Back pain means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For instance, it can be relatively mild and nagging, or it could be very sharp and come out of seemingly nowhere. One thing that’s true for all types of back pain is it can significantly reduce your overall quality of life.
While we know all too well how debilitating back pain can be, we don’t know nearly enough about how to help patients. As with most forms of pain, back pain can often originate from simple muscle strain. Fortunately, this type of back pain is typically temporary unless the damage occurs over long periods.
The other most common cause of back pain is what’s known as disc disease, which occurs when the discs of the spine start to degenerate and weaken. This is typically a result of factors such as age, genetics, obesity, or even relatively minor injuries. Osteoarthritis, and other conditions such as nerve impingement and stenosis, are also known to be a significant cause of back pain across the globe.
Some of the significant risk factors for these problems include things you’d expect, such as aging and occupational hazards. But a lot fewer people understand how much of a role factors such as genetics and lack of exercise can have on your spine. In fact, even poor posture over a long period, or smoking can be directly related to chronic back pain.
Back pain is, unfortunately, a prevalent issue. Experts believe more than 80% of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. An estimated 10% of the population currently dealing with some level of back pain, making it one of the most common causes of disability around the world.
If you or a loved one is struggling with back pain, the best thing you can do is consult a doctor. Only a doctor can accurately diagnose issues and provide the proper treatment.