon to not feel any improvement for a number of sessions, although this doesn’t mean that the condition is not recovering. Each treatment is cumulative and results are often felt after 3 or 4 sessions.