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What Causes Back Pain in the Lower Back

How to Handle Lower Back Pain Like a Champ!

Back pain can be one of the most debilitating, crippling chronic pains that a person can experience, but what can you do to manage the pain, and continue with your day, or even your life? How do back pains start and what are they? Back pains are simply back muscle or ligament strains. These muscle strains and or ligament strains are caused by lifting heavy objects that you cannot handle, or any sudden movement that tears or overstretches the muscles in your back. These tears are what causes you temporary or permanent back pain.

lower back pains

Back Injury Effects All Ages

Did you know that millions of Americans under 45 suffer from pain in the back?  This pain is not only a disease of the aging, it is also a pain of the youth. There are many things that trigger back pain, some of which are major events that occur, such as car accidents and falls, but sometimes it is triggered by your daily habits. Do you sit in front of a computer all day and slouch over the keyboard? Do you walk straight? Do you sleep poorly? Do you smoke? Back pain can also be caused by being overweight, not exercising, wearing high heels, and lifting heavy objects that are above your tolerance level. Your emotions can also affect your physical well-being as a whole; stress, depression, tension, anxiety, and poor overall mental-health can contribute or prompt back pain to begin as well. Lastly, any pre-existing illness that you have can cause back pain; such as scoliosis, the unnatural curvature of the spine, arthritis, swelling and inflammation of the joints, tumors, initiated by cancer, kidney stones, fibromyalgia, a disease that causes muscle pain all over the body, and even pregnancy can also be contributors to back pain.

Treatment

If you have just injured your back (the first 24-48 hours) you should apply ice to the injured area immediately. It is a common misconception that you need to apply heat to the affected area immediately, although heat will diminish immediate symptoms, heat makes the inflammation worse. 48 hours after the accident or injury, you can use heat or ice, and make a decision about what works best for you. Regardless of your injury, it is best to apply cold or hot packs to the injured area for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time. One misconception about back discomfort is that back braces are the cure-all solution. Back braces should be used in moderation, as they cause the muscles in your back to weaken. The muscles in your back need to continue working, and if you wear a brace all day, you are going to cause the muscles in your back to fatigue. Another misconception regarding back pain is that people believe if they have injured their back they cannot continue with their normal daily activities. Your back needs to stretch, even if it is injured, so it’s better to try and continue with your daily life, as best as possible, without overdoing it! Once your back is stronger again, you can complete lower back exercises, to increase the strength in your back, abdominal muscles, and strengthen your hips and pelvic area. Try some of these exercises to strengthen your back: partial crunches, hamstring stretches, wall sits, lying on the floor and bringing one knee at a time to your chest, lifting weights, aerobic exercise, and pilates moves. If you have chronic back pain, consider making a serious effort to break some of your bad habits: smoking, slouching over the computer, walking or sitting slumped over, and not exercising, to name a few.

What you can do: use hot/cold packs, stretch and improve your overall flexibility, manage your weight, exercise, leave yourself time at the end of the day to de-stress, make sure your computer chair provides appropriate support, and wear flat shoes or shoes with support. You can also take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and acetaminophen. Before you take pain medicine, be sure to check that the medicine you are taking does not conflict or negatively interact with any of your other daily medicines. If you experience ongoing pain, lose control of your bowels, or have weakness or numbness in your legs, or have difficulty standing or walking, you should seek medical help, or see a Chiropractor.

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